Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge
Yuri is back! The fearsome Russian psychic, one of the masterminds behind the Soviet attack in the original Red Alert 2, has developed a new technology known as the Psychic Dominator. With this device he plans to control the minds of every man, woman and child on Earth. Wielding fearsome new weapons and soldiers, he's taken his own secret army and built them into a devastating attack force, based on psychic ability and cloning technology. Play as either the Allied or Soviet commander as you attempt to defeat Yuri and keep your enemy from turning the tide of battle.
Yuri's Revenge is an expansion pack for the original Red Alert 2, and in the tradition of the original, it shines in all its campy glory. Set in a fictional future where the Soviet Union has launched a surprise attack on the United States, Yuri's Revenge picks up just hours after the original Red Alert 2 ended. Thrust into yet another pivotal battle to decide the fate of the world, you'll be able to see another chapter in the Command & Conquer universe, driven by a host of new missions and just as much FMV as the first game.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Red Alert 2 is a traditional RTS title, with a 3rd person overhead perspective view that lets you control units across a large map. With bases on either side capable of producing new modules that expand their capabilities, along with the soldiers and vehicles that you use to staff your army, there's a wide range of attack and defense strategies to choose from. Keeping pace with the design standards of the original Red Alert 2, the new units (Yuri's forces included) don't unbalance the game and keep it moving at the same previously established blistering speed.
Each base is built around your MCV, or Mobile Construction Vehicle. It deploys into a large construction yard that you can use to construct your base. Energy is provided by simple power plants, and you can produce soldiers and vehicles with a Barracks and War Factory. Yuri's Revenge adds new construction options in the form of the Allied Robot Control Center and the Soviet Industrial Plant. The Robot Control Center allows you to deploy Robotic Tanks, immune to the psychic mind control of Yuri's forces, while the Industrial Plant reduces the cost of Soviet vehicles and speeds their production.
In addition to the normal Allied and Soviet forces, for multiplayer games you'll get access to Yuri's army, which specializes in strange technology and psychic ability. The basic unit, called the Initiate, is a psychic trooper that uses pyrokinetic abilities to incinerate enemy troops. One of your advanced structures is called the Genetic Mutator, which targets your opponent's soldiers and mutates them into Brutes, powerful antitank soldiers that have more in common with the Incredible Hulk than the soldiers they used to be.
With the same multiplayer capabilities as Red Alert 2, all that Yuri's Revenge does for you is to add a third combatant, Yuri's Forces, and a few extra units for the Allies and the Soviets.
Always an unfortunate element of Westwood's Command & Conquer games, the graphics in Red Alert 2 are very similar. I'm not discounting the fact that Red Alert 2 has excellent graphics for a game of its quality, with detailed 2D models and fully rendered in 16-bit color. However, Yuri's Revenge only adds a few new units' worth of graphics, all in the same style they've always been presented. The technology that handles those graphics has improved, but the style is just the same.
Fortunately for our sense of continuity, each of the actors from Red Alert 2 has been brought back for the expansion pack, and you'll get to hear them during the game (and see them during the cutscenes). Once again the new units have been given a distinctive character, from the grizzled voice of the Guardian GI to the disturbing attitude of all the Yuri units.
PC CD-ROM, Windows 95/98/NT 6.0/2000/Millennium, PII 266 or better, 64 MB RAM, 2 MB Video RAM, 16 bit color, 4X CD-ROM drive, 100% Microsoft compatible mouse, Direct Sound compliant sound card, 200 MB additional hard drive space, 3D hardware acceleration (optional).
A good expansion pack, Yuri's Revenge builds on the design strengths of Red Alert 2 and preserves the same 'high balance' present in the first game. Westwood keeps the game at a reasonable level, a little bit tougher to beat than the first game and obviously designed for a player familiar with Red Alert 2, but with a learning curve that won't outpace you as you learn the new units. At the same cost as most expansion packs, this one gives you enough to be entertained but doesn't leave you thinking you just wasted a bit of cash on features that should've been included in the first game.