Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 review

An alternate universe where strategy meets comedy

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Meanwhile, the Allies and Soviets have gotten makeovers - the commies in particular have some cool new units like the Sickle anti-infantry walker and the Bullfrog APC that launches infantry over obstacles. (RA2’s giant squid is notably absent). The Allies have incredible air power, with heavy bombers and fighters roughly as potent as two Soviet or Imperial planes. The new resource-gathering setup, which forces you to build refineries directly next to ore mines, will disappoint fans of the traditional gathering method (and fans of attacking harvesters). Personally, I never liked having to keep an eye on harvesters that would absentmindedly wander into hostile territory.

A special abilities skill tree unlocks unit upgrades and defense-crippling bombardment weapons that effectively prevent stalemates through combat experience, even if you can’t afford an expensive superweapon like the Allies’ proton collider cannon or the Japanese psychic decimator. (Due to Einstein’s absence, there are no nukes in RA3, but these newfangled superweapons do roughly the same thing.) It’s all part of the fast game plan to prevent deadlocks, and it is very effective - it’s impossible to maintain a static defense when you’re being constantly bombarded.

In the same spirit as the rest of the game, the signature live-action cut-scenes are ridiculously over-the-top, and you can tell everyone is having a blast not taking themselves the least bit seriously. Tim Curry is hilarious as the Soviet Premier, George Takei is somehow dignified even as he hams it up as the Japanese Emperor, and it’s hard not to crack up as mission objectives are laid out for you by “briefing babes” in low-cut outfits.

More info

DescriptionThis great game is ridiculous and it knows it, so just laugh along while playing a deep strategy game with humor to spare.
Franchise nameCommand and Conquer
UK franchise nameCommand and Conquer
Platform"PC","PS3","Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"16+","16+","16+"
Alternative names"Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Ultimate Edition (PS3)"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)