Supreme Commander 2
After a hundred and twenty articles, I think it’s finally time to profess my love for the RTS genre. That’s Real Time Strategy for those of you not in the know…you’re welcome.
The year was 1995: Command and Conquer: Tiberian Dawn’s demo became just another set of downloaded files inside the cluttered mess that was our household’s Windows 3.1 machine. I didn’t think much of it at the time. “A top down strategy game where you can move troops around but can’t directly take control of them? Sounds boring.” Then Warcraft 2 released in 1996 and through the urging of my friends I gave it a try.
I was hooked. I spent two or three nights a week connecting my game to my friend’s game via a 52k modem so that we could team up and send our footmen and elven archers against the Orcish Horde. Of course, playing on a modem / phone line meant that neither house could use the phone while we were playing, and any incoming call could knock us off and make us lose our progress. The 90s…fun times.
Little did I know this old, poorly aged set of RTS games would help pave the way to the great strategy games we have today.
One of the ones I really enjoy playing is Supreme Commander 2. Released in 2010, it was the sequel to the clearly more complex Supreme Commander 1 which released in 2007. Many hated the fact that Supreme Commander 2 was dumbed down when compared to its predecessor, but I personally enjoy playing it. A single skirmish match in Supreme Commander 1 could easily take over forty minutes to finish due to how complex the mechanics were. I admit, playing Supreme Commander 2 made me feel like I was missing something, but I quickly got over it when I realized I still had a wide variety of options open to me while I played.
The two main resources to collect are mass and energy. You’ll need both if you want to build buildings and mass your army. To harvest mass, you have to place mass collectors over fixed parts of the map, much like scattered oil patches. The game won’t let you build a mass collector on any other spot besides a patch of mass, so no worries about building them in the wrong places. Energy is harvested by building energy generators, which can be built anywhere you want. You can also build as many as you want and later convert that energy to mass after unlocking the appropriate technology.
Engineers are back, but unlike in Supreme Commander 1, they can build everything you currently have access to technologically. You used to have to build engineer tech twos to build tech two buildings fir example…no more. You also no longer spend mass and energy to upgrade your factories to increase your tech level. In its stead is a tech tree which gives you access to five separate tech trees…land, air, naval, structure, and ACU. You slowly gain tech points automatically but can gain them faster if you build more research buildings. The more you build, the faster you gain tech points. You can eventually unlock everything in all five tech trees if the game goes on for a while.
There are three factions to choose from and all three have different units and tech trees. The UEF is the closest to the “human” faction, while the Illuminate is like a high-tech alien race and the Cybrans remind me of the Borg, a race that chooses to focus on technology. All of them have some truly unique things in their arsenal that can turn the tide of battle. The UEF for example can build a Noah Cannon that can build units and then shoot them wherever you want on the map while the Cybrans can build this huge, mechanical spider called the Monkeylord Experimental Spiderbot. With a name like that, how could you not build one?
Another nice touch is the ability to zoom all the way out to where the units become tiny colored specs. In this view, you can see the whole map and all of the units, ergo allowing you to see the big picture while planning your next move. This feature was carried over from Supreme Commander 1 and one of the main reasons it stood out among all of the other RTS’s out there.
All three races can build the basic buildings however, like shield generators, radar / sonar towers, land / air turrets, and land / air / sea factories. You can mass a huge land army if you wished or decide you want to hang back and build a crapton of shield generators protecting your turrets and bombard the enemy with artillery without ever having to leave the comfort of your own base.
Multiplayer is available as is the ability to set up teams. You can also throw in some AI players if you’d like and customize their difficulty and behavior. My son and I have gotten a lot of mileage out of this game. He prefers to build land units and get up close and personal. Me on the other hand…
If you are a fan of RTS games, I’d recommend you check this one out. There is DLC available for it as well. If you are interested, I suggest checking the game out on Steam as they hold random deals on a regular basis and have a playable demo. The game is currently for PC, XBox 360, and Mac. As always, check your PC specs and the game requirements before purchasing!
Final Verdict: 9/10
You can find it on Steam, here:
You can check out video play sessions here: