Red Alert 3 Original Soundtrack Review

  • Name: Red Alert 3 Original Game Soundtrack

  • Label: N/A (Included with Red Alert 3 Premier Edition)

  • Composer(s): Frank Klepacki, James Hannigan and Timothy Michael Wynn

  • Number of Tracks: 44

When I heard that there was a Red Alert 3 original soundtrack coming out and that Frank Klepacki was returning to do some of the tracks (unfortunately, not enough IMHO!) I knew that I just had to pre-order the Premier Edition of Red Alert 3. A few days before its release in Australia, people were already posting some snippets of the music on YouTube and to be honest I started feeling a sense of dread. Hell March 3 didn't seem as good, there seemed to be too much orchestral music for a Red Alert game and overall the tracks didn't seem funky enough.

So was this album going to be a total flop, a blasphemy to what Frank Klepacki laid out in his excellent compositions for the previous Red Alerts? Or will the new direction actually fit this latest iteration of Red Alert to the tee?
Artistic Merit (61%)
Red Alert Music/Frank Klepacki purists when first hearing Hell March 3 may also share the sense of dread I felt. It's basically a remix of the Hell March 2 theme (which IMHO is inferior to the original Hell March) and not only that, they got a live orchestra to play parts normally reserved for an electric guitar and it just sounded clumsy. At first, I thought the From First to Last remix of the original Hell March was far superior (and it still is one of my favourite tracks on the album), however, Hell March 3 started to grow on me and I can now see its merits and how it fits with the rest of the album as a whole.

Lots of music in this album uses orchestral music and to great effect on some tracks. The most noticeable of these is the first track on the album, Soviet March. If you weren't listening carefully enough you might mistake it for the real thing, although apparently the choir they used on the track were singing lyrics that would sound rather silly in Russian. There's also a nice reprise of this track later in the album too :).

The rest of the album consists of many short pieces that are mostly mission music. The interesting thing about Red Alert 3's music is that it changes it depending on how well the battle is going for you. There'd be "neutral" music, winning battle music, losing battle music and even music dubbed "Up Yours!" music by the composers, which is played whenever you are subjected to an enemy's superweapon (these tracks are amongst my favourites).

Value (100% - Good)
Besides the problem with availability at the current time (hopefully you'll be able to buy the album separately in the near future) the value of the album is pretty good. To purchase the Premier Edition here in Australia you usually have to pay $20 more than the normal price of Red Alert 3 and I think it's $20 well spent, just on the album. However, consider you get a bunch of other goodies with the Premier Edition (e.g. "Making Of.." movies, extra maps, a poster, a beta key, etc.) and it's looking like even better value.

Length (100% - Good)
No complaints about the length. In fact, this soundtrack has even more tracks than the last soundtrack I reviewed! Once again, many tracks are very short (1-2mins) but altogether there's a decent amount of music here.

Total Score: 87%
For those wanting the album, the only way I know you can acquire it is buy ordering RA3 the Premier Edition. There should be several stores selling it though.

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