So apparently I haven’t done Red Alert yet. I think this is because Hell March basically eclipses the rest of the game’s soundtrack in popular consciousness, which is a shame because the rest of the soundtrack is just as good. The interesting thing about it is its markedly different sound compared to the original Command and Conquer — more electronic/industrial as opposed to electronic/techno. It’s recognisably C&C, but it marks the game out as its own thing. Considering Red Alert looked like a C&C reskin this was very important at the time.
So Red Alert was my first C&C game (my parents refused to let me play the original C&C), but I think it holds up better than many of the subsequent C&C/RA games. Red Alert became synonymous with pantomime, whereas the first game was actually pretty grim, with the first Soviet mission being ethnic cleansing, while in the Allied campaign you witnessed a man have a nervous breakdown. Sure, it plays a lot like C&C, but this is no bad thing.
And yes, Hell March.
The first C&C games are charming in spite of their shoestring budget — they’re B-movie, rather than abject pantomime. As soon as they starting hiring actors like James Earl Jones to phone in performances that couldn’t be more disinterested if they tried the cutscenes became far less interesting to me.