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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review

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November 10, 2008 9:50:49 PM

Review by Rob Wright

The Soviets are back, and this time they've brought the Empire of the Rising Sun with them. Command & Conquer's outrageous series returns with a new faction, fresh units and an online cooperative mode. The result is the best Command & Conquer title in years.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review
November 11, 2008 6:47:16 AM

Graphics are great, the sets and costumes in the live action video sequences are dire (though Gemma Atkinson is very nice ;)  ) - why pay for so many stars (the guy who plays the USA president must think he's fallen a long way from playing the editor in the Spider-Man films) and then spend £12.50 on the surroundings for them? My kids school puts on better quality productions.

Anyway - the game is pretty good, but so far I am suprised that I prefer Kanes Wrath. The imagination, animations and variety are all far superior, but despite having played through the beta and now bought the game (I've finshed the Soviet and Allied campaigns), it hasn't quite grabbed me as hard as KW.

Maybe it's the whole cartoony style that while initially refreshing kind of grates on me now after a couple of months of playing. The most irritating gameplay item for me is that when a unit is fully promoted it doesn't seem to make as huge a difference as it does in CnC3 - probably as it is so much easier to do.

8/10 for me, once I've finished the campaigns I've already had enough of multiplayer in beta, so I'll probably go back to KW.
November 11, 2008 7:04:26 AM

J.J.J. is the prez?

This is a world i gotta see!
Related resources
November 11, 2008 7:07:08 AM

Yeah - was too lazy too look up the names (and I'm at work) - I only realised on the way in this morning where I'd seen him before :D 

November 11, 2008 11:06:44 PM

i heard this game stinks :( 
November 11, 2008 11:07:21 PM

i heard this game stinks :( 
November 12, 2008 3:03:02 AM

You heard correctly. EA is a joke and no other company consistently makes such mediocre games with such high production costs. If they took the money they spent on gimmicks (like hiring B grade actors for a video game) and advertising (Mercenaries 2 gas station gimmick for a buggy liner and boring PS2 port) and put more effort into innovation, then spent the rest of that time and money on polishing the game, maybe it could have been something much better. Innovation isn't even a word in EA's vocabulary. However the word "Average" is the most prevalent among all EA titles. Games that are innovative and new prove to be the IP that EA acquired from buying out other companies and almost never comes internally.

In short what should we expect? EA, Ubisoft and to a lesser extent Activision have become a plague in the industry with unoriginal, linear, buggy and just plain awful games that dominate not for their quality but their quantity. I don't know the full statistics but you can bet at least 75% of all video games come from those three studios.

I'm tired of these crap games and sequels and don't bother even buying many games anymore, attaching Sony's InSecuROM makes the decision all the more easier. I rarely by games anymore because of these three studios domination, flooding the market with utter ****.The last game I bough before Fallout 3 (Which sneakily came laden with Sony's Rootkit DRM, had I known I would have passed) was The Orange Box. Soon there will be a video game duopoly or even monopoly and innovation will be stifled completely.

I am actively boycotting EA, Ubisoft and Sony and have been for over 3 years. These companies only care about money and not for their customers. They only care to put effort into maintaining a stranglehold on the market and not in making good products. As of late it sounds like Epic games is going down that same path too.
November 12, 2008 3:55:24 AM

As I stated in the review, it's easy to be cynical about EA these days. And I certainly don't blame anyone who opts to boycott EA and any other game publisher because of SecuROM.

However, Red Alert 3 isn't your typtical EA with high production values and mediocre content (neither was Dead Space for that matter, also an EA title). It's not a bland retread of a sequel. I know it's not groundbreaking innovation, but EA added online co-op and a brand new faction to Red Alert. EA has made its share of weak, uninspired games of late but Red Alert 3 isn't one of them.
Anonymous
November 12, 2008 6:12:34 AM

Could someone explain what the heck a SecuROM is? Are they hardware keys?

I am a few mins away from buying this game. A little dissapointed to see some negative views. I hear what you are saying about EA, but business aside RA3 looks like it has stayed true to its roots.

If you are looking for a more serious RTS then wait for StarCraft2 instead. In the mean time RA3 should keep my mind off wondering about that release date! :sleep: 
November 12, 2008 6:51:03 AM

i would suggest you fully explore SecuROM before you purchase RA3. When you install RA3 you install SecuROM.

I'm no expert, i just know to avoid it. Its essentially very invasive DRM that treats the customer like a thief, and has been known to cause damage to some systems.
There are various threads relating to Piracy on this forum that explore the subject much more.
Anonymous
November 12, 2008 6:57:34 AM

Hmmmm, done some reading on SecuROM....it really sucks. I often purchase games/software but dont want to lug dvd's around and prefer to use Alcohol120 or whatever and use the image instead!!!!

Now I can't have these progs on my machine at all if I want to play RA3!!! This is bullshyte. EA SUCKS!
November 12, 2008 7:00:16 AM

Get both sides of the coin.

The site you viewed is called "SecuROM must be destroyed". I would suggest that site might be overly biased.

It IS invasive, but there are millions of people who have SecuROM with no issues, aside from the constant disk checking. If you can handle that and are prepared to take a small risk then buy the software.
November 12, 2008 9:24:17 AM

my biggest thought when it comes to sucurom, is "what information is it sending to EA?" and from what i can tell its not documented anywhere.
November 12, 2008 9:37:28 AM

I don't usually say this but a 9 is to high for this game, esp from this website.

A 8 would be more accurate.
November 12, 2008 10:43:58 AM

I tried googling it Flakes and came back with nothing.
This made me laugh though:

Q: What happens in the future if I want to play Mass Effect PC and EA has shut off the servers?

A: If that should ever happen, BioWare would address this problem.



In my work we refer to this as Slippery Shoulders :D 
November 13, 2008 5:11:49 AM

The only problem about securom for me is the limited installs, so I dont buy based on the limited install crap , if it has it I dont buy

Bioshock 2@ 49.99
mass effect 2@ 49.99
spore 2@ 49.99
dead space 2 @ 49.99
Crysis warhead 2@ 29.99
farcry 2 2 @ 49.99
Mercenaries 2 2 @ 49.99
C&C: Red Alert 3 2 @ 49.99
I buy 2 games at a time my son is a gamer too!! so from this list there is about $860.00 dollars securom limited install crap has cost these companies ( I took the money i saved bought 2 gtx 280 card for our computers),
November 13, 2008 8:55:21 PM

bravo_01 said:
The only problem about securom for me is the limited installs, so I dont buy based on the limited install crap , if it has it I dont buy

Bioshock 2@ 49.99
mass effect 2@ 49.99
spore 2@ 49.99
dead space 2 @ 49.99
Crysis warhead 2@ 29.99
farcry 2 2 @ 49.99
Mercenaries 2 2 @ 49.99
C&C: Red Alert 3 2 @ 49.99
I buy 2 games at a time my son is a gamer too!! so from this list there is about $860.00 dollars securom limited install crap has cost these companies ( I took the money i saved bought 2 gtx 280 card for our computers),


.......i love red alert 2, not 3 :( 
November 17, 2008 12:10:07 AM

Quote:
Could someone explain what the heck a SecuROM is?


Copy protection software that phones home. I'm amazed nobody brings up the fact that RA2's copy protection caused issues too--although "SafeDisc" didn't phone home like SecuROM does.

I wouldn't mind something like safedisc as copy protection but SecuROM goes a little too far. I almost understand why they put it on, but since torret sites will likely get around SecuROM anyway, why bother to go that far? Just make something that prevents Nero, Roxio, etc. from copying it and that would be enough--why bother beyond that?
November 17, 2008 10:25:19 AM

One thing i dont understand is how the Keygens work.
Most of these pirated games surely require the CD / DVD code to be entered, is this not a unique identifier?
One quick check against an online database verifies the game for the duration of the install, if the user blocks its access to the online database then they dont unlock the game.

So how can these keygens randomly generate a correct unique identifier?
November 17, 2008 10:31:31 AM

Ok i answered my own question.

For anyone curious - the cracker opens the raw code to the game in which lies an algorithm that verifies the code thats entered on install. eg if code begins 7 then next 2 entries taken from N,M,0,D without exception.
Simply reverse engineering this algorithm gives the basis for the keygen.
November 17, 2008 12:57:52 PM

pr2thej theres loads of ways to trick the game, especially with these new ones that access the internet, i had the beta of RA3 cracked, i just ran a packet sniffer to see what was sent back and forwards over the network when the game was run, then went to a working copy and found out what the reply from the server was, changed my hosts file so the game was directed to my home made server which gave the game the correct response to make it playable.
Anonymous
January 3, 2009 9:32:39 PM

Quote:
They probably didn't even created it just paid some company to produce the game.


no, they bought out Westwood (the origonal creator of C&C)
and made it crap by fireing the "unproductive producers" that took their time to create a game that has WAY big bang for the buck.
you ever play C&C redalert?
the origonal has WAY more stuff to do, a less far fetched story line and the 'C rated actors' are great for what budget they had.

the best of the CnC series is the first 3, and generals is good... but is unbalanced all the same.

CnC3 F***ed the CnC series over and this newest diabolical plan is 'better than average' but its not EXTRAordinary....
January 5, 2009 4:58:44 PM

I actually like this game quite a lot. The current version 1.06 has very good balance between all factions yet the factions are quite different. I like the fact that the battles are on smaller tactical scale than in C&C3 KW - no mass spam, units have counters, very diverse tactics and strategy. Just watch replays on gamereplays.org and you will see the game in full glory.

At the same time, the single player campaign was just OK, but nothing special. While the casting was good, the missions were more or less standard.

However, due to long term appeal of multiplayer part, I will give this game solid 9.0

One last criticism of the game is that while technically graphics are superb (best water in any RTS, IMO), the Soviet art style is a bit too "toy-ish" and not too close to real Soviet era weapons. At least they could have looked at the pictures of the soviet tanks and mimic that.
January 6, 2009 6:30:08 AM

The Jap "transformers" and anime schoolgirls are so lol
February 1, 2009 10:51:02 PM

I just tried the Red alert 3 demo, way too short, limited in the scence its stupid, how do they expect to draw attention to their game when the demo isnt even worth any attention? overall, the game is cheap right now....$30, after playing the demo I can see why. I am a C&C Fan, but this is sad!
February 2, 2009 8:19:24 AM

CnC is too easy... oversimplified like Empire Earth 3.
!