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Red Alert 3

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Pew Pew Pew! Red Alert 3 Scores Big

By AgmLauncher - 27th October 2008 - 14:32 PM

Questions, questions, questions

I donít have a degree in journalism, but I know a thing or two about strategy games and I do know that news stories and reviews are supposed to ooze information and answer questions. Unfortunately, this review has left me with quite a few questions about Red Alert 3.

1. How is the pathfinding? Do units navigate their way around each other well enough, or do they epic fail constantly?

2. Is the interface smooth and responsive?

3. Are you rewarded for controlling your units, or is it simply better to watch them and not get involved in the combat? (i.e. is there any point to micromanaging?)

4. How much base building and resource management is there relative to combat?

5. What is the average army size and game length in a multiplayer match?

6. You mentioned that the three factions play differently (probably the most accurate and informative statement in the whole review), but in what ways?

7. What are the missions like? What kind of objectives are there?

8. How is the campaign structured? Is it sequential like Starcraft/Warcraft, or does each factionís campaign run parallel to the others like in every other C&C game?

9. What is the online lobby system like? Are there buddy lists and alternative game modes such as crates, speed settings, starting cash etc?

10. How deep are the tech trees? Are they linear or branched?

11. Is the counter system hard or soft?

12. What kinds of researchable upgrades are there (if any)?

13. What is the naval combat like? EA mentioned they wanted to implement naval combat in a much more immersive way than it had been done in the past. Did they pass or fail?

14. What are the maps like? Are they large or small? Lots of choke points and terrain, or flat and open? How much water is there? Are there any island maps? Are there lots of resources?

None of these questions were answered by the review, and Iím sure many more questions that interest other people were not answered either. Instead, more square area is taken up by pictures of girls and fluff talk, than meaningful information that would help me make a more informed decision about whether I want to spend $50 on RA3 or not.

Not just reviewers to blame

As bad and useless as this review is, Itís not entirely Danís fault. There clearly must be demand for poor reviews since this is only the most recent in a long line of really poor or inaccurate reviews of RTS games across the whole industry (no doubt reviews that have had their hand in the declining quality of RTS games). Thus, part of the blame is to be placed on the very market that consumes RTS games and reads these reviews. The sad reality is that most people who buy and play RTS games, donít really even understand the point of the genre. To them, an RTS is no different from an FPS. As long as there is a storyline and a few hours of entertainment to be had, itís all good.

Even a rudimentary understanding of RTS gameplay mechanics would require one to call into question most reviews out there, but the fact that most people take these reviews as gold and hardly question them is a strong indication of the sad state of the market itself. The RTS market seems to be full of zombies that have next to zero critical thinking power. Itís one thing to be a casual player because you donít have time to get as involved in RTS games as someone like myself, but a review this unsubstantial wouldnít get by someone with half a brain even if theyíve never played an RTS game in their life.

The persistent dumbing down of the genre and its associated reviews is a symptom of a disease of stupidity and low standards that has engulfed what is left of the PC RTS market. Unfortunately these symptoms are so bad that they reinforce the cycle of dumbing down. Each sub par review that gets posted allows mindless readers to get along just fine being mindless. Rather than a review that makes them think, or ask questions, or totally leaves them in the dust (indicating that maybe RTS games arenít for them), we have Fisher-Price reviews for Fisher-Price strategy games. Is there an end to this vicious cycle, or will Dan have to use my prepared review of Red Alert 4 when the time comes?

ĒRed Alert 4 has lots of titties so itís a good game. The problem with it is you have to play it in order to see them. Itís kind of a pain, so my only complaint is that it doesnít automatically play for you while you watch. But 9/10 for the titties. Enjoy!Ē

Youíre welcome Dan. I just saved you 30 seconds of your life a few years from now. You can thank me then.