THQ Supreme Commander
An impressive RTS
- Big is better!, scalable
- Can be a bit confusing, campaign mode not compelling
Without a doubt, Supreme Commander is a game of epic proportions that will offer an outstanding RTS experience for the far foreseeable future, and for that it deserves an equally massive amount of praise.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
We all know size matters. We say it's not how big something is but rather how we use it, but we all know that's not true. From our super-sized combo meals to our massive SUVs and 86-inch plasmas TVs, it's obvious that we love big things. We like big things in our games too, and that's where Supreme Commander comes in.
For those of you unfamiliar with Supreme Commander, it's pretty straightforward. Think of your regular old RTS games like Commander and Conquer or Starcraft. Now multiply that by a factor of 10. Everything in this game is big: the weapons, the maps, the unit cap, even the system resources. And as we know, bigger is always better.
You'll start out small with little scout ships and other diminutive units, save for your towering and customisable supreme commander who's part hero unit, part super engineer. As you continue to build, those meagre light tanks and submarines will pale in comparison to the larger and sometimes immense weapons of war you'll later have at your disposal.
Pull Out The Big Guns
Case in point: the experimental weapons. Each faction has three unique weapons of mass destruction that represent the pinnacle of the respective faction's technological abilities. The unique abilities of each experimental unit not only grant you an immense edge in battle, but they also allow you to personalise your play style.
Of course, a few jumbo-sized offensive weapons isn't all Supreme Commander has to offer; it's also the sheer number of units that can duke it out at once that sets it apart. Up to 500 units per side can be produced and fought in battle, meaning combat can be intense and protracted, but also a hell of a lot of fun, given you have the resources to build so much.
With all the units to manage, and a demanding resource economy, the user-interface is equally important in making a game like Supreme Commander fun, and it delivers on all fronts. The map and zoom abilities allow you to move across the battlefield swiftly and accurately to pick out important units. It can become a bit confusing when hundreds of units are onscreen, but given what Supreme Commander set out to do, unit management and map control is some of the best in any RTS.
None of this would be of any interest, however, if Supreme Commander didn't look as good as it does. Even with so many units on screen, zooming down to the closest level yields minor details on units like rotating turrets, moving treads, and reloading missile launch bays. The explosions are jaw-droppingly awesome; nuclear explosions, artillery shots, energy beams, and anything to do with massive damage looks stellar and really proves blowing stuff up is just plain fun. Supreme Commander is an impressive graphical feat, so long as you have the system to run it.
Which leads to an important point. Supreme Commander is scalable, so even with a relatively new system the game is perfectly playable. The biggest drain on your system resources will be the number of units on screen; even a high-end rig will have trouble running the game with all settings on high and a unit cap at 500. Thankfully, unit caps can be reduced in skirmishes and multiplayer matches to prevent just such a problem.
The Big Bang
There are only a few other slight setbacks. The campaign mode, for all its intent to tell a story, isn't very compelling, particularly because you're required to slog through early levels where only minor units are available to build. Instead, it's the skirmish and multiplayer modes that really shine. Also, units don't respond with any voice-overs when selected or given a command, unlike almost every other RTS, making it a bizarre omission.
But for all of these negligible impediments, Supreme Commander still shines as an eminently impressive RTS title. Not only are the core elements delivered well, but lesser details like the game's musical score and the multiplayer pairing service are outstanding.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- StarCraft Remastered updates a legend with 4K widescreen support, updated audio, and more
- Obduction's new VR hand-tracking makes Myst's spiritual successor even more stunning
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTFull Stack .Net Developer Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTDevOps - Web AdministratorQLD
- FTProject Manager - Financial Forecasting SystemsNSW
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip organisationNSW
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- CCSenior Technology SpecialistVIC
- FTJava Developer - Short team Contract @ CanberraVIC
- CCProjects Governance Risk SpecialistSA
- FTSQL Server DBA- 2016 RDBMS, SSIS, SRS, Certified DBANSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- FTBusiness Solutions AnalystNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistNSW
- FTEnterprise Solution ArchitectNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- FTHead of Architecture, Global Financial InstitutionNSW
- CCPerformance TesterQLD
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperVIC
- FTTeam LeaderNSW
- FTSenior Security AnalystACT
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip companyNSW
- FTKey Account ManagerVIC