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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Preview
developer: EA LA
PIV 2000, 1GB RAM, 6GB HDD, GeForce 6800/Radeon X1800 or better
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Oct 28, 08
|» All About Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 on ActionTrip|
The Command & Conquer series is probably one of the rare remaining RTS franchises we are keen on (though I'm probably speaking for myself here). (Yes, yes you are. - 2Lions) Red Alert, however, had its own unique appeal, one which EALA hopes to bring to new heights in the upcoming multi-platform title, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. The Red Alert license has a strong fan base, even though we haven't actually witnessed any iterations since 2001, when Westwood Studios released C&C: Yuri's Revenge.
Still, this is EA. Resorting to a familiar marketing strategy they opted to tease fans a bit. Beta access will be offered to players who purchase the forthcoming expansion pack for Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (or Command & Conquer 3: Limited Collection). I'm pretty sure most of you diehard fans won't be able to resist the temptation.
Anyway, it's comforting to know that EA still employs artists and designers who were involved with the creation of the old Red Alert games, and some of these guys were re-hired to work on Red Alert 3. For that reason, setting a familiar tone won't be too difficult for the dev. team.
Red Alert 3 will tell the story of how the Soviet Union changed history. In an attempt to bring back the might and power of Mother Russia, the Soviets travel back in time (awesome plan!). Of course, things went sour and an alternate timeline was created, introducing mankind to a different evolution of technology. Before you know it, a brand new superpower takes center stage and the entire globe plunges into World War III. That's right, the game gives you the opportunity to try a completely new faction. If you can recall, the previous Red Alert games offered American, Soviet and European forces, but now players will also be introduced to the Empire of the Rising Sun (a.k.a. The Japanese Empire).
This intriguing new setting opens the road to wacky and powerful new weapons and technologies such as Tesla coils, heavily armed War Blimps, teleportation, armored bears, intelligent dolphins, floating island fortresses, transforming tanks and so on.
EA settled on a certain type of design for this one, throwing in a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor to the whole experience. In other words, it should differ a great deal from the darkish sci-fi universe they are creating for other C&C-based games, such as Tiberium.
Fans of the RA franchise will have a great deal to be excited about, according to the developers. We've learned, for instance, that they plan to return certain trademark elements and characters like the super-commando Tanya. To fit into this new setting Tanya gets a set of new toys to experiment with. She possesses a Time Belt, which when activated warps the character back to a location she was at a few seconds prior (her health returns to the previous state as well). It's an interesting addition to the gameplay, but that's merely the tip of the iceberg.
To move ahead with the story as you play, the developers have incorporated another well-known Red Alert element - live action cinematics. While EA remains secretive about these, they did reveal that the cast is pretty much complete and that shooting should start some time this April.
Now, one of the main goals EA had during this project was to create a game that not only appeals to die-hard PC real-time strategy fans, but to casual gamers too. Sure, there's always a risk of making the game too bland, albeit in this case, the idea to make RA 3 engaging for causal gamers brought about some welcomed features. In that respect, the key innovation being prepared for RA 3 is co-op gameplay. With the industry increasingly turning towards online multiplayer and co-op play in particular, this is undoubtedly a wise move on EA's part. Suffice it to say, by the time the game arrives, you should be able to experience co-op in online and offline variants.
Each mission featured in the game was designed around the concept of having a buddy-commander by your side as you play. Still, gamers may also choose to go through co-op with an AI-controlled commander, instead of seeking friends online. Basically, they want to offer as many choices as possible.
Red Alert returns with new units, a brand new faction, naval combat, co-op play and more.
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