Supreme Commander 2 is a game about resource collecting. Hmm, no wait that’s not quite right. Supreme Commander 2 is a game about giant robots. No not quite right either. Supreme Commander 2 is a real-time strategy about giant robots blowing each other up over resources. Also there is a giant magnet building.
See the problem is there is so much stuff in Supreme Commander 2, that I can’t sum it up like I would other games. Yes its an RTS, but it’s not really like other RTS’. It’s apparently not like Supreme Commander 1 either but I never played that so if that’s a good thing or not I have no idea. I also never played the campaign but I heard that was terrible so I have no idea about that either. So what do I like about Supreme Commander 2? Its simple, yet at the same time incredibly complex, and that is really tough to do in an RTS.
There are only three resources, Mass, Energy, and Research. They don’t have fancy names or anything, each is used and gathered exactly as you would expect; Research from the research building, Energy from power plants, and Mass from various spots on the ground labeled “Ma”. There are also only three races, which is apparently the norm but I myself like more variety then just three choices, especially when the choices are “Robots, spiky robots, or alien robots” which is the case here.
So why do I like this game so much if it’s this simple? It basically boils down to the research. Each race has five research trees, land, air, sea, ACU (your commander, you know, the one in the title of the game), and structure. Each upgrade in these trees cost different amounts of research points to grab, which range from cheap for something like increased health regeneration, to insanely expensive for “Giant Stompy Death Robot 2.0”. This level of customization for each army means that I was building things my friend had literally never seen despite having played the same race for ages, simply because he never bothered opening the “land” tree. This leads to battles where even if all those involved are playing the same race, no one uses the same things. The sound is brilliant too, I didn’t notice right away but the music only really kicks in if you are under attack or in a fight, then its all dramatic and loud. Once your done fighting, the music quietly fades, and you barely notice it leaving until a few minutes later, where you are left wondering why everything is less epic.
The level design is impressive, even more so because I find I spend more time looking at the parts I am not playing on then the parts I am. The picture up there is a level taking place over an immense bore-hole. About a third of what you can see there is actually playable and the rest is simply for atmosphere. Each level is bigger then the one that came before, the biggest is a desert so big, you can have an entire normal war in one tiny corner. The themes of the levels are entertaining too; one level is entirely oil-spills, another is a giant test-center for giant robots. The largest fight you can have is four-on-four which is more than enough. Playing this game co-op against four overly aggressive computer opponents is loads of fun. Unfortunately the AI is kinda…meh. On lower levels its slow to rush anything, tends to harass more than I like, and on higher levels it flat-out cheats (with the highest setting is actually called cheating), meaning a balance is tough to get.
Where this game really shines though is the scale of its end-game units, or “Experimental”. Each race has at least one mega ground unit, at least one mega air unit, and at least one mega sea unit, as well as a few mega buildings. Each one is massive, noisy, and incredibly dangerous. Once a few experimental units are loose on the field the battle quickly escalates. Every destroyed building or unit leaves wreckage behind, which means a final battlefield is covered in ruins. If you kill the enemy ACU, it goes up in a glorious mushroom cloud that leaves a black mark permanently on the ground (as well as taking out everything in a wide radius).
Overall, if you are a fan of RTS’, giant robots, alien races, or just giant explosions, I would recommend giving this a try. Don’t play the demo, from what I hear its terrible. The game itself is available for around twenty bucks last I checked, with a (totally worth it) paid DLC available for extra.
Oh and one last thing. One of the units is called “The Monkeylord”. That is awesome.