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Electronic Arts
Strategy & War
Release Date

Command & Conquer Red Alert 3
March 3, 2009 | Franklin Pride

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The Command and Conquer series has had a long and colorful history. Starting back in the era of MS-DOS, the series has never strayed from its formula of outrageous cutscenes with cheesy dialogue and relatively solid gameplay. Aside from the Tiberium Wars series, the C&C games have rarely been a disappointment.

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (RA3) is the most recent link in the chain. It has been out for roughly four months and will soon be released for the Macintosh. The previous games in the series have been transferred without too many additional bugs, which should be a good indication that RA3 will be of roughly equal quality to its PC counterpart. This is EA, though, so you never know.

After the Spore fiasco, where Spore was pirated a week before the game was released, most people would expect EA to stop using SecuRom as an effective form of copy-protection. Well, once again, this is EA. RA3 was released with the same form of SecuRom found in Spore, only with increased activations and the ability to de-authorize. After a lot of complaints from its customers, EA eventually patched SecuRom out for the Steam version. However, it is more than likely that SecuRom will still be part of the Macintosh release.

If you don't mind the DRM, though, you will more than likely enjoy RA3. It is a classic strategy game to the core. You create harvesters to gain resources, create buildings to defend your setups and build units, and eventually destroy your opponent through clever tactics or overwhelming force. The harvester-centered gameplay has been the accepted standard for strategy games since the era of MS-DOS, so its not too surprising that RA3 follows the formula. It's one of the best at it, so it's something to look forward to.

The Red Alert series is based entirely around time travel. Starting with the assassination of Hitler in Red Alert, going to the time and space teleporter (Chronosphere) in Red Alert 2, and finally ending with the assassination of Einstein in Red Alert 3. These time hijinks led to the main powers of the world being the Soviets and the Allies for the majority of the series. The most recent assassination has even removed all nuclear capability from the world. In RA3, however, the Japanese enter the fray as the Empire of the Rising Sun. Due to never being nuked, their technological sophistication is well beyond the rest of the world and they are ready to attack the weakened forces of the Soviets and Allies.


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