It's big, it's beautiful, it's tense, it's fast, it's fun. Supreme Commander is the type of creation that makes you proud to be a gamer
It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s tense, it’s fast, it’s fun. Supreme Commander is the type of creation that makes you proud to be a gamer.
Shields can save your shiny metal behind
The industry of war!
Legions of fans have been awaiting the release of
this truly colossal battle-fest; it just has all the right ingredients
for a spectacular real-time strategy with staggering tactics. Not
since Total Annihilation has the gaming universe had the joy of
smashing mass robot armies into one another and unleashing weapons of
Graphically Supreme Commander is a
beauty with all those lovely units stomping, rolling and blasting about
the battlefield, and that’s before they even get a chance to let their
guns do the negotiating. With such a huge number of units capable of
pouring into the field, the developers have done a fantastic job of
keeping things tight performance wise. Of course on large maps with
high unit limits things can start to feel heavy, as more and more
structures are forged the CPU is really going to get a work out.
best, or perhaps I should say the most useful feature of Supreme
Commander, is the fantastic camera and being able to quickly survey the
entire theatre. A simple roll of the mouse wheel lets you get a close
up taste of some mega units, which are surprisingly detailed well
considering the numbers you can churn out. Zooming all the way out
gives a simple overview of the battle and lets you co-ordinate units
from there, it’s a fantastic way too notice any sneak attacks or
full-scale armadas coming your way.
This game gives its all,
while you will be initially setting up your base and getting your gears
ready for war, the intensity you can put yourself through when crunch
time arrives is outstandingly rewarding. The more you invest into
infrastructure and defence the better as it will then be you hopefully
pounding on your neighbours’ door. Watching their shield generators
fail and you pummelling their perimeter defence lines, especially if
they look expensive, is nothing short of smirk-worthy satisfaction.
Commander *cough* Total Annihilation 2: Taylor Strikes Back *cough*
follows a now classic games footsteps in “commandering”. While many
other games allow players to advance their arsenal through building new
advanced buildings, here you must upgrade your existing factories to
get a hold of tech 2 and finally tech 3. A great way to save space as
the upgraded factories can produce all tech level units, and ones that
aren’t making anything can be assigned to assist another with its tasks.
assisting order is extended to units as well where combat units will
take this to mean “guard”, construction units will travel around and
help construct. Given the large number of defences you can slap around
the map you’ll most likely being using the assist option a lot, plus
tech 3 facilities can be a real drag time-wise to build. Of course the
more things being built the costlier the process to mass and energy.
Fantastic and easy map camera
A Supreme Commander gating in
the future holds only two main resources for Supreme Commanders to be
concerned about; energy and mass. Energy can be simply generated from
power plant structures from low tech 1s, to the much larger tech 3
power reactors. Mass is collected from veins in the ground making each
point a strategic gain, the generators themselves, much like the
factories, can be upgraded to tech 3 to rip more mass from the earth.
Upgrading buildings should never be taken lightly as they become
unusable, and for your mass extractors to be shut down during a
critical moment could cost dearly.
Ground, Sea and Air belong to
the Commanders to toy with as they please. You’ll never have a lack of
versatile units to fling at each other. Just because the map is
primarily soil doesn’t mean you should let your guard down at sea,
battleship like units can have long devastating ranges. Another great
part to this game is the lack of “rock-scissor-paper” balancing and
there aren’t any different types of armour. This makes for great
battles as units can pop like insects, you have to be especially
careful with some units and their trigger happy adventures or the fact
that some units are so huge they can crush friends beneath them.
be they skirmish or multiplayer can last from a quick hour or so battle
to full weekend slug-fests. The map sizes ultimately shape the time
frame; if you have a small map you’ll be maxing out your resources
sooner and so will get to the ‘good times’ faster. Larger maps, which
can be positively gigantic, will take longer to traverse and secure
much needed energy and mass. The bigger your base the more you’ll need
to invest defending it, so if you decide to go online it’s best you set
aside a reasonable amount of time to finish your opponent off, don’t
forget your supposed to be a ‘Supreme’ Commander after all.
can be set to real easy, challenging or even with specific tactics in
mind. Unfortunately it can fall short on occasions especially if
island battles are involved, they’ll pour out ground units but then
‘forget’ to actually transport them. This means you’ll be seeing a
real mess pile up on their shores, which can become easy pickings for
some well placed battleships off the shoreline. Not only is this a
main area of weakness challenge-wise but it can also hinder performance
as the computer becomes bogged down with so many creations needing CPU
time. AI is always the Achilles heel for RTS games, and even Supreme
Commander cannot escape its dark clutches, try as it might.
campaign while certainly interesting for its storyline is still no
where near as exciting as other modes. Much like Total Annihilation
was, this seems purpose built for the freedom self-created matches can
grant players. A lot of effort has gone into the single player
experience with great looking cut scenes and decent voiceovers. I did
tend to get a little bored having my tech options limited, so I just
couldn’t resist skipping the plot for straight up action.
UEF, Cybran Nation and Aeon all operate the same but have some very
different, very tasty units. The UEF are first and foremost the
Earth’s Empire who is looking to crack down on the galaxy and restore
order. They certainly seem the most human of the factions with unit
designs being close to modern weaponry, but with a sci-fi factor. The
Cybran Nation are cyborg-like freedom fighters who want their own
sovereignty, they fight for independence. They blend a lot of advanced
technologies with Earth-like templates, out of them all they could be
the coolest looking. The Aeon is your run-of-the-mill religious
zealots having been ‘blessed’ with access to The Way and coincidentally
some very unique tech. They are certainly the most alien and even
craft buildings and units by manipulating liquid metals, very cool.
I said there are no rock-paper-scissor setups in Supreme Commander so
no matter which side or tech you choose to fling about, you can dish
and take some serious hurt. Of course the most kick-ass of all units
will still be your Armoured Command Unit (ACU); this is the baby that
gives birth to all your energy and massed dreams for conquest. This
can also be upgraded into a more efficient builder, or for those who
like to have them in harms way, they can be tuned into better machines
of carnage. Either way if it succumbs to too much damage you’ll
notice, a rather impressive and awe inspiring thermonuclear explosion
will rip through a large surrounding area; nice!
Prepare your eyes for a feast of nuclear carnage
Well, I think I made my point
Supreme Commander is not without a few
hitches, mainly AI orientated, but it is plainly a fantastic ride and
has had a lot of passion poured into it from Chris Taylor and Gas
Powered Games. Honestly this is one of the big A-list titles for the
RTS genre, any self respecting gamer who’s into the real-time strategic
scene must, MUST, have this war behemoth among their collection. Top Game Moment: