the Andrew Bailey

Supreme Commander 2

Back when I first wrote about Supreme Commander, I noted that its sequel shares little of what I liked about it. Back in the day, being so pumped about SupCom, I got hyped for SupCom 2 after reading previews in PCGamer. I probably preordered this, too. I was a fool.

Screenshot of Supreme Commander 2, showing an army destroying an enemy base

Supreme Commander 2 is an RTS that takes a bit after its prequel in some ways, but not in others. It's another one of those base buildy army fighty games. Compared to the original, it feels like Fisher Price took a swipe at it and dumbed it down for consoles. The rate based economy is out, replaced by a standard fixed resource cost up front for everything. The map sizes are severely reduced, so it feels like you're playing in someone's backyard instead of fighting over continents. The unit and structure designs look blockier, so the maps might be the same size, but since everything on it is bigger, it feels smaller.

The cool tier 1, 2, 3, and experimental tech levels are gone. You research technology instead. You constantly collect research points throughout the game, and spend them in a menu that dictates what cool toys you can build. This is one of the few games I've played where your spot in the tech tree is only seen in a menu, but not with buildings in your base. What irritates me is that you 'forget' your research when you start a new mission. At least with the tier levels, it's realistically plausible that you need to start small and build up. Here, you forget how your ACU overcharges its cannons until most of the way into the fight, when it's less likely to be useful.

While most missions feature some novelty mechanic, the singleplayer campaign is bad, too. Square Enix (the Final Fantasy people) published this, and I heard somewhere that they helped write the story. I've never been a fan of JRPGs, and from what little I've watched people play them, they are hard to follow, and the same is true for SupCom 2. The heaps of melodrama make it hard to take this seriously. I lost count how many times that someone told me 'you need to defend this', only to watch that thing get nuked 5 seconds later. Despite the fact that it's the 3800s, another character's brother is dying of something. I guess he's not important enough to have his brain and spinal cord put in a jar, like someone else did centuries ago. (That guy is still around!) These characters must be pretty dim, attacking facilities without any questions, then they wonder why everything else gets nuked. Yeah, there's a lot of nuking going on in the cutscenes, and I never figured out where they were all coming from.

Out of every game I have, this one is among the most disappointing, maybe beating that not-RPG. Get Forged Alliance, and get the LOUD Project with that instead. Otherwise, you're playing something closer to StarCraft, but made for consoles. At least with StarCraft, you get a better story with it.

Posted under Gaming. 0 complaints.