And yet, despite all our problems with game, there is fun to be had. Each faction has a series of Secret Protocols that can be unlocked throughout a battle, granting a player access to a variety of gleefully destructive, and potentially game altering, super weapons. At its best, with a large scale air assault hammering an enemy base into dust while a gravity well deals with the hapless ground forces, Red Alert 3 can come across as the gaming equivalent of a Michael Bay summer blockbuster - loud, pretty and crowd-pleasing.
In the end, though, Red Alert 3 needs more than a pretty face to compensate for its "love-me-'cos-I'm-funny" personality and intermittently irritating gameplay. Too much flash, not enough substance.