Command & Conquer: Red Alert

aka: C&C 2, C&C:RA, C&C:RA1, Command & Conquer: Alarmstufe Rot, Command & Conquer: Alerte Rouge, Command & Conquer: Teil 2 - Alarmstufe Rot
Moby ID: 485
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

What if Hitler never existed? Einstein pondered the question and created a time-machine to eliminate Hitler as a young man, thus preventing World War II as history remembers it. However, Einstein stopped one evil only to create another - because Stalin's Soviet Union is now poised to conquer Europe... and Allies must stop them!

Command & Conquer: Red Alert can be considered a prequel to Command & Conquer. Like its predecessor, it is a real-time strategy with an isometric semi-top-down perspective using 2D sprite graphics engine. The player takes control of either the Allies or the Soviets, as he battles for destiny of the planet. Gameplay features are similar to those of the previous game, including building a base with some defenses, massing units, harvesting resources, etc. The game has a variety of environments in its missions, adding some indoor missions that use only infantry units.

Spellings

  • 커맨드 앤 컨커: 적색경보 - Korean spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

93 People (90 developers, 3 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 43 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 256 ratings with 16 reviews)

The best of the C&C games, and one of the greatest strategy games every made.

The Good
I didn't really ever get into the single-player missions nearly as much as the multi-player options and more specifically the skirmish mode. The AI won't usually be able to put up much of a fight, but you can still draw lots of satisfaction in wiping out their bases, or just watching them get fried one by one as they walk up to your base's tesla coils. The game also has a great soundtrack that really works well with the battles.

The Bad
The cutscenes can often be rather cheesy, and logging on to play an online game isn't as easy as in this game's successors.

The Bottom Line
A classic strategy game that will never get old.

Windows · by Brian Jordan (19) · 2001

One of the best Strategy games ever

The Good
It's easy to play, and plus it has a skirmish mode!, that means hours of action and more replayability!.

The Bad
Some of the difficulty in the levels can close to impossible. And it seems a bit dated nowadays

The Bottom Line
One of the best RTS games you can get!

Windows · by Grant McLellan (584) · 2001

Fool me once, shame on you…

The Good
Red Alert (RA) is an undeniably stylish game, just like its predecessor. I kinda like the alternate history approach the designers took in crafting the storyline. It’s still a little too B-movie sci-fi for my taste, but a step in the right direction, nonetheless. After all, you do get to kill Commies. “Better dead than Red!”

The graphics are significantly improved from C&C, at least in the Windows 95 version of RA. The units are still pretty small, and the overall look of the game isn’t as impressive as that of Warcraft 1 & 2, but it was an improvement. The enemy AI is not brilliant by any means, but it’s persistent, and it can throw you for a loop once in a while. Frankly, I’ve seen much worse. Westwood also included a solo skirmish mode this time around, which definitely adds to RA’s replay value. Why didn’t they think of that before?

I liked the slick packaging and the shiny, thorough instruction manual. They both fooled me into thinking RA was going to be a fun game to play.


The Bad
Let’s face it: Red Alert is still a C&C game, which means it’s a big, cheesy, buggy mess. Surely all of the critics who said RA was even better than Warcraft II were joking.

RA is at least as unbalanced as the original C&C, perhaps even more so. While I appreciate the thought behind making the two sides distinct, the game is spoiled by the fact that the Soviets clearly have the better units. The Allies are inferior in ground and air forces, and while they have the superior naval forces, that won’t do you much good unless you are playing on a water-based map. Whichever side you choose, the unit variety is strictly for appearance’s sake. For example, I can’t see why a Soviet player would produce anything but the heaviest tanks. And thus the infamous RTS “tank rush” phenomenon was born, I suppose.

Units continue to be woefully unresponsive to orders. Or else they just respond so stupidly as to be beyond belief. If there is an unnecessarily long and circuitous route for your units to take to get from Point A to Point B, you can rest assured that they will find it! It’s also still a challenge just to select your units and get the selection to stick for very long. Maps and missions continue to be too puzzle-like for an alleged “strategy” game. It’s the same hair-pullingly maddening design as before, just slightly upgraded, tweaked and repackaged as a brand new game. Why didn’t the professional reviewers mention any of this stuff when RA came out?

The Bottom Line
If you liked C&C, you’ll probably like Red Alert even more. If you’re like me, though, you won’t care for either one.

Windows · by PCGamer77 (3158) · 2013

[ View all 16 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Anyone know whether there was multiplayer in PSX version? And Wan Dec 14th, 2016

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Command & Conquer: Red Alert appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Freeware release

To celebrate 13 years of Command & Conquer, the game was made available for free on 31st August 2008. The link is available in the related web sites section.

German version

The German version removes Hitler from the intro and replaces all the soldiers with cyborgs.

Sales

In 1998, Command & Conquer: Red Alert (PC) won the Platinum-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 200,000 (but less then 500,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • May 1997 (Issue #154) – Strategy Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Strategy Game of the Year
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - -10 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • April 2005 - #17 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
    • 1998 - Platinum Award (more details in the "Sails" section)

Information also contributed by Grant McLellan, Sciere and Xoleras

Related Games

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
Released 2000 on Windows
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Released 2008 on Windows, Xbox 360, 2009 on Macintosh
Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Retaliation
Released 1998 on PlayStation, 2008 on PSP, PlayStation 3
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge
Released 2009 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, 2019 on Xbox One
Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike
Released 1997 on DOS, Windows
Command & Conquer: Red Alert - The Aftermath
Released 1997 on DOS, Windows
Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge
Released 2001 on Windows

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

PlayStation 3, PSP added by Charly2.0. PlayStation added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Cochonou, PCGamer77, Xantheous, Kasey Chang, Jeanne, paul cairey, Sciere, Alaka, Xoleras, Jang Eunsu, —-, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Plok, MrFlibble, FatherJack.

Game added November 28th, 1999. Last modified December 1st, 2023.