- Date: 17/12/2001 | Author: Astinus
To begin with, what is stealth? Stealth could be classified in many ways, ranging from using the Spy to gain access to their base and execute covert operations such as infiltration of structures – or simply using it as a scout in a gap-shrouded base. It could also be classified as having a medium but extremely visible attacking force as the dummy, while a large attacking force kept as low profile as possible – then attacking when the enemy was unaware.
For the Allies, stealth is certainly possible – against the Soviets. In Yuri’s Revenge, the addition of Yuri makes stealth for the Allies a whole new ballgame. We must carefully remember that not only can the Psychic Radar see through the spies cover, the Spy is not immune to mind-control and can be captured – leading possibly to disaster!!! Of course, the standard Mirage Tank rush can be used freely against the Soviets, as can spies infiltrating the Soviet buildings – meaning devastating power can still be wielded against the Soviets in battle. Finally for the Allies – well, the Americans – they have the extremely adverse power of Airborne and for the rest of the Allies – Paratroops when they gain a Tech Airfield. These can cause immense damage to any base when used in their best role – assault!
Soviets and any form of Stealth technology, is this possible? Does it even sound possible? The answer is probably no – as they do not have many units that fit the bill. Even with the addition of Yuri – certainly the emphasis on Soviets is still brute force and large numbers! However, Ivan and his Soviet army still possess some capability of stealth. They still have the attack submarine, a very potent weapon when used in the correct way – and one could even say that Kirov Airships could be used in a stealthy way. It is originally impossible for the Soviets to get Airborne – but even the Tech Airfield does not do Ivan and his army much use. With the G.I troops of the Allied Para’s – these can deploy and cause massive damage while being reasonably well defended against attack. Unfortunately for the Soviets, their Para’s consist of Conscripts – who cannot deploy, are weak against most attacks and do not get the power-up bonus the G.I gets when he deploys.
Finally we come to address Yuri, the new player in the huge game of global dominance that is otherwise known as Red Alert 2. He certainly has potent units – with many who play on Westwood Online arguing that his units are too strong and should be scaled back to maintain the delicate balance of power in Red Alert 2. Stealth for Yuri is not a major part – certainly the Boomer can engage in stealth roles against Aircraft Carriers and other ships – and the Virus can conveniently hide herself behind a bit of bush to wreak havoc on infantry units – but Yuri is much like the Soviets in many ways. His power comes from the ability to steal units and cause obliterating damage by using those units and his own deadly arsenal against the enemy. His Yuri Prime unit is unmatched – there had better be an alert Prism Tower or Sniper ready to take that out unit. Yuri has another part in Stealth technology – as his Initiates are reasonably powerful with their mind attacks. When Yuri is able to take control of a Tech Airfield, it could be very alluring to think he cannot do much damage. With a not so carefully defended base, his Initiates could destroy a large part, so be warned.
Overall, how do they all match up – and is stealth dead in Real-time strategy games? Certainly the Allies have the leading edge, with beefed up Airborne, Mirage Tanks and the ever so wonderful Spy. Their dolphins are excellent at destroying waterborne units and reasonable against the water based buildings. With the Soviets, stealth should probably not be considered an option for land-based assaults. Certainly the Attack sub has its uses, but you are not going to wipe out a player with just a submarine! Their paratroops (airfield) just do not match up to the other players – but certainly getting a Kirov close to an enemy’s base by avoiding their radar areas and then killing is stealth!!! As for Yuri, stealth does not really come into things. He does not have a shrouding capability, nor does he have any units that are invisible or disguise themselves on the screen. He does have the Boomer, which is a slight improvement on the Attack Sub – but his power certainly lies with the ability of mind-control.
Is stealth dead in RTS games? Certainly not – many games employ stealth and in ways Red Alert 2 is just another of the games where stealth is used – although not all that much! When there was no Yuri player, the Spy was a very strong weapon in battle, although now it is only useful against Soviets and everyone knows the defence for spies. Certainly stealth usability has gone down in RA2: YR – but it is still there and the players still have this deadly ability to use!