By Kenny Mahoney
A couple of things surprised me about Supreme Commander 2. Not that it’s a real time strategy (RTS) title with giant robots – that’s pretty common. What really surprised me was that upon booting up the game, I was greeted with a Square Enix logo. “Square Enix?!” I thought, “the Final Fantasy guys published this?!.” After a second though, it all started to make sense. The Japanese are known to be fond of their robot overlords, so an RTS whose main selling point is such wasn’t really out of the question.
The demo offers a few tutorial missions to get you acclimated to the RTS playstyle, which is pretty standard fare for anyone who has touched a PC RTS in the past ten years. Two tutorial levels as well as two levels from the campaign mode are included to give you an impression of the game – online was not an option. Critics of the first game in the series have claimed that unlike many other RTS games, SupCom is much more about strategic planning and unit management rather than simply amassing a giant army and shoving them at your enemy. My time with SupCom2 has proven that that opinion could not be further from the truth. It seemed no matter what I did, the better strategy was simply building more stuff than the other guy and trying to wipe him out with sheer force of numbers.
The unit types are similar to your average RTS, offering almost nothing of interest until you can enter into the “experimental” building options. However, being that the demo is so short coupled with the fact that these are usually only available in the late-game makes reaching “experimental” units difficult. However, I imagine that if you’re an RTS fan, you’re not too worried about having to wait around for a while for things to get interesting.
Overall, I’m not that impressed with Supreme Commander 2. The game has fared pretty well critically, but the combination of lackluster units and tired mechanics is enough for me to skip this one. However, if you’re still interested, Supreme Commander 2 is available now for the PC and will be available soon for the Xbox 360.