There aren't many strategy games which star a man wholooks like a furniture salesman, but has somehow ended up piloting a giant robot instead.
Supreme Commander 2 should be congratulated for eschewing the hero stereotype, but it's tough to empathise with someone who looks like Steve Guttenberg crossed with a potato. Still, it's comforting to discover that SupCom 2 hasn't abandoned its predecessors' fondness for really terrible storytelling.
Keep away from the single-player campaign. Between the charmless cutscenes and the decision to harshly limit which toys you can play with, it's about as much fun as licking a weasel. Instead, go straight to the skirmish or multiplayer games, where it happily gives you all its sharpest objects right away. This is an excellent multiplayer strategy game, a psychotic festival of giant robots, nukes and cyborg dinosaurs.
Despite fan concern that a lowered unit count meant Gas Powered Games had ripped SupCom's brains out, this sequel is as complicated an RTS as you could hope to find. The UI has been streamlined, the performance ironed out and the tech tree has edged away from generic into iconic.
Despite the Plain Jane aesthetics, there's more pep to this than SupCom. It's not dumbed down, though. If anything, it's even more convoluted, thanks to a shift from static tech trees to a per-match unlock system.
You spend your points on buffs, new units and new structures - the result being that every player is fielding a bespoke force, devising their own strategy rather than climbing the same tree. The concern that there's little reason for this game to co-exist with the ageless SupCom erodes quickly. One guy might be researching nukes, while another send phalanxes of spiderbots across the land, while blokey #3 is busily making a hypno-ray to addle the minds of any units that come close.
This cheerfully chaotic diversity will inevitably be stamped down into mathematically-calculated build orders by bespectacled men who use the word "imba" 83 times a day, but don't let them spoil your fun. Build things! Kill other things! These are the age-old rudiments of real-time strategy games, and Supreme Commander 2 realises them spectacularly. OMG nukes are really imba, though.
Brilliantly beefy strategy
- Unquestionably SupCom
- Far more variety
- Slightly more accessible...
- Still incredibly inaccessible
- Terrible cutscenes