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Command and Conquer: Yuri's Revenge

Score: 85%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Westwood
Developer: EA Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 8
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

To be honest, there's not much to say here that hasn't already been said in my review of Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2, which isn't surprising--this is an expansion pack, after all. The new units and locations match the ones from the original title perfectly, so there's no cognitive dissonance there. There's no graphical revolution here--it's the same game, with some new stuff and lots of the same stuff.

Pretty much the same can be said for the sound. The new units come with the requisite new sounds, and those are intriguing as always, but other than that, this expansion pack is the same as the original--solid if not memorable music, standard sound effects, good voice acting. The FMVs made me snicker even more than the original Red Alert 2's videos, but intentional camp is indeed well-done, and I think that Yuri is just about as creepy as a human being can get. Brrr.


Well, see, what we have here is an expansion pack. What that means is that, for the most part, Command and Conquer: Yuri's Revenge plays like the original game. Fortunately, enough additions to the original experience have been made that fans of the game should definitely get themselves a copy of this. If Red Alert 2 left you cold, however, this game won't do anything special for you; it's got some intriguing twists on the genre, but for the most part it plays very much like the original game. Groundbreaking changes are not for expansion packs, though, so that really can't be considered a fault of Yuri's Revenge.

If you can't guess from the title, Yuri's Revenge is all about our favourite evil Soviet psychic. He's pissed that the war was lost, and he decides that the best solution to the whole thing is to put the entire world under his mental control and become supreme ruler of the land. Of course, neither the Allies or the Soviets are particularly happy about this turn of events, so the game centers around their campaigns against Yuri.

You read that right. Instead of playing against each other as usual, both the Soviets and the Allies are trying to stop the advances of Yuri's army. It's an intriguing twist on the Red Alert formula, and while I would have liked a 'play from the bad guys' campaign along with the two 'normal side' ones, you can't really fault the single-player component of Yuri's Revenge. There's quite a bit of playtime here, and, of course, there's Yuri.

Yuri's side plays rather unlike either of the original Red Alert 2 camps. It's all about control of the enemy's units, and it takes quite a bit of practice to get good with the unique strategies that this offers. Still, the game manages to never feel particularly imbalanced, and every unit has some weakness that you can exploit for victory. The real place that Yuri's Revenge is going to shine is in the multiplayer aspect, and with the new maps and the new side there's definitely going to be even more variety in the Red Alert 2 multiplayer community.


For those who have completed the single-player campaigns in Red Alert 2, Yuri's Revenge will be challenging but not overwhelmingly so. It takes some getting used to the different balance of units now that the battlefield has shifted, but once that initial learning curve has been overcome the game is definitely doable. A few days of hard play should get one through the entire experience, which is just about right for a good expansion pack.

Game Mechanics:

There's not much of a surprise here either--Command and Conquer: Yuri's Revenge controls a whole lot like the original Red Alert 2 as well. The new units definitely shift the balance of play, and there are a number of other tweaks to the game engine, but these are the sort of things that you expect in any expansion pack. The core of the changes sit with the new side that you can play with, and Yuri's strategems and units are solid additions to the Red Alert arsenal. It's not mind-blowingly different, but it's a refreshing change of pace.

Command and Conquer: Yuri's Revenge is a solid expansion pack. It's got a good bit of new single-player content, lots of multiplayer fun, and some small tweaks to satisfy the truly hardcore gamers. Those who have played and enjoyed the original Red Alert 2 would do well to pick this game up. It's not going to change the original title into some completely different beast, but it's definitely a solid addition, making play all the more intriguing. Good stuff.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 REQUIRED, Win9x/Me/NT4/2K, P2 266, 350MB HD space, 64MB RAM, 16-bit video card with 2MB VRAM, sound card, 4x CD-ROM

Test System:

Athlon 1.1GHz running Win98 SE, 512MB RAM, GeForce 2 GTS w/ 32MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live!, 8x DVD-ROM

Windows Sid Meier's Civil War Collection Windows Comanche 4

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated