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Operation red menace

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Attention, comrades! Who can withstand the charms of Tim Curry hamming it up with his most overdone Rrrrrrussian accent?

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Ivana Miličević certainly can’t, which is presumably why she can’t keep a straight face during this mission briefing FMV. Call me crazy, but when I can tell people have had a lot of fun making something, I definitely find myself more likely to enjoy the end product. Silly, intentionally hammy video sequences like these are the perfect antidote to the sort of overblown, pompous imitations of Hollywood that we’re increasingly finding in computer games. The fact that the editor had enough of a sense of humour to leave the aforementioned flub in just seals the deal. You can watch the FMV in question on YouTube at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=16Mpc3ux4Wk - skip ahead to 4:25. (Miličević, by the way, appeared in Casino Royale as Mads Mikkelsen’s girlfriend - the one who did very little other than to almost have her arm lopped off. She also played Riley Finn’s annoying wife in that dreadful Season 6 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, As You Were, the only redeeming feature of which was that at least it wasn’t Hell’s Bells, which followed immediately after it. I’m still undecided as to whether her role here constitutes a step up or a step down from these. At least here, she and Tim Curry have fun trying to outdo each other in the “ridiculous accent” stakes.)

Yes, I now own a copy of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. As I mentioned in a previous post, EA have relented somewhat and released a patch for the game, allowing users to deactivate their copies and no longer be limited to the idiotic “five installs only” cut-off. Is the situation ideal? No, it absolutely isn’t. You still have to connect to EA’s server to activate your copy, just so you can play it at all (and that includes the single player mode), which is all well and good until EA either goes down the can or decides to stop maintaining the activation server (whichever happens first), and, in the event of a system crash, preventing you from manually disabling your copy, that means one of your five activations will be lost to the ages. Still, I can’t deny that this is a step in the right direction, and it gives me confidence that EA may, at least, have come round to the fact that their moronic rights management implementation may have done them considerably more harm than good. (Similar deauthorisation tools have also been released for Bioshock and Spore, the latter being the game that kicked off the public backlash against this whole sorry affair. Of course, whether similar tools will be released for Mass Effect, Crysis Warhead et al remains to be seen. Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.)

Still, at least I am now able to enjoy a very fun RTS punctuated by FMV sequences that are every bit as entertaining as the game itself. EA have created a great game here; it’s just a shame they had to turn so many potential customers away from it with their needless DRM.

 
Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Buffy the Vampire Slayer | Cinema | DRM | Games | TV | Technology

 
Comments

1.

Aren't there any cracks available for the game anywhere that can bypass the whole activation process? Of course that would not be legal, but as you said, it would be nice to know that you can still play the game you paid for in 10 or 20 years, if you want to do so.

Sometimes it can be quite nice to revisit an old classic, if only for nostalgic reasons.

Posted by: BobaFett, January 4, 2009 3:41 PM

2.

That’s true. In the event that the servers were taken down, I expect I’d go down that route. It’s really the principle of the thing, though: I don’t see why I should theoretically have to resort to illegal practices just to play a game I’ve paid for.

Posted by: Michael Mackenzie, January 4, 2009 4:08 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 31st 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

http://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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