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The sign reads: "Supremely Commanding" - 2007/03/27 22:42 This thread discusses the Content article: The sign reads: "Supremely Commanding"

Aeon Illuminate Campaign Complete.

I have to say I now understand Gamespot's review of this game a bit more. Normally, when someone says "The system requirements to run this game smoothly are absurd," It doesn't make sense to deny a game "Editor's Choice" because of it. However, that is Supreme Commander's greatest flaw. You basically need a computer bought and built within the last 200 days in order to run it smoothly all the time. Even with my new video card (which means I now exceed the recommended requirements) and even at 1024x768 on low graphics, once the map gets to max size and 1000s upon 1000s of units and buildings are in consideration, your computer is going to slow down. The game, as such, requires patience from you... not because of the game, but because your computer cannot keep up.

All of that aside however, this game is brilliant. The campaigns do not consist of "missions" but "operations." This change in wording is important because each of these operations is a mission with "Phases." You start out with a certain amount of the map to work with and a certain objective. Then, as you complete that objective, more of the map opens up and your greater task becomes clear. Normally after that a third task makes it self apparent, and your operational area and often your tech level, increase again. Once this third phase is done, you complete the "operation" and go to debriefing.

The wealth of strategic and tactical options available to you is amazing, and often creates a few moments of initial "I'm not sure what to do" at the start of an operation. This would be fine were it not for the NPCs hassling you to get your mission done faster (I typically ignore them). However, once your war machine is running and you're pumping out bombers or assault bots, or heavy tanks, or battleships, whatever your fancy, things get fun as you watch the carnage. The interface has a whole slew of neat innovations to remove some of the annoyances common to RTSes like having to manually manage transports, difficult to place patrol paths, and the like.

The greatest thrill though is the scope and scale. Never before in an RTS have you commanded armies this large, with this long of a fire range, with this much fire power. And yet it's still on a manageable "rock-paper-scissors" kind of logic: Anti-air beats air, air beats ground-ground, subs beat ships, ships with long range guns beat ground and ships with anti-air beat air, those kinda things.

That's my two cents for now. I'll probably add more later. So far the game gets a big thumbs up... I just worry how quickly I'll finish it...
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Re:The sign reads: "Supremely Commanding" - 2007/03/31 23:59 United Earth Federation (UEF) Campaign Complete.

Those who disliked Total Annihilation for it's lack of storyline or setting will not be disappointed by Supreme Commander. Much like with Starcraft where each army has a distinct sound and feel, Supreme Commander's factions also are unique in this aesthetic regard. So far though, the faction that has surprised me the most is the UEF.

The Aeon Illuminate follow an extinct alien race's faith (called "The Way") and use technology based off those alien's technology. As such, you expect alien looking units with high pitched and enigmatic weapon systems. Not content to just have a bomb, they must have bombs that cause time altering shock waves to the units they affect etc.

The Cybran Nation, being made up of half-man-half-machines, have all the robotic feel to them they deserve. And given that fact you also expect a lot of lasers, which you will get from the Cybrians in great quantity.

The UEF is your "In case you don't like aliens or robots, here are some straight up humans," faction. They look like a modern military thrown 1000 years into the future and as being a democratic successor to the Earth Empire, you expect the UEF to share American values of peace and fighting wars against your foe only until they are no longer a threat, as opposed to ultimate destruction.

This could not be farther from the truth. The truth is that the UEF seek to continue the way of life of the Earth Empire, that views the Aeon Illuminate as brainwashed fools and the Cybrians and rebellious traitors. In the eyes of the UEF the only solution, the only way to preserve the way of life of the people of Earth, is to wipe the other two factions from the face of the galaxy. That's not to say there aren't hard liners in the Aeon or the Cybran who feel the same way, but the UEF embrace this philosophy whole heartedly. Only once their foes are so battered and beaten that they have have no choice but to accept unconditional surrender (which in the case of the Cybrans means accepting slavery) have they won.

As for their war machine I have one word to describe it: Loud. Units don't make muted high-tech "swooshes" or "vrroms" when they move. Tanks have loud booming engines, mechs make boisterous slams as they walk, aircraft scream through the air on jet engines. Nearly every UEF weapon is a loud cannon, a noisy "dakka dakka dakka", or a deafening bomb.

So, if you are ever thinking about playing Sup Comm and are into a faction that is all about the total destruction of their foes while making a huge "shock and awe" while doing it, the UEF are really your ticket.

Only the Cybrans remain. I hear C&C3 came out and is getting rave reviews. I do still plan on picking it up, but I am pleased enough with Supreme Commander that want to wait until the cash flow picks up to get C&C 3.

[Edited for grammar and spelling. Apparently it's "Cybran" not "Cybrian"]

Post edited by: vergil, at: 2007/04/04 15:56
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Re:The sign reads: "Supremely Commanding" - 2007/04/09 01:02 Cybran Nation Campaign Complete.

Supreme Commander Complete. Game requires a sequel. They leave it off with a cliffhanger of sorts...

Final Thoughts of game overall:

Supreme Commander, to put it short, is Total Annihilation with all of the strengths, very very few of the weaknesses, and and is a rewarding campaign play through. By the end of each campaign I had developed a love and appreciation for each faction. This was an uphill battle for the Cybrans, but in the end, they also get my stamp of approval.

The biggest downsides I'm going to list are:

1 - The system requirements. Basically if you don't match the recommended system requirements, the game won't run fast enough during huge battles for you to enjoy it.

2 - Level detail. While the worlds themselves are overall pretty, they are also kind of barren compared to C&C3 or DoW where there are all kinds of trees and busted buildings and other ruins to make the landscape more interesting. Luckily, you'll spend so much time in this game zoomed out that you probably won't notice.

3 - Factions are more aesthetically unique as opposed in units. While normally this bugs me a bunch and stops me from enjoying a game (see Age of Empires series), I don't really have this problem with supreme commander. While I can't make an argument to say the sides aren't largely identical in what units they can build, these units often have extra bells and whistles ether present or lacking that make each faction's tactics still different. For example, one side's gunships can also transport a single ground unit, adding to it's anti-ground firepower or simply being a small transport. Another faction's battleships can grow legs and walk on land, allowing your assault-from-the-sea to continue even if you run out of sea.

4 - Each campaign is only 6 "missions" long. Not a single one can be done in under an hour though on the first try, and really, your first campaign will probably require 2 or more out of you for each mission.

The Pros:

1 - The size and scale of this game is unparalleled in an RTS. Never before have you commanded armies this big, with this much fire power, with this much range to said firepower. Co-ordination of information and tactics play a part in everything you do, and everything has a counter. Know your foe and you can beat them.

2 - The game sounds great. From Jeremy Soule's awesome soundtrack to the booming sounds of war around you, it's pleasurable to the ears.

3 - The interface improvements make you realize how easy things SHOULD be in an RTS. Supreme Commander makes it easier than ever before to co-ordinate multiple attacks, set way points and patrols, and make use of air tranports.

4 - Navy assets are not just added to be there: they have a big impact on the game and can lay waste to enemy forces.

5 - Though the factions may be the same in available units, function and form are quite different. As mentioned, different factions have a different philosophy as to achieve a type of unit. The Aeon prefer fast, simple units with no extra bells and whistles but are outstanding at what they do. The UEF prefer units with extra utility, often attaching support functions to combat units. The ultimate statement of this is their T4-X Fatboy which features battleship cannons on a submersible super-tank that is also a mobile factory that can build Tech1 through 2 ground units, and sports a shield generator, serves as a repair-and-refueling pad for aircraft, and some anti-air guns. The Cybrans like making their units able to fight more foe types than they should, like having battleships that walk on land, or amphibious tanks that go underwater and can fire torpedoes. Each faction's story is fun to play through and they have just as much character to them as any good RTS faction does.

6 - No limit to how many "game breaking" units or nukes you can have, but they cost so much to build and manage and still have counters to they can't win you the game all by themselves. It allows you to have fun with having to command a world conquering force instead of just sending it into the foe and it automatically winning.

7 - Game's balanced. I have yet to see or hear proof otherwise.

8 - Upgradeable commanders mean you can pick if you want to stay in your base and support or take it to the field and destroy. Just be careful you don't let your commander get blown up though: there are no altars of storms here!

That about wraps up my thoughts on the game itself. As far as the Cybrans specifically go, I didn't care for them at first. Then as I kept going I came to realize they are the unlike the other two factions, relying more on stealth and bizarre un-conventional warfare compared to the UEF and Aeon. Their commander has fun combat upgrades, and their experimental units are great to play with. Just keep in mind that toe-to-toe the cybran experimental units don't tend to stack up the other faction's (the fatboy can shoot the monkeylord from way out of it's range and the sacred assault bot can take two monkeylords at once before perishing). However the Cybrans can also usually pump out more of them as a reuslt of their lower overall cost and build time. I still don't care much for cybran ground units, but their air units, sea units and T4-X units are fun.

With that I'll stop posting on this topic now. If you hear anymore form me on Sup Comm I'll probably make a blog post about it or its own forum topic.

When the money comes in I'll be getting and playing through C&C3 and see if it holds up to expectations. At this point I'm not sure I am going to like it as much as Sup Comm, but it will probably still be fun. Until then, I think there are people in Azeroth who are wondering where the hell I've been . . .
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