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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge Review
developer: Westwood Studios
P266, 32MB RAM
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Oct 09, 01
|» All About Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge on ActionTrip|
Dusan "Lynx" Katilovic
We are already used to Westwood Studios' games appearing as scheduled. Well, their latest expansion pack for Red Alert 2, called Yuri's Revenge, appeared just in time, and represents one of the most impressive expansion packs for a game I have ever seen.
The story in Yuri's Revenge logically continues the events we witnessed in Red Alert 2. After the allies overpowered the Soviets and conquered Moscow, Yuri retreats underground to develop his plan on how to wreak his revenge on both sides. He starts building a network of psychic dominators, which can control the minds of people all over the planet. The allies manage to hold Yuri in San Francisco long enough for Mr. Albert Einstein to send you back through time. If you play the Soviet campaign, your mission will not only be to stop Yuri, but also to change the course of history and help Russia return to its old glory.
The C & C serial achieved great popularity, but the fact remains that each of the games within it had poorly balanced units and sides. This was most obvious in the Tiberian Sun, and Red Alert 2. In Red Alert 2, allied forces were far more powerful than the Russians, which badly affected multiplayer gaming, which is the most important for the serial. It would be enough to mention the allied planes and Spy Satellites and compare them to the useless Russian Psychic Sensors and Kirovs as the most powerful air unit. Yuri's Revenge mends this and provides a fair multiplayer experience with balanced units.
The Expansion pack brings fourteen completely new single player missions, seven for each side. And even though you won't be able to control Yuri's forces in the single player mode (which is a minor flaw), you will be able to do so in multiplayer and skirmish games. Neither the engine nor gameplay have been changed; all novelties come down to new buildings and units that appear on both sides, and which will inspire you to new tactical achievements.
The allies gained the Guardian GI, an infantry unit capable of attacking armored vehicles and air targets with its mid-ranged rocket launcher. These units are excellent defense units, especially when combined with the ordinary infantry. As a response to Yuri's Psychic Dominator, the allies constructed the Robot Control centre in which you can build robot hover tanks. Furthermore, the Battle Fortress is in fact a Mammoth tank with a new function - troop carrier, but it is still capable of crushing even the biggest enemy tanks.
The soviets are definitely at a loss, with Yuri defecting and taking some technologies with him. On the other hand, they did gain a very important structure - the Industrial Building, which substantially increases unit production efficiency. Their new Spy Plane will help improve the overall strategic position and Boris, their new super unit is a decent match for Tanya units. Apart from being lethal for enemy infantry, Boris can summon air-strikes with his laser-locator. The Siege Chopper and its light machine gun are great against infantry, and while it's on the ground, you can use it as long-range cannon. Finally, Soviets also got the new Battle Bunker that holds five conscripts for base defense.
Yuri's army is less equipped than the allies or soviets, but it can still present an inconvenient adversary, with its super-weapons and unit versatility. The Gattling Gun and the Gattling Tank (which starts firing slowly, and then speeds up), work like a charm with infantry, air units and buildings, but they still present an easy target for tanks and base defenses. The Lasher Tank is little more than cannon fodder, but the Chaos Drone and Magnetron are really awesome weapons. The Chaos Drone produces a strong field which makes all tanks within it attack everything in sight. Magnetron can make levitate, which makes them completely useless. The air-space is controlled with multi-purpose flying saucers, and the waters will be dominated by the Boomer Sub, a submarine capable of launching long-range rockets. The Psychic Tower will bust all attackers who try to conquer them with tans with no other units. The tower is capable of mind-controlling enemy units, turning them against the attacking foe.
Brute is a huge and slow mutant used for eliminating armored threat. The basic infantry unit, the Initiate, is practically useless, but its stronger version, the sniper kills infantry with poisonous darts, which make the victim exhale a cloud of poison when dieing, and hence damage a number of surrounding units. Yuri's Clones are a real treat; they can mind-control enemy tanks and infantry. Yuri makes an appearance himself and can control enemy structures, such as gun emplacements and even large buildings.
Yuri's standard strategy is to defend his stronghold while his two super-weapons charge up. The Genetic Mutator turns enemy infantry units into Brutes. Its long range will prevent the opponent to group a lot of infantry units in a single spot as they can easily turn against him. The Psychic Dominator has an effect equal to the combination of the Weather Storm and the Nuclear Missile.
The fourteen new missions will provide at least twenty new hours of fun. Some of them are far easier than one would expect. The multiplayer mode still supports up to six players, and the new balanced gameplay promises a far better multiplayer experience. Players are now able to choose their starting positions, and the developers added ten new cooperative missions for team players.
8.3 Very Good
Game balance, improved multiplayer mode; new units;
Same old engine.
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