Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a real-time strategy video game by Westwood Pacific, which was released for Microsoft Windows on October 23, 2000 as the follow-up to Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Red Alert 2 picks up at the conclusion of the Allied campaign of the first game. Its expansion is Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge.
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 contains two playable factions, the Soviets and the Allies, which both previously appeared in Command & Conquer: Red Alert. The single player campaign is structured in an alternate-ending mode as opposed to a progressive story mode.
Like all other Command & Conquer real-time strategy games, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 contains two separate campaigns, with distinct story lines, one for each playable faction.
After the attempted conquest of Europe depicted in Command & Conquer: Red Alert, the Soviet Union is in utter ruin. Joseph Stalin is dead, and the Soviet military has been all but destroyed. The Allies determine that a regime change would cause mass unrest in the Soviet Union, and in order to gain both support and stability in the region, the victorious Allies name Alexander Romanov, a distant relative of Tsar Nicholas II, as the puppet Soviet Premier. Romanov acquiesces to the Allies' demands at first, though he builds up the Soviet military for "defense purposes" – a cover for an intended invasion of the United States.
The game's story line starts off in 1972, with the United States Armed Forces caught completely off guard by the sudden massive Soviet invasion of the United States, with Soviet aircraft, naval vessels, amphibious forces, and paratroopers coming in on both the East Coast and West Coast and with the majority of Soviet ground forces coming in through Mexico, which had recently voted in a communist government, starting World War III. The U.S. attempts to retaliate with the use of nuclear missiles, but Yuri, leader of the Soviet Psychic Corps and Premier Romanov's top advisor, uses his mind control to manipulate the personnel charged with launching the warheads and leaves them to explode in their silos. Within hours, the U.S. is overrun with Soviet Army troops. In response, the U.S. President Michael Dugan establishes an emergency response team headed by General Dan Carville and the Commander known as "The Ghost" (the player) to the Soviet army later in the game.
Why It Rocks
- FMV cutscenes is still impressive, like its prequel.
- Very detailed unit sprites.
- Improved menu tabs, which is very easy to use.
- Good plots and story connection to its prequel.
- Most of units had "special abilities" to be used to counter enemies.
- Introducing various special buildings that can be captured by engineer to enhance economic and combat.
- Each sub-faction (like USA, South Korea and Iraq) has it's unique unit, structure and support power.
- Excellent soundtrack by Frank Klepacki, although it features only 14 tracks.
- Its expansion. Yuri's Revenge, introducing third faction to the game along with adding various new content such as new campaign, units, and soundtrack. However, some of the other ground and naval units has it's own unique voice set rather than using the same voice set such as Grizzly and Rhino Tanks, Destroyers and Dreadnoughts.
- Very mod-friendly, as the game files are written in a way that's very easy to understand. In fact, Mental Omega, considered to be the best C&C mod of all time, was based on Yuri's Revenge.
- Aside from Mental Omega, there's some other C&C mods that are great such as C&C Reloaded (Featuring GDI and NOD from the Tiberium series), Red Resurrection and Rise of the East (Featuring elements from Generals).
In the United States, Red Alert 2 sold 810,000 copies and earned $26.9 million by August 2006, after its release in October 2000. It was the country's 11th best-selling computer game between January 2000 and August 2006. Combined sales of all Command & Conquer strategy games released between January 2000 and August 2006, including Red Alert 2, had reached 4.3 million units in the United States by the latter date. It received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
Red Alert 2 received mostly positive reviews, with IGN calling it outstanding and GamePro's Editor's Choice. One reviewer on GamePro noted "It's not the most innovative game, but with its solid gameplay and alternate Cold War storyline, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is the best 2D real-time strategy game since StarCraft:".
Following the September 11 attacks, the game's cover art was hastily redesigned to remove the depiction of a plane heading toward a burning World Trade Center and to swap the U.S. flag on the front cover with a mushroom cloud. EA offered retailers an opportunity to exchange their copies with a version that bore the revised cover art. Despite the repackaging, the World Trade Center continued to be present in the game's campaign.
PC Gamer US named Red Alert 2 the best real-time strategy game and the best multiplayer game of 2000.