PS3 Reviews: Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review

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Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review

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Graphics:

 

8.0

Gameplay:

 

9.0

Sound:

 

7.5

Control:

 

8.0

Replay Value:

 

8.5

Online Gameplay:

 

8.5

Overall Rating:       8.5

 

 

Publisher:

Electronic Arts

Developer:

EA Los Angeles

Number Of Players:

1 Player (4 Online)

Genre:

Real-Time Strategy

Last year, I pieced together a preview of Command and Conquer 3 when it was announced by EA back in during the Winter of 2008. As time went on, the PlayStation 3 version went missing, and EA later announced an indefinite hiatus in development for the Sony game, leaving the Xbox 360 and the PC as the only platforms where Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 would be available. But, by now, we should all know that nothing stays exclusive, and that Red Alert 3 still had a high chance of being released. Well, nearly five months later, the Ultimate Edition has arrived, boasting new content exclusive to the PS3.

As has been customary with the Red Alert franchise, it retains the "what if" concept, once again involving the existence of Albert Einstein and his influence over world politics and wars. It is World War II, and the Russians are on the verge of destruction. The Soviet Colonel Anatoly Cherdenko attempts to travel back in time in order to restore the glory of his mother land. He arrives at a 1927 International Physics Conference of Albert Einstein's in Brussels, and despite being told not to touch a single thing so as to not alter the spacetime continuum, the Colonel shakes the hand of Einstein, vanquishing him. With Einstein now gone, a new timeline is created. In this alternate reality, Cherdenko is the Russian Premier, Einstein never created nuclear weapons, and technology has entered an all new level of sophistication as a result, with a dominant superpower you'd never expect.

The Empire of the Rising Sun (the Japanese), are at the forefront of the world, and wage war against the Allies (Europe) and the Soviets, and here is where the game picks up. You can control either one of the three armies, and you will suddenly find yourself immersed into a deep and well-thought out storyline with twists and turns everywhere you look. The "what if" situation asks what if every unusual research project and technological experiment over the past 70 years had garnered results? Results ranging from the Philadelphia Experiment, to time travel, teleportation, invisibility, Tesla technology, and 100 other projects. What if all of these results had made these advancements mainstream? What if the Soviet Union never collapsed? And what if the Japanese Empire became the supreme, most technologically advanced military superpower on Earth?

Red Alert 3 explores all of this, and the outcome is a game with complexity, as well as antics. Technology has advanced so far that it allows for the control of armored bears, even more intelligent dolphins, floating island fortresses, teleportation, and shape-shifting tanks that go from land to air in a second. It doesn't really sound like your typical real time strategy game, does it? Seems more in line with what Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) would conjure up in his head. Well, that's what Command and Conquer has always been about, and the third iteration continues that tradition.

Unlike many other RTS games, gameplay here is fairly accessible, and in case you need any help, a set of training exercises will help familiarize you with the game and its features. And while you may think you need a mouse and keyboard, commanding the troops is done very easily with the controller. Fans of the RTS genre will find a lot to love in Red Alert 3, and they'll love it even more when they discover the co-op.    Co-operative gameplay is definitely a plus, especially when it involves the core campaign mode, and what's more impressive is that the campaign was designed around co-op gameplay, so the feature doesn't feel tacked-on like an afterthought. A total of four people can go online and enjoy Red Alert 3's multiplayer, but it's really the co-op that'll draw you in most.

For an RTS beginner, Red Alert 3 is complex to a point of not being overwhelming. It may take some time to get used to, and adapting to the controls will require some patience, but there's a pretty solid game here that fans of the genre will enjoy very much. Also, the PS3 version features some additional content in the form of behind the scenes footage, as well as exclusive multiplayer maps, which is a nice bonus for those who've yet to play the game on their PC or X360.  

I must admit, for a strategy game, Red Alert 3 looks beautiful, with fantastic texture detail and a very clean picture. The water is also particularly nice to look at, as is the color palette all throughout the game. The framerate issues that plagud the Xbox 360 version have been addressed, and while it's not perfect, it's certainly a notable improvement over the Xbox 360, running more consistently at 30. Lastly, image quality is super smooth and clean, with 720p as the game's native resolution.

B-list cutscenes keep the pace of the story going, which means B-list acting, as well. Red Alert 3 employs the talents of actors such as Tim Curry and Jenny McCarthy (among many others), but unfortunately it doesn't employ any substance. The cutscenes are all live action, so there are no voice over to be found here, and in a way, that heightens the cheese factor of the acting. Often times it feels as if the scenes were filmed with minimal attempts made in hopes of achieving some quality. The acting isn't abysmal, and is tolerable, but it sure is hard to swallow at times.

All in all, if you've been waiting for a proper real-time strategy game, and Ubisoft's Endwar wasn't what you were looking for, then Red Alert 3 is the game you want. Red Alert 3 boasts a deep single-player experience that allows you to take control of three separate nations, and watch a rather cool story unfold. The co-op experience and the solid visuals are also a pleasant surprise for an RTS game. And sure, the acting is stale, but that isn't enough to hurt Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3. Fans of the series and/or genre, pick this up.

3/31/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (17 posts)

Qubex
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 12:50:33 AM
Reply

Not so interested in this title; then again never really appreciated RTS titles... wondering how MAG will fair!

Q!

"i am home"

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:07:02 AM
Reply

I have the PC version of this and it is a pretty fun game. And the expansion is interesting. Control issues plagued the previous C&C games on the Playstation, how does it work on this one? Since it wasn't mentioned in the review, I'm guessing that they've made great strides in that department. And all the bonus things mentioned sounds basically the same as the PC Premier Edition, though the maps may be different. And the visuals look better than the 360's thanks to the PC versions renderer that was used. They didn't use it on the 360 version. RTS fans should enjoy this title.

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:26:34 AM
Reply

You now have a wheel that you can navigate with your analog stick. You hold R2 and you get all of your selections that way.

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End of line
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 4:07:03 AM
Reply

I was an ace playing c&c on the PS1 so i know i can get past playing with a controller but im still majorly disappointed there is no keyboard and mouse support.

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natho86
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 5:30:03 AM
Reply

loved all the c&c games played it on the pc,most likly goin to get this for sure.

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Godslim
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 5:39:42 AM
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i luved red alert 1 and 2 on pc and i really wanna get this for ps3 but im short on money :(

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tanner1
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 6:51:43 AM
Reply

And there was me thinking that them USB ports @ the front of the ps3 can support a mouse, no?

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Tim Speed24
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 7:32:04 AM
Reply

What RTS is like Field Commander that is on the PSP.

I loved Field Commander with it's simplicity, it's grid format and pick up and play feel.

I'm not sure what C&C and Endwar are like. Can anyone recommend a RTS for the PS3. (Did not care for Civilization)

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Naga
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 10:31:46 AM

Field Commander, civilisation,shinning force 2 and Heroes of Might and Magic are turned based.
RTS is like spawning soldiers & many types of military from specific buildings available in that time of age by gathering resources like food,gold,stone and wood.
You can basically control an army of swordsmen & arrowmen and then you can pwn the enemy base and die because your men doesn't have an priest or you have completely forgotten them.

My AoE experience wouldn't help that much but try Wikipedia it will tell everything

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ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 11:43:47 AM
Reply

Civ Rev is actually another great RTS game available. It totally skipped my mind.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 12:28:30 PM
Reply

I bought C&C RA3 and I have to say I love it, haha. The live action parts make C&C well.. C&C lol. And you forgot to mention George Takei =O but yeah, so far I've enjoyed it a lot, just no one to play that I know, I don't like playing with random people haha.

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Archangel
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 5:22:55 PM
Reply

I got this game the first thing it came out and I love it! the girls of C&C 3 are a great bonus =) its strategy and gameplay are really addicting but the acting could have been better. I haven't tried co-op cause i dont know anyone who plays C&C... anyone who loves RTS will love this one.

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BigTonesAUS
Thursday, April 02, 2009 @ 1:47:15 AM

Cool but can you give a run down on how the controls work, haven't played an rs on a console before. so is RA3 better than most control wise?

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Highlander
Thursday, April 02, 2009 @ 11:11:13 AM
Reply

Hang on a minute, there was reports from EA that the PS3 version of the game would be running in 1080p not 720p. So, what's all this about then?

"Lastly, image quality is super smooth and clean, with 720p as the game's native resolution. "

Last edited by Highlander on 4/2/2009 11:11:27 AM

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Powershifter
Thursday, April 02, 2009 @ 11:37:24 AM
Reply

I'm sorry Arnold but I have to respectfully disagree with you and others who have said that the acting in this game is stale. I only have the demo, but my first impressions were that the acting was intentionally done that way. It seemed to me that they were going for a less "serious" approach, and I'll be honest, I liked what they did! I thought the humor was well done and it just seemed to fit the game nicely. Other than that, great review! I'll definitely be picking it up sometime this summer.

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Lionheart377
Monday, April 13, 2009 @ 6:11:50 AM
Reply

Never really been an RTS fan, but I might just start with this game.

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Naga
Friday, April 17, 2009 @ 1:24:28 PM
Reply

I like the game alot I hope there's more free maps available in the future because skirmish is fuuun!!

The controls are perfect for RTS on Console the command wheel is pretty much awesome

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