Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

I’ve recently been overcome with nostalgia and revisited several of my favourite games from “back in the day”. Some of  EA and Westwood’s Command & Conquer games are among those that hold a special place in my heart, but not all. I’m quite particular about which of the series I like; namely Red Alert 1 and 2 along with Generals and their respective expansion packs. Yes, I admit it, I don’t care very much for the Tiberium games. Sorry.

Anyway, many moons ago, I used to tinker under the bonnet of Red Alert 2, modifying its config files to produce amusing results, like flying cows that could rapid-fire nuke shells across the map with a sniper rifle. I also used to build maps for it, but as I’ve had several computers that each saw multiple hard-disc wipes since the days when Red Alert 2 was in its prime, I’ve long-since lost them all. So, yesterday I decided to make a new one. Just to see if I still could.

After a little searching, I found the semi-official map editing tool, Final Alert 2, and set about rebuilding one of the multiplayer/skirmish map designs I’d once made from memory. It was loosely inspired by one of my favourite maps from Cavedog’s Total Annihilation, “Shore 2 Shore”. Read on to see how it turned out.

Shore 2 Shore Tribute

In fact, it’s probably easier if I just show you.

Base construction takes place in the paved industrial areas, with a central ore field and nearby tech buildings to capture.

The two sides of the map are separated by a body of water, so this map favours aerial/amphibious assaults. In the centre is an island to fight over. It is heavily fortified by independent forces, but rich in valuable tech.

Intense fighting takes place on the beaches, since it's bad news for the defending team if the enemy can secure a foothold.

Paratroopers obtained from these airfields are crucial for mounting a successful offensive.

I suspect that this is the most recent map for RA2: Yuri’s Revenge in existence ;) but you never know what the community might be up to. I actually surprised myself with how quickly I was able to build it, as I was expecting to have forgotten how to use the editor entirely after all these years. Not only that, but I feel that my new version is a significantly better in design than what I remember of the original. Of course, it looks all the better in the actual game, rather than in the editor.

The invasion begins.

The Allies are crushed by the Soviet iron fist as they are bombed into oblivion by Kirov airships.

Collateral damage as the central island has been ravaged by fighting.

Note that the difference in lighting between the editor and game is intentional (the editor is unable to show lighting changes). I placed the cliffs, shorelines and trees manually for better quality, so that there would be less repetition in the tiles and more precision in their shape. I will probably publish the map if there are still fan sites that host them.

One reason that multiplayer maps are relatively quick to build for RA2 is because they don’t require much (if any) scripting, unlike singleplayer missions. Perhaps my next map will be a scripted mission now that I have reintroduced myself to the editor. More likely, however, is that this post will be the first in a series of maps I make for a variety of games, since I have recently been considering building one for Relic’s Company of Heroes as well.

Download

If this post has rekindled your thirst for some retro C&C action, I’m delighted – all the more so if you’ve got Yuri’s Revenge installed and want to play my map! You can get it from the following link:

RA2:YR Shore 2 Shore – Multiplayer/Skirmish Map (.ZIP, 130 KB).

Simply extract it into your RA2 installation folder, run the game, look for my map in the list of available skirmish maps (it’ll probably be at the bottom, it’s called “Shore 2 Shore”), and off you go!

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One thought on “Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

  1. this is amazing, where can I get this version, I’d love to fix some of the issues the game has with frame rate, I love the look of the units, also you did an awesome job man.

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