I mentioned in a couple posts that I was considering getting Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 for my Mac. I'll post a brief summary of my impressions in case anyone's interested. Lemme start off by saying that this is not a serious gaming in any sense of the word. To begin with, the story is delivered with over the top, tongue-in-cheek acting by great actors (J.K Simmons, Tim Curry, George Takei, Jonathan Pryce, need I say more?). The units are are dogs, bears, psychic japanese girls, transformable robots (yes, think "Fate rarely calls upon as at a moment of our choosing"), dolphins, and a few... serious weapons like tanks and little soldiers. It's not realistic, but it's a hell lotta fun. The basic premise is that the Soviet Empire when back in time to kill Einstein to do away with nuclear weapons in the present, but apparently when the commies and the allies were fighting, an advance army called the Empire of Rising Sun (it's as Asian as it sounds, believe me ) secretly formed their army and are ready to take over the world in the awesome Japanese accent The basic elements are there. You have the main hub that builds and handles everything else, the mining equipment, separate structures that build either planes, tanks, or troops. All fighting units have a special secondary attack that you can toggle between the primary attack. Use them strategically to win battles. For example, hydrofoils, apart from being able to shoot down enemy craft, can jam weapons making said enemies entirely defenseless. It's ridiculously satisfying, jamming a tank and tearing it apart with tank's laser. The gameplay's pretty deep. You can have your units take certain stances or maneuvers, they all have strengths and weaknesses you have to balance out. You need to know all your equipment inside and out to reap the most out of them and actually be strategic, instead of building tank after tank and jet after jet, attacking the enemy with full frontal assaults (which will not always work, especially in instances where you have like 5% of the playing field under your control). The GUI is easily navigable, the camera maybe a tad sensitive, but you adapt after the first battle, and there's always the mini-map. There's a set of special attacks/powers/strategic features that you get depending on the threat level. Some include scoping the enemy's bases (since you can't see them without actually having units there), freezing units, or upgrading aircraft. The last feature to gameplay (I'm pretty sure) that's worth mentioning is that you always have an AI character as a co-commando, which you can swap in for an actual friend (more on this later). Oh, and this might pretty heft plus for a lot of you. You're able to play as one of three factions, the Soviet Empire, the Allies, or the Empire of the Rising Sun, each with their signature units and style. On a Mac, the game obviously isn't going to be gorgeous, and it does indeed heat up my MacBook Pro, but even so, the graphics are definitely above average. No cookie cutter graphics, the animations are smooth and are fun to look at. Whether it be your vindicators swooping down and bombing the enemy base, one of your mechas transforming, or simply create a power plant, it's cool. The only time I experienced a lag was when I unplugged my laptop. I'm guessing the system slowed down to save power. I plug it back in, lag went away. I'm positive it looks better on the PC (and obviously, the 360 and PS3). Just talking gameplay, it's awesome. Sending tanks, planes, and guys with little laser blaster things to blow up a reactor is just fun. I mean, what's not to like about sending blimps to the ground, telekinetically attack enemies, and searing soldiers with heat rays? While the first missions are easy, it ramps up pretty quickly. Not to steeply, but it's a challenge by the 3rd challenge. The live-action cut scenes between finishing and starting a new one are almost a reward themselves. It all blends together nicely. There's also the option of co-op with friends or players you can find in the EA lobby to play the actual in-game mission you're on. I registered and tried checking out the lobby, but apparently the code on my (non-existent) CD didn't validate. Something wrong with my activation code apparently? I'll see if I can get this fixed later. So... are there cons? Some, yeah. Unit pathfinding. I'll give my tanks a route to follow, some will go the obvious quick route and start shooting baddies, while others will apparently try out another route that doesn't work, circle around awkwardly, and help out my other tanks that're already molten metal thanks to the stupid ones. Another is the AI itself. The co-commando, while fair competent at holding their ground, when given an order, suck!!!. They build troops every time Haley's comet passes by, and when given an order to help out, they... feebly try to attack a base and end up getting bombed pathetically. Third con, again the AI. While my fighter units usually do a pretty good job at shooting incoming enemies, there'll be moments where I have 15 disposable tanks, and only three shoot at them. I stare at them. "Come on, morons. There's a f***ing huge tanks not 5 feet away from you. Shoot the thug, shoot that freakin' #$#@%&*^!". Afterward, I have to manually select a couple tanks and have them join the intense brawl. And the last one, more Apple's fault than the game. Since the trackpad has no middle button, I can't rotate the screen, which makes it difficult since the battlefield's view isometrically, while the selector uses a box, inherently making me select units I don't want against enemy units they won't win against. It's not that bad though. I didn't mention the chicks in the game, did I? Very, very hawt, and lets just say they don't wear regulation uniform Yeah, yeah, conservatist, sexist, anti-feminist pig. Overall, I give it a 4.8. Subject to change of course, considering I've only played 8 missions so far, but I really don't think it's gonna change considering I've already reach the core gameplay. Whoa, I wrote a lot.