FEATURES: Roundtable Discussion #16 – January 2009 (Fan Only – Red Alert 3 Uprising Special)

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It’s a Fan Only edition of our regular Roundtable feature. Once again we have opened the Roundtable up to the fans, no webmasters or staff from other C&C fan sites for this one. Listed below are the people participating on the panel for this month.

Question 1) Red Alert 3 Uprising is coming in March, what are your initial impressions of this expansion pack?

Immortal_Joker: My initial impression was and I got to be honest “ALREADY!?” because it has been only 4 month since the release of Red Alert 3 but when I read what will be in the expansion I became very interested including the mini campaign of the origins of Yuriko not to mention the new units for both the Empire an Allies somehow I believe they are holding back on the Soviets.

Silverthorn: I am surprised to see this one coming, although I haven’t see any details of Yuri yet. But let’s not jump into an instant conclusion, hopefully the dev team will explain more about him in the future. If he’s gone permanently, be my guess. If he’s coming back, woo, give me give me give me some. I also hope they do something a little more serious rather than applying silliness, but once more screenshots coming in. I’ll take a look and see how.

TSHyper: Honestly? “Ooo another logo to remake” lol. But really, im quite looking forward to it, seeing as its campaign driven and i have always been a fan of the campaigns in C&C games. Even though i have no completed RA3 yet (oh no!), RA3 impressed me a lot with the FMVs, so i think Uprising will turn out just fine.

Inferno: To me it’s a small single player focused expansion. I definitely like the looks of the Commander’s Challenge, especially since the the General’s Challenge was one of my favorite parts of Zero Hour. The new units look crazier than ever, but I guess that’s the direction EA is taking with the Red Alert franchise ;P

Red Blitzkrieg: Well I sorta expected a bigger expansion, maybe the addition of Yuri. But I’m not complaining sense we get to find out about Yuriko and see more development of the story. Call me a die hard Red Alert fan but I think this will be a good expansion.

XonURhed: I personally do not play much of the single player missions. So I am not thrilled that single player is being released first. That said alot of people in my clan say they plan on purchasing.

SethSteiner: I have mixed feelings about the addon. On the first sight it looks very nice and smooth, but it needs more than that to impress me. The story needs a good resumption and that isn’t easy if I think about the videos in Red Alert 3. Till now, I think we will get a nice expansion pack, but I don’t see a new Yuris Revenge and that was one of the best addons in history. If Uprising wants to be on the top, it needs excactly that subject of matter.

Gos_ultima: The graphic’s and gameplay look to be good, there are some interesting new units and weapons and it’s keeping in with the same style which is very important. As far as I know there wont be any new factions which is very disapointing, but this could be made up for as long as there is a lot of new units for each faction rather then 2-3 new units like on Kane’s Wraith. Last I heard there was 30 in total which is think is quiet adiquate as long as the balance is well tested. A game will stay interesting if there are more units and interesting special abilities because theres always going to be something you haven’t build in a while and want to have another go with.

Question 2) Does the lack of any multiplayer in Red Alert 3 Uprising bother you, and do you think it could hurt the popularity of the expansion pack when its made available?

Immortal_Joker: Oh definitely. Command & Conquer is not just well known for its gritty campaigns and campy movies but it’s well known for its intense multiplayer because we all know fighting the AI can get boring a bit so thats why there is multiplayer so you can compete against your friends and others from around the world and only having the skirmish stay in this expansion and take out the multiplayer will disappoint a lot of fans who play online.

Silverthorn: I’m not really sure about that since I’m an offline savvy as well as now a busy working adult, who can no longer be part of any online gaming due to lack of free time everyday. So, like, no comments. Sorry.

TSHyper: For the first question, not really. As i said above, i like the campaigns more, I suck at multiplayer games, so Uprising not having a multipayer does not hinder me much lol. As for the second, i dont really know, there are many people out there as you know who just LOVE a multiplayer game, so they might be a tad upset on that, but they still have RA3. You win some you lose some.

Inferno: Well I can’t speak for other people, but I personally love the focus on Single Player, I’ve never really enjoyed RA3 multiplayer that much to play it regularly. Especially with the new Commander’s Challenge, it should take up quite a few hours of my time πŸ™‚

Red Blitzkrieg: Not really, although playing online is fun and all it should be noted that early games didn’t have online capability so in a sense I don’t really care in the slightest.

XonURhed: I am kinda mixed on that one my fellow clansman Gho$tF@ce seems to think that most people buy this game for the single player missions mostly. I think it might hurt the online community who like to have new units and content to play online.

SethSteiner:I can’t complain about the lack of multiplayer. Sure, it is a little pity, that the great oppurtinity to play in the coop mode isn’t possible in the addon, but it’s quite negligibly to me. The most time I play strategy games alone or in LAN, so every expansion pack I bought was to follow the further development of the game. As long as we have new maps and mods, I don’t think it could hurt the popularity in any way.

Gos_ultima: The game need’s to have the full multiplyer experience, without this I think EA will be cutting there sales in half. Most players like the multiplyer and online feature more the the actual campian mode. I would prefer a full expantion pack with more factions and full muliplyer facilities rather then getting a cheaper and earlier game. The first thing I did when i heard there was no multiplayer was make a poll on C&C.com saying do we want multiplyer in the game even if we have to wait longer for it and the result was: 44 want multiplyer added even if it takes longer and 14 want to sooner without. I wont buy the game if there is no multiplyer facility because thats where the games real value comes in, you can play online for 2 years and not get bord but the campain gets boring after a week.

Question 3) Red Alert 3 Uprising will only be available as digital download in March? Will this influence your decision to buy it?

Immortal_Joker: Not really for there will be a retail version so if I am not able to digitally download it in March. I have the patience to wait for the retail version instead of downloading it in the end it will not influence my decision to buy.

Silverthorn: With me already back in Malaysia, where the currency is a lot lower than the Western counterpart, it does influence my decision and I fear I could not buy it. Worse, with it as a digital download, I fear it’s most likely a no. Original DVD, yes, but as a digital download, woo, not really sure.

TSHyper: Now, this im not so happy with, i like to have hard copies of things I buy, especially games. Digital downloads i have never been fond with, but if its the only way to get a hold of Uprising, then there is no other choice… Hopefully they will change their mind and release a retail version, if not, I’ll mega spam APOC on Facebook until he gets it done πŸ˜‰

Inferno: Well I’d have preferred getting a DVD case and a manual and all that, but EA got me enthousiastic enough to just buy it anyway πŸ˜‰

Red Blitzkrieg: Not in the slightest, I mean a expansion is a expansion no matter how you get it. Plus, don’t have to worry about any special or collectors editions.

XonURhed: Yeah I was dissapointed with that fact as I have a very vast collection of C&C offerings. I just like to know that I have a physical disk for future installs and nastalgia reasons.

SethSteiner:Yes it does. I don’t want to fill my hard disk with all games I own. Yes I got a terrabyte hard disk, but not even the half of my collection fit in it, I need to uninstall games sometimes. So I will wait till EA releases the addon how it should be, in an amarray or better in a steelbook (it should match to my premiere edition) on a nice DVD disk, with a manual and maybe the one or other extra and please, please a cover same as good as the last one with a hot female!

Gos_ultima: This is a major issue with the game. A lot of players dont want to download the game. They like to have a tangable copy of the game that will last forever, a nice booklet to read with some artwork for the new units and some people can’t download or don’t trust a downloading system as they don’t have enough experience with this kinda of system. Personally I wont get the game if it’s for download only. I don’t have experience downloading game’s and wouldn’t trust it. I also can’t because I live in hall’s at university so my downloads are blocked and I only have a basic internet connection. I also like to have hard copies in case my computer needs to be formated or if there is a problem installing and would have to waste a download every time i do this, which is a risk if you have any problems with your computer which result in it wasted downloads. If you had unlimited downloads then it wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Also I think having a decent case and booklet and buying the game from the store is part of the experience, its exciting and it makes you feel like you have purchased the game and supporting the company who made it. If it’s just available for download it would take this experience away.

Question 4) Both Holly Valance (playing news reporter Brenda Snow) and Malcolm McDowell (playing the US President) have been revealed as actors in Red Alert 3 Uprising. How do you feel about these actors joining the Red Alert 3 cast?

Immortal_Joker: Ok I will admit it I loved the Dead or Alive movie it is a small guilty pleasure of mine Holly Valance is HOT!! I have nothing against having reporters in Command & Conquer it worked in Red Alert 2 with the Soviet missions and I liked them in Tiberium Wars so it will be intriguing to see what they have in store for her in this game. Malcolm McDowell, I have known that guy since the Wing Commander Franchise (no the movie with Freddie Prinze Jr. doesn’t count). Having him as the new U.S President shocked me I would have thought he would be the new Field Marshall who succeeded Bingham or became the British Prime Minister but seeing him as the Commander and Chief of the United States who knew? I hope he has a good reason why people voted for him haha.

Silverthorn: Holly is an ok choice for me since the last actress who also played the same role for Tiberium Wars. So I don’t have a lot of comments on that. As for Malcolm, still not much of a comment. But the one thing that really makes me feel weird is, what happened to David Hasselhoff the Vice President? He said he’ll take the role as the new US President, but how come Malcolm now becomes the new US President instead in this expansion. I don’t understand why did EA do something like that unless they have a clear reason why, although that news topic was not very hot, but I’m sure fans like us will see that coming and it’s pretty obvious and asking after seeing that news coming : “What?! What happened to David Hasselhoff?”

TSHyper: I have never been a big fan of Holly Valance, other than her music… videos… but we dont have to go into that lol. But I think she will be ok, its only a basic role in sense. Malcolm McDowell, never heard of him until i Google’d his name and found out hes one of the dudes from Clockwork Orange… And hes english, so its all good πŸ˜‰ Overall, I’m quite positive, i think EA have done well since C&C3, RA3 had a good cast from what I have played of the campaign.

Inferno: Personally I don’t really care about the cast, as long as they perform well πŸ˜›

Red Blitzkrieg: I’ve never seen either act but have heard Malcolm McDowell’s voice in several shows and in Fallout 3. So I think McDowell as the American president is quite the good call. As for Holly, eh I’ll just have to wait and see.

XonURhed: I am not aware of the plot behind uprising but “JJ” the president in RA3 was really kewl! And Holly is HOT so can’t hurt on her end.

SethSteiner: It’s always nice to hear, that those hot actresses or cool actors join the stuff. The only thing I feel bad at is, what is with future games and why not the Hoff as U.S. President? The only returning character at the moment is Kane in the Tiberium Universe. It would be nice to see Yuri coming back, of course played by the German actor Udo Kier.

Gos_ultima: I don’t know, I don’t really care much about the cast as long as they can act. I think the major thing to consider is keeping the same cast. If there willing to stay for a number of games they will be necognised and have real character within the story I.E Kane. The thing that made C&C’s storyline was Kane, they found a decent actor that has been there since the start and he has a real presence, on GDI’s side there was noone, they changed the cast every game so you didn’t have much passion for them. I don’t know the names of half the C&C characters because there only there for one game. If there in it for longer you start to understand them more and builds up there character.

Question 5) If you have completed the entire Red Alert 3 campaign, what did you think?

Immortal_Joker: I loved it, very challenging an I love the build modes for each faction but I wish the the missions would be a little bit longer. I also loved the cutscenes especially the ones with Natasha in it (i got a soft spot for Gina Carano heh) she can kick my a** anytime. The one soviet mission I loved was the mission where I had to defeat Cherdenko after he betrayed me, for the Allies without a doubt had to be the mission to stop Ackerman at Mt. Rushmore and for the Empire there are too many but defending Pearl Harbor was my favourite. Credit to EA for making a great addition to the franchise with Red Alert 3 the missions are great but short, the music is awesome cause I love metal music and I wished Frank composed more than just a couple and last but not least Red Alert 3 has the best cast ever and I hope they continue with Uprising and any other Command & Conquer game that is being made in the future.

Silverthorn: It feels great, back in the older C&C games, I played the same missions with the same ways again and again. It bores me. But as for the RA3 campaign, it’s good, I can finish each mission with different ways of playing & finishing them. Like the last Allied mission, I can finish the last objective by either a C4, carpet bombs or spam numbers of Vindicators, many possibilities if you do the math. I hope you all enjoy all that many possibilities you find, these may come in handy for your walkthroughs.

TSHyper: Ah, as I said in the first question, have not yet completed the campaign yet for a number of reasons, but I have had many chances too lol. I suppose now its one of my “late” new years resolutions to do so. But I can tell you what I think of it so far, and I think it’s very good! Feels a lot like RA2 in places and RA1 in others, with a little pinch of seroiusness added. I would mark it down as one of my favorite campaign styles from the C&C fanchise πŸ™‚

Inferno: I loved the long and epic cutscenes, the mission diversity and the story, but it’s not perfect yet πŸ˜› Points that they can improve on:

  • Missions closer to each other, like not having a mission in Europe and then the next mission in East-Asia. That would definitely help in the sense of the actual campaign feeling instead of loose missions.
  • Difficulty: the final missions should have been a lot tougher, to feel more like you’ve accomplished something.
  • Indoor missions: this is definitely something from RA1 that I think should have returned in RA3.

Red Blitzkrieg: I must say that while nothing like the last two I still find it quite enjoyable. I rather like the acting; while some say it’s corny I can’t really see it, maybe it’s because I’m in blissful ignorance of playing a new Red Alert game with cool units, but anyway you slice it Red Alert 3 is a worthy addition to the franchise even if it is a bit zanier than the last.

XonURhed: I really never bought the games for there story content. I have been diehard online lets get it on type of player. I do however like the cast that they chose for the story. I did play like half the missions with clan buddys and we did enjoy it. It brought a new element to C&C that was really fresh I hope they continue with it the single player campaign might grow on me one day.

SethSteiner: The campaigns of Red Alert 3 were an improvement if I look Back to Tiberium Wars and Generals but still I don’t feel comfortable. The story was bad and with bad I don’t mean trash-bad, i mean really bad. The look now is better, it is more fun because we don’t have a dumb religious brothershood and a Space-GDI. But the lack of Albert Einstein, the whole betrayal thingy, the lack of a real actress for Yuriko (and an average voice actress for her), to less CGI videos in the quality of the beginning and the confusing campaigns bother me. The Soviet campaign was nice, but not inventive and the ending was ****, why can’t Dasha be sexy like Lt. Sophia? Not that she isn’t hot, but Eva is flirting with me and even Tanya pulling me in more then Dasha does. And don’t forget Natasha, she hardly didn’t appear in that game. In the end, the Japanese campaign was the better one, but the whole “we need do destroy all!” and “no we don’t” was frustrating. I think it sounds more awfull as it is, but Uprising and new C&Cs need a better storytelling, it needs more CGI. If I think about Red Alert, I want Einstein back, Russian girls who want me (with better ending video) and maybe as new party the Germans or a weird combination of Russians and Germans πŸ˜‰

Gos_ultima: The first thing was the movies, the graphics where amazing but there wasnt enough videos in my opinion. They should have a clip of something relating to the mission after each mission you complete like in earlier C&C games. I.E . a video of a Kirov dieing after the Allied 2nd to last mission to destroy Kirovs. I think the storyline needs a lot of work. In older C&C games, the storyline wasn’t about the missions but it was about a war and had betrayal E.G. Red Alert 1 it was really Kane who caused the Soviet war and shocking clips I.E . C&C, Seth being killed by Kane and the Crazy Ivan attack in Red Alert 2. My favourite moments are when your surprised by something you didn’t know or something amazing happens I.E. Einstein killing Hitler, that was a really interesting intro for the first game. And when you fail the mission to capture the chronosphere in Red Alert 1 and Stalin threatens to kill you for failing.

Red Alert 3 had nothing like this, they had attempts but they wheren’t built up properly or exciting. It was mainly an actor attempting to be supriced by something I.E. the Premier has gone mad and the President has gone mad etc. The Premier should have been shot and that would be exciting, so you dont know if he’s going to die or a soldier bursting into a room and trying to kill him etc. Gun fire though a window is weak. There needs to be more action and drama and personality of the characters with a few interesting twists in the storyline and some technology brought in I.E . development of new technology and show plans for it and talk about it etc in the storyline like the older games. The only good bit was the start, the Empire video was epic which their massive army and the Hell March music was very well used. The first Allies video was pretty good and gave good insight to the story with Sickles and Apoclypse Tanks taking over Europe. And the point then they relise the Empire of the Rising Sun is attacking was good too.

The campaign was good but wasn’t exciting enough and risk taking enough. Games when your under attack from millions of tanks and armies and the storyline is to teleport your MCV away and you get about 4 seconds to do it so its really exicting but you can just manage it. And theres a point then Tanya is trapped in a building being fired at but no clip of her under fire or anything so there no insentive to save her, I just left her there. And the sub mission isn’t worth completing. Having 3 endings depending on how many you complete would be good.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by each individual in the Roundtable Discussion are their own, and do not reflect the official view of CNCNZ.com, unless otherwise stated.
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