Red Alert 3 is a worthy game to spend your time at but we must acknowledge that its theme has been largely exhausted in the previous games of the series and the developer finds it hard to come up with something original. The new faction, the Empire of the Rising Sun, is a good move to enlivening the gameplay but we’ve seen this before: the role of yet another Global Enemy has been played by China in Command & Conquer: Generals, for example. The gameplay has been largely left intact. EA stays true to the basics of the series invented back in the first Command & Conquer and that’s good. The fans wouldn’t take kindly to too much innovation in this aspect. The main drawback is the huge interface that takes up a large part of the screen, especially as the camera controls do not allow to zoom out much. However, you can quickly turn the interface on and off with the End button, so that’s not a serious problem.
The game is good from the visual aspect, too. The water surface is especially beautiful. Since there is a lot of river and sea combats in Red Alert 3, this is a definite advantage of the game at large. Of course, you can only enjoy this at high graphics quality settings (High and Ultra High profiles). If you use the Medium or lower profile, the game quickly loses its visual appeal, getting downright ugly in the Very Low mode: units look more or less normal but the rest of the game world is just awful then.
Red Alert 3 has a frame rate limiter, so there is little sense in using the Low and Very Low profiles. They won’t allow you to get higher than 30fps but will spoil all the fun from the game with their poor image quality. The Medium profile is not as pretty as the High one, but may be useful for owners of such graphics cards as ATI Radeon HD 4670 and Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT. If you’ve got better hardware, you should use the High profile. The Ultra High profile is playable on top Radeon cards. And if you’ve got a Radeon HD 4870 X2, you can even enable 4x MSAA instead of 2x MSAA, but you will hardly spot the difference with a naked eye.
Cutting it short, Red Alert 3 is a well-made continuation of the popular Command & Conquer series. It draws upon the never-ending Red Threat theme, mixing it with an Eastern Threat this time around. Thus, the Free World is now being conquered by the Russian Bear together with the Japanese Schoolgirl. The lovers of the grotesque typical of the Red Alert series will find it aplenty in the new game, including exciting videos and superb music by Frank Klepacki. The new generation of RTS players who have been spoiled by the recent advances in the genre may be more skeptical about Red Alert 3 but the third series can be a good reason for them to get to know the classic RTS series.