Supreme Commander 2 is a cruel but kind RTS. It offers what most RTS games offer: Several complex factions with unique aspects to each, a campaign that requires you to make use of all available units, and a unique means of production. Because of the way I play these types of games, the campaign is going to remain untouched, but I can tell you one thing. While the in-game visuals are pretty, the campaign animations will give you something to twitch about. Yucky.
So what sets Supreme Commander 2 apart from the other RTS games that’re out there? To start off, the pre-game options offer a wide variety of game-altering choices. If you’d like a rush timer to prevent early-game pester, a limitation on nukes or artillery to avoid late-game domination, or an instant full research button, it’s all yours for the taking.
The second portion is how the game plays. You’re given a commander unit that has superior build speeds and a high-powered weapon. While he functions on the same level as standard engineers, he is more mobile and capable of dominating small armies if properly upgraded. In reality, he is typically the last line of defense or a troll unit of winning battles, so keep him in your base.
Mass, energy, and research are the resources that allow your forces and buildings to gain strength. Mass is acquired by constructing extractors over mass nodes, which are scattered throughout the map. Energy is a little easier, because all you need to do to increase that output is build loads of the cheap, low-space energy producing facilities. Research, used for upgrading forces, buildings, and commanders as opposed to constructing them, is gained by building research facilities or destroying enemy units. A reliable income of research is an absolute necessity late-game, when all the high-tier units are flooding towards your base. From nukes to special defenses to ungodly units, research will unlock it all
Speaking of ungodly units, the top-tier construction selections in Supreme Commander 2 are called Experimentals, and they offer a wide variety of high-powered bonuses. While they vary from side to side, it’s safe to say that Experimental units are massive, slow, and typically difficult to take down because of their monstrous amount of health. The buildings offer a unique type of support. For example, the Illuminate Loyalty Gun will actually steal enemy units and give them to you. The UEF Aegis will provide a massive, durable shield that can be instantly recharged in the blink of an eye. The Cybran Magnetron will push away enemy assaults, or pull all the assailants in and grind them up.
Matches without nukes or artillery tend to be considerably drawn out because of the balanced nature of the game. Yes, balanced. Despite all the trumps and bits and baubles, I’d say that no side has a significant advantage over the others right out. It all depends on how you play them.
Final note before I leave you to ponder the meaning of this game: You can turtle like a son of a bitch if you’re so inclined. You can build a staggering number of turrets, missile defenses, nuke defenses, and other “screw you buttons” to force your opponents to surrender out of sheer helplessness and frustration. If you play like that (like me), then you’re a complete ass and shouldn’t get this game.
On that note, you should get this game because it’s, what, twenty bucks these days? And the modding community is tweaking the crap out of this one. It’s got stuff for Supreme Commander the First fans, sequel fans, artillery whores, nuke freaks, turtles, visual-mongers, and of course, you! Check it out.