How do I even start reviewing Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance? I think I'll start by telling about something that happened earlier today while I was playing a multiplayer match, an experience that quite well describes several of the qualities of this game. It was quite late into the game, about 30-40 min in and everyone had grown quite powerful. My Armored Command Unit, your most important unit that you use to build your whole army and whose death means you're out of the game in most cases, was under heavy attack from a swarm of Gunships and a Heavy Artillery Installation firing away from the other side of the map. I managed to bring my fighter planes in to take care of the enemy Gunships but the ACU was really low on health, another devastating artillery shell was incomming and if it hit I would be out of the game. The shell was going straight for it's target, I was going to lose. But I did not, straight above the ACU the shell hit an unfortunate fighter passing above and destroyed it. An artillery shell from the other side of the map hit a ridiculously small and fast moving fighter plane, I could hardly believe my eyes.
There is an unbelievable attention to detail in this game, every projectile is calculated individually which adds great tactical depth. Good micro and smart use of the lay of the land can have a significant effect on the outcome of a skirmish as shots might miss, impact hills, rocks or units they where not intended for. This combined with the games truly epic scale brings one of the game's few minor drawbacks, seven years after release even the fastest computers have to slow down when literally thousands of futuristic aircraft clash.
The scale is another thing worth mentioning, the size of the maps range from quite small 5x5km maps to the enomous 81x81km battlefields that it take several minutes for even the fastest units to cross. So no matter if you want to wage war for hours against 7 opponents or if you're interested in intense StarCraft styled matches Forged Alliance will provide.
There is also a great variety of units, from small land scouts that take seconds to build to colossal experimental units that could take hours for a single engineer to construct but are able to singlehandly defeat huge armies. The balance between units is good, all four factions are viable and almost all units fill some role during some part of the game without any unit standing out as particularly overpowered which is quite impressive as there are hundreds of them.
To summarize, this game is a polished gem. The gameplay, both single- and multiplayer, is great, the design is amazing, the sands of time hardly seem to affect the game at all and the replay value is close to infinite. I'm a huge fan of real-time strategy games and I honestly believe that Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is the apex of the genre.
Posted: 3 joulukuu(ta) 2013