The Game: It’s the Cold War all over again – but worse. Tampering with the timeline has wreaked immeasurable damage with the development of technology, and the result is a new wave of deadly weapons, including Tesla tanks and turrets (which discharge immense electrical energy at their opponents) and Chrono-tanks (which can shift their position on the map instantly for a brief time). You must build and protect your base, produce units necessary to defend and attack, and orchestrate an invasion of enemy territory – all while accumulating as few casualties as possible. (Electronic Arts [developed by Westwood Studios], 1996)
Memories: Westwood’s real-time strategy classic is a major evolutionary leap from the original Command & Conquer, with vast improvements in the artificial intelligence used by both your soldiers and by computer controlled enemies. And it’s a tough game! It’s pretty common practice for me, despite a couple of years of playing Dune 2000 (a later Westwood game which is built on the same engine as Red Alert), to build up quite a nice base and then get my ass kicked big time.
The graphics are crisp, the maps are massive, and I have yet to encounter any major control issues. So far, it’s just major getting-my-ass-kicked issues!
And put another star on Frank Klepacki’s calendar – as with all of the Command & Conquer games so far, Red Alert has some jammin’ music which, after several sessions of play, you’ll probably find yourself humming afterward.
I know this one’s just a few years old, but all the same, it’s still a lot of fun – and, for my money, beats the pants off of the newfangled 3-D engine which is used in such recent Westwood efforts as Red Alert 2 and Emperor: Battle For Dune.