Having played on various platforms, I have built up a large collection of games that, to this day, are still fun to play and bring back fond memories. All this aside, at some point, a sequel can be completely damaging to your love of a franchise. For the Supreme Commander universe, this was the case. Supreme Commander 2 (SC2) is a strategy based game set in a universe where humanity spread through the universe thanks to trusty portals. They frolicked and built many colonies; however expansion caused fractures, and it eventually split into three factions you get to play as in the game: the United Earth Federation (UEF), The Cybran Nation (CN) and the Aeon Illuminate (AI).
War followed and after whole worlds were devastated, the Cybrans, using a nasty computer system that betrayed them, fired a weapon that opened up a rift in space; allowing a nasty and thought-extinct empire to invade the galaxy, The Seraphim. They devastated the galaxy, but were thwarted by the combined efforts of the other nations at the final battle for the galaxy and were sealed away in their dimension. That was a brief summary of the first game and its expansion – pretty epic! A couple of years have passed on since then and that’s where SC2 Starts. So with so much excitement for the game that I played and consecutively was challenged by, I jumped into the story for SC2.
…monstrous armoured weapons…
One of the exciting and innovative elements that made up SC1 and SC:FA (Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance) was how much micro management was needed to successfully build up a base and keep it running while fuelling your factories, researching new technologies and defending your territory from enemy attack. You were expected to build mass extractors for materials, power generators for energy and defences for offensive and defensive capabilities.
The problem was that energy could be used up by building bigger buildings meaning that your ACU (Armoured Command Units) wouldn’t be able to build anything. Your shields would fail and enemy bombing campaigns and attacks from Megaliths (monstrous armoured weapons) would spell doom for your base. It was a game that really was a fight for your life. The computer AI was incredibly adaptive and there was never any stagnation or stalemates. You either took the upper hand or were overwhelmed.
…a large amount of my brain power to win.
SC2 is a dumber version of the original game. It’s almost like the developers took everything that made the first interesting and replaced it with a universal gaming plan. Without a doubt I could give the game to anyone and they would be able to form a base, defend themselves and then win the game. If I handed you the first game I really doubt you would know how to play the game properly after a month’s gameplay. Unlike games that I know I will always win at (Super Smash Brothers) I am generally apprehensive at starting a game of SC1 as I know that I will have to invest not only my time, but a large amount of my brain power to win.
The main problem with SC2 is that the game was made for a wider audience. With fans complaining that the first game and expansion were difficult, they have simply dumbed it down which unfortunately leads to boring gameplay. With the gaming market the way it is, it is a real shame that the series couldn’t have continued with the dynamic gaming experience it once was. For the future, I look to those old games to keep me interested, but I wait, hoping, that perhaps someone will make a game that actually challenges the player and is not just a reason to grab a wider audience and make money.