on January 7, 2008
Supreme Commander (SC) was an exceptional game, and highly engrossing for myself and others who grew up with Total Annihilation. SC had its flaws, though nothing I'd consider game-breaking.
Forged Alliance (FA) is the "kinda" expansion to SC. It does, indeed, stand alone as a game, however many of the options are locked out unless you own SC. This could easily be a bit of a disappointment to those picking it up and not knowing the half-truth.
With that out of the way, should you own SC and FA, you are in for a treat. FA fixes many of the issues experienced with SC. Many of these issues come down to balance. The new faction is a nice addition to LAN games, and the extra units helps the distinction between the existing factions. One thing you'll notice, though, it the new faction's units are less numerous than the old faction's bolstered ranks. Perhaps not being a story-mode available faction was the reason, but it's rather silly. It makes the new faction, already functionally generic, even less identifiable to tactics and strategy.
Regardless of one faction's unit count, the other features of the game are an exciting addition, though players of SC may find the new interface a tad bit odd at first. It quickly becomes apparent the new interface is vastly superior.
If you own SC, I can easily recommend picking up FA. If you don't own SC and are an RTS fan, I highly recommend picking up both.
on January 22, 2008
I've thus far played through the campaign with the UEF side. A list of changes I've noticed from the original supcom:
-Cleaned up UI. It's much more streamlined. The construction tab seemed a little too simplified at first, but it grew on me.
-Some major unit balances. Nukes have a slightly smaller blast radius and take WAY longer to build (engineer assistance does very little to aid), other end-game options have been balanced to be more employable (ex: Mavor cannon much shorter build time, nuke-sub only takes 8 minutes, all experimentals build a touch faster, amongst other things), mass fabricators have a much lower output, etc. Overall, I like the new balancing more.
-The game handles 2000 units being on screen better than the original in terms of processing speed.
-New units. A brand new alien side and each original side gets a new experimental along with 9 or 10 new units. These new units are unique to each side (ex: UEF is the only side to get a new Tech3 point defense while the other sides get other unique advantages) so it adds to the new balancing.
-Some new multiplayer maps. These maps are nicely polished and as playable as the originals.
-And of course, a new campaign. The campaign is only a mere six missions long (for each side), but these few missions last quite a while due to their difficulty and extensive objectives. On average, each mission took me about 2-2.5 hours to complete on the normal difficulty. The campaign may not be a work of genius in terms of story, but it definetely is sufficient to set a do-or-die tone on humanity's bleak outlook should you fail your objectives. (Then again, it doesn't require too much of a grand story to build up a massive army and bring the pain to the opposition.)
These are top-notch changes and additions, and all quite welcome. However, I don't think they are sufficient to qualify a forty-dollar price tag for this expansion. (Just a few dollars more and you've got a brand new game.) Hence, I am rating this game only four stars. As an expansion, it is one of the best, but priced as a brand new game it doesn't quite deliver the value.
If you find this game for less and you already own the original supcom, consider it a must-buy hands down.
on February 3, 2013
Of course this is purely opinion, as are all reviews.
I played Starcraft 2 from the day it was released (Waited in line at Best Buy for it and everything), and I was into it pretty hardcore for awhile. I got up to platinum solo as Zerg, and masters 4v4. Yes, it's an extremely polished game, but compared to SupCom Forged Alliance, it's completely underwhelming. As Starcraft 2 pro LiquidTLO said, SC2 is like a real-time tactics game, whereas Supreme Commander is a true real-time strategy game.
I never played Supreme Commander when it came out because 1. I was too absorbed with Warcraft 3 (Unfortunately), and 2. my computer wouldn't be able to handle it anyways. In 2013, with a custom built rig, I can run it smoothly and damn does it look good. Forged Alliance is just on a whole new level of scale. The battles are truly epic and actually require very specific tactical maneuvers. The giant experimental units and weaponry are truly something to behold. The massive explosion yielded by destroying an enemy commander is ineffable satisfying.
Overall, Forged Alliance is much more complex than Starcraft 2, but it is also much more rewarding. I wish Gas Powered Games had more cash and support to continue this series.
on December 12, 2007
This is a fantastic update on the original. A revised and improved UI, plenty of new and interesting units, and an interesting new race to play as make this a must have if you enjoyed Supreme Commander. Anyone who doesn't care for resource management, or found the original overwhelming in terms of size and scope should stay away from this one, as it shares the same core concepts. For everyone else, this is a must have.
on December 18, 2013
If you are a fan of Total Annihilation, buy this game; don't listen to negative reviews which I will debunk in this review. Also, at the current cheap price of this game and the expansion, it is a steal; it's definitely worth the price. Don't even think about, buy it, so cheap.
WHAT MAKES THIS GAME GREAT: The strategy is far more interesting and complex than any other RTS game to date. In SC (Supreme Commander) you have the possibility of building up your main base and resources, with the hope of destroying your opponent with powerful artillery weapons, powerful units, nukes, etcetera. Or, you can try bum-rushing your opponent with artillery and other units, possibly crushing someone who tries building up their economy. A strategy of surprise attacks and counter attacks is much better developed in Supreme Commander than any other RTS game. SC is the only game that takes full advantage of "fog of war or cloak of darkness" as well as water. You can create diversions with attacks to draw armies away from base, then rush your opponent's base with armies that have can't be detected by enemy radar (with radar-jammers), underwater or amphibious units and armies (that can't be detected because they are underwater). You can try to quickly build radar-jammers and then start building heavy artillery next to your opponent's base, picking off defenses so you can send in your troops. Or you can try destroying your opponent's radar/intelligence capabilities with aircraft, so you can pursue any one of these strategies without being discovered.
I think people who say you can't use the terrain are being absurd. Have you compared the terrain in SC to Warcraft III or Starcraft? The terrain is completely useless in both those games. SC uses the terrain a million times more.
The strategy in other RTS games pale in comparison. Starcraft, Warcraft III, and Command/Conquer are about tactical battles; you have to worry about clicking fast so you can heal your units or give them special powers on offense or defense while, or ferry them out of battle to heal them. STUPID. Surprise attacks are rarely possible, because you don't have anything to hide in! None of these games use mountain, forest, or water terrain nearly as effectively as Supreme Commander or the "fog of war" and all the possibilities with radar (some games call it differently). I do not like the multiplayer/skirmish versions Starcraft, Warcraft III, and Command/Conquer, and I wish people who think those games are better to stop telling us those games are better than this game, because they are NOT. Take your game, and throw in the thrash where it belongs. Warcraft III is not about strategy, it is a tactical game. They are all the same thing (starcraft, warcraft III, CC) and they are all mediocre.
I don't buy this complaint about it not working on your computer. You must see if your computer can handle the game before you buy the game, period, no excuses. A good metaphor is this--you can't play Playstation 3 games on your Playstation 1 system. It's just the way life is. My computer has a 3 ghz processor, and it works fantastic. I don't understand these reviews of people having problems with the game and have systems that meet the recommended requirements.
The idea that this game is just about economics is foolish. Of course, it is in large part an economic game. However, when you are building up your economy you have to be very wary that your opponent isn't getting ahead of you militarily, and ready to crush you with a huge army. Or maybe your opponent will destroy your new factory, and you waste your time building. Or maybe the opponent will strike your commander, destroy him, and you lose. If you are just building up your economy and not preparing a defense--you will lose.
People complain that the game is unbalanced, and then they complain that the factions are identical. If you are too stupid to see the contradiction then you are wasting my time. Yes, the factions are pretty much the same, but this doesn't bother me too much, as your opponent will almost certainly not order up the same units as you, and you will have a different game every time.
Now, some of the complaints are justified. 1. There is no story. 2. The Campaign and Skirmish modes are flawed. I agree with these complaints. This game is best as multiplayer game against other humans, preferably friends that also like to play this game. Also, they could have made it better by having a "random map" generator. It would make the game more interesting if you didn't know what the map looked like before you started. I also agree with the idea that they need more small maps. Sometimes you can't or don't want to play 2-5 hours games. I also agree that the defense is a bit too strong, and artillery becomes a bit too important.
I would rate this game somewhere around a 9/10, maybe 8.5/10.
I decided to buy this game several years after it was released. Why? You always save lots of money that way. Also, technology improves and your system is more likely to handle the game. This could be why I had a much better experience than some of the other gamers. This game if fun, buy it the value is great right now.