Supreme Commander - hands-on

When we heard that Supreme Commander was heading for the 360, we were a bit skeptical. Sure, the real-time strategy impressed us when it released on the PC last year. If you’re not familiar with the series, check out our review. The hardcore RTS offered more of everything, with a ton of onscreen units, multi-pronged strategies - that let you launch assaults from the land, sea, and air - and set all the action on epic maps that dwarfed anything anyone had seen recently.

But some games just weren’t meant for other platforms, and playing an RTS with a console controller sounded like it’d be about as much fun as trying to rock out on Guitar Hero with a USB keyboard. Luckily, after spending some time with the latest build of the 360 version, it seems like developer, Hellbent Games has done a fine job of redesigning Supreme Commander’s control scheme so that it that works smoothly without dumbing anything down.

Above: Strategy lovers who’ve never played Supreme Commander are in for a real treat. Check out all those shiny laser beams

You still have complete control over every aspect of your operations, and can create custom build queues in factories, assign units to patrol paths, and quickly zoom the camera in and out to quickly navigate the battlefield. But instead of trying to mimic a mouse by having us slowly drag our cursor across the screen to select units and click on command icons, we found ourselves quickly scrolling through pop-up command wheels, using combinations of the D-pad and thumbsticks to issue orders with quick gestures and button presses that felt more intuitive than we expected. Oh, and the lengthy tutorial that taught us the ropes helped a lot too.

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