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Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance Review
Windows XP SP2+
1.8Ghz Processor (3Ghz Rec)
512MB RAM (2GB Rec)
8GB HD Space
ATI 9600+ / NVidia 6200+ Graphics
Card (6800+ Rec)
Broadband Connection required for multiplayer
Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is the sequel/standalone expansion
to the RTS Supreme Commander. The expansion pack continues the massive scale
warfare of its predecessor and introduces a new race as well as new units, plus
some gameplay and interface tweaks.
In Forged Alliance, the 3 races that were previously at war
have been forced to unite to fight against the invasion of a new threat – the
Seraphim. Instead of playing each individual race through separate concurrent
or storylines, Forged Alliance features the same set of missions, all
of which are playable by each of the 3 factions. The major missions and plot
lines remain the same, although there are some variances in dialogue and secondary
missions in each campaign. Each race has enough unique characteristics and
differing units to require different strategies and to maintain the interest in
playing through the same maps. The new race (the Seraphim) is available to play
in multiplayer/skirmish games only.
The Supreme Commander universe is based on the “Epic”
premise – think of a typical RTS game and multiply the map size by 5 to 10. In
fact, there is no minimap for the game; instead the entire playable area can be
zoomed out so that you end up with a full screen “minimap” where units and
buildings are reduced to coloured pixels.
The GUI works fairly well from a practical point of view -
GPG has redesigned the screen so that the menu bars have become more compact,
and combined with the ability to hide side navigation bars means that playable
area of the screen has become noticeably larger. The zooming ability means that
you can zoom into a unit to fill the entire screen (nice eye candy, but not
very practical), or zoom out to a full tactical overview. The scroll wheel on
your mouse will probably be your best friend while playing this game.
The game also features an ongoing storyline within each
mission – when a set of objectives are completed, the map will expand and new
objectives will appear. The continuous growth of the map fits in nicely in line
with the theme and emphasises the epic scale of the game. Its fun, but it can
start to get tedious after 3-4 hours of battle after battle on the same map -
It felt a bit like an RPG with a developing storyline and continuous battles,
but without the satisfaction that comes with the reward of levelling up and
gaining new items.
The major flaw of this sort of interface is that the further
the map stretches out, the more difficult the supply lines are to maintain.
Short of continually building forward bases, it progressively takes longer and
longer to repair and to resupply with fresh troops.
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