PlayStation Gamer REVIEW

COMMAND & CONQUER - RED ALERT

Publisher:
Developer:
Type:
Virgin
Westwood
2D Strategy
Reviewed by:
Version tested:
Date posted:
Ryan Schwarz
NTSC
01/02/98

Command & Conquer - Red Alert
READERS' REVIEW

Red Alert for the PC was an excellent game. It had excellent graphics, sound, music, and was just plain fun. A Playstation port was inevitable, and here's the breakdown of what we got and how we got it:

GRAPHICS: 3/5
I was disappointed when first trying out Red Alert. I looked at the grainy, low-res sprites on the screen and thought "What the hell is this?!?". The graphics are more zoomed in on the Playstation version than on the PC, and therefore more blocky. This I can not handle. After seeing graphics treasures such as Resident Evil and Tekken 2, I will not accept grainy visuals. My gaming dollar deserves better.

But if I stopped there, I'd be overlooking the FMV cut scenes. You sure are exposed to a lot of it, so you'd expect it to be good. Well, it is, and then it isn't. The production quality is decent, everything seems to look okay. The acting is okay for some of the actors (I stress the word OKAY, as there is no Oscar material here) but the actor that plays Stalin just sucks. He has the worst fake accent ever, and looks retarted.

Command & Conquer - Red Alert SOUND: 3/5
Not very impressive. They are fairly uninspired, and lack the flair that made the sound effects in Warcraft 2 so entertaining. Commanding around a soldier who keeps going "Yessir", "Yessir" gets lame after a while. Another thing that pissed me off was the bad quality of the sound effects. It's not so much the effect itself that sucks, it's the fact that the quality of the recording sounds just plain bad. For example: I destroy one of the enemies buildings and it makes my speakers crackle. That's just sad. I bought a brand new stereo system just so I can have bad quality sound effects? I think not.

The music is fairly good, a techno-rock mix type of thing. Not as good as the first C&C, but still decent.

GAMEPLAY: 3/5
TOO HARD. The game is way too difficult. By the fourth (or was it fifth?) mission I was already stuck and getting my ass kicked no matter how many different strategies I tried. I'm not trying to make out that the AI is THAT good, in fact it sucks, it seems that what they did is instead of programming in good AI routines, they just made it impossibly hard with no way around it. That's not fun.

The control is difficult. They did the best job they could transferring a mouse based game to a controller, but that doesn't change the fact that it simply doesn't work. Oh, for you who bought a mouse for your Playstation, this game uses it, although I never got to try it because I am not going to pay Sony 20 bucks to play a few games with a mouse.

I would quit my complaining there but there is one more thing I feel must be covered. There is still no memory card support. Even after paying $25 for a memory card, companies are still forcing you to get out the old pen and paper and write down passwords. Maybe Westwood was going for that retro style to go along with their game, or maybe not.

OVERALL: 3/5
Try it. Rent it. If you like it's your cup of tea, buy it. This is by no means garbage, it's just unpolished. A few more months in the development office would have done this game a world of good, but Westwood must have had a deadline to meet.

Reviewed by Ryan Schwarz, lighted@hotmail.com

(c) Virgin Interactive


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