Thursday, 25 November 2010

Review: Supreme Commander 2

This was recently on sale on steam (I'm sure it will pop up again over the christmas period) so I thought I'd just share my thoughts on the offchance that anyone was considering this.

The problem it has with me however is that I'm comparing it to other Real Time Strategy games I've played recently, and that includes StarCraft 2. So how does it measure up?

Supreme Commander 2 is far more traditional in terms of the single player campaign however it does play to the engine's strengths. Each level is designed to teach you a bit more about how to use the different units available rather than to progress any kind of story. And while there is a story, it feels very loosely bound to the gameplay and more of an afterthought.

And in similar style to starcraft there are 3 different factions and playing the campaign will mean playing through 6 missions with each faction. While this can often lead fo a rich and varied campaign it doesn't work as well here and the overal story experience feels predictable and disjointed at times. The characters are all fairly unlikable, even though the voice acting is strong. William Guage of the Cybrans is especially fun to listen to and although his dialogue reads quite dull the voice actor really brings him to life!

But lets talk about the star of the show now, the thing that makes this game and any other Gas Powered game worth getting. The RTS engine, which as usual is a work of art.

You can zoom all the way out and see a nice tactical view and from that sattelite like picture zoom all the way in within an instant right into the face of the enemy commander. Nice.

Also, as usual, it's tactically perfect. You can't swarm with Air units if the enemy has a decent air defence, you need to attack with a well balanced force. Something I'm not the best at, but hitting the right targets first makes all the difference. If the enemy runs out of engineers then they'd better better build some fast or they'll be down and out in no time. Engineers build structures, collect metal from wreckages as well as repairing units/buildings all of which makes them indespensable.

Of course let us not forget the other major unit that separates these RTS games (from Total Anhiliation all the way to this series) and that is the commander unit. A huge great humanoid robot that takes charge of each force which can also build and repair and capture. Choosing to bring the commander out to fight (they pack a heck of a punch) or keeping them well protected is a big choice in each game. I usually pick the latter and they hide under a shield until they're forced out!

Finally the only thing really truly missing for me is music from Jeremy Soule, who composed for the Total Anhiliation games back in the old days. And while the music isn't bad, there are definitely some good bits, it's generally generic orchestrated stuff and not something that sticks with you.

So in a nutshell this has a fantastic RTS engine but a pretty dull story. So if you and your mates can get it all at the same time and use it for multiplayer purposes it's worth a go! If you're looking for a solid single player experience however this probably isn't the way forward!

You can get Supreme Commander 2 from steam.

2 comments:

  1. Supcom 2 totally sucks compared to supcom 1 and forged allaince. They took away everything that made the previous game great, in trying to please lame gamers that want ridicously simpl rts games with like 3 or 4 units and a couple of buildings. If you really like the first game you wan tlike this one, avoid at all costs.

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  2. That's true, something I should have mentioned is the far smaller number of units in this game compared on any of the previous incarnations.

    Personally I'm still a huge fan of the original Total Anhiliation and it's addon Core Contingency. Ever play those?

    Thanks for the comment!

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