Supreme Commander is a solid real time strategy game with good visuals and pretty decent mechanics. It’s not without its flaws, however.
The main storyline deals with three opposing factions. The UEF (United Earth Federation), The Cybran Nation, and the Aeon Illuminate. They are all locked in a never ending battle known as the Infinite War. You can expect to spend some time on the campaign, but it ends pretty quickly. There are few missions but they can be quite lengthy. There is also multiplayer over GPGnet.
The game is a bit system intensive and you’ll need to have a pretty hefty rig if you’re planning on running it smoothly at max settings, but even a good system can experience some slowdown with the massive amount of units on screen. Supreme Commander (hereby being referred to as SupCom) is mainly focused on unit quantity, rather than quality. You are given a pretty large population cap and most of the time you will need to utilize all of it to take down your enemies. It’s a bit of a far cry from games like WCIII where you have a small band of units. I’d liken it unto StarCraft, in the sense that it’s about macromanagement more than micromanagement. The economy is very import in SupCom, and if it stalls then it could leave you devastated. The developers implemented a fairly interesting resource system based around “matter” and “energy.” Energy of course provides power to buildings, defenses, shields, and helps build, while matter is used in the creation of units and structures. Matter is drawn from the ground at specific locations or generation in mass generators, which can be a strain on your power consumptions. Building a balanced and working economy is key to success in the game.
Supreme Commander boasts many unique features as well, such as the ability to play on a dual display setup. Even if you don’t have dual monitors you can create a duplicate view window in game. This an interesting idea when has a lot of use in a RTS. While you are busy attacking you can easily handle base defenses and management without having to scroll across the map. Another neat thing that SupCom offers is the ability to zoom out quite a distance. You can get a large global view of the entire battlefield, switching buildings and units into iconic representation. You’ll find yourself in that perspective a lot, which is useful but not unnecessarily pretty to look at.
The game offers a wide variety of units to play with, but not much differentiates between factions. All three warring sides have pretty much the same units and buildings, only differing slightly. What sets these factions more apart is the use of “Experimental Units.” These machines of awesome power require many resources but are extremely powerful, and extremely fun to look at. SupCom has many unique offensive buildings in the game such as nuclear silos, missle launchers, cannons, etc. All of these are stationary constructions in your base but can be launched at an enemy. They all of course have their respective counter measures, but if used on an unsuspecting opponent they can ravage a base. Along with offensive structures you can acquire shields to defend your base, which are very useful but can be a bit of a drain on your energy to maintain. These tools can cause games to go on for some time. You won’t get many quick skirmishes in this game.
System Intensity and other small bugs aside, Supreme Commander is a solid title and well worth checking out if you are bored of Warcraft or just not interested in C&C3.
Impartial rating: 80/100
Fanboy rating: 84/100
GRAEV gives this game the SILVER HELM.