Oh man.. where to begin? Longtime UCD readers already know what a large fan I am of this game (and in fact how much I kick ass at it.) So forgive me if this review is a little fanboyish, but this is simply the greatest RTS game I've ever played, hands down.
The Story: After the Allied Victory the Soviet Union is dissolved and Premier Vladimir Romanov is imprisoned in the tower of London. The world is finally at peace, however Yuri the diabolical psychic madman takes this opportunity to enact his own plan for world domination. Yuri activates a network of Psychic Dominators placed around the world in secret to control the minds of every living human being. A last minute air strike destroys a single dominator, allowing the Allied High command to escape into the past with Einstein's chronosphere time machine to go back and destroy Yuri's army before he can take over. The Allied missions seem to take place concurrently to the missions in Red Alert 2, while the Soviet Missions diverge significantly. In fact one of the missions titled "Deja Vu" is in fact an Allied Mission from Red Alert 2 where instead of protecting the Chronosphere you play as the Soviets in an attempt to destroy it.
Each mission has the standard FMV briefing, each which is a mix of live actors in sets coupled with CGI cutscenes of various units from the game battling and blowing each other up. Many of the same actors return from Red Alert 2 and the acting and dialog is handled with the same amount of campiness. These FMV sequences are cheesy, but are high res and the CGI is excellent.
In the interest of saving time I will not reiterate all of the Allied and Soviet units and such from the main game as most of them remain unchanged, however there are a few major additions. New for the Allies is the GI Guardian, who is armed with a light rifle but when deployed attacks with a heavy rocket launcher. As the anti-tank infantry the Guardian cannot be run over. The Allies also get the Battle Fortress, which is a very, very, very large tank - a tank that is so large it can in fact run over other tanks. Cool thing about this unit is that any infantry placed inside of it adds to it's firepower, so five Guardians inside of the Battle Fortress will allow it to fire with five rockets. Best thing about the BF is that it fires independently of the direction it's moving, thus making a ranked BF with five ranked Guardians the most powerful unit in the game. Allies also get a Robot Tank that can hover over water and is immune to Mind control.
Soviets lose out a bit in the Deal. They lose all of Yuri's psychic and bioengineering technology (Psychic beacons, Yuri clones, Cloning Vats, etc) but retain the mind controlled Squid for some reason. The Soviets gain the Battle Bunker, which is essentially a building that can be garrisoned with troops. Most significant Soviet additions are the Siege Choppers, which is a helicopter that when deployed fires a long range cannon (which is good as before this Soviets had no real air power) and Boris, who is like the Soviet counterpart to Tanya. Boris cannot swim but has the ability to call in an air strike from a distance, thus allowing him to destroy base defenses like Prism towers or Tesla Coils without being harmed.
Best of all this expansion pack gives us Yuri's army, which is a whole new side to play as. Yuri uses mind control, genetic manipulation, and chainguns, for some reason.
Any problems with the game? Well.. there are no single player missions for Yuri, which blows. Another bad thing is that Yuri's army is so powerful that most people refuse to play him online - calling Yuri "Cheap" and "Cheating." True the odds seem to be stacked in Yuri's favor, his ability to mind control, shut off base defenses, steal credits from refineries, etc make him very strong. But overall the three sides seem pretty balanced. There really is no inherent advantage that one side has that cannot be defeated with strategy and the right combination of units.
Overall an excellent game, good single player missions (that don't take themselves too seriously) and truly excellent multiplayer. As with the rest of the C&C series this expansion pack has recently been re-released in the C&C: The First Decade bundleware pack. Here's hoping C&C 3 lives up to this standard.