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Supreme Commander 2 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Badass experimental units
  • Much more newbie friendly
  • Emphasizes strategy over clicking
  • Battles are scaled down
  • Skirmish AI is limp
  • Multiplayer seems to have uncounterable strategies

This is what’s great about SupCom 2: very different units, eating each other. In SupCom 1, if we got a Tech 3 factory up before you, we could produce a unit to deal with anything you threw at us. In SupCom 2, if you come at us with nanoshielded gunships and we’ve spent all our Research Points unlocking the Fatboy experimental mega-tank, we’re boned. Your decision about what to spend resources on is now more important than how efficiently you produce them.

Rather than hiding these options away in icons that only pop up once you’ve built a certain factory, everything you can construct and upgrade is laid out on a Research screen. Land units, air units, naval units, your structures and your commander each have a separate tech-tree of upgrades and unlockable units, including huge Experimentals.

The Research Points you spend on this stuff accumulate over time – faster when you kill things, and faster still once you’ve built some labs. Because they’re scarce early on, your strategy almost always revolves around the shortest possible route to unlocking something major.

By the time you’ve got it, of course, Research Points are coming thick and fast, so good strategies tend to have a phase two. That’s how the Cybrannosaurus Bubblebath came about: the dino takes a long time to earn and is very slow. By the time we’ve built him, we’re earning Research Points fast enough to quickly unlock the Experimental Air Transport and give him a ride to the enemy base.

Another strategy we like is Fire a Nuclear Warhead at Them, Killing Them. It doesn’t always work. If the enemy knows what you’re up to, they can build counter-nukes to intercept. That’s why you should back it up with the Illuminate Space Temple: it lets you teleport a strike force inside your enemy’s shields, destroy their nuclear defence silo, and teleport back just in time to see your warhead launch. Be careful not to play in the same room as someone you’re going to do this to, though, as it could easily trigger a counter-attack of Being Punched in the Face.

So the biggest change in SupCom 2 is a positive one: a clear and fun tech system that gets you coming up with two-phase plans and counter-strategies involving robots, magnets, nukes and bubblebath.

It also scores points for running faster than its predecessor: we get 40fps when zoomed-in during a six-player match of the first game, 80 when zoomed out. In the same sized conflict, SupCom 2 glides along at 90fps zoomed in, 70 zoomed out.

More Info

Release date: Mar 02 2010 - PC (US)
Available Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Strategy
Published by: Square Enix
Developed by: Gas Powered Games
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending

8 comments

  • Jospan - September 3, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    I had bought Dawn of War Soulstorm a few years back and was blown away with it. Just last week I took a look at the demo disk that had been included. On that disk was SupCom FA, I was blown away!!! Finally a RTS that actually required strategy to play efectivly. I loved the fact that air units had a fuel limit and didn't just hover around, it really added a sense of realism to the game. (Sorry to dissapoint but real things don't just float.) Second the economic emphasis was amazing, and added another level of strategy. It made it of prime importance that you target economic structures to soften up your enemy and bring down things like shields, radar, sonar, ect... Two days ago I bought SupCom2... This game is a flop! Completly dumbed down. I can not say enough to say how this game has become just another rts, so I won't. I can only say that if you want "just another rts" get it and continue doing the same lame stuff that you always have (rushing and other noobish things) or get SupCom1 or SupCom FA and be mind boggled by it's intricacies and various lovely bits. And to the developers, Be ashamed! and I see now why this game is a flop, you let SquarEnix ruin it just like FF 13
  • HateCrapWare - March 9, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    To bad the review doesn't mention the fact that the game doesn't allow you to save when playing skirmish. Not sure if that's a bug or intentional, either way it sucks
  • drizztmainsword - March 6, 2010 8:05 p.m.

    This game should shame the developers. There feel of this game is nothing like the first one. The scale? Smaller. The number of available units? Smaller. The number of units in a given game? Smaller. The resource system? Completely lackluster and derivative. The pacing? Exceptionally fast. It feels like Starcraft, it looks like a candy shop, and the "maps" are effectively a web of hallways. What I wanted from the sequel to my favorite RTS of all times was a game that could handle upwards of 4000 units in the game at once without choking on itself. I wanted a game that took the epic scale of the first and said "let's do that again, but BIGGER." I'll be sticking to Supreme Commander 1 thank you very much. Please go and make a true sequel without dumbing it down for the console crowd.
  • psycros - March 4, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    Sigh..."Supreme Disappointment" would've been a better title, judging by this review. So they basically turned it into a cross between Warzone 2100 and Beast Wars. Nice going, Chris - what you got planned next, Demigod II: Electric Boogaloo? Oh well, back to TA for another decade..
  • may.be.vital - March 3, 2010 4:44 a.m.

    Loved the first =D we shall see on this one...
  • KevIrl92 - March 2, 2010 6:29 p.m.

    I loved the first game and still play it to this day, but when i read some of the previews and played the demo for myself i knew i was not going to be getting this game. HeavyTank's points are valid and i agree with him completely because it feels nothing like the original game. I like the resources in vs. resources out economy system of the first game. It was one of the main reasons i still play the first over other rts's i own like AOE. The game has been made the same as soooo many other RTS games and with the economy system gone it only has one of the two things left(the experimentals) that made it,IMO, stand out against the rest. (Phew first ever comment on the site and it was a wall of text. Lol)
  • Dirt5o8 - March 2, 2010 1:41 p.m.

    Ooooooh, I love rumors!
  • HeavyTank - March 2, 2010 12:05 p.m.

    Meh, the demo really wierded me out, why did they change all that stuff?The original was awesome, although yes, it was hard and yes, some units and structures were too expensive and took too much time to build. Still, they could've come up with something better than a dumbed-down game with units that look like goddamn plastic toys.. BTW, I'm still going to get it :P

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