EA co-ops Red Alert 3 on PC, 360, PS3

Stalinist Command & Conquer spin-off confirmed for latest consoles, will sport full cooperative campaign with "lighthearted" storyline; beta to be bundled with Kane's Wrath.

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Less than 24 hours after Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 was first revealed, Electronic Arts has officially announced the game. Like Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, the real-time strategy title will also be available for the Xbox 360. However, unlike its predecessor, Red Alert 3 will join World in Conflict on the PlayStation 3, marking the expansion of the traditionally PC-centric RTS genre onto another console.

In addition to divulging Red Alert 3's platforms, EA has revealed some details about the game itself. First and foremost, the game will sport "a fully cooperative, story-driven campaign." But, to the delight of some and disappointment of others, said story will be in the "lighthearted style" of Red Alert 2, which emphasized blackly humorous Soviet-era buffoonery during its live-action cutscenes.

Like in the previous Red Alert games, the plot in Red Alert 3 will concern some ill-advised time travel altering the course of history. In this case, the leaders of the crumbling Soviet Union use an Eastern European answer to the Wayback Machine in an attempt to retroactively prevent Russia's defeat in the Cold War. Instead, the era-hopping Soviets set up an alternate timeline that sees Japan secure its Pacific Rim empire without sparking World War II. The result is a near-future World War III between the European-American Alliance, the Soviet Union, and the Empire of the Rising Sun.

Red Alert 3's alternate timeline has also produced alternate technologies. Combined with the game's overt humor, the new tech will see the war fought with "wacky and wonderful weapons," such as "tesla coils, war blimps, teleportation, armored bears, intelligent dolphins, floating island fortresses, and transforming tanks." As befits a war in the Pacific Ocean, the game will also have a heavy emphasis on naval combat.

Though it launched the official Red Alert 3 Web site today, EA has not yet announced Red Alert 3's release date. However, those who purchase the limited edition of Tiberium Wars or its Kane's Wrath expansion pack will receive an invitation to the game's beta test, which is scheduled for later this year.

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