Games like Supreme Commander owe much to their forefathers. A spiritual sequel to the 90s cult hit, Total Annihilation, wherein the Arm and Core wage war across an entire galaxy, Supreme Commander seeks to match that game’s reputation.
Supreme Commander drops you into a similar perpetual conflict. Much like Orwell’s 1984, you choose one of three sides in the Infinite War, a conflict that has dragged on for a thousand years. Players can choose the United Earth Federation (UEF), the Cybrans, or the Aeon Illuminate.
Supreme Commander is a game designed to be played on multiple screens. Players can zoom from a full-screen version of the minimap all the way to focus on a single unit, granting you easy access to both strategic and tactical views. Macro-level decisions are as important as micromanagement especially in the later sections of levels.
The scale of the game can be staggering at times. Completing objectives expands the map with sizes of up to 80km x 80km possible. Levels usually double or triple in size. Campaign missions can take hours.
Automation proves helpful here as units can have orders queued. Units produced at a factory can be ordered to automatically head for a rally point. Here air transports can be automated to ferry troops between two landing zones, freeing up the player. They only have to choose how many units to create and they’ll be sent right to the frontlines by the AI. Units in formations will automatically place their heaviest to the front and space out support units.
Research grants access to different tiers of units. Of these, the most enjoyable are the experimental and prototype units. This fourth and final tier is the piece de resistance, the endgame units, the game-winners. They consume an enormous amount of energy but the cost and effort are worth it, especially when your Cybran Monkeylord is trampling normal tanks and bots underfoot.