This game is damn good. Also, GS, you should fix the search so that the score of the terrible 360 port isn't the one that's shown when you search for this game. I searched for "supreme commander", and the first result showed the PC version box art, right next the 5.0 score from the 360 version. Not a good representation of this fantastic game. When two versions of a game are that drastically different in score (and released over a year apart), they should each have their own page, so they don't show up as the same thing in a search. Because they're not the same thing.
Supreme Commander Review
Supreme Commander delivers a deep and impressive strategy-gaming experience.
The single-player campaign will slowly introduce you to the many concepts in the game, which is good since Supreme Commander has a fairly steep learning curve. The basic concepts are easily understood, but there's so much nuance in the game that it might take a while before you realize the importance of such subtle things as building mass-storage structures around mass extractors to gain a bonus or concentrating engineers on one task to speed production of units at factories. While the three campaigns have only five or six missions each, keep in mind that these are huge missions and you'll average anywhere between two and three hours on each one. In fact, missions can go on for so long that the one thing the game sorely needs is some kind of autosave function, because if you manage to get to the end of a two or three hour battle and lose at the last moment due to a stupid decision, you'll have to start over again from scratch if you forgot to manually save the game midway.
One of the really impressive things about Supreme Commander is that everything in the game is simulated. This makes combat interesting, because inadvertent things can happen. Shoot down a bomber, and it may crash in a forest, setting it afire. Or, take out the Aeon CZAR experimental unit, an enormous flying saucer, and you may briefly cheer before you realize that the flaming wreckage is going to take out half of your base. While the pathfinding gets a little confused at times, the performance of the artificial intelligence is solid, particularly as an opponent. At the medium setting, the AI is fairly passive, though at the more challenging horde and supreme settings, the AI is fairly aggressive and knows how to attack. One particularly nasty tactic that it uses is to set up heavily defended outposts in your territory, fortify them, and then set up artillery to pound your positions.
However, if you practice against the AI, you won't be much prepared for a human opponent, because the AI isn't as nimble or as aggressive as a fellow human. The single-player campaign and the skirmish modes serve as a lengthy tutorial to the concepts of the game, and you'll really have to apply all the lessons and tactics that you learn to compete in multiplayer, which is fun, brutal, and dynamic. Supreme Commander's gameplay lends itself well to the multiplayer realm because it's so wide open. For every move that you can come up with, the enemy can develop a counter. For instance, create a solid defensive line, and the enemy might bypass or simply fly over it, sending gunships to raid your economic base. Focus too long on building an experimental unit, and the enemy might send nuclear missiles or heavy artillery your way. Gas Powered Games' multiplayer browser is fairly robust and makes finding and setting up a game easy, though it'd be nice if it wasn't a separate application. As it is, you must quit Supreme Commander to launch the browser, and the browser automatically launches the game when you join a match.
At the highest detail levels, Supreme Commander is incredible to look at. Seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of air, land, and naval units battling onscreen is amazing, and large battles are littered with smoke trailers, particle effects, and explosions. Meanwhile, watching a nuclear detonation slowly expand, with the shock wave destroying everything in its path and setting off a chain reaction, is bliss. Even more impressive is the ability to pull the camera back far enough to see the entire battlefield. Limited zoom has always been one of the primary frustrations in many RTS games, because you never could feel like you were getting a grasp on the battlefield. But in Supreme Commander, you can pull the zoom back far enough and feel like you're really sitting back in a command bunker somewhere as you watch the military icons that represent your units move and fight onscreen. If you have two monitors, you can keep one zoomed in on the action while the other gives you the strategic view, and it's very cool, though you'll need a fairly advanced video card to support it. The good news is that if you have just one monitor, you can do a split-screen view with one half zoomed on the action and the other giving you the strategic view.
The downside is that Supreme Commander can bring the most modern PCs to their knees. Since the game is keeping track and simulating hundreds of units over such a large area, it doesn't take much before the frame rate will start to stutter. On our test machine with a dual core CPU and 2GB of RAM, we experienced slight pauses on the humongous 81k-by-81k map. On smaller maps with a larger set of AI opponents, the action slowed to a virtual crawl as the system strained to keep up with the action. It's doubtful that a PC has been built yet that can run Supreme Commander's largest map with a full set of AI opponents at high graphics detail. Thankfully, you can adjust the graphical settings quickly and without having to restart the game, so if the battle starts to chug, you can simply go to the options menu and lower the visual detail to smooth out the frame rate.
Supreme Commander's audio seems a bit muted, though that's probably because you're always watching the action from a considerable distance. The units make all the futuristic whirs and machine noises that you'd expect, though the highlight of the game's audio is the martial music that changes tempo whenever something dramatic happens onscreen.
Still, despite the hardware headaches, Supreme Commander is one of the most impressive real-time strategy games in recent years. This is a game that dares to be big, and it succeeds because it understands what strategy is about. Strategy is more than overwhelming the other side with sheer numbers. Strategy is about maneuvering, it's about applying the right weapon at the right place at the right time, and it's about rewarding creative thinking, and that's what Supreme Commander does.
If i had some tricked out AleinWare water coolant hyperdrive flux capacitor machine operator i would enjoy this game a heck of a lot more than i do with some lame toshiba. Nevertheless a great game. It takes skill to make an RTS that can be fun and enjoyable without being too easy, i think they've really made it so that the elements of both intelligence and fun are balance, however i'd recommend playing some such as AOE before jumping into this.
This is my favorite RTS of all time. It's balanced, strategic, and it's simply enormous. It's not perfectly polished, but SupCom is RTS at its best, in my opinion.