Top critical review
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A collector's must-have, but not essential for the gamer
on 24 March 2006
First off, I must confess that I am probably spoiled by Red Alert 2.
Now, being of the Amiga persuasion at the time, I never played the opriginal C&C or Red Alert when they were brand new; rather I went back to rediscover RA after having gone through quite a few gaming weekends with friends playing Red Alert 2, and many late nights playing Tiberian Sun.
Eventually I decided I'd like to play the whole Red Alert storyline, so when I found a budget release of this game, I of course picked it up. And I was disappointed. Yes, obviously the graphics are not as good as in the later games, and sometimes it gets in the way, but even the gameplay itself just isn't as good as in its sequel. Especially some of the "walk around the map with a small squad" missions, those that do not feature base building, can be rather tedious, and made me put off finishing the game several times.
It's not all bad though. You get to see the story develop, and it provides some pretty decent entertainment (for when you would have probably just been watching TV anyway). Plus, I think you might enjoy the sequel more after seeing the original.
So to sum up: You must play Red Alert 2. Playing Red Alert is optional, and is mostly for those obsessed with all things C&C. With the budget release, and the availability of used copies, you can afford to pick this one up even if it's not perfect, though.