A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this game has some violence and animated blood, this "Teen"-rated game is not very graphic compared to most other PC and console strategy games. Why? It's played primarily from an eagle's eye view (not to mention the action takes place more between units, such as vehicles, than people). Also, several of the fighting units in this over-the-top sci-fi tale are units such as sonic dolphins and fighting bears. Mild language includes words such as "damn" and "hell."
What's it about?
It's been seven long years since the last Command & Conquer Red Alert game and now real-time strategy (RTS) fans can rejoice as COMMAND & CONQUER RED ALERT 3 is now available for Windows PCs (with an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version to follow). As with its best-selling predecessors, this anticipated sequel features an over-the-top story told via cheesy live-motion video cut-scenes, and of course, frantic mouse-clicking game-play from an overhead perspective (ideal for \"commanding\" and \"conquering\"). The deliciously ridiculous premise behind Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 involves a Russian leader, played by Tim Curry (of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame), who goes back in time with colleagues to kill Albert Einstein in the hopes the Soviets will become the world power instead of the U.S. Except tampering with history causes an unexpected outcome: the Empire of the Rising Sun becomes a major player, led by corny emperor George Takei (Star Trek).
In the story-based campaign, players must choose to lead one of the three sides – the Allies, Soviets and Empire – each with their own weapons, vehicles, structures, units and technologies. Players can go at it solo by advancing through increasingly tough missions, with offensive and defensive missions (and more naval battles than in past games), or for the first time in the series engage in co-operative play by connecting with a friend online or choosing an A.I. co-commander to help tag-team your war efforts. Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 also includes the standard non-story skirmish mode and multiplayer matches for up to six players.
Is it any good?
Yes, its good as long as you don't mind having to micromange every facet of the conflict, including building bases and key structures, and deploying troops in a tactical fashion onto the battlefield. This sequel enjoys a tremendous amount of polish, both in the game's visual flare and in the delicate balancing of the three sides. Plus the mouse-based control is intuitive and responsive. Quite simply, RTS fans longing for the return of Command & Conquer Red Alert will be more than pleased with the latest chapter in the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether game sequels are a good thing or way overdone these days? What makes you want to play a sequel? Is it the characters, story, locations, or game-play mechanics of a game? Do most sequels live up to your expectations? Or do you think there are too many sequels now, such as Gears of War 2, Resistance 2, Fallout 3, Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Fable II and so on?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.