Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike (1997)

Video Game  -  Action  -  9 June 1997 (USA)
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The first of the two mission packs for Westwood's Red Alert game.


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Title: Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike (Video Game 1997)

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The first of the two mission packs for Westwood's Red Alert game.

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9 June 1997 (USA)  »

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Follows Command & Conquer (1995) See more »

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Pretty good add-on, worth getting for any fan of Red Alert

This is the first of the two add-ons made for Command & Conquer: Red Alert, and it seems to take place either during or right after the war of said title. There are 16 new missions... eight per side. It also adds no less than 100 new multi-player maps. Much like with Covert Ops, the add-on made for the original Command & Conquer game, this reuses cut-scenes... and still in a manner similar to that mission pack, some of them are stretched somewhat to fit where they're used. Several of the levels have new units... a few of these are rather powerful, somewhat messing up the fairness, but they do make things interesting(also, it should be noted that they only appear in single player, and most only for a single level), forcing players to rethink strategies and fight as well as defend themselves against new forms of attacks. The real strength of this, however, are the interesting and memorable new levels; chasing an enemy officer through a facility as he Chrono-Shifts(teleports, for those not yet initiated into the world of Red Alert) around, and run, hide and fight your way through a level the pace of which can only be described as extremely intense, just to name two that especially stand out. The difficulty more or less picks up where the original game left off, providing further challenge for anyone who's completed the game itself. There are times when it is somewhat uneven, though. At least once, one difficult level would be followed by an easy one, and not all of the tough ones were at the end of the list of the missions of both sides. As with other mission packs, this allows the player to try any mission in any order. The Allied missions consist of three campaigns, clearly listed, but apart from that, there is no real consistent story, so there is no harm in skipping any mission that one isn't interested in completing(I can't really think of any that I wish I had skipped, though, they were all good, some downright great). Several of the new units use the Atomic Bomb of Red Alert, so more than once, you'll be able to fight using that... as well as have to defend against such. Most of the units are slightly redressed or reconfigured ones from the original, in particular in one level(where it's explained away with a vague sci-fi-esquire plot point that's right out of a Z-level zombie flick), leading me to believe that a lot of these unit additions were not so much planned as just stumbled upon, which is fine, if you're a fan and making a free contribution... less fine when it's a product made by a company who are, in fact, charging people. I'm sure I'm not the only person to prefer professionalism to "hey look at what we can do!" This is not to say that I did not enjoy this add-on, or regret acquiring it... not in the least. Several of the units do make for fun levels. More than a few of the levels make good use of features and units found in the original Red Alert, as well. One thing that bothered me about the level where it appeared was how the explanation for putting a time-limit on a level in the Soviet campaign was that "the sub-zero temperatures surprised us(the Russians), but not the Allies". Excuse me...? One thing is historical inaccuracies, heck, nobody knows everything, but getting it completely and utterly backwards is a little more taxing to ignore. During World War II, one of the reasons the Nazis were unable to capture Moscow was that the Winter was stronger than they were used to... whereas the Russians had grown up with Russian, *Siberian* weather, wore warmer clothes and for those two reasons, their being used to the cold and them having uniforms that better resisted the temperature, they were able to defend themselves and their country. The silly thing about this is that the mission could easily have been an Allied one(one of the campaigns, which spans over three missions, takes place in Siberia) and it would have made perfect sense. Anyway, history class over. One of the good things is that several levels allow the player to use and produce units and structures that were just getting to be available for use at the end of the regular game. Some levels force the player to think up new strategies to defeat the enemy(or even defend their own base) by disallowing the purchase of certain units and structures. The level design is very good, with no two levels looking or feeling like the same old thing, like we've done it before. A few take place inside facilities, and while these aren't as superbly crafted as those of the original game(one in particular seemed awfully random), they're basically always fun to play. Time limits and special objectives make things more interesting and exciting, and the fact that not every single level is the old stand-by for Real Time Strategy titles of "destroy all enemy units and buildings" helps, as well. The return of Tanya(possibly making an appearance in more than one side's campaign, too...), as well as one or two other known characters that we remember from the original game aren't exactly bad additions, either. All in all, this is definitely worth owning for any fan of the regular Red Alert game, though I wouldn't quite claim the quality of this to be as high and beyond reproach as that of the game that this is an add-on to. If you're looking for more Red Alert game-play, and/or you find you've played your way through every single multi-player map, those that came with the game and those that you, your friends or some anonymous person on the 'net have made with the tools included in the release of the game, this will definitely do the trick. I recommend this to any fan of Red Alert. Solid entertainment. 7/10

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