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Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising

Preview: New campaigns, new challenge

Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising is going to feature some "devastating" new units and combat scenarios, according to Amer Ajami, executive producer of EA Los Angeles' upcoming RTS expansion.

Either that or it's just his favourite word because he must have used it about ten times when walking us through some of Uprising's new features.

For those that didn't finish Red Alert 3 or haven't played it - which arguably doesn't matter because this is a standalone expansion - the ending which EALA considers (slight spoiler warning) "canon" saw the Allied forces victorious having successfully beaten back the Soviet invasions and stemmed the tide of the Empire of the Rising Sun.

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"We finished Red Alert 3 and we felt that there was still more to be said," Ajami told us. "We wanted to explore a couple of what ifs - what if the there was an uprising in the Soviet Union? What if Japan decided to fight back against the shackles of the Allies?

"And we also wanted to tell the story of FutureTech, which is this multi-national organisation that plays a pretty big role in Uprising, but was only briefly alluded to in Red Alert 3."

In RA3 the Ruskies went back in time to remove Einstein from history in order to stop the Allies from gaining all of the technological advancements they had in the previous two games, only to return to the present to find that the Allies still had the chrono technology and powerful weapons they used to beat back the Soviets.

"We never really explained why that was the case and we try to shed some light on that question with the FutureTech units in Uprising," said Ajami.

Uprising will continue RA3's story through three campaigns - one for the Allies, one for the Soviets and one for the Empire of the Rising Sun.

It will also feature a fourth bonus campaign focusing on the origins of the Empire's commando Yuriko.

In typical C&C fashion top talent (acting and otherwise) will play its part in the game, which means you'll be able to watch more Gemma Atkinson and Ivana Milicevic alongside a new set of stars.

In addition, Uprising will introduce the Commander's Challenge mode, which will test your skills against nine commanders from different territories in 50 challenges of increasing difficulty.

Ajami described Commander's Challenge as kind of a mix between Red Alert 2's world domination mode and Zero Hour's Generals' Challenge mode.

You only have one mission to start with and a subset of your final tech tree, but as you progress you'll unlock further missions and units.

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The match-up we watched saw Ajami facing off with Kenji and Shinzo, two returning commanders from Red Alert 3.

Having cheated a wad of cash, Ajami set about laying down some foundations on a part of the map not being fought over by the two commanders, and this is where we first glimpsed a couple of Uprising's new units.

There are currently 11 - a bunch for each faction - and a twelfth is under consideration, we were told.

The first we saw was FutureTech's Pacifier hover tank, one of Uprising's fairly mobile new units which can traverse both ground and water.

"The Pacifier's primary mode is an anti-infantry twin gun that's pretty powerful," said Ajami. "Its secondary mode deploys it into an artillery cannon. It can't move when it's in this mode but it's devastating against long-range targets."

Ajami proceeded to clear the mission pretty sharpish and, having done so, a progress bar told us that he was about two percent of the way through the mode.

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