Glorious People’s RTS

So I’ve gone a few days without a backlog status update, which isn’t that much of a surprise since I do have, you know, classes and all that.

That’s not the only reason, though.  See, I’ve been experimenting with an RTS game, which is a genre that I haven’t touched since the original Starcraft.  I understand that there’ve been one or two since then.

Wait.  I did play through Giants: Citizen Kabuto, which had some kinda RTS-like sequences.  I’m not going to count it, though.

The one I’m banging away at right now is Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3.  It’s something like the dozenth Command and Conquer game released since 1995, and since I’ve never played any of the previous games I’m sure I’m missing something.  The story revolves around time travel and Tim Curry acting goofy and a whole lot of attractive female actors/models who have been hired to wear their shirts unbuttoned and lean forward at the camera a lot.  Also, George Takei is in it, and he’s pretty awesome.  It’s not the World’s Deepest Story, but I’m liking it.

Each faction – and here I’ll admit that I’ve only played through about half the game, so I’m not even to the Japanese faction yet – has an array of vehicles representing the best of B-grade Science Fiction movies and 1980s transforming mecha anime designs.  You also get a few different types of infantry, and they’re thankfully imbued with personality.   I’m particularly found of the Engineer classes each faction gets.

The missions are extremely varied – there are missions where your objective is to build up a massive tank force and steamroll an enemy base, there are missions where you’re escorting unarmed British superspies past cybernetically enhanced Russian bear soldiers.

I’m making it a little harder on myself than it could be, by refusing to switch to “easy”.  The option’s right there on the mission select screens, but damn if I’m not trying to play through the whole thing on Normal so I can feel just a little more manly.

Probably not much more manly.  But some.

Anyway, feeling manly is coming at a price: time. I’ve been playing a mission or two every night for the last 9 nights, and I don’t always win.  If I’m honest, I probably get stuck in an unwinnable situation about half the time I play, so I’m only at  around 60% of the way through the game.  If I wrap it up in the next week, I’ll be quite surprised.

I have the mini-expansion, “Uprising”, that I could play through after I finish the main game.  That’s something I don’t usually like to do, go right from a game into its sequel, but I think it might be better to do it before I’ve forgotten how to play.

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