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Supreme Commander Review

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If you only buy one war game this season...

★★★★★

While the shelves in your local HMV are straining under the weight of a myriad RTS games, it’s a sad fact that most of these titles have been designed with specific strategies in mind, offering battlefields that are just about big enough to wage war but small enough to limit the sorts of tactics players can employ. But with futuristic theatres of war that stretch as far as the eye can see, the only thing limiting your manoeuvres in Supreme Commander is your imagination.

Featuring battle maps up to 80km2, Supreme Commander ditches the dead-ends and chokepoints that mar many RTS titles, instead giving armchair generals a sprawling sandbox where they can experiment with tactics and outfox enemy defences, giving players plenty of room to evolve unique strategies. Even better, the sheer scale of the game makes reconnaissance more important than in your average RTS, challenging players to gather intelligence and use battle data to plan every move and adding an extra layer of depth to the proceedings.

Naturally, the epic battlefields are also perfectly suited to multiplayer mash-ups, the open environments giving human commanders the scope to outwit offensive moves and develop complex counter attacks, making for long and incredibly tense skirmishes where only the most inventive warmongers will emerge victorious.

On the downside, Supreme Commander’s near-vertical learning curve may be enough to alienate casual gamers who fancy a shot at RTS gaming, and the game’s prohibitive specs mean there probably isn’t a PC on the planet that can run the largest maps without the odd judder or shudder. But for deep, intelligent RTS action on an unprecedented scale – with a compelling futuristic storyline, a wealth of ingenious units to command and an interface that makes even the most twisted tactics a joy to implement – Supreme Commander is unbeatable.

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