Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

aka: C&C:RA2, Command & Conquer: Alarmstufe Rot 2, Command & Conquer: Alerte Rouge 2
Moby ID: 2544
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Description official descriptions

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 takes place approximately two decades since the first Red Alert and, unlike the original, has no relation at all to the Tiberium universe. It is a conventional real-time strategy game which, in terms of gameplay, still faithfully continues the Dune/Command & Conquer lineage.

Although the Western Allies have installed a lackey as the Premier of the Soviet Union, their spies and relevant contacts suddenly go silent with the appearance of a powerful Soviet psychic named Yuri, who turns out to be Premier Romanov's advisor. Soon afterwards, the Soviet Union launches an overwhelming invasion on North America and Europe on land, air, and sea. As is usual, the player joins the Allied or Soviet side in the singleplayer campaign (with 12 missions for each faction) as of that point in the storyline. Whereas the technology level in the original Red Alert had World War II and Cold War-era weapons mixed with a few technologies inspired by failed real-world experiments, the arsenals of both sides in Red Alert 2 predominantly include technologically advanced units and structures such as teleporting Chrono Legionnaires, chain-connecting Prism towers, cloning vats, weather control devices, etc. However, the storyline's tone is considerably more light-hearted than that in previous Command & Conquer games, and following in the footsteps of Tiberian Sun, more known actors were brought to act in the full-motion video cutscenes.

The game uses a modified and optimized engine from Tiberian Sun and expands the gameplay in multiple ways. Both factions are completely distinct both functionally and visually, civilian structures can be garrisoned by each faction's basic infantry unit for increased firepower and rate of fire, the Allied IFV is included as the first customizable unit in the series (which can change its weapon and function based on the carried infantry unit), and there are neutral "tech" structures which bring bonuses to the players who capture them (e.g. oil derricks bring a small but frequent flow of income, airports allow deployment of paratroopers...). Like in the original Red Alert, factions are split into countries (5 Allied countries, 4 Soviet ones) in skirmish and multiplayer, but instead of having hidden production bonuses, each country has a unique unit, structure or support power that the others do not have access to. Aside from the aforementioned main singleplayer campaign, there is a vast number of skirmish/multiplayer maps, short co-op campaigns, and the return of the World Domination Tour multiplayer mode (unavailable in LAN) which was adapted from the Firestorm expansion for Tiberian Sun.

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Credits (Windows version)

349 People (266 developers, 83 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 48 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 121 ratings with 14 reviews)

If you liked Tiberian Sun, you'll probably like this...

The Good
The colors are bright and keep it from looking dull and boring.

The cinematics during the missions are a blast, with obvious over-the-top acting and vibrant colors. The single player missions are all fun and also help to introduce the player to the units and basic strategies needed to survive in the multi-player world. My favorite moment was using the chronosphere to move a group of prism and mirage tanks to the back of a base and obliterating it! Who could ask for more?

As for the multi-player, there are tons of ways to play besides the normal straight up fight. A favorite alternate way of mine is the unholy alliance, where you start with a soviet and allied MCV, allowing you to get both tech trees, and some interesting hybrid units as well...I'll let you discover what they are.

Doesn't have that annoying health bar problem.

The Bad
RA2 isn't without its flaws. There is no way to actually set a formation; you can tell a group to travel together, but they won't stay in any pattern. The pathfinding isn't always the best, and units don't always respond to being fired upon.

The multi-player "chat" is horrible, you can only see six lines at a time, and there is no squelch/mute button in sight. It was obviously put together in a couple of weeks, to make a deadline.

There is no map editor, only the return of the crappy random map maker from Tiberian Sun. What was westwood thinking?

Westwood once again patched a game to death. RA2 has turned into a cross between RA and TS. Most units are no long usable, and its not fast enough to justify only a few strategies.

Most modes of multiplayer aren't used.

May be overly cartoonish for some hardcore or picky people.

The Bottom Line
75% Tiberian Sun and 25% Red Alert. It's gotten slower with each new patch. The only reason it manages to pull out of TS depths is that it is somewhat faster, and the units are cooler.

Windows · by Dr. Elementary (273) · 2001

I found it interesting and entertaining with in a few moments...

The Good
I found the game's details were much better then that of Starcraft and dare I say...Age of Empires 2...arrggg I did...But the overall effect of the game has interested me to a point to where I would actually like the Russians to invade America...

A joke I swear.

The Bad
I did not like the part where the other team would kill one of my men or many of my men at one time...I sure as hell did not like that...

The Bottom Line
More like an ordeal one must face on the road of life...If you are high and totally tripping...

Windows · by Benjamin Savarese (1) · 2003

Better than Tiberian Sun by far.

The Good
The graphics, although still 2D, are well designed, and highly detailed. The gameplay is basically the same as the rest of the series, although new additions to this version make it all worthwhile. Multiplayer is the same frenzy, which isn’t a bad thing. And the acting isn't all that bad, either.

The Bad
Not much to say here, although if you have played the previous titles before to death, you may not find much here that you might enjoy. The graphics are still in 2D, and a little dated, but they do the job adequately. Multiplayer may get boring if you don't have enough players.

The Bottom Line
The best in the long running series since the original C&C. Definitely a huge improvement over Tiberian. Still, I get the feeling that this series is coming to an end, and a 3D version may not be far off.

Windows · by Kartanym (12419) · 2000

[ View all 14 player reviews ]

Trivia

Best Buy release

When first released, Best Buy had a special offer: the Command and Conquer Soundtrack Collection (soundtrack from ALL C&C games) on CD for the first 100 buyers of RA2 in every store.

Cover

To avoid sensitivity issues after the real-world terrorist attacks on the WTC, EA offered distributors and retailers new boxes in October 2001 which removed the "The Invasion Has Begun" motto and the pictures depicting NY under attack (basically removing the box's flap and background in the front), as well as changing the eyepiece reflection from the American flag to a nuclear detonation.

Editor

FinalAlert was released alongside the patch 1.005, and it allows creating both multiplayer (skirmish, LAN, on-line) and solo (campaign) missions. It was created by a fan, Matthias "Matze" Wagner, instead of Westwood Pacific themselves, but was distributed through Westwood's official FTP server.

German version

This is the first Command & Conquer title not to be censored in Germany.

Music

Listening to the game's music very carefully, in the track Blow It Up to be exact, you can notice the following text being said: "Gentlemen, this is a nuclear device, time is running out".

Sales

In 2000, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Awards

  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2001 - Best Strategy Game in 2000
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
    • 2000 - Gold Award (more details in the "Sales" section)

Information also contributed by MAT, Kasey Chang, paul cairey, Xoleras and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: MAT, Rebound Boy, Erwin Bergervoet, Corn Popper, paul cairey, Patrick Bregger, Plok, TaxOwlbear.

Game added October 25, 2000. Last modified February 13, 2024.