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Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander is a real-time strategy computer game designed by Chris Taylor and developed by his company, Gas Powered Games. The game is considered to be a spiritual successor to Taylor's 1997 game Total Annihilation, alongside the Spring remake. First announced in the August 2005 edition of PC Gamer magazine, the game was released on February 16, 2007 in Europe and February 20, 2007 in North America. A standalone expansion, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, was released on November 6 of the same year. A sequel, Supreme Commander 2, has also been released.

Supreme Commander is focused on using a giant bipedal mech called an Armored Command Unit to build a base, then upgrading units to reach higher technology tiers, and conquering opponents. The player can command one of three nations: the Aeon Illuminate, the Cybran Nation, or the United Earth Federation. Supreme Commander was highly anticipated in pre-release previews, and was well received by critics, with a Metacritic average of 86 out of 100.

Supreme Commander Plot

At the start of the single player campaign, the Infinite War between the three factions has raged for over a millennium. Every faction has its own problems; the UEF is stretched far too thin, the Cybrans are hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, and the Aeon Commander in Chief (called the Avatar of War) is stirring unrest amongst the Illuminate.

The campaign focuses on the UEF's weapon of last resort, a planet killer named Black Sun. With it, they intend to destroy the homeworlds of the factions that oppose them. The Cybrans plan to use it to destroy the quantum gate network and free their enslaved brethren, while the Aeon seek to use it to broadcast a message of peace to all people. The player decides which faction to play as and what course it will take.

Victory in the UEF campaign results in Black Sun destroying the critical planets of both the Aeon and the Cybrans, leading the galaxy into a new era of human superiority and ending the war. In the Cybran campaign, QAI, an enormously intelligent and powerful AI, uses it to spread the quantum virus and free all the symbionts under the control of the UEF. This virus itself disables every quantum gate in the galaxy, stopping superluminal travel for five years, thus allowing the Cybran Nation to flourish without being attacked by the others. Finally, the Aeon campaign sees the Princess Rhianne (leader of the Aeon) become part of the quantum gate network. This allows the Princess to speak into the mind of every human, and urge all three sides to lay down arms. All three factions make peace with each other after this message.

Upon finishing the game, each faction has a different teaser ending, hinting at a new enemy for the expansion. The Cybran ending shows QAI calling in unidentified enemies, to Dr. Brackman's horror, saying "They are coming." The Aeon ending simply depicts Princess Rhianne opening her eyes in shock and saying "...no!" Finally, the UEF ending shows a large rift opening near Earth, and many unidentified radar signatures appearing near the location of Black Sun on Earth. All three teasers are consistent with the arrival of the Seraphim from the sequel. Entertainingly, upon completion of the Cybran campaign, you receive a message from Elite Commander Dostya, stating she stashed a bottle of fine vodka in the rear compartment of your ACU, a further reference to her Russian-esque heritage.

Supreme Commander Gameplay

Supreme Commander, like its spiritual predecessor, begins with the player solely possessing a single, irreplaceable construction unit called the "Armored Command Unit," or ACU, the titular Supreme Commander. Normally the loss of this unit results in the loss of the game (Skirmish missions can be set for a variety of victory conditions). These mech suits are designed to be transported through quantum gateways across the galaxy and contain all the materials and blueprints necessary to create a 37th-century army from a planet's native resources in hours. All standard units except Commanders and summoned Support Commanders (sACU) are self-sufficient robots.

All units and structures belong to one of four technology tiers, or "Tech" levels, each tier being stronger and/or more efficient than the previous. Certain lower-tier structures can be upgraded into higher ones without having to rebuild them. The first tier is available at the start of the game and consists of small, relatively weak units and structures. The second tier expands the player's abilities greatly, especially in terms of stationary weapons and shielding, and introduces upgraded versions of tier one units. The third tier level has very powerful assault units designed to overcome the fortifications of the most entrenched player. The fourth tier is a limited range of "experimental" technology. These are usually massive units which take a lot of time and energy to produce, but provide a significant tactical advantage.

Supreme Commander features a varied skirmish AI. The typical Easy and Normal modes are present, but the Hard difficulty level has four possible variants. Horde AI will swarm the player with hordes of lower level units, Tech AI will upgrade its units as fast as possible and assault the player with advanced units, the Balanced AI attempts to find a balance between the two, and the Supreme AI decides which of the three hard strategies is best for the map.

The single player campaign consists of eighteen missions, six for each faction. The player is an inexperienced Commander who plays a key role in their faction's campaign to bring the "Infinite War" to an end. Despite the low number of campaign missions, each mission can potentially last hours. At the start of a mission, objectives are assigned for the player to complete. Once the player accomplishes them, the map is expanded, sometimes doubling or tripling in size, and new objectives are assigned. As the mission is commonly divided into three segments, the player will often have to overcome several enemy positions to achieve victory.

Reception
Supreme Commander was highly anticipated. Large gaming websites wrote many previews: GameSpot wrote eighteen, IGN wrote eight, and GameSpy five. The Seton's Clutch map was frequently featured, as early as September 2005. This battle was between the UEF and the Cybran, showcasing a Monkeylord annihilating UEF tanks. At E3, it was revealed that the Aeon had a base to the southeast of this map, which was used to launch strategic nuclear missiles on the UEF base. Supreme Commander won several notable awards before it was released, all of them connected to E3, including the GameCritics Best Strategy Game Award and IGN's best upcoming PC game award. Other awards were received from GameSpy, GameSpot, Games Radar, Voodoo Extreme and 1UP.[65


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