Hack and Conquer
On top of the existing three campaign expansions, Westwood has added a new fourth campaign which focuses on one character in particular; the iconic Yuriko, psychic commando for the Imperial forces.
What sets the Yuriko campaign away from the existing missions in the game is that it’s focused only
on Yuriko. There are no other controllable characters, no base building, no nothin’. It’s far closer to a hack and slash game than an RTS as a result of this, with Yuriko going on a short romp across just a handful of specially made levels.
Starting as prequel to Red Alert 3
, the Yuriko campaign sees the titular titillator awaking in a high-tech padded cell miles beneath the earth. It’s here that she discovers her latent abilities after a lifetime of experimentation and, as a Holly Vallance news report shows, floating cats. Wait, what?
Played like one of the commando missions from the previous game, the interface of the Yuriko campaign has been retooled around the idea of a single-unit singleplayer game, with Yuriko running around trying to get vengeance for what was done to her. It’s far, far gorier and action-orientated than the standard game type – but that’s kind of the point. Only an hour or two in length, the Yuriko campaign is more of a fun distraction than a legitimate campaign, but it works very well.
Offering more long-term enjoyment is a new Commander’s Challenge mode, which once again gives players a chance to step away from any of the traditional three campaigns, this time stepping into the shoes of a Futuretech businessman. To give too much away about Futuretech would be to ruin an awful lot of the story from the other three campaigns, but suffice it to say that it's the stereotypical evil corporation despite how helpful it seems at first.
In the Commander’s Challenge mode your objective is, quite simply, total domination of the other three factions, with each battle unlocking a new technology or mission option for you. In another of those so-fashionable RPG/RTS blends you’re given a bunch of optional objectives and side-quests to undertake, each time getting rewarded with extra funds and weaponry, but the goal is always to take over the world as fast as possible – you’re literally against the clock this time around, with special unlockables available to those with the best time.
All these changes and new ideas do bring their fair share of problems with them though, obviously. The Yuriko campaign is a nice distraction, but with only three levels total it can feel a little underwhelming. The Challenge mode meanwhile is the exact opposite; most players will take so long to get from one end to the other that it’s in danger of becoming tedious.
Depending on the strength of your gaming convictions the actual distribution for the game may end up putting you off too – Electronic Arts is only selling Uprising
digitally and, since it’s EA we’re talking about, that doesn’t mean a painfree Steam or Impulse release. If you want to get hold of a copy then you’ve got to go through the EA Store and, while we certainly found it simple enough, there are plenty of horror stories out there to dissuade the unwary.
Multiplayer is an integral part of the game for many too, so the unusual lack of that in this expansion is a trifle odd and likely a little disappointing for some – though we’ll confess that we’ve always been more keen on the singleplayer stuff. The lack of low-cut tops and FMV makes playing against real people a bit of a turn off.
On the whole though, despite the stunning brevity of some parts of the game and the snooze-worthy length of others, Uprising
is a remarkably solid and adventurous attempt at a Red Alert 3
expansion. It’s reasonably priced and comes with bunch of new skirmish maps and cheesy FMVs to keep you chuckling for a while, which helps balance out the lack of versus or co-op modes.
If, like us, you're mainly interested in the singleplayer campaigns on offer in the Command and Conquer
universe then Red Alert 3: Uprising
is a surprisingly essential purchase, offering a bigger glimpse at the fiction and a chance to really stick your teeth into a series of new gameplay types. We accept that we're the minority though and the fact of the matter is that, for the vast majority of players, the lack of any multiplayer or co-operative options will make Uprising
an expansion that's going to be discarded all-too-soon.