|System: PC, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gas Powered Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Square Enix||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 2, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While the single-player campaign is fairly enjoyable to play through, it mostly just serves as a story-driven tutorial for learning how to play the game. The early missions for each faction are little more than basic introductions to the different structures and units you'll need early on as well as how to collect resources and spend research points. The economy of this game relies mainly on two resources: mass and energy. Energy is gained by building energy stations anywhere on the map, while mass collectors can only be built upon specific nodes. Seeking out these nodes and defending your mass collectors serves as the driving force behind many of your missions, as it is nearly impossible to collect enough mass from just the nodes nearby your starting point.
As you successfully dispatch enemies and build more research facilities, you'll also gain research points. These points are used to basically level up your various units and structures as well as open up new build options. This is done through a series of tech trees such as land, air, structures, etc., which helps to improve your existing units as well as soon to be produced ones. Early upgrades will consist of things like adding a percentage of damage to attacks, making units and structures less vulnerable to damage and even improving attack range. However, as you progress to later upgrades on the tree, you'll uncover major benefits such as shields, regeneration, and even experimental units. If you heavily focus on gaining research points, it is entirely possible to get to these massive and powerful experimental units fairly quickly. While this may feel a little cheap since experimental units can help to swing most battles in your favor, having an enormous mech stomping through an enemy's base gunning down everything in sight is also incredibly hilarious and rewarding.
Once you've gotten through the single-player campaign and have a decent grasp of your build and research progressions, you'll want to move on to Supreme Commander 2's skirmish and multiplayer modes. Skirmish will allow you to continue to practice against a computer opponent without having to worry about hitting certain checkpoints like in the single-player. However, online multiplayer is likely where you'll spend most of your time with this game, challenging human opponents who will provide much more resistance than the fairly lenient A.I. foes. Online multiplayer runs just as well as the single-player and has a host of decently sized maps on which to do battle. The only slight letdown here is that it only supports up to four players.
While it can generally be easy to write off a console RTS, Supreme Commander 2 on the Xbox 360 is a surprisingly great title. The controls work much better than you'd expect, the build mechanics have been simplified to help new players get into it while still maintaining a good amount of depth for more experienced players, it looks good and runs immeasurably better than its predecessor. If you're looking for an RTS to play on a console, Supreme Commander 2 is definitely one of the few good options available to you.
CCC Staff Contributor