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Platform: PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Matrix Games
Developer: Black Hammer Games
ETA: Q1 2005

 

Related Links:

Review: Homeworld 2 (PC)

Review: Perimeter (PC)

Review: Star Trek Starfleet Command Orion Pirates (PC)

 

 

 

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Supremacy: Four Paths to Power

 

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The problem with games made by small development houses is that they rarely get the attention they might otherwise deserve.  Supremacy: Four Paths to Power being a tactical/strategy game it’s already got two strikes against it, at least in terms of appealing to the mainstream gaming audience.  Shooters and action games on the PC tend to grab the most attention.  Be that as it may, Supremacy should have fans of tactical gameplay at the ready.

 

Here’s the official details from developer Black Hammer:

 

Tactical combat in space and on planetary surfaces.

 

Over 40 unique units, including suicide bombers, flamethrowers and massive mechs.

 

Adaptive AI that will constantly challenge your strategies.

 

Robust multiplayer allows players to find and challenge each other.

 

Over 35 unique maps with map editor functionality supported.

 

Customize the game to better suit your preferences.

 

4 unique Commanding Officers provide increased replayability.

 

Full in-game help system makes the game easy to learn but difficult to master.

Game Modes include:

 

Conquest

Conquest is Supremacy's primary game mode, and offers the largest variety of maps and usually the longest period of playtime. In this mode, the player must occupy every planet on the space map that they choose to win. However, to accomplish this they must outwit and outfight the enemy both in space and on the ground.

 

Rescue Hero

In this game mode, a "hero" unit is placed on a planet owned by each side. The players must capture the planet that the hero unit is 

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located on and then transport the hero with a cargo ship all the way back to their home planet. If the hero dies at any time, the player loses. This is a challenging mode that requires players to exercise extreme caution.

 

Protect Home Planet

In this mode, one player is given a "homeworld" and the other player is given a set amount of turns to capture that world. This is an excellent game for players who wish to concentrate on either attack or defense, and can result in some exciting, tense battles as time ticks away.

 

King of the Station

King of the Station games take strategic importance away from the planets and put it on the space stations that grant players technological upgrades instead. Because it is far simpler to capture a space station than a planet, this mode requires advanced startegic planning, with players creating cordons around their stations to protect them.

 

Capture Home Planet

In this game mode, each side is given a "homeworld" and both players are given the sole task of capturing their opponent's homeworld without allowing theirs to be taken. This leads to exciting, accelerated battles as both sides charge for their targets with no regard for anything else. These games often proceed faster than standard Conquest games.

 

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Bodycounts

In a Bodycount mode, both sides have a limited number of turns to destroy as many opposing spacecraft as possible. This mode is for people who enjoy the fast-paced intergalactic conflict of Supremacy, as ships square off against each other right from the beginning of the game, with no attention needing to be paid to resource management or ground strategy.

 

Ground Battles:

Supremacy also allows players to enjoy isolated battles using the ground combat engine - players pick a CO and a loadout of troops and then are taken to a planet's surface to battle it out. These quick, furious games are perfect for online play when you don't have a lot of time to spare.

 

  One thing I do like about “indie” projects or at least games produced by smaller companies is that they tend to pour their heart and soul into the project and it appears less about money than it does about creating a solid gaming experience.  It looks that way with Supremacy.

 

The graphics may not be up the same standard as Homeworld 2, but that’s not really the issue here.  With only a short wait until Supremacy: Four Paths to Power we’ll find out if the strategic elements can suck gamers in.

 

- Omni

(February 13, 2005)