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Command & Conquer:
Red Alert 3
DeveloperElectronic Arts Los Angeles
PublisherElectronic Arts
SeriesRed Alert Universe
Latest version1.12
Release DatePC:
NA28 October 2008

EU31 October 2008
Mac:
March 2009
Xbox 360:
NA11 November 2008
EU13/14 November 2008
PlayStation 3:
NA23 March 2009
EU27 March 2009

GenreReal-time strategy
EngineRNA
ModesSingleplayer, multiplayer
RatingsESRB: T

PEGI: 16+

PlatformsPC, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
InputKeyboard, mouse, microphone (optional), controller (PS3/X360)

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a 2008 real-time strategy game developed by Electronic Arts Los Angeles. It is the third major installment in the Red Alert series and features the original two factions, Allies and Soviets, joined by the newly introduced Empire of the Rising Sun, a high-tech fictionalized Japanese army. Although co-op campaigns were not new to Command & Conquer games, as special co-op missions existed in Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge, Red Alert 3 was the first (and currently only) Command & Conquer game to exclusively use co-op mechanics in the main singleplayer campaign.

The PlayStation 3 version was released later than the PC/X360 versions, and was titled Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Ultimate Edition.

Uprising is the game's standalone expansion on the PC, while Commander's Challenge, a stripped version of Uprising was released for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Both were released in 2009.

Plot

Main article: Third World War (Red Alert 3)

The introduction features Moscow in turmoil, following what appears to be the Allies' eminent victory over the Soviet war machine, as seen in Red Alert 2, with Premier Romanov having fled the country. With the USSR at death's door, Anatoly Cherdenko and his commanding officer, General Nikolai Krukov take a secret elevator to a laboratory beneath the Kremlin. Cherdenko reveals to his superior that he was put in charge of a top secret project a year prior to the fall of the USSR, stating that "time is on [their] side."

In the secret laboratory, Dr. Zelinsky has been commissioned to create a time machine (similar to how the Allies defeated Yuri in Yuri's Revenge). Cherdenko, Krukov and Dr. Zelinsky enter the machine and go back to 1927, where Cherdenko "erases" Albert Einstein from existence, in a similar way to how Einstein erased Adolf Hitler in Red Alert 1.

Upon return to the present, it is revealed that the USSR is victorious, having conquered most of Western Europe. Oddly enough, though, the chain of command has been broken and Cherdenko is now premier, much to General Krukov's dismay. Suddenly, a message appears from Soviet bases in the east: a new enemy has arisen, the Empire of the Rising Sun, a technological super-power bent on achieving its "divine destiny" of world conquest. Krukov orders a nuclear strike on the Allies and the Empire, but is met with blank stares. Apparently, Einstein's removal from the timeline has made nuclear weapons nonexistent. Dr. Zelinsky comments: "Who knows what nightmares we have created?"

Development

Red Alert 3 was first announced on 8 December 2004 by Mark Skaggs, the executive producer at the time.[1] While certain concept art was made in early 2005, the game did not enter a more serious development stage, as Electronic Arts Los Angeles was working on The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth series, and upper staff at Electronic Arts would only give a Red Alert 3 project nine months to finish, which Skaggs refused, after which he took a leave of absence that turned into a full departure from the company.[2]

BattleCast Primetime Special Report - Red Alert 3 Announcement02:40

BattleCast Primetime Special Report - Red Alert 3 Announcement

Official announcement video from 14 February 2008

The game's pre-production ultimately started some time in 2007, as evidenced by certain pieces of concept art. On 14 February 2008, labelled by the developers as "Red Thursday", and after the success of Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, executive producer Chris Corry announced the development of Red Alert 3 in a special report edition of Battlecast Primetime, with the video ending up as a segment of the full Battlecast Primetime episode 6. A day later, information on redeeming beta keys received with copies of Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath was released.[3] Gaming magazine PC Guru was among the first to cover the story, [4] and already announced the Empire of the Rising Sun faction and that the expansion pack was already planned. Further gameplay-related information on the game was published by PC Gamer[5] and PC Gameplay[6], announcing 8 to 10 missions for each of the three campaigns, full-motion videos with a live cast and CGI, and the return of the IFV mechanic, among else.

From 5 April to 9 August 2008, community manager Aaron Kaufman maintained a questions and answers archive on the official forums.[7]. On 17 May 2008, GameTrailers.com revealed the game's first official gameplay trailer set to Hell March 2.[8] An extended version of the same trailer without the music was released three days later by InsideGamer,[9] but was quickly taken down by request of Aaron Kaufman. On 27 May 2008, a 15-minute gameplay video narrated by Chris Corry was published by IGN/GameSpy.[10]

On 5 June 2008, EA Los Angeles confirmed that the PlayStation 3 port of Red Alert 3 was put on hold, without a particular reason given.[11] The Windows and Xbox 360 versions were to remain on schedule. On 10 June 2008, it was announced that the Red Alert 3 community summit was to take place in Los Angeles.[12] During the event, Frank Klepacki confirmed that he would compose for the game, with one of the tracks being Hell March 3.

During E3 2008, the Empire of the Rising Sun faction was revealed fully. In late July 2008, the official beta phase started, giving the first 2000 fans who redeemed the beta key from Kane's Wrath and select community leaders the opportunity to test the game in multiplayer and share feedback with the developers.[13] On 11 August 2008, UK game distributor GAME revealed the collector's edition of Red Alert 3, called the Premier Edition[14], with a trailer released ten days later. The full live action cast was revealed on 20 August 2008.[15][16]

Battlecast Primetime 12 Live from London01:08:02

Battlecast Primetime 12 Live from London

Special live episode of Battlecast Primetime shot during the UK launch event

For a brief period in August 2008, FilePlanet offered open entry to the Red Alert 3 beta to its registered users.[17] The official beta phase ended on 29 September 2008, by which time the beta client had received six patches. The game went gold on 15 October 2008, with its American release scheduled for 28 October and the international one for 31 October.[18] However, the releases in Australia and New Zealand were pushed back for a week due to shipping delays.[19] A launch event was announced in the Trafalgar Square in London, United Kingdom, where a special 1-hour live episode of Battlecast Primetime was filmed on site.[20]

Gameplay

Wikipedia-logo-v2 This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

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-armor tanks etc. 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, with each mission being played alongside an ally. When played online (but not in LAN; GameSpy was the only platform that natively supported co-op until its inheritance by C&C:Online), this is another human player. If played offline, one of several computer-controlled characters acts as the player's ally. Teams share income and generally start with the same forces. Computerized characters can be given extremely 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 (see Co-Commanders). Each side's plotlines are mutually exclusive, in contrast to Tiberium Wars, but alike the previous Red Alert titles.

Naval warfare is emphasized as another front. Many units are now amphibious, trading effectiveness for increased flexibility. Buildings and entire bases can be constructed on water, save for such structures as ground unit production facilities. According to executive producer Chris Corry, players who "ignore the ocean [are] 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, most multiplayer maps have significant bodies of water in them. The use of naval units and various unit abilities attempted to diversify the gameplay and add variety to build orders compared to previous games in the series.

Manually controlled secondary abilities are common to each and every unit in the game. How each ability is employed varies: some are toggled on or off, others are targeted, and still others are triggered the instant one presses the button. An Imperial constructor might be able to deploy once at a specified location, a Soviet conscript can switch weapons at will, or an Allied artillery piece can engage its shields with a button press but with a cool-down that requires a period of time to pass before the ability can be activated again are such examples of secondary abilities. All abilities are bound to the same key. The game also features experience points that are used to unlock upgrades to unit types as well as "commander abilities" used to call in air strikes, recon sweeps, magnetic satellite beams, etc.. Commander abilities have no resource costs but have significant cool-down periods.

Ore fields as resource sites have been removed. These originated in the first Red Alert as a functionally identical equivalent to Tiberium, in C&C similar to a strip mine. Gameplay mechanics haven't changed a great deal since fields have been replaced with stationary ore mines - although this does impact on strategic ore-refinery placement and covert refining to an extent.

Each of the three powers has something to boast at:

  • The Soviets gain supremacy of the land;
  • The Allies gain supremacy of the air;
  • The Empire of the Rising Sun gains supremacy of the sea.

Co-commanders

AI-controlled co-commanders can be given the following orders in the campaign:

  • Strike Target
    • The co-commander will immediately send available forces to deal with the targeted unit/structure.
  • Take Position
    • The co-commander will immediately send available forces to the indicated location. These forces will only stay there for a short while after the position has been secured.
  • Plan Attack
    • The co-commander will begin to build up forces to attack the unit/structure. Should there already be enough forces, the co-commander will send the forces there immediately. This continues until the unit/structure is destroyed.
  • Keep command
    • The Co-commander will fend for himself. This also cancels the other orders listed above.
  • Co-commander Strike
    • Co-commander strikes appear halfway through the missions and have a short description of what they will do when activated.
    • To view the description, click on the Co-commander strike. The activate button will also appear under the description.

The first four orders, Strike Target, Take Position, Plan Attack and Keep Command can be found in the top-left hand corner of the screen. Beside this, there is a portrait of the co-commander and a status bar below. The status bar gives information on the co-commander's actions.

Note: In all the campaigns, the co-commander will always be assigned the green colour (except for the Allied joint operations with Soviet forces, where the co-commander's forces are red) and the player is always assigned a co-commander. In online co-op, the host is assigned the main player colour, while the joined player is assigned green.

Also, if the co-commander's army has been destroyed, the player can not command them and the mission will increase in difficulty to complete alone.

Cast

Soviet Union

Allied Nations

Empire of the Rising Sun

[UR] means this character also appears in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Uprising.

Units

See: List of Units in Red Alert 3

Tutorial

The tutorial feature is available to those who are beginners at Red Alert 3. A Tsunami tank, Hammer tank and Guardian Tank made a temporary truce to teach the Commander about the basics like simple commands, base building, special abilities and Co-Commanders. During the tutorial, the tanks often fire at each other when one says something ridiculous (mainly the Hammer Tank). In the final chapter of the tutorial, the Hammer tank switches to an Apocalypse tank. Upon the Commander's completion of the tutorial, the tanks withdraw their truce and begin firing at each other... this time for real.

Campaigns

The recommended campaign order is Soviet-Allied-Imperial, but they can be played in any order. They contain certain campaign-specific units like the Tesla Tank and Shogun Executioner.

Endings

Caution! May contain spoilers!

Allied ending

The Allied Campaign ends with the Statue of Lenin toppling and the Soviet leaders arrested and put in cryo prison. Tanya and Eva dress up in black and white respectively, wanting to date the Commander. This places the Commander in a rather interesting situation. The Commander does not get to choose, since it fades out there.

A new president of the United States gets elected (played by David Hasselhoff).

Soviet ending

RA3 USSR logo The following is based on the Soviet campaign of Red Alert 3 and contradicts canon sources.

The Commander takes control of the USSR and annihilates both the Empire and the Allies. The Statue of Liberty is destroyed and replaced with a statue of Lenin. The Commander, like in the Soviet campaigns of the first two Red Alert games, gains the rank of Premier. Dasha gives a toast to the Commander, and the new Premier steps onto the balcony to the cheering crowd outside the Kremlin waiting for a speech.

Imperial ending

RedAlert3RisingSun avatar The following is based on the Empire of the Rising Sun campaign for Red Alert 3 and contradicts canon sources.

The Empire of the Rising Sun campaign ends with a King Oni cutting down the Allied flag with its lasers and putting an Imperial flag in its place. Yoshiro and his son grant the Commander the rank of Supreme Shogun, while Suki is out at Hawaii and asks the Commander to join her.


Premier Edition

A special limited edition was also released: Red Alert 3 Premier Edition. This package includes a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes footage, the soundtrack disc, posters of the female stars casted in the motion videos and a beta key for the later cancelled Command & Conquer: Arena. It comes packed in a tin can.

See also

References

  1. Red Alert 3 announcement. CNCNZ.com (archived) (8 December 2004). Retrieved on 15 September 2012.
  2. Geschichtsunterricht mit Mark Skaggs. United-Forum.de (27 February 2010). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  3. Red Alert 3 Beta FAQ. CNCNZ.com (15 February 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  4. Updated Red Alert 3 Info. CNCNZ.com (15 February 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  5. Red Alert 3 Info from PC Gamer. CNCNZ.com (22 February 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  6. Red Alert 3 Info from PC Gameplay. CNCNZ.com (27 February 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  7. Red Alert 3 Questions & Answers (Updated 09/08/2008). CNCNZ.com (20 April 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  8. Red Alert 3 Hell March Trailer. CNCNZ.com (17 May 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  9. Red Alert 3 Extended Gameplay Trailer. CNCNZ.com (20 May 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  10. Videos for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. GameSpy.com (2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  11. Red Alert 3 for PS3 'on hold'. GameSpot (5 June 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  12. Red Alert 3 Community Summit June 2008. CNCNZ.com (10 June 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  13. Red Alert 3 Beta Officially Gets Started. CNCNZ.com (27 July 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  14. Red Alert 3: Premier Edition. CNCNZ.com (11 August 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  15. All Star Red Alert 3 Cast Revealed!. CNCNZ.com (20 August 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  16. Red Alert 3 Live Action Cast Trailer. CNCNZ.com (20 August 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  17. Open Entry into the Red Alert 3 Beta - Now Closed. CNCNZ.com (23 August 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  18. Red Alert 3 Goes Gold. CNCNZ.com (15 October 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  19. New Zealand Release of Red Alert 3 Delayed. CNCNZ.com (15 October 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
  20. Red Alert 3 UK Launch Event. CNCNZ.com (20 October 2008). Retrieved on 14 July 2017.
Command & Conquer series
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