Supreme Commander 2 - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Supreme Commander 2
PC, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
Gas Powered Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Rated: "E" for Everyone 10+



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     

Supreme Commander has always been one of those games were you either get it or you don’t.  For those able to keep up with the gigantic battles, robust economy system and deep upgrade mechanics; you were treated to one hell of a real time strategy game. Those who didn’t were left to merely wonder what the big fuss was all about.

Now Gas Powered Games has finally brought us Supreme Commander 2 and it’s everything you’d expect, except somehow it’s not. In an effort to make the game more accessible, the developers have tweaked the gameplay. As a result, the roles have seemingly switched and those who didn’t get it before are more likely to find a quality title, but those who got it before may be left feeling abandoned.

Kicking off roughly 25-years after the events of the original Supreme Commander, the events of the sequel are kicked off by the assassination of a newly elected president. As a result of the attack, peaceful relations have ceased between the United Earth Federation, The Aeon Illuminate and the Cybran Nation. If you’ve ever played an RTS – you can probably guess where this leads; giant friggin’ battles. For the most part, Supreme Commander 2 does a great job representing the true epic scale of this war, it’s just that if you played the original, you’re going to notice some of the changes and many of them aren’t for the better.

"...the learning curve has been ironed out quite a bit."

 
   

The best way to describe the changes between Supreme Commander and its sequel is that the learning curve has been ironed out quite a bit. Take for instance the unit upgrade system; gone is the lengthy process from the first game in favor of a new, much more streamlined tech tree system found in many modern strategy games.  This of course changes a major portion of the game’s core elements and for the most part is successful, I just couldn’t avoid the feeling that I wasn’t putting as much effort into my forces as I was before and there was nothing I could do about it.

Another mechanic that’s been dumbed down for lack of a better term is the game’s economy system.  The new rules placed upon building your energy and mass structures almost seem like they’re in place strictly to lead you into battle -- and not in a good way. You see, you can build energy production structures anywhere, but mass production in only designated areas, and more often than not a good portion of these areas where you can build them are too close to your enemies. Yes, the point of the game is the battle system, but don’t I get to build up my forces beforehand?

One change I did really like was that each of the three factions now feels incredibly different to play. They’ll make different choices throughout the game and as a result you’re likely to want to play through multiple times. Each faction has its strengths and weaknesses but where this really gets interesting is when you start to learn the tech tree for each faction. After enough upgrades, you’re able to research new experimental technology that makes even your weaknesses into a strong suit. I didn’t get nearly as much of a rewarding feeling with this game as I did the original, but I came close here.

"...the storyline is so weirdly predictable that it’s funny."

 
   

I’m going to put this as bluntly as possible – you’re more than likely going to fall asleep during Supreme Commander 2’s single player campaign. Though the campaign is broken up in six mission chunks for each faction, the objectives all feel the same and the storyline is so weirdly predictable that it’s funny.  My main problem with the campaign was that out of all of the factions, none of the characters were likeable or identifiable.  In a game that’s supposedly embroiled in a horrid war – that’s a problem. At best, the campaign works if only as a training tool for those new to the series as you can still run skirmishes against AI opponents.

Just like its predecessor, the heart and soul of Supreme Commander 2 is the game’s online suite. With incredibly large battles, a plethora of options and an easy to use interface, playing Supreme Commander 2 online takes away many of the game’s problems as the objectives aren’t predetermined.  What I really loved was just how easy it was to change the focus from an entire battlefield to a single battle or unit. It makes managing your troops ten times easier and the game more fun in the process.

If you couldn’t wrap your head around the first Supreme Commander, give the sequel a try –the changes may just be enough to bring you back. If you’re one of the series diehards though, you may want to take a hesitant look before you dive in; there have been a lot of sacrifices here in the name of accessibility. If you can get past these changes though, you’ll find a deceptively deep and engaging RTS experience. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Increased Mass, Power, Tech, Instant Build, Super Damage

I loved the trainer for Supreme Commander 2, but I also think it may have been better served for the original. There’s a cheat for increased power, mass and tech but thanks to the changes to the game’s building and economy mechanics, even these cheats can feel a bit limited at times. They do help, but they could also do so much more.

That being said, the trainer does also feature cheats for super damage, allies and instant build which will help your troops immensely.  Seriously, you’re going to love the Super Damage cheat in this game.

 

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