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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Strategy

 

Publisher

Aspyr Media

 

Developer

Hellbent Games

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

June 23, 2008

 

 

- Epic, epic battles on a huge, huge scale make for some awesome tactical and strategic battles

 

 

- The price of entry on this title is about 10 hours of your life to master the controls, familiarize yourself with the units and structures, and understand just how massive some of these battles are

- Good luck finding other players online

 

 

Review: Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (360)

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II (360)

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Supreme Commander

Score: 6.0/ 10

 

supreme commander          supreme commander

 

Epic in size and scale, Supreme Commander is an ambitious project, especially for a console that lacks the many benefits of a mouse and keyboard that should be the defacto standard for real-time strategy games (console or not).  Just how ambitious this project is dawned on me as I played the tutorial for the third time trying to grasp the controls and familiarize myself with the units.

 

There have been very few concessions made to create a more accessible strategy experience on a console - everything is pretty much as complicated as it's PC

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brother.  As a result, unless you're willing to put in the time to really learn what you're doing - at least 2 to 8 hours to get up to speed - there's no point in even trying because the amount of frustration will likely be too much to counter any fun you might be able to wring out of the game.

 

Supreme Commander follows the basic principles of other real-time strategy

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games: collect resources, build structures, produce units, then crush your opponent.  Managing all this with the controller is difficult enough but then you need to consider that all the units look pretty much the same unless you're zoomed all the way out, where units are rendered in icon form, or all the way in, where you can actually see what the unit is before selecting it.  Anywhere between those two points and almost all the units are little blobs. (Supreme Commander was reviewed on a hi-def widescreen TV, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to sort out units on a regular definition TV.)  The same is true of most of the structures.  Until you become intimately familiar with each base structure it's hard to tell what they are or what units can be produced from them until you select them.

 

supreme commander          supreme commander

 

As a result of the complicated controls and blobby units and buildings, the campaigns (and multiplayer, for that matter) are very taxing.  It takes a very high level of concentration to make it through even very basic combat manoeuvres and not lose each and every battle, which is exactly what I did for about another six hours of game time after three runs through the tutorial.

 

Once players have heaved themselves over the massive learning curve, there is a strategy game here worthy of attention but the "price of entry" is so high Supreme Commander likely won't be attractive to anyone that isn't a hardcore fan of the strategy genre.

 

- D.D. Nunavut

(July 31, 2008)

 

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