Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
|Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2|
On the cover — Hollywood actor Igor Jijikine
|Series||Command & Conquer|
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a 2.5D real-time strategy computer game by Westwood Pacific, which was released for Microsoft Windows on October 23, 2000 as the follow-up to Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Red Alert 2 picks up at the conclusion of the Allied campaign of the first game. Its expansion is Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge.
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 contains 2 playable factions, Soviets and Allies which both previously appeared in Command & Conquer: Red Alert. The single player campaign is structured in an alternate-ending mode as opposed to a progressive story mode. Red Alert 2 proved to be a success, both commercially and with critics, receiving an 86% from GameRankings.
Like all other Command & Conquer real-time strategy games, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 contains two separate campaigns, with distinct story lines, one for each playable faction.
After the attempted conquest of Europe depicted in Command & Conquer: Red Alert, the Soviet Union is in utter ruin. Joseph Stalin is dead, and the Soviet military has been all but destroyed. The Allies determine that a regime change would cause mass unrest in the Soviet Union, and in order to gain both support and stability in the region, the victorious Allies name Alexander Romanov, a distant relative of Tsar Nicholas II, as the puppet Soviet Premier. Romanov acquiesces to the Allies' demands at first, though he builds up the Soviet military for "defense purposes" – a cover for an intended invasion of the United States of America.
The game's story line starts off with the United States Armed Forces caught completely off guard by the sudden massive Soviet invasion of the United States, with Soviet aircraft, naval vessels, amphibious forces, and paratroopers coming in on both the East Coast and West Coast and with the majority of Soviet ground forces coming in through Mexico, which had recently voted in a communist government. The USA attempts to retaliate with the use of nuclear missiles, but Yuri, leader of the Soviet Psychic Corps and Premier Romanov's top advisor, uses his mind control to manipulate the personnel charged with launching the warheads and leaves them to explode in their silos. Within hours, the USA is overrun with Red Army troops. In response, the US President Michael Dugan establishes an emergency response team headed by General Carville and the Commander known as "The Ghost" (the player) to the Soviet army later in the game.
The Allied story line begins with a special forces team led by Special Agent Tanya Adams sent to New York City to repel the Soviet invasion there. The player, with help from Tanya, successfully repels the Soviet invasion of New York City. Tanya and the Commander then go to Colorado Springs to liberate the Air Force Academy and the air base there. As they return home victorious from the battle, it is discovered that a Soviet mind control device known as the Psychic Beacon, a device that can mind-control the people of entire cities, has been deployed in Washington, D.C.
It is seen that the Psychic Beacon has controlled the minds of the President and General Ben Carville and several other key officials in the city, who surrender to the Soviets. However, a strike team is sent in to the city and destroys the Psychic Beacon while encountering attacks by mind-controlled civilians, freeing the key officials from Soviet mind control and allowing them to be rescued. Despite this, Washington, D.C. still remains in Soviet hands, forcing the American government and military to relocate themselves to Canada to escape the threat of Soviet mind control.
Allied intelligence has discovered that the Soviets have put another psychic device in Chicago, the Psychic Amplifier, which has the power "to do to the country what the Psychic Beacon did to Washington". The Allies promptly launch an offensive into Soviet-occupied Chicago from their Canadian base across Lake Michigan, freeing the city and destroying the Psychic Amplifier. In retaliation, General Vladimir, the chief commander of the invading Soviet forces, declares that he no longer has much use for the city of Chicago, so he deploys a nuclear missile in the city, completely destroying it.
Alarmed by the situation, leaders of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom agree to help the U.S. if they disarm the Soviet nuclear missile silos in Poland. Michael Dugan agrees and sends a special forces team led by Tanya into Poland near its border with Germany. The silos are covertly destroyed, and the Europeans join the war against the Soviets. Bolstered by additional men and equipment, the U.S. military is able to launch an amphibious assault on Soviet-occupied Washington, D.C. and recapture the city. Allied intelligence next reveals that the Soviets are planning to capture the Hawaiian Islands and the Commander is sent to Pearl Harbor to defend the islands.
The islands are saved, but the United States is still in a precarious position. The Soviets, with the help from their Psychic Beacon, still control St. Louis and all of the Mississippi River south of the city, seriously handicapping movement between the western states and the eastern states. The Allies then mount an attack on the city, destroying the Psychic Beacon and liberating the city. The Allies also learn of a Soviet project to replicate the Allied Prism technology (A technology that creates massive beams of energy to destroy units) at a research base in Tulum, Mexico. A team of Navy SEALs is then dispatched into the area to destroy the research facility and any prototype prism replicas. The mission is successful and the Allied Prism technology is not compromised.
General Carville, in a briefing to the player, says that they are being shipped off to Germany into the Black Forest to protect Albert Einstein’s laboratory in order to bring a quick end to the war. At Einstein's laboratory, there is Einstein's prototype Chronosphere, a device with the ability to teleport troops anywhere in the world, and the plans for it. As General Carville is leaving his office at the end of the briefing, a Crazy Ivan (a Soviet demolitions expert which deploys explosives) was waiting for Carville and flips open his jacket and detonates his bombs, killing Carville. Despite this tremendous loss, the Commander carries out the mission and repels the Soviet invasion from across the German border. Einstein's laboratory and Chronosphere are saved and Einstein continues his work.
Einstein personally thanks the Commander and says that the perfect place to establish the Chronosphere is on a tiny island in the Florida Keys, not far from Soviet Cuba. The Allies send a force to the island and build a base and the Chronosphere there, and then launch an offensive into Cuba to destroy the Soviet nuclear strike capability there. The Allies then proceed to use the Chronosphere's teleportation capabilities to take an Allied strike team to Moscow. Once in Moscow, after enduring attacks from nearby Soviet bases, the Allied forces destroy the Black Guard defenses around the Kremlin and then teleport in a strike team led by Tanya to capture Premier Alexander Romanov. Romanov gets a man to wear his uniform and pose as him, so that Tanya will take him away instead. However, this plot is easily exposed as the man is completely different from Romanov and Romanov is caught in his underwear. The Soviets suffer a humiliating defeat and promptly surrender.
The Soviet storyline begins with the player being briefed by Premier Alexander Romanov about the upcoming Soviet invasion of the U.S. The Commander leads an invasion into Washington, D.C. and destroys the Pentagon. Another Soviet invasion is launched into Florida to destroy the American fleet, which was threatening the Soviet invasion of East Coast. Even though the Commander is almost fully responsible for these victories, all the credit goes to the top Soviet commander, General Vladimir. While Vladimir is in Moscow celebrating, Yuri recommends that the player capture New York City with a Psychic Beacon, a device that can mind-control the people of entire cities. The player follows Yuri's advice, and launches an offensive into New York City. After capturing the Allied battle lab/research facility, at the World Trade Center, the Soviets deploy their Psychic Beacon and the entire population of the city falls under Soviet control.
To counter the ever increasing and successful Soviet threat, forces from South Korea launch an amphibious attack on Vladivostok, and the player must "defend the Motherland" at all costs. The Commander holds off the offensive, crushing all invading South Korean forces in a brutal counter-attack. Alarmed by the situation, leaders of France and Germany agree to send troops to the Polish border to help the U.S. fight the Soviets. With the absence of the bulk of the French Military, the Soviets send a special forces team to Paris, with special orders from Romanov and Yuri to level the city. Once in Paris, the Soviets fight to capture the area around the Eiffel Tower. The Soviets then use three Tesla Troopers, soldiers with the ability to destroy vehicles with electric charges, to energize the Eiffel Tower and effectively turn it into a massive Tesla coil. The energized Eiffel Tower quickly destroys all Allied forces in the city and devastates Paris. With this and other key victories in Europe, the nations of Europe are in a position of needing help themselves rather than giving help to the U.S.
During this time, Yuri has been gaining more power by using his Psychic abilities to control Romanov. Romanov gives all military authority to Yuri, greatly angering General Vladimir, who accuses Yuri of manipulating Romanov for his own purposes. Yuri discards these accusations and tells the player to establish "Soviet presence" in the Hawaiian Islands. The Commander is sent to Hawaii and destroys the American Pacific Fleet and all South Korean reinforcements, allowing the Soviets to take over the islands. Meanwhile, Romanov has become very ill and Yuri's intelligence has revealed that the Allies have constructed a Chronosphere, a device with the ability to teleport troops anywhere in the world. The Allies intend to use the Chronosphere to destroy a Soviet research facility in the Ural Mountains. Yuri tells the player that this research facility is vital to the Soviet war effort and that it must be protected. The player takes command of Soviet forces at the research facility and manages to repel several Allied offensives.
Shortly after the research facility is saved, Yuri informs the player that Romanov was murdered by General Vladimir. Yuri orders the Commander to go to Washington, D.C. to eliminate Vladimir, whom Yuri declares to be a traitor and a "nonperson". The player defeats Vladimir's forces and captures Vladimir in the White House with the aid of Yuri's psychic technology. In another mission, a Soviet strike team of psy-corp troopers is then sent to San Antonio, Texas and covertly infiltrates the American installation around the Alamo and then put the U.S. President, Michael Dugan, under Soviet mind-control. The Soviets then discover that the Allies are developing a new super weapon in the U.S. Virgin Islands, known as a Weather Control Device, a device that can create powerful thunderstorms capable of devastating large areas. The Soviets launch an amphibious assault on the islands and successfully destroy the device.
Impressed by the tenacity of the "Comrade General", Yuri asks the Commander to come to Moscow so he can thank the Commander in person. However, Lieutenant Zofia contacts the player, showing a video Romanov recorded before his death. In the video, Romanov, with much difficulty, says that Yuri is controlling his mind and orders the Commander to bring the traitor to justice. The Commander goes to Moscow with the bulk of the Soviet army to apprehend Yuri. Upon their arrival in Moscow, the player’s forces engage with forces loyal to Yuri. The player then launches a brutal attack on the Kremlin and Yuri is believed to have been killed in the battle. From Yuri’s files, it is learned that the Allies have built another Chronosphere in Alaska, which they will use to attempt to launch a final assault into the Soviet Union. Soviet forces are sent across the Bering Strait and destroy the Chronosphere and all Allied forces in the area. With all resistance destroyed, the player is now free to rule the world. However, in the end cut scene, Yuri's mind has somehow survived and telepathically communicates to the commander saying, "It would have been good to see inside your mind, General. I may still get the chance..."
When Westwood was acquired by Electronic Arts in August 1998, most long-time Westwood employees quit and left Westwood Studios. As such Red Alert 2 was created by a different group of developers than the original Command & Conquer series. This was evident in the different path the game took with regards to storyline and writing, using juvenile humor and dialogue in stark contrast of the serious tone of previous Westwood games.
The Red Alert 2 soundtrack was composed by long-time Command & Conquer collaborator Frank Klepacki.
Red Alert 2 received mostly positive reviews, with IGN calling it outstanding and GamePro's Editor's Choice. One reviewer on GamePro noted "It's not the most innovative game, but with its solid gameplay and alternate Cold War storyline, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is the best 2D real-time strategy game since Starcraft".
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