You see General… TIME is on our side.

Cutscenes in video games always interest me. The short lived craze of FMV games was a really weird era in the history of computer games, but it had a gem or two in there. I know the Dragon’s Lair games take a pummeling from most gamers today, when really they kind of created, defined, and killed their own genre in one move. As video games have grown over time, developers have tried many different styles of in game cinematics. Now… I’m going only for memory here… but I think I may have found the coolest one ever.

Command and Conquer : Red Alert 3 just MIGHT have my favorite opening cutscene ever. It’s at the very least the most fun one in a long time. It needs to be seen by everyone.

For those of you who don’t know, the Red Alert games are a subset of games in the Command and Conquer series. They have always had a sillier plot to them, but similar good ol’ fashioned C&C gameplay. The plot of the first games involved Einstein going back in time and killing Hitler, thus averting World War II. Of course, this unintentionally creates a super heightened comic booky cold war scenario.

How could you not love that.

One of the hallmarks of the C&C games is the way they use real actors as commanders that give you mission briefings and whatnot before each level. With the latest C&C games, both this one and Tiberium Wars, they’ve kicked it up a notch and gotten somewhat well known actors.

Red Alert 3 features Tim Curry as the Russian Premier. How could you not wanna see it JUST from that. I think the developers realized how campy the Red Alert series always has been, and they decided to go way overboard this time. This apparently bothered some fans, but I really didn’t mind it at all. 

The aforementioned opening cutscene shows Premier Cherdenko losing his war with the allied forces. He pulls ones of his generals into a secret part of his facility, and with the help of a russian mad scientist type, he goes back in time to the 1920s. There, they kill Einstein. When they travel back in time to where they started, their office is no longer under attack from the Allies…. but out of nowhere they are attacked by huge amounts of Japanese forces. Since atomic bombs were never created, the Japanese empire have become very… VERY advanced.

What follows is another cutscene that is so over the top and so awesome I don’t wanna ruin it. This might be the first time ever that an otherwise average strategy game has hooked me in so well with its stupid story and intentionally hammy acting. It’s fantastic.

This game is certainly better than Tiberium Wars in terms of gameplay and story, check it out if you’re an old time Command and Conquer person.


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June 2009
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