#795 Supreme Commander

Posted: 5th September 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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995th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC/Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Gas Powered Games
Publisher: THQ/Aspyr/505 Games

Ever close to the end, today we’re closing the door on the RTS genre. While with a lot of other genres it wasn’t necessarily as special, I do count the RTS genre as one of my favourite. Warcraft 2 and 3 and Starcraft had some interesting stories and integration in their missions and I’ve since seen others take it further.

On the other hand, the genre has changed, with the Dawn of War series making adjustments as there’s less of a focus on base building which World in Conflict pushed further. Given that, once this project is done and my gaming time is freed up, I’ll revisit this – but I hope I can have a fun final hurrah here.

Our Thoughts

It feels like Supreme Commander takes a lot of cues from Dune II. You have three different armies, with different specializations, with a mission cycle that appear to have them mirror each other to some extent.. Each have different focuses, to the point where your first mission is a mirror between the three, except that the focus changes – with the blue army, your standard humans, you build land units at the start of the first round, while the green army, an alien focused group, starts with a naval focus before drafting in air based units.

Where it starts to feel different is how the missions chain. You don’t just play through a single map, meet your objectives and move on. Instead, a map has several primary missions on it, with your units and base staying the same throughout. Your map expands with every offering, showing more enemy bases or giving you somewhere else to go. It can get quite disorienting, as you suddenly have an enemy base where previously you just had a map border, but it creates a nice feeling of progress while you can’t just go into the enemy base and take it out before the story wants you to. It’s a neat device once you get used to it.

Another nice twist is that your character is represented on the field. It seems to be you in a mech suit that you can order around, and while it’s mostly there as your basic worker unit, it seems to be a bit stronger too. I wouldn’t take it out into battle – not knowing what would happen – but it often happens that your final goal on a map is to kill your equivalent of the opposing army. That does mean that the game’s enemies really tend to turtle for the end of their mission, with their bases feeling difficult to defeat to the point where it seemed like a lot of time to waste. At least you don’t need to harvest to get your resources – you just need to let your buildings fill up – but I guess the opponent has the same advantages with the same annoyances on getting things rebuilt.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed playing Supreme Commander, but hit a wall on the time required for some of these levels. The expanding nature is quite fun, and the way it requires you to start defending new areas is good, but it means that missions and maps can get long and tiring. It means that awkward setups needs to persist for longer, when restarting seems like a chore, and the time needed per level now feel longer than maybe I’d like it to be.