Thread: Review - Supreme Commander - ROTM April 2008
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WNxKorsan
04-24-2008, 05:38 AM
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Review - Supreme Commander - ROTM April 2008
Review
Author: WNxKorsan


Supreme Commander
Click the image to open in full size.

Platform: PC
Genre Catagory: RTS
Date of Release: 02/20/07
ESRB: E10+
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Rating: A
Official Site URL: www.supremecommander.com

Introduction

In my attempt to stop constantly reviewing games for the Nintendo DS, I decided that it was time for someone to review my Primary, Supreme Commander. Now noticing, that not many RTS' are in WNx, I have decided, on my own and from insomniac-tic nights that the lack of RTS' is because lack of insightful information into these games and I am here to correct that.

What is it?


Supreme Commander developed by Gas Powered Games, more known for their Dungeon Siege Series, decided one day out of the blue, that they had enough with the old hack and slash, run around killing everything you can for that little bit of "experience" in order to "level up" to the next "level" and decided to make an RTS of all things. (Which they ROCKED at.) Supreme Commander is an innovative RTS which applies more physics into it then you could jam that gooey cream into Twinkies. It's that GOOD. Set in a futuristic world where mankind has expanded into the outer reaches of space, place during a time when a war has been going on for the better part of millennia, you get to choose one of three factions to destroy and trample your enemies.


Click the image to open in full size.


Background


A long time ago, when mankind was well into colonizing other plants in space, two vastly different chains of events, set off a chain reaction that subsequently brought us to this point in the game.

In the mid 2nd millennium, the merging of the first AI/Human was finished by Dr. Gustaf Brackman. In subsequent years these people, called Symbiont's, became the prominent figures in the advances of technology. However, wearily of their difference, the old Earth Empire, installed "loyalty" programs into each Symbiont, which at a command, would force total control over of every Symbiont to the Earth Empire. In an open revolt, Brackman severed numerous Symbiont connections to the Earth Empire and escaped to the farther reaches of the known universe. At an unknown planet, he christened his people as the "Cybrans".

At the same time, give or take a couple of centuries, Humanity finally made contact with another intelligent species calling them the Seraphim. The Seraphim themselves were a peaceful race with technology that far more advanced then anything humanity had at the moment, were attacked by the colonizing humans in an attempt to extinguish any threat that could harm Earth. During this time, a small sect of humans led by Dr. Jane Burke made contact and sought to learn of the Seraphim and their ways. The peaceful Seraphim taught what they knew to the small sect and in those teachings, the Seraphim taught the humans who were willing to learn the religion called "The Way" which was a passive religion that believed all should be in peace. The Commander of the human forces on the planet, distrusted the alien species and sometime after, waged a war against the Seraphim, backed by the colonist loyal to him. The human forces who struck the Seraphim were ill prepared and were soon losing the short and quick war. However in attempt to spit in the Seraphim's faces, he had his scientist create a virus. This virus would ultimately seal the Seraphim's fate on the planet. Knowing that they were doomed, the Seraphim sought to teach all they knew to the Dr. Burke and her followers before it was too late of all what the Seraphim learned.

More then a hundred years after these incidents, the Old Earth Empire made contact with its lost citizens only to find that they were unwanted and so, retaliated with violence. The old Earth Empire soon after lost its power, and from its ashes raised the United Earth Federation (UEF). Following in its predecessors dream, they strove to unite all the known worlds under a single Earth banner.

The Races

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The UEF

A uniqueness of the UEF units is that the units they have are most similar to units we have today, granted they are more technologically advanced, they stick to the same structure, which reflects the type of government and military they have. Solid and stable. UEF armaments are traditional shells, guns and missiles. They tend to have more armor and usually slower than other factions' equivalent units. This however, should not be looked down upon as the UEF is one of the most prominent factions in the Supreme Commander universe.

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.


The Cybran

As expected of a faction to splinter off and merge with AI's. The Cybran race uniqueness lies on the fact that they swarm and overcome their opponents. Utilizing laser technology, and being "all purpose" units. Cybran forces tend to be a randomizing factor as they can have bombarding Destroyers ships that walk on land, to radar jamming units to hide waves upon waves of war machines. Letting your guard down can mean your destruction by Cybran Forces. It should be noted that the majority of Cybran forces look bug-like and are often full of spikes, much to my dismay of getting hands full of thorns.

Click the image to open in full size.

The Aeon

The most linear faction of the three. The Aeon forces build their units for one thing, and one thing only, the job they are meant to do. Although slightly weaker then the other factions, the Aeon overcome this with superior firepower and range, as well as in size and maneuverability. On water maps, the Aeon is truly a force to be reckoned with. They have the strongest navy as well as having tanks able to move across water in the early game, thus giving them a huge advantage in harassment tactics. Aeon units are smooth and sleek, making them look like true examples of units who were based off a society of Peace. Aeon units use sonic and quantum energy weaponry making their units the most damaging of all.



Click the image to open in full size.

A battle being waged by attacking Aeon forces against a Cybran base by WNxRandomguy and WNxKorsan


Game Play

One of the most prominent and BEST features of Supreme Commander is the ******** Zoom. The ******** Zoom allows for players to quickly scroll out and look at the whole map, then zoom back in to where they need to go allowing for quick screen movement from Point A and Point B. Coupled with the 360 degree camera angle, this allows for players to also be up and in front of the action to see the glory of what truly makes Supreme Commander one of the BEST RTS' in the market.

Click the image to open in full size.
A example of ******** Zoom and 360 degree Camera Angle by WNxZeed



A prominent and outstanding to the game play of Supreme Commander is that battles can be waged on land, air and sea, depending on the map (Your not going to be waging a naval battle on a map that has no water, are ya?). This allows for numerous different tactics to be used, as total control of one means the control of the direction of battle.

In order to progress to units of higher technology, the player must upgrade their Factories, (Barracks), to a higher level. "Tech" (T) is used to explain what level of technology a unit/building is at. In order to produce T3 units, a T3 Factory is needed to be built, however every factory is independent and needs to be upgraded separately in order for that Factory to build stronger units.

Resources is split into two things, like its predecessor TA, Supreme Commander utilizes mass and energy, both of which are unlimited but in order to get mass, a person has to build an extractor over a certain specified location. Energy is harvested by building power generators. At each tech level, a more advanced generator or extractor can be built further supplying your Factories of destruction. This however leads to longer and longer games as people tend to turtle and then wreck havoc on their enemies by playing Sims Cities and then building Experimental units.

Resources alone are not limited to only harvesting using Extractors and Generators, resources can also be acquired by reclaiming almost about anything that's reclaimable. Destroyed units no longer just disappear into the oblivion, each destroyed unit, unless completely destroyed leaves behind a wreck in which people can reclaim a portion of the mass and energy used to build the unit. It should also be noted that destroying Air units also means that usually there is a wreckage of that unit falling. Most comical is when an Experimental unit the shape of a flying saucer falls down and promptly ends the game by landing on the enemy ACU thus destroying it, yes that means that physics once again reigns supreme as destroyed objects don't evaporate on the spot of where they were previously.

Experimental units (T4) are units that are basically giant robots of destruction. Each faction gets varying types of Experimental ranging from a spider with a laser on its head, to a giant mobile factory with six cannons on the front and back, to a HUGE robot with a laser coming out of its one eye like a Cyclops, from hell to the airborne Experimental that look like something from Independence Day, the movie.

Click the image to open in full size.
From Left to Right; Aeon ACU, UEF ACU, and Cybran ACU


In the start of every game you are given a unit called the Armored Command Unit (ACU) which can either be your hand on earth for building your Sims City, or your hand of destruction as it walks across the map destroying everything in its path. This unit however, should be noted that it is the most important unit for most games (Once again depending on settings) and that losing it, means you lost. One of the most astonishing things about Supreme Commander is the ability to upgrade your ACU, adding a bit of RPG-ness to it as there are numerous upgrades centered on your left arm and right arm (Separate) and your main body. Doing so, means you can have the most devastating ACU on the map with Stealth and a Laser coming out of its fricken arm as well as shooting plasma bullets at your enemy units, thus one of the most interesting features. Each faction ACU differs once again from its counterpart. The Cybran ACU has the ability to upgrade into said, full stealth and laser wielding monster of destruction, while the Aeon can be upgraded with Shields and a cannon that rivals man others. The UEF is more mid-line and having the most HP (By 2k) it can upgrade with a shield, a quick repair on one arm while the other carries the embodiment of Thor's Hammer.

Single Player

Campaign

In Supreme Commander, it gives you the option of playing the Campaign, a number, and vastly different set of maps in which the player can learn what does what and the how to in order to play the game. Each campaign comes to the same map, albeit different locations and each having their own "ending". Although technically none of the endings are canon, as we the expansion/standalone of Supreme Commander proves. There were hints of an expansion/standalone that, as we can see, is true.

Once the basics are down, and you've played enough of the campaign to the points where it's like the back of your hand, you can test your skill against varying degrees of difficulty AI's. However it should be noted that the AI is dumber then a redneck at a family get-together and more often then not, the player, depending on their skill level, can kill the AI in the span of 10 or so minutes.

Click the image to open in full size.
A Galactic Colossus rampaging into a UEF base with a MonkeyLord assisting the UEF by WNxRandomguy


Multiplayer

The true gem in Supreme Commander. Beating people you don't know, half way across the world, in the comfort of your own home. It allows you to pit your skills against others including having custom team matches with your mates. GPG, allowing competitive players a vent, allows for Ranked challenges that can either be 1vs1 or 2vs2, often showing the true skill of a player. (As well as some funny outcomes.) The multiplayer feature adds on numerous additions to Supreme Commander, custom maps, i.e. un-ranked games, can be set to a multitude of things.

No Rush Option

Introduced late into the Supreme Commander as a new addition. It allows for players to develop and build their economy much like Sims Cities without worry of battle or damage for a user-specified time. This then creates two new trends games deemed "Newb" and games that focus on "Sims City". Most of the time, people would be able to recognize a "Newb" game when it severely limits numerous various actions the player can do, or take for example, many "Newb" games would deem in the beginning that their can be no t3/t4 Artillery, and no Nukes.

Victory Setting

Since the beginning of the game, Supreme Commander has allowed for players to choose what kind of victory condition is allowed, whether it be Assassination, where the main objective is to destroy the enemy ACU. Supremacy, destroy everything the enemy has, most of the time played by sadist and people who want games to last FOREVER. Lastly there is Sandbox, which basically means there is no end, and the game only ends when the player leaves the game.

Mods

Supreme Commander originally came with three to four mods already installed that can be used during Skirmish/Multiplayer only. Additional mods can be installed into the game allowing for people to add various things to Supreme Commander. However these mods must be shared by everyone in order to work, meaning that everyone must have the specified mod to work. It should be noted that one of the most used mods is the x2 resources mod, which most of the time is coupled with the No rush option for the "quick, long game". Mods themselves are not limited to tweaking the set up of games; they can be created to add units, fixing bugs that GPG overlooked in patching the game and much, much more.

Click the image to open in full size.
Naval Battle between WNxKorsan (UEF-Blue) vs WNxBlasian (Cybran-Red) by WNxKorsan


Graphics

Although Supreme Commander won't win any awards for most beautiful creations; they are certainly going to win one for detail. And because of that, Supreme Commander takes a super computer to run it at full drive. This thing is beastly as your processor dies when playing this game for the amount of work it has to do. Every single missile has detail, and at a time, over 100 missiles can be shot creating more stress, not to mention the 500+ units each player can have at any given time as well as detailing the sky, landscape, and other various things. Supreme Commander is hard end heavy on the graphics department and a single core at minimum graphics for everything is still a woe to be heard. However, there is one truly beautiful gem hidden beneath everything. Having your settings to mid/High, and using your 360 degree camera angle on a map with trees, you will actually notice them swaying to the wind. Now this won't be a game shattering item, but it is never less something that is truly spectacular. Being able to watch the trees sway in the wind, remind you that, although your fighting wars on distant unknown planets, and battles are fought with machines the size of sky scrappers, everything comes back down to peace that will come after.

End Notes

All in all, Supreme Commander is a great game to have, with a nice learning curve that most people should already have, unless it was butchered by playing Command and Conquer too much, and they believing that C&C is the best RTS there is, should be HANGED. The inherent Physics is awesome, the graphics are out standing, and the faction differences are nice when you notice the small details. In the end, Supreme Commander is a must have by any RTS player in the world.

Game play: 10/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Multiplayer addition: 9/10



Last edited by WNxKorsan; 05-14-2008 at 03:49 PM..
 
 
 

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WNxShadowMikey
04-27-2008, 11:40 AM
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A new review by Korsan, and an awesome one at that!

Don't forget to rep



 
 
 

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WNxKorsan
04-27-2008, 11:56 AM
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!! I also forgot to thank WNxRandomguy, WNxZeed and WNxBlasian for helping me take SS's for the review Thanks guys



 
 
 

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04-27-2008, 11:58 AM
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A great review mate + rep



 
 
 

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04-27-2008, 12:40 PM
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Great review Korsan. keep up the good work!



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04-27-2008, 01:23 PM
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Nice review! Well done + rep! (when i can give some! )



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WNxRobokapp
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Great review, +rep.

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nice review



 
 
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WNxCokemonkey
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Interesting looking game I'll have to try it out!



 
 
 

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WNxMaulMachine
04-27-2008, 11:52 PM
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Now do Forged Alliance.



 
 
 

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WNxxangreigor
04-28-2008, 04:37 AM
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Well done. Excellent.



 
 
 

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WNxVucke
04-28-2008, 10:20 AM
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Nice review
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WNxClamaxtli
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nice review!



 
 
 

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WNxSodeR
04-30-2008, 01:55 AM
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Awesome Review Korsan..



 
 
 

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04-30-2008, 10:38 AM
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Great RTS review. I have not played SupCom yet but it looks very cool. May I try it out one day

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WNxWolfinator
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Great review!
I'm definetely going to buy SupCom now



 
 
 

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United States WNxJNG
04-30-2008, 02:15 PM
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I was thinking of buying this game.
I don't know though, we'll see.

Nice review by the way.





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Nice review, rep+.



 
 
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WNxMaNiC
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Great review mate! I think my pc would be able to handle that game



 
 
 

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OK, everyone who said they will buy the game has to join the section now!



 
 
 

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