The power is in your hands with Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Commander's Challenge - find out how with the game's producer, Wes Eckhart.
Can you provide a brief run-down about the game and what it's about?
Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Commander's Challenge is a fun and tactical experience. Players start out as a Futuretech battlefield commander with access to the three factions from Red Alert 3: Allies, Soviets, and Empire of the Rising Sun. The player then chooses a battle from our global map. Once the player completes that battle, new missions and new units are unlocked.
While the main story path of the game is 13 missions, the full scope of Commander's Challenge is played across 50 sprawling engagements. The order in which you play these missions, and the faction that you choose for each mission, can make all the difference. Better yet, the development team recorded their par times for each mission, giving players the option to try and beat each mission faster than the team here.
How does Commander's Challenge differ from other real time strategy (RTS) games?
The light-hearted nature of the Red Alert 3 universe coupled with highly specialised scenarios make Commander's Challenge a unique RTS experience. Strange and wonderful units like the Soviet Mortar Cycle and the Empire's transforming flying head of death, the Giga Fortress, become focal points for the gameplay. Humorous unit responses and fantastic, over the top powers give the game a playful feel. Topping it off, our live action cinematics feature the opposing generals taunting you at every step of the way.
What sort of person does Commander's Challenge appeal to?
Commander's Challenge was designed to welcome players new to the RTS genre, as well as those who are fans of the Red Alert 3 experience. We also included a tutorial to help get everyone up to speed. The difficulty ramp is easy to get new players interested in the game. As more missions and units are unlocked, players will find they can complete the challenges in many different ways. Experienced Red Alert 3 players will enjoy attempting to beat the par times for each mission, and earning some of the more elusive trophies.
What kind of scenarios can you play?
Each mission in Commander's Challenge is specialised. These scenarios range from bruising tank-only battles, to fighting amidst falling satellites, to facing off against your opponent with shrunken units. An especially terrifying mission takes place on a floating platform. Backed into a corner, you must face an army of Yuriko clones - the Empire's psychic school-girl commando!
What sort of stories/anecdotes came up in the making of the game from having to work with celebrity commanders such as retired American wrestler Ric Flair?
The Nature Boy himself, Ric Flair. He was amazing to work with. Ric absolutely loved the idea of Commander Hill, the character he played. Everyone on set had a great time working with him. I think my favourite moment is when he wore his famous wrestling robe, we all had a good laugh. As a result a little bit of Flair made its way into the character. Woooooo!
What's been the funniest thing to happen in the development of a game which has such a very tongue-in-cheek nature?
The unit responses in the game continue to be an endless source of amusement. While we're deep in development we're used to playing the game with placeholder or no sound at all. When you select a unit they attack, but they don't say anything interesting. Our incredible audio team then begins to add the unit responses, and that's when the tone of the game changes. The first time we heard the final version of the Allied Cryo-Legionnaire the laughter carried throughout the development floor. The dialogue and the actor's delivery were spot on!
What's the most enjoyable part of Commander's Challenge?
I really enjoy the strategic element to figuring out which mission to play first. As more and more missions get unlocked, some are easier to beat than others... depending on what units you've unlocked. It becomes a game of determining which mission to play to get the unit you want to beat the next mission: a game within a game.
What tips do you have for budding commanders?
Three tips for the new player and veteran alike:
Air power is awesome. Units like the Soviet Twinblade and the Empire's Striker-VX Chopper can really make the difference against ground units.
Use the Steel Ronin. The Empire's new Anti-Armour robot is excellent against Allied and Soviet armour. If you're looking at the need to fight a tough ground mission, the Steel Ronin can help you achieve victory.
Don't get bogged down on one mission. Because there are so many missions to choose from, and different units are unlocked with each mission, don't get stuck playing one difficult mission. Instead, play a few other missions and unlock their units. You will often find those new units can help you get passed that troublesome enemy commander.