Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising Review
developer: EA LA
PIV 2200, 1GB RAM, 10GB HDD
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Mar 23, 09
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We don't see many bona fide expansion packs lately, what with publishers showing increased interest in DLC (well, why not; it's easier to make and a quicker way to earn extra cash). Uprising is a full-on expansion pack. It represents a new dose of single-player missions for the EA's real-time strategy Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. In the other words, the multiplayer is not the central aspect here. The developers wanted to focus on spicing up things for solo play. We venture forth to find out if their efforts paid off. Also, in case you were wondering, to play Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Uprising you're not required to own the original game (which is always nice).
Four all-new campaigns depict what went on following the events of Red Alert 3. The Ruskies are severely weakened and are forced to react against FutureTech, a powerful company contracted by the Allies to develop new technologies in the Soviets homeland. Both the Empire of the Rising Sun and the Allies must deal with their own problems, not to mention having to cope with the mysterious Yuriko Omega - a school girl with unbelievably devastating powers (oh yeah!).
Now, each campaign delivers a unique experience and a variety of new units to send into battle (Cryo Legionaire, Steel Ronin, Desolator and so on). The game also brought together another decent cast, so the high-def. cut-scenes are fun to watch, as usual; plus they make each mission all the more exciting. Completing ever mission in all four campaigns is a fun ride, although we did encounter a few snags that didn't do much to improve our overall opinion of the game.
First and foremost, anyone playing Uprising for more than half an hour is bound to get frustrated with the often unresponsive AI, in addition to the lackluster pathfinding exhibited, of course, by friendly and enemy units. From what we've seen units tend to jam on nearby objects such as buildings, rocks, etc. This affects the player's success of the mission - not to mention that it makes the whole game look ridiculous. However, the main flaw of this expansion pack lies elsewhere.
As you should remember, the multiplayer represented the most enjoyable aspect of the original. Red Alert 3 introduced co-op play to the franchise, which is something we felt was missing in the RTS genre for a long time. For some reason, they decided to chuck the whole feature out the window for this add-on. Not a very smart course of action. Booting the best facet of the game, which made the original so fun, is clearly a wrong move.
Solo play should provide you with several hours of solid entertainment, with some extended play time on offer thanks to the Commander's Challenge. The Commander's Challenge is probably best suited for experienced C&C players and was designed to test your skills. You are required to complete a series of missions without the save game option and the clock is running too - which means the game tracks how long it takes you to finish the task and the goal is to beat that time. It's a good way to improve upon your skills.
In all their sincerest efforts to perk up the single-player, the developers obviously haven't spent much time in optimizing the AI code. There are plenty of areas during solo play where players are likely to stumble due to lousy pathfidning. Again, we think the lack of co-op and multiplayer is indeed a serious oversight, guaranteed to upset most gamers, particularly those who appreciated C&C: Red Alert 3.
You may enjoy the four main campaigns like we did (the Yuriko Omega chapter is great and feels quite different from regular C&C scenarios). However, there won't be much to take up your time once you're done.
6.1 Above Average
New units, the new campaigns are fun, especially the Yuriko Omega, a few cool new music themes;
Roughly the same experience as before, AI quirks, lack of multiplayer and co-op.
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