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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a 2008 real-time strategy video game developed by EA Los Angeles and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on October 28, 2008 in the United States for Microsoft Windows PCs and October 30, 2008 in Europe. An Xbox 360 version was released on November 11. On January 21, 2009 EA officially announced Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Ultimate Edition, the PlayStation 3 version which contains bonus material extra to that of the Xbox 360 and PC versions and released on March 23, 2009 along with the Mac OS version by TransGaming. The game is a continuation of the Red Alert games within the Command & Conquer series. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Uprising, a stand-alone expansion pack, was released for Windows in March 2009. It was offered via digital distribution.

Like the previous entries in the Red Alert series, the game is set in an alternate reality from World War II, in which the Western Allies fought the Soviet Union. In Red Alert 3 the Soviet leadership, facing defeat, goes back in time to kill Albert Einstein and prevent his assistance to the allies, paving the way for Soviet domination in the present. However as an unintended consequence, a third world power, the Empire of the Rising Sun, is created and all three sides go to war. All three factions are playable, with the gameplay involving constructing a base, gathering resources and training armies to defeat other players. Each faction has a fully co-operative campaign, playable with an artificial intelligence partner or with another human player online. The game intersperses strategy missions with full motion video footage featuring an ensemble cast led by Jonathan Pryce, Tim Curry and George Takei as the leaders of the three adversaries.

The game received mostly positive reviews, with reviewers citing the co-operative and multiplayer components as strengths, along with the enhanced role of naval combat compared to other real-time strategy games. Commonly cited weaknesses included aspects such as unit pathfinding.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Plot

The central premise of all three campaigns is the same, although each follows a different variation of the storyline. Facing defeat at the hands of the Allied nations, Soviet General Nikolai Krukov and Colonel Anatoly Cherdenko use a time machine beneath the Kremlin to travel back to Brussels in the year 1927 at the International Physics Conference and eliminate Albert Einstein, thus changing the future. Returning to the present, General Krukov discovers that Cherdenko is the Premier of the Soviet Union and that the Soviets are on the brink of conquering Europe. However in this alternate timeline a new faction, the Empire of the Rising Sun, has risen in Japan who declare war on the Soviets and Allies desiring complete world domination, something they perceive as their Divine Destiny. The world is then plunged into a three-way war between the Soviet Union, the Allies and the Empire.

Soviet Union

In the Soviet campaign, the player assumes the role of a newly appointed Soviet commander whose first task is to expel the Imperial Japanese forces from Soviet territory, from defending the city of Leningrad, to securing a satellite launch facility, and eventually re-taking a Soviet naval base on the Pacific coastline.

Despite the success of this campaign, the Allies are rallied together by President Ackerman, forcing the commander to lead attacks in Europe on their HQ in Geneva, and later capturing and securing a research lab in Mykonos; during these assaults, an attempt is made on Premier Cherdenko's life. The fight against the Allies in Europe culminates in a strike against the Von Esling Airbase in Iceland; during the conflict, Cherdenko names General Kurkov as the traitor who tried to take his life, ordering the commander to kill him.

Following Krukov's death and the airbase being destroyed, the Soviets launch an invasion of Japan, to kill Emperor Yoshiro in his palace at Mt. Fuji. Despite an initial setback, the commander successfully defeats all three Imperial commanders and kills the emperor on board his large battle mecha, effectively eliminating the empire from the conflict. However, while the commander prepares for this, Dr. Gregor Zelinsky, the scientist who created the time machine, contacts the commander and tries to reveal the events that has altered the past, but the communication link is abruptly cut and Zelinsky himself, soon disappears.

The Premier orders the commander to Easter Island, to arrange a trap for the Allies, under the ruse of a peace treaty, effectively removing the Allied Military leaders from action, only for Cherdenko to finally declare that the commander has outlived his usefulness and launch a surprise attack against him; fortunately, he is defeated and killed at his volcano fortress.

Following the Soviet commander's invasion of New York, and the destruction of the Statue of Liberty, the war ends with the player becoming the next Premier of the unopposed Soviet Union.

Allies

In the Allies campaign, the player takes on the role of a newly appointed Allied commander, who must first prevent a Soviet invasion of Great Britain, repelling much of their forces. Later, the Allies launch operations on the European mainland, retaking Cannes and saving Allied leaders there, and destroying the Soviets HQ in Germany. The campaign however leaves both sides vulnerable to the Empire of the Rising Sun, who make their move by sending a floating fortress to blockade the Allies and the Soviets from entering the North Atlantic.

This prompts a joint attempt between the Allies and the Soviets to repel the Japanese, retaking a naval base in Gibraltar, and destroying the Imperial fortress in the North Sea. However, U.S. President Ackerman, who did not approve of such a coalition, goes rogue, and attempts to destroy Moscow with a laser superweapon in Mount Rushmore. The Allied commander however, defeats the U.S. forces of Mount Rushmore loyal to him and eventually kills Ackerman.

With the alliance secured, the coalition plans a joint attack on Tokyo to wipe out the entire Empire military leadership with one stroke. This critical battle however is complicated when the Soviet forces fail to show up, leaving the Allied forces to fend for themselves. Despite the overwhelming odds, the commander succeeds again, wiping out the Empire's forces.

After the battle of Tokyo, Dr. Zelinsky defects to the Allies and informs them about the time machine he created and what the Soviets did; he also warns them of Cherdenko's secret gathering of force in Cuba, prompting the Allies to investigate further. Discovering the Soviets have constructed secret Kirov Hangars beneath sporting arenas, the Allied commander is ordered to eradicate the Soviet forces in Cuba, preventing specially modified Kirovs from leaving Cuba's airspace.

Following this, the commander and his forces are teleported to Leningrad, and ordered to bring the Soviet leaders to justice. Cherdenko and his General attempt to escape to the Moon but are eventually captured and placed in a Cryo-prison for life. The Vice President of the United States (played by David Hasselhoff), then accepts power as the new American President in a public speech.

Empire of the Rising Sun

The Empire of the Rising Sun campaign begins with a full-scale invasion of the Soviet Union, just as the Soviets are defeating the Allied forces. Emperor Yoshiro's strategy involves striking at symbolic targets such as important monuments and employing fear to deteriorate the morale of the enemy. On the other hand, the Emperor's son, Crown Prince Tatsu, advocates modernizing the Imperial army and attacking true military targets, although his father would overrule him. The validity of the emperor's strategy however is soon challenged by the Allied full-scale attacks on Pearl Harbor at the Imperial islands of Hawaii and on one of the Empire's Floating Fortresses in the Pacific. Though both attacks are repelled and Hollywood is taken, a joint Allied-Soviet task force gains a foothold in Yokohama.

Having replaced President Ackerman with an android doppelganger, the Emperor learns of Zelinsky's defection and Cherdenko's time travel. This devastates the Emperor, as he thinks there can be no "Divine Destiny" if history can be altered. He surrenders the leadership of the Empire's military to his son. Under Prince Tatsu's command, the joint Allied-Soviet invasion of Yokohama is repelled and a full-scale attack on the Kremlin results in the deaths of Premier Cherdenko and General Krukov. Finally, the Empire invades Amsterdam, which holds the Allied Headquarters as well as FutureTech, the company responsible for much of the Allied technological advances. At the brink of defeat, Dr. Zelinsky's deploys a prototype FutureTech ultraweapon that annihilates almost everything in the city. Yet the remaining Imperial forces succeed in destroying what was left of the Allied and Soviet forces. Thus the war ends and the Commander is given the title of "Supreme Shogun".

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Gameplay

Red Alert 3 retains the core RTS mechanics of the Command & Conquer series. Warring factions harvest resources using vulnerable collectors and then use those resources to construct military bases and forces on-site. Structures form a shallow but wide tech tree with a variety of units and elusive superweapons. Weapon types are specialized to the point where a rifleman can withstand direct hits from an anti-tank cannon. Red Alert 3's major refinements are the addition of the Empire of the Rising Sun to the factions of the sub-series (similar to what Tiberium Wars did with the Scrin faction), a co-operative campaign, and expanded naval warfare.

The "single-player" campaign is now fully co-operative. Each mission is played alongside an ally. When played online, this is another human player. Offline it is one of several computer-controlled characters. Teams share income and generally start with the same forces. Computerized characters can be given simple commands, such as an order to take a specific position or to strike a specific target. The campaign has nine missions for each side. Each side's plotlines are mutually exclusive, unlike Tiberium Wars and its preceding and following expansion packs, but like most of the other Command & Conquer games.

Naval warfare is emphasized as another front. Executive producer Chris Corry has stated that many units are now amphibious, trading effectiveness for increased flexibility. Buildings and entire bases can be constructed on water, save for such things as ground or naval unit production facilities (e.g. tank factories are ground-only, but Tsunami tanks are amphibious and can be produced in Naval Yards), and players who "ignore the ocean likely forfeiting a significant part of their potential economy to their opponents." Further stressing this is the fact that, despite some campaign maps being entirely land based, all multiplayer maps have significant bodies of water in them.

The use of naval units and various unit abilities also helped players counterattack their opponent's units specific to that unit's strongpoint; for example, a Soviet Stingray's secondary ability, Tesla Surge, sends a surge of electricity in the tesla boat's area, damaging units from attack dolphins to terror drones.

Almost every unit in the game has a secondary ability. Their usage varies: some are toggled on or off, others are targeted, and still others are triggered the instant one presses the button. Imperial construction vehicles are able to deploy into buildings at any specified location, a Soviet Hammer tank can toggle between an anti-tank gun and a leech beam that can leech HP from enemies, and an Allied artillery piece can engage its shields with a button press but with a cooldown period before they can be used again. All abilities are bound to the same key. The game also features experience points that are used to upgrade unit types and to buy "commander abilities," which call in air strikes, recon sweeps, magnetic satellite beams, etc. Commander abilities have no resource costs but do have significant cooldown periods.

Ore fields as resource sites have been removed. These originated in the first Red Alert as a functionally identical equivalent to Tiberium, and what were ostensibly strip mines had ore growing out of the ground. Gameplay mechanics haven't changed a great deal since fields have been replaced with stationary ore mines. Strategic ore-refinery placement and covert refining are impacted to an extent.


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