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Red Alert 3 Interview

October 27th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · Electronic Arts, Interview, RTS

If you have any interest in EA’s upcoming Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, you should read Chris Remo’s interview with Amer Ajami and Greg Kasavin over at Game, Set, Watch.

On the separation between the Red Alert and Tiberium branches of the Command and Conquer franchise:

AA: Red Alert 2 was the game that said, “You know what? This is our own branch. It’s not related to Tiberium or C&C except in name.” In that sense, Red Alert 3 is a continuation of that tone, rather than of RA1.

GK: And it lends itself overall a feeling to the game that is pretty unique. There are plenty of serious war games out there that are heavy, whereas something like this has much more of that graphic novel, over-the-top action feel to it that pokes a little bit of fun at itself, but in hopefully a pretty clever way. It’s just more distinctive, and hopefully will be more memorable to players than another serious World War thing that weighs on them.

It’s great that EA has been able to differentiate the franchise in this way, though the games are fundamentally the same. The tone is different and the units are different, but the game play doesn’t really change from one side of the C&C brand to the other. Both series even had two factions until the third game – the Scrin and Rising Sun factions. So Ajami’s use of “branch” is the right word choice.

I am modestly interested in the upcoming Red Alert game. I’m still not convinced that this is the type of game that can work well on the Xbox 360, but from what I saw at E3 it is the same fast paced game that I loved when it was Kane and GDI running around to collect magic crystals.

I’m in the middle of a conversation about RTS campaigns with a friend. I’m pretty dismissive of the entire idea of story based campaigns, but he correctly pointed out that a lot of people still think about the campaigns in Starcraft, Warcraft III, Command & Conquer, etc. It’s interesting that these games are all from Blizzard and EA; it’s had to think of other studios that have really managed to make the RTS campaign story an integral part of the experience. (Myth doesn’t count because it’s all story, and is almost a mission based wargame.) The Red Alert videos are really over the top, which is fine with me since I love over the top, and they are all really invested in getting you to identify with characters from the story, and, through them, the factions. So the Russians aren’t the side with the bears and zeppelins, they’re the ones with Tim Curry.

But with only Fallout 3 and Fable 2 on the immediate play list, I’ll be able to free some time for Red Alert 3, and be glad to do so. It hasn’t been a really great year for the RTS, Sins of a Solar Empire aside. And it’s not like I’m expecting some grand revelatory experience from RA3. But things will blow up and there will be robots.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas Kiley

    “and there will be robots.” He he. Also, I don’t suppose you will be posting your thoughts on Fable 2 on this blog will you?

  • Troy

    If I ever get around to playing Fable 2, absolutely. But I think Fallout 3 is a higher priority at this point.

    There’s never enough time.

  • SwiftRanger

    I don’t mind a freak experience once in a while but after C&C3 and now RA3 they should go back to more serious stuff like with the original Red Alert and Tiberian Sun. The fact they still keep using the Generals engine backbone seriously limits their ambitions with each new game as well.

    About the campaigns: I think a lot of people are fed up with the extremely poor Total War clones we’ve seen popping up in a lot of mainstream RTS’s. It has given a lot of developers an excuse to shamelessly put in skirmish ‘missions’. Seems like DoW II and SC II won’t make that mistake again with their own, single-race branching storyline ideas.

  • Thomas Kiley

    You really should make time, I will be putting my impressions up tomorrow, but, despite the games flaws, is staggering. Never before have I felt so emotionally involved.