Supreme Commander 2

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Supreme Commander 2

Supreme Commander 2

Supreme of chicken.

Intensively playing two real-time strategy games with the initials SC2 in the same week is bad enough. Given that Supreme Commander 2 and StarCraft II are entirely different strategy animals, it tears the brain asunder. StarCraft is like some rare breed of exquisite tropical fish which requires constant care and attention else it'll perish, while SupCom 2's more like an average moggy. It might be less of a talking point, but chuck some food in a bowl a couple of times a day and that's about all it needs to show you love. Supreme Commander 2 can yield great rewards for minimal investment.

Broadly, it's very similar to the first SupCom and its standalone expansion - three sci-fi factions pitting delightfully vast legions of tanks, planes and boats at each other. Its strategy lies in its scale, moving formations of several dozen or even hundred units around at once, rather than micro-managing the precise actions of individual units. That's the key difference between this and the more intimate, exacting environment of the StarCraft or Command & Conquer model of RTS. Where SupCom 2 differs from its predecessor is that the scale has been shrunk somewhat, predominantly in terms of the map sizes and consequently the time a match or mission takes.

The cry that's gone up from some aggrieved corners of the SupCom community is that this must be because it's been dumbed down (a phrase that the world could only be a happier place without) for the impending 360 version. Perhaps hardware restrictions have had some effect, but in practice you'll see it isn't a 'just because' thing.

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Supreme Commander 2

Robot rock?

So, Chris Taylor wants to take us all down, down to robot town. He wants to make Supreme Commander more accessible and less unwieldy, pushing a kind of technological miniaturisation. Same product, just a little smaller, smoother, shinier and more refined.

Supreme Commander 2

ACU in the hole?

There are two possible reactions to any mention of Supreme Commander. Yes, just two. Don't pull that "how dare you force the entirety of human experience and attitude into just two boxes" stuff with me. Two! If it turns out there's more I'd have to axe this entire introduction, and then where would we be? We'd have a preview without an intro, and there'd be anarchy. Killings would be necessary. So: two possible reactions.

Taylor: RTS innovators going backwards

Supreme Commander urges restraint.

Innovation is a double-edged sword in the real-time strategy genre, according to Gas Powered Games boss Chris Taylor, because by trying to stand out too much you may not been seen at all.

Supreme Commander 2

Experimentally unexperimental.

Supreme Commander is a fearsome beast of an RTS: utterly bewildering to anyone who isn't a long-term veteran of the PC's most mainstay genre, but profoundly satisfying to those who have always sworn by base-building. With Supreme Commander 2, Gas Powered Games wants to bring everyone in from the cold instead, as you can read in last week's Supreme Commander 2 preview.