The first time I actually got to play Red Alert, was when I took a vacation back to my country, the Philippines. My friends there used to play it a lot at some local video arcades. These types of arcades basically had around 20 or so PCs networked together, instead of arcade machines. They also had Playstations, N64s, and SNESes there as well. Anyway, my friend showed me this game for the first time. I had heard of Red Alert but never actually played it before. We were actually playing the After Math expansion and not the original game. What proceeded next was two hours of learning and suffering for me, while my friend constantly destroyed my base... It was still fun though, and the game definitely drew my attention. When I got to college, I bought the game and quickly found friends in the dorm to play with. It was a fun time back then, to just build up your army and continually assault the enemy. We used to have 3-4 people play at a time. We used to scream across the dorm, taunting one another, but I digress...
Minimum System Requirements
- Win 95/98
- P266 MHz
- 64MB RAM
- 2MB Video RAM
- 16-Bit Color
- 4x CD-ROM
- 350MB Hard Drive Space
Although the first Red Alert was fun, I wanted more. I kept myself busy playing StarCraft, and the expansion Brood Wars. Once Tiberian Sun was released, I immediately expected it to revolutionize RTS games. Needless to say it disappointed me quite a bit. Once I heard of Red Alert 2 being released finally, I was again immediately expecting the fun game I was introduced to two and half years ago. This time I wasn't disappointed. It really felt like I was playing After Math all over again with my friends. So let's take a look at what this sequel has to offer, and why I think it's better than Tiberian Sun...
The story takes place after the original Red Alert. The communist forces of Russia have been subdued and a new leader has been selected by the allies. However, it seems the peace is only temporary. Russia has gathered it's forces and has launched a full scale invasion of America. The major cities are the first to fall, including Washington and New York. This is where the game begins. You can choose to play as the Americans or the Russians. There is also a tutorial campaign for those who are new to Red Alert or RTS games in general. When you start, your first missions will be simple, and shouldn't be that difficult, even on high difficulty setting. As you progress through the story line, you acquire new weapons as well as encounter new enemy weapons in your struggle to win the war. Other countries also enter into the battle, including Great Britain, France, Korea, & Germany for the American Allies and Libya, Cuba, & Iraq for the Russian Allies.
Red Alert 2 focuses more on urban warfare a lot, so you'll see lots of city maps, complete with civilians and even cop cars. The details they place into the maps are very nice and a welcome change from what we're normally used to in RTS games. You have to love a game where one of the missions is to destroy the Pentagon. In addition to that, the full motion video during and in between the missions progresses the story line very nicely. I think the single player campaign is very well done. Whether you're the Americans or the Russians, you'll be entertained by some funny characters and even the heavenly Kari Wuhrer, who plays Tanya. I don't want to give anything about the story away, so you'll have to play the game to find out what happens in the campaigns.