Preview: Supreme Commander

We’ve managed to grab an invite to the closed multiplayer beta of Supreme Commander and we preview one of the most anticipated strategy games to date.

Recently, we checked out Supreme Commander, the game that’s being called the spiritual successor to one of – if not the – greatest strategy games of all time, Total Annihilation. Released back in 1998, it’s still played all around the world today. But it’s only taken head developer, Chris Taylor, 8 years and counting to come up with Total Annihilation.

There’s a closed multiplayer beta currently out and the Cyber Shack managed to nab an invite to it. So, being a multiplayer-only beta with no single-player component, you’re pretty much thrown in the deep end by having to face other players.

We’d say our first impressions have been positive so far. The feel is extremely similar to Total Annihilation, which is a good thing, but it’s different enough to take a little while to work out how the new gameplay aspects. Essentially, like Total Annihilation, the idea is to accumulate both metal and energy, and keep those levels high enough to build up the kind of military that you want. Most of the units and buildings are also looking very similar, but this time there’s actually 3 sides to choose from, and with more distinct differences.

While it has taken a long time for Supreme Commander to come around, you can see that the time’s been spent well. The gameplay and interface has been extremely well thought out, to the point where you can actually obtain the type of in-depth information that no other game would bother giving you. So, control freaks will absolutely love this but if you don’t want to be overwhelmed with stats and information, you can also turn it all off and just focus on commanding your absolutely massive military forces wherever they need to go.

On that note, one of the keynote features of Supreme Commander is the ability to command on a large-scale as well as get right down close to the battlefield and micro-manage the tactical side of engagements up close. We’ve found this feature to have been implemented really well, with all you needing to do is just give the mouse-wheel a flick to change the distance of your view from the battlefield. And the difference is incredible – like you can go so far back, all your armies have to be represented by icons, with the option to go close enough to check out the battle damage on individual units. So, really well done and, just on a little side note, the largest battlefields in a strategy game ever.

Anyway, it’s obvious that there’s still quite a bit of work to be done, and we assume the artificial intelligence is still in development, which is usually the reason why some games get released as multiplayer-only betas. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this PC-only title for you closer to its release date, which is currently rumoured to be early next year.

Developer- Gas Powered Games

Publisher- THQ

Classification- To Be Classified

Formats- PC

URL- Supreme Commander