Supreme Commander 2

Whether you like hardcore simulation and strategy or the explosive thrill of mecha anime, games about big stompy robots have always had a home on PC. And with MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and the turn-based BattleTech coming in 2018, it's never been a better time to be a fan of games about 100-ton death machines.

While mech games span all kinds of genres, they are bound together by the simple truth that piloting suits of mechanized armor into combat is a fantasy that never gets old. It's an aesthetic that dates back decades to the very first MechWarrior in 1989 and now lives on in newer games like Titanfall 2 and Brigador. That's why we've rounded up a diverse selection of our favorite mech games spanning multiple genres—from the traditional hardcore sim to button-mashing character action. Whatever your preference, there's a mech game for you.

Titanfall 2 

Respawn Entertainment gave mech games a much-needed adrenaline shot when it released Titanfall in 2014, but it's Titanfall 2 that fully realized the potential of a shooter that contrasts parkour running and gunning with slow, strategic mech combat. What came as a complete shock, however, is that Titanfall 2's campaign turned out to be one of the best the FPS genre has seen in years.

Titanfall 2's campaign turned out to be one of the best the FPS genre has seen in years.

Each level is an inventive execution on a single brilliant idea, like snapping back and forth between the past and present, that binds together a surprisingly affecting story about the bond between a pilot and his loyal mech companion. It's not nearly as tear-jerking as The Iron Giant, sure, but Titanfall 2 proves that even a story about giant steel robots can have a lot of heart.

Sadly, Titanfall 2 also became one of the bigger gaming tragedies of 2016. Despite packing in a much more robust multiplayer, the sequel couldn't compete against the other popular shooters of that year and its population quickly declined. Don't make the mistake of thinking Titanfall 2 is dead, however. It's multiplayer community is small, but there's still plenty of players in the more popular modes like Attrition—meaning Titanfall 2 is still one of the best mech games ever released.

MechWarrior Online 

MechWarrior Online inherited the august legacy of classic titles like MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries—both games we’d love to include in this list if they weren’t so damn hard to get running on modern hardware. But make no mistake, MechWarrior Online is a great mech game in its own right. The free-to-play shooter might not have a singleplayer campaign, but it captures the tense thrill of attrition-based warfare in its excellent competitive matches.

Each game is a 12v12 slugfest that ends with players earning currency and experience, and customizing their rides in between rounds. While that comes with its own share of problems like a long grind and microtransactions, MechWarrior Online excels at capturing the slow pace of combat that made the series so revered to begin with.  

Unlike most first-person shooters out there, where players can correct their mistakes with lightning quick reflexes, your life in MechWarrior often hangs with decisions made 30 seconds ago. Being behind the wheel of a lumbering robot makes it impossible to get yourself out of trouble once you get into it, making cooperation with teammates a crucial part of victory.

With an overly complex skill tree and an unintuitive menu system, MechWarrior Online isn't exactly friendly to newcomers. But it has a devoted community that is genuinely welcoming to newbies and has created abundant out-of-game resources to get new MechWarriors up to speed. And once you've gotten everything figured out you'll be able to customize hundreds of different mechs with over a hundred unique weapons systems, with all of it steeped in rich lore born from a classic game franchise.

Strike Suit Zero 

There’s an appeal to the lumbering tank-like combat of some mech games, but Strike Suit Zero captures the thrill of piloting an agile death machine packed with more missile launchers than the entire US Navy fleet. It’s space-faring Japanese mecha at its best.

You start off piloting a fairly standard space fighter, but pretty soon come across an experimental piece of military hardware called the Strike Suit. This suit is capable of switching between fighter mode, where you to fly about space Freelancer-style, and giant killer robot mode where you turn into a Macross-style mecha capable of taking down clouds of enemy fighters at the touch of a button.

The first time you line up your crosshairs on some 30-plus incoming enemy fighters and let loose that wave of missiles will give you chills. It's a mech power fantasy unlike anything else. Power, agility, and flitting from objective to objective while raining death and destruction wherever you go makes you feel like a robot god. And things get even more intense when you start taking on capital ships—the miles-long battlecruisers that will make you look like a bug, but never feeling like one. Thanks to two capital-ship-busting autocannons, you can crack open that battlecruiser faster than they can shout "nani?!" 

MechCommander 

BattleTech is the fantasy of being a warrior-engineer. You trade missiles and lasers with other bipedal tanks, you win or lose, and then you head back to the drawing board to repair damage, refit weapons, reallocate armor, and rethink your all-PPC 80-tonner.

I love the rhythm of the combat the plentiful gaps as mechs take a breath to reload, rotate, or take aim.

MechCommander was the first game in the series to add 'tactician' to that job description, and it holds up remarkably well as a real-time tactics game. Over dozens of escort, search and destroy, and scouting missions, you command as many as three lances (12 mechs) at a time, waypointing them away from explosive fuel drums and out of the range of turrets as you duel with light, medium, heavy, and assault-class enemy mechs. I love the rhythm of the combat—the plentiful gaps as mechs take a breath to reload, rotate, or take aim. In those moments, you're anticipating an arm being blown off, or whether your Raven will dodge that Gauss cannon.

While MechCommander's progression system for pilots is limited by modern standards, mechwarriors can permanently die, have a set of individual voice lines (the death cry of Rooster, a clumsy yokel, is particularly haunting), and are charming enough. More fun is the battlefield work of trying to shave off just enough of that enemy Masakari or Thor so that you can salvage it, repair it, and bring it into your next battle.

MechCommander is abandonware—get MechCommander Gold, which includes a built-in level editor. Watch this six-minute Windows 10 tutorial to get it running properly. 

Iron Brigade 

Double Fine's not-quite-a-tower-defense-game spin on mechs is one of the most unique thanks largely to its campy B-movie vibe and WW1-era aesthetic. Don't make the mistake of thinking Iron Brigade is yet another tower defense game where you place rows of static defenses that usher waves of stupid enemies into killboxes, however. Yes, each level has you fighting off waves of aliens, and yes there are towers, but your primary defense is your hulking mech that you stomp around in as aliens rush your defenses—and it's simply a ton of fun.

There's a good deal of variety to play around with too. Your mech can equip a variety of different weapons that each bring a distinctive kind of destruction to the battlefield, and there's always an upgrade to work towards in between each mission. There's a balance that you'll want to maintain, however, as more powerful mechs mean weaker stationary tower defenses. New enemy types are readily introduced as well, which gives Iron Brigade a steady pace that makes it hard to pull yourself away from.

But the real star of this show is the weird B-movie quality of the characters and writing. Mech games are often gloomy and overly serious, but Double Fine brings a fun absurdity that perfectly complements the simplistic joy of blowing aliens back to hell.

Supreme Commander 2 

When it comes to sheer scale, nothing compares to Supreme Commander 2. This real-time strategy game is the exact opposite of the intimate brawling of MechCommander, instead reveling in the chaos as legions of robot units blast each other across sea, sky, and land. Battles frequently feature hundreds—if not thousands—of units that you can customize in real-time to adapt to your enemy's strategy. And if that weren't cool enough, you can even build towering experimental units—colossus-sized mechs that dwarf everything else on the battlefield.

With hundreds of units to manage, Supreme Commander 2 can be intimidating for those who already struggle to keep up with RTS games. Fortunately, an improved UI and the ability to instantly zoom out to see the entire battlefield help to keep things manageable even when fighting on multiple fronts while managing production chains. There's a lot of depth here too, as each faction has their own strategies, like the Cybran navy's ability to sprout legs and walk on land.

While the campaign serves as a good introduction to all these layers of strategy, Supreme Commander 2 really shines while skirmishing in multiplayer or against the AI. If you can find a friend to play against, few games will rival the insane scale of Supreme Commander's battles.

Brigador

Brigador is the rare kind of game that feels both nostalgic and refreshingly modern. Its '80s synthwave soundtrack, isometric angle, and gritty retro sci-fi aesthetic mask a brutally punishing indie roguelike that revels in chaos and destruction. When it originally launched in 2016, it was so difficult that it was actually hard to enthusiastically recommend, but the recent Up-Armored edition smooths that curve out while adding even more mechs, pilots, and missions to an already robust game.

No matter how you approach combat, Brigador always shines in the moment-to-moment action.

With over 56 mechs to pilot and 40 weapons, there's an intimidating amount of customization and playstyles to account for. While the temptation to go in guns blazing is always present, hit-and-run guerilla tactics are often the better strategy. No matter how you approach combat, Brigador always shines in the moment-to-moment action. It's both extremely fast-paced and precise, and you'll need to choose your shots carefully even as you frantically weave down city streets avoiding fire from dozens of enemy units.

The appeal of mech games has always been closely tied with their destructive firepower—the ability to level entire city blocks with the push of a button—and Brigador captures this sensation wonderfully. Environments are fully destructible, and it's a literal blast being able smash through a skyscraper rather than skirt around it. It's still a punishing game where one split-second mistake can spell defeat, but Brigador rewards those who can stomach its challenge.

Announcement - Valve
Save up to 75% on new Week Long Deals on Steam, available now until August 12th at 10AM Pacific time!













PC Gamer
supcom2


Gas Powered Games have released a new patch for Supreme Commander 2, over two years since the last update hit. The list of changes and fixes is pretty sizable, as you can see here, but aside from a few balance and AI tweaks, the game's economy appears to be the main thing that's changed. Why now? Gas Powered Games' Steve Bauman has assured us that "there's nothing of any significance to the timing of the patch", but GPG were recently acquired by Wargaming.net, so I'm not ready to lower my eyebrow just yet. Also: it appears to be stuck. Send help.

If you've not played the series that periodically resurfaces to devour our free time, the patch notes aren't likely to make much sense, but thankfully our resident SupCom2 expert Tom Francis was on hand to explain that this update offers a pretty major reworking of the game's economy. (And not for the first time either)

The game should update automatically via Steam - in fact, it probably already has - so if you've been waiting for a reason to dive back into SupCom2, you've found it.
Mar 15, 2013
Community Announcements - The Sleeper
<b>Fixes and Improvements: </b>
Mass Extractor Veterancy – Securing and protecting mass deposits is now vital to mid-term and long-term gameplay. Base unit cost and base Mass output has been reduced to half of the previous values. Mass Extractors will slowly increase in effectiveness as they accumulate veterancy until at 18 minutes they double their effectiveness.
All units built at Land Factories have had their visual scale reduced by 25%.
Players are now able to see the health value of enemy units.
Fix for veterancy bar not displaying properly.
Fix for Illuminate teleport ability overwriting the transport ability.
Fix for Air units not receiving their LOS buff after being built.
Fix for Pullinsmash ability remaining active when placed in a transport.
Fix for some abilities to be activated more than once if activated very quickly.
Fix for redirector not redirecting nukes if the launcher was previously destroyed.

<b>AI:</b>
Updated the way the neural networks train. Integrated new neural network dataset.
Improved AI’s use of transports
Fix for AI bases not realizing their extractor spots were full.
AI is now able to build on floating islands and mesas again.
Fix for AI trying to expand to areas it cannot reach.
Fix for scouting positions that were under water.
Scouts will try to avoid defenses more.
Fix for AI engineers trying to reclaim something it cannot path to.
Fixes for AI microing.
Fix for AI determining a platoon's min firing range.
Neural platoon code cleanup.
Fix for AI not building Aegis.
Fix for AI not scouting with land when it has an air factory, but no air units.
Changed the way the AI counts the number of air attack units it has.
Adjusted when the AI will build a radar in an expansion.
Changed the rate at which threat from mobile enemies decays.
AI platoons will now take threat into account again.
Added ability to adjust AI aggressiveness.

<b>Networking Improvements: </b>
If a player in the lobby does not have a connection to you a red ! will appear as their ping.
Adjusted max packet size to use Steam's max packet size.
Removed redundant pending connection cleanup.
If Steam reports any connection error, other than timeout, we will close the connection and log it. If the reported error is a timeout we log it and ignore it. Networking will handle the timeout at this point.
Fix to the connection adaptor when it transitions to a resting state.
Ranked matches that desync will now immediately end and be counted as a disconnect.
It will now cause the game to desync if a player modifies memory to give them free research items.
Army research data is now part of the sim checksum.
Mar 15, 2013
Community Announcements - The Sleeper
<b>Balance Improvements: </b>
Factory experience value increased from 1000 to 1250.
Gantry experience value increased from 1250 to 1750.
Factory TML upgrade now prioritizes structures over mobile units.

<b>Cybran</b>
Executioner Class movement speed reduced from 5 to 4. Minimum range of 20 added.
Magnetron cooldowns increased from 30 to 45 seconds.
C-Rex health increased from 51300 to 60000.
Intellitron health increased from 1500 to 2000. Cost decreased from 90m/300e to 80m/275e.
Loyalist speed increased from 4 to 4.2. Weapon range increased from 17 to 18.
Executioner Class RP cost increased from 6 to 7.
Kraken RP cost decreased from 12 to 10.
Sea Operations cost decreased from 8 to 7.
Naval Vision boost increased from 75% to 100%.
Structure Sonar RP cost increased from 1 to 2.
Intellitron RP cost reduced from 5 to 4.
Cobra RP cost reduced from 2 to 1.
Power Detonate RP cost increased from 4 to 5.
Land Regeneration effectiveness increased from 100% to 125%.
Land Health effectiveness increased from 20% to 25%.
Overcharge RP cost increased from 9 to 10.
Core Dump RP cost decreased from 4 to 2.

<b>Illuminate</b>
Buhbledow build time decreased from 145 to 130. Cost reduced from 800m/2800e to 600m/2100e.
Harvog speed increased from 4 to 4.4. Weapon range decreased from 17 to 16. Cost reduced from 44m to 40m.
Wilfindja sonar increased from 60 to 150. Vision increased from 28 to 75. Health increased from 8000 to 10000.
Sooprizer now has radar stealth.
Quantum Floating RP cost reduced from 9 to 8.
Electroshock RP cost increased from 6 to 7.
Land Damage II RP cost decreased from 7 to 6.
Harvog cost decreased from 3 to 2.
Wilfindja RP cost decreased from 7 to 6.
ACU Range RP cost increased from 3 to 4.
Angler Torpedo RP cost increased from 3 to 5.
Core Dump RP cost decreased from 5 to 2.
Harvog AA upgrade damage increased from 8 to 10.
Weedoboth Scorch Bomb damage decreased from 25 to 20. Damage radius decreased from 3.5 to 3.0.

<b>UEF</b>
Jackhammer health reduced from 40000 to 30000.
Poseidon movement speed reduced from 5 to 4. Minimum range of 20 added.
Mega Fortress cost increased from 1000m/3700e to 1100m/4000e.
C-230 Star King Extreme health increased from 10000 to 12500.
AC-1000 build time increased from 110 to 130.
UEF Land Factory Shield health increased from 6000 to 10000.
UEF and Illuminate Mobile AA health increased from 750 to 875.
Titan speed increased from 4 to 4.4. Weapon range decreased from 17 to 16. Cost reduced from 42m to 38m.
Transport Capacity increased from 10 to 15.
Land Build Time reduction increased from -10% to -15%.
Bomb Camera Duration RP cost reduced from 2 to 1.
Air Heavy Shield RP cost increased from 6 to 7.
Land Damage RP cost decreased from 5 to 4.
Sharp Shooter RP cost reduction from 3 to 2.
Jackhammer RP cost increased from 8 to 10.
Combat Engineer RP cost reduced from 3 to 2.
King Kriptor RP cost reduced from 11 to 10.
Poseidon RP cost increased from 5 to 7.
ACU Health RP cost decreased from 3 to 2.
ACU Damage RP cost decreased from 4 to 3.
Product Update - Valve
Fixes and Improvements:
- Mass Extractor Veterancy – Securing and protecting mass deposits is now vital to mid-term and long-term gameplay. Base unit cost and base Mass output has been reduced to half of the previous values. Mass Extractors will slowly increase in effectiveness as they accumulate veterancy until at 18 minutes they double their effectiveness.
- All units built at Land Factories have had their visual scale reduced by 25%.
- Players are now able to see the health value of enemy units.
- Fix for veterancy bar not displaying properly.
- Fix for Illuminate teleport ability overwriting the transport ability.
- Fix for Air units not receiving their LOS buff after being built.
- Fix for Pullinsmash ability remaining active when placed in a transport.
- Fix for some abilities to be activated more than once if activated very quickly.
- Fix for redirector not redirecting nukes if the launcher was previously destroyed.

AI:
- Updated the way the neural networks train. Integrated new neural network dataset.
- Improved AI’s use of transports
- Fix for AI bases not realizing their extractor spots were full.
- AI is now able to build on floating islands and mesas again.
- Fix for AI trying to expand to areas it cannot reach.
- Fix for scouting positions that were under water.
- Scouts will try to avoid defenses more.
- Fix for AI engineers trying to reclaim something it cannot path to.
- Fixes for AI microing.
- Fix for AI determining a platoon's min firing range.
- Neural platoon code cleanup.
- Fix for AI not building Aegis.
- Fix for AI not scouting with land when it has an air factory, but no air units.
- Changed the way the AI counts the number of air attack units it has.
- Adjusted when the AI will build a radar in an expansion.
- Changed the rate at which threat from mobile enemies decays.
- AI platoons will now take threat into account again.
- Added ability to adjust AI aggressiveness.

Networking Improvements:
- If a player in the lobby does not have a connection to you a red ! will appear as their ping.
- Adjusted max packet size to use Steam's max packet size.
- Removed redundant pending connection cleanup.
- If Steam reports any connection error, other than timeout, we will close the connection and log it. If the reported error is a timeout we log it and ignore it. Networking will handle the timeout at this point.
- Fix to the connection adaptor when it transitions to a resting state.
- Ranked matches that desync will now immediately end and be counted as a disconnect.
- It will now cause the game to desync if a player modifies memory to give them free research items.
- Army research data is now part of the sim checksum.

Balance Improvements:
- Factory experience value increased from 1000 to 1250.
- Gantry experience value increased from 1250 to 1750.
- Factory TML upgrade now prioritizes structures over mobile units.

Cybran
- Executioner Class movement speed reduced from 5 to 4. Minimum range of 20 added.
- Magnetron cooldowns increased from 30 to 45 seconds.
- C-Rex health increased from 51300 to 60000.
- Intellitron health increased from 1500 to 2000. Cost decreased from 90m/300e to 80m/275e.
- Loyalist speed increased from 4 to 4.2. Weapon range increased from 17 to 18.
- Executioner Class RP cost increased from 6 to 7.
- Kraken RP cost decreased from 12 to 10.
- Sea Operations cost decreased from 8 to 7.
- Naval Vision boost increased from 75% to 100%.
- Structure Sonar RP cost increased from 1 to 2.
- Intellitron RP cost reduced from 5 to 4.
- Cobra RP cost reduced from 2 to 1.
- Power Detonate RP cost increased from 4 to 5.
- Land Regeneration effectiveness increased from 100% to 125%.
- Land Health effectiveness increased from 20% to 25%.
- Overcharge RP cost increased from 9 to 10.
- Core Dump RP cost decreased from 4 to 2.

Illuminate
- Buhbledow build time decreased from 145 to 130. Cost reduced from 800m/2800e to 600m/2100e.
- Harvog speed increased from 4 to 4.4. Weapon range decreased from 17 to 16. Cost reduced from 44m to 40m.
- Wilfindja sonar increased from 60 to 150. Vision increased from 28 to 75. Health increased from 8000 to 10000.
- Sooprizer now has radar stealth.
- Quantum Floating RP cost reduced from 9 to 8.
- Electroshock RP cost increased from 6 to 7.
- Land Damage II RP cost decreased from 7 to 6.
- Harvog cost decreased from 3 to 2.
- Wilfindja RP cost decreased from 7 to 6.
- ACU Range RP cost increased from 3 to 4.
- Angler Torpedo RP cost increased from 3 to 5.
- Core Dump RP cost decreased from 5 to 2.
- Harvog AA upgrade damage increased from 8 to 10.
- Weedoboth Scorch Bomb damage decreased from 25 to 20. Damage radius decreased from 3.5 to 3.0.

UEF
- Jackhammer health reduced from 40000 to 30000.
- Poseidon movement speed reduced from 5 to 4. Minimum range of 20 added.
- Mega Fortress cost increased from 1000m/3700e to 1100m/4000e.
- C-230 Star King Extreme health increased from 10000 to 12500.
- AC-1000 build time increased from 110 to 130.
- UEF Land Factory Shield health increased from 6000 to 10000.
- UEF and Illuminate Mobile AA health increased from 750 to 875.
- Titan speed increased from 4 to 4.4. Weapon range decreased from 17 to 16. Cost reduced from 42m to 38m.
- Transport Capacity increased from 10 to 15.
- Land Build Time reduction increased from -10% to -15%.
- Bomb Camera Duration RP cost reduced from 2 to 1.
- Air Heavy Shield RP cost increased from 6 to 7.
- Land Damage RP cost decreased from 5 to 4.
- Sharp Shooter RP cost reduction from 3 to 2.
- Jackhammer RP cost increased from 8 to 10.
- Combat Engineer RP cost reduced from 3 to 2.
- King Kriptor RP cost reduced from 11 to 10.
- Poseidon RP cost increased from 5 to 7.
- ACU Health RP cost decreased from 3 to 2.
- ACU Damage RP cost decreased from 4 to 3.
Kotaku

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games


StarCraft II's expansion pack, Heart of the Swarm, is already out in some parts of the world, and it's launching tomorrow in North America. To celebrate, let's take the opportunity to examine more than 20 years' worth of real-time strategy history in today's Show Us gallery, and see how much the genre has evolved visually. Since the StarCraft games are set in Earth's 25th century, we're focusing only on RTS games in sci-fi settings.



Herzog Zwei (1990)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty (1992)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Command & Conquer (1995)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




KKnD (1997)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Total Annihilation (1997)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




StarCraft: Brood War (1998)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Machines (1999)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Earth 2150 (2000)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Dark Reign 2 (2000)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War (2004)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Star Wars: Empire at War (2006)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Halo Wars (2009)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




Supreme Commander 2 (2010)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games




StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games


Were there any real-time strategy games that blew your mind when they came out? Any great-looking unreleased ones you're really looking forward to? Show us in the comments below with visual support.


sources: Avtoandlevan's LP, RTSGuru, Renegade Forums, Acantophis3rd's LP, Total Annihilation Wiki, TeamLiquid.net, NostalgicGames, DawnOfWarGame.com, LucasArts, HaloWars.com, SupremeCommander2.com, StarCraft Facebook


Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Update: Chris Taylor offers a comment about the state of the company, and what will happen to the Kickstarter project he just launched.

Gas Powered Games may have only just launched a Kickstarter for their next game, Wildman. However, it appears that Chris Taylor's studio may have been using the crowdfunding platform in an attempt to stave off its financial troubles.

Taylor has confirmed to Kotaku that "we do have a layoff," but did not offer any further details, saying that "we'll be updating our Kickstarter as well with details very soon."

According to the initial report, "almost everyone at the company has been laid off." In fact, one source alleges that "everyone except CEO Chris Taylor and one or two people." The last two games to come from the studio were Supreme Commander 2 and Age of Empires Online.

"The studio is still operating, but we had to slim WAY down to conserve cash reserves," Taylor confirmed to Gamasutra. Apparently, when he said he was "betting it all" on their upcoming Wildman, they weren't kidding. "We spent all the last dough that we've had, and the last several months working on it. So we're betting the company on it," he said.

When contacted about the layoffs, Taylor said that people were let go, but GPG is still a functioning company, although he didn't elaborate on how the company was still going to operate.

"I'm thinking of asking folks, should I shut the Kickstarter down or not? So I'm about to shoot video that will post up tonight saying just that," he told us. "I had to read the tealeaves and foresee that the Kickstarter was not likely to reach its goal, and if it did, only after I squeezed every friend I have to make a contribution. I didn't want to put people I love through that... as it would be just as painful for them to watch as it was for me to do. So, I made the very hard call to conserve money so that GPG could make a transition into a new business model, some people call it right-sizing, but I call it making a tough strategic decision."

PC Gamer
Project W


Gas Powered Games are getting ready to talk about "something wild." This big countdown clock is ticking down to a proper reveal on January 14.

The Total Annihilation, Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander developers have been working on Age of Empires Online for the last few years. That interrupted work on their large-scale fantasy RTS, Kings and Castles. This doesn't look like that. The rocky background strikes a more naturalistic tone, and you can just about see the phases of the moon in the countdown orbs.

Project W. Phases of the moon. Werewolves? Hmmm, what do you think?
PC Gamer
Now Playing Supreme Commander thumb


This article originally appeared in issue 230 of PC Gamer UK.

Ever since I got obsessed with the original Supreme Commander last year, I've been trying to set this up. All of us, in one game, against AI opponents so powerful they might obliterate us all.

It’s 6v2: me, Graham, Rich, Tim, Toms Senior and Hatfield are the human team, and the two AIs we’re facing get double resources and build speed. That could get out of control fast: they can get to higher tech units faster than us. So we need a plan.

The AI can make terrifying numbers of planes, so Graham and I take the front line positions and build masses of anti-air. All our bases are on the coast of one vast body of water, vulnerable to assault by sea, so Senior goes naval, churning out endless subs.

His first attack on the red AI is wiped out by one torpedo turret, simply because it’s higher tech. So Tim and I join the naval assault, building Tech 2 sub killers, and our next assault works. We smash their torpedo turrets from the depths, Senior brings in Destroyers to pelt their naval factories, and soon we’ve lined their coastline with subs they can’t attack from land. We can’t attack them either, but it will stop them from ever getting a navy up.



That’s when they finish building their Soul Ripper gunship. “Er, did anyone go air?”

No, no, no, no, no, and kinda. The kinda is me: I have a few good gunships myself, but nothing compared to a Soul Ripper. And if it comes for the missile boat I’m building, it’ll undo about 15 minutes of work in a second.

It comes straight for my base, but I can’t send my gunships right away – the AIs have placed their entire fleet of inteceptors in a busy mess between us.

Once the Ripper clears that crowd, my own swoop in and start pelting it – to little effect. It ignores them, swings ominously over my naval yards, spits a little death at one of them, then wanders curiously off. It’s noticed Hatfield is building an experimental assault bot, and it plans to stop him. All that matters now is whether my gunships can whittle it down before it reaches him.

It loses its last hitpoint over Hatfield’s base, and crashes to the ground about an inch in front of his commander. Best possible outcome: he can reclaim it for a ridiculous mass income while building his bot. Meanwhile, I’m being pounded by a land assault I’m not prepared for, and Graham and Tim are losing factories to strategic bombers. But we’ve held, we’ve stopped them from owning the map. Now it’s our turn to attack.



My missile ship finishes. It’s a boat that can launch an unstoppable barrage of tactical missiles at anything within 10km. Rich has built a satellite that can fire from orbit, untouchable by anything so long as its ground control building survives. Graham is just finishing a Soul Ripper of his own. Tim and Senior both have battleships out, and Tim and Hatfield have experimental assault bots wading through the water.

This, this is going to be a thing.

Rich’s orbital laser burns out all the AI’s firebases outside of their shields. Senior’s boats pelt the coastline, and my missile ship crumples their turret banks. Tim’s bot is killed before it can reach land, but Hatfield’s storms the red AI’s beach. Graham’s Soul Ripper finishes, and I set my gunship to join it in the final assault. When Hatfield’s assault bot finally goes down, the electrical storm from its death zaps the red commander, and he goes nuclear. Blue’s is hit by a beam from Rich’s satellite just as Hatfield’s lesser bots swarm it, and the blast destroys what’s left of his base.

“Did anyone save the replay?”

Graham did, and we've embedded it at the top of this post.

...

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