Thursday, August 20, 2009

Supreme Commander 2

I now realize that in my crowded list of future games I posted last week, I left of one that I particularly looking forward to. Today I was reading the September issue of PC Gamer (missed issue that they promptly re-sent after calling them up), and the title story was on SupCom 2. The article is definitely recommended to anyone who played SupCom or the older Total Annihilation.

The team appears to be taking some of the criticisms from the first game to heart and changing them up for the second go around. First area of improvement is the economy. The first one had a delightfully challenging economy that rewarded properly planning and quality base layouts. The problem was how unforgiving this was. One mistake or pushing construction a little too fast brought your entire war machine to a halt. When this happened, all the fun went out the window as you had to instantly reorganize your economy and play catch up to the other players. Storage facilities are no longer needed which will free up the base for a more streamlined look. This is a major plus in my book because constantly having to build mass and power storage crowded up the base and made it harder for units to find a path through the base and made placing structures harder. One area of disappointment is the removal of having additional engineering units speed up build times. While it required micromanagement of large teams of builders, it was nice to have the option to speed up the construction of the experimental units when you needed it most.

Another area that is being improved is the ACUs. Thank god they have escape pods now so they can be used in an offensive without worrying about them going nuclear. I would assume you would have to manually eject the commander, but that should be no problem as you should always have an eye on his health. There are some more upgrades to make the ACU better on the attack, like AA guns and torpedoes. Yay! The ability to finally walk your commander through water without having to worry about getting raped by subs and ships.

Aeon is now the Illuminate. The new art style is a welcome change with a steampunk type vibe to it.

Tech Tree Changes. No longer will Tier 1 and 2 units become useless by the end of the match. Rather than having tiers, units can be upgraded over time through an actual tech tree. Should be some good strategies for that and the ability to tailor your units how you want them. They give the example of a tank adding an extra barrel, then more range, and finally some AA guns. Should be interesting to see the end result.

More experimental units divided into minor and major classifications. Minors supposedly can be built by the 15th minute of gameplay while majors are more like the ones in the original SupCom. Also there will triple the number of them in the game which make for some interesting army make-ups.

Overall, a good preview that makes me even more eager for this game to come out.

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