This is my first posting, but I've been reading the start of this thread and I felt it important to give my two cents worth.
As most of you are old Total Annihilation and Command and Conquer franchise players, you could appriciate the power and awsome of the Supreme Commander series. Even when Forged Alliance came out, we were greeted with a new system that took a bit to learn (mostly the user interface), new units, and revamping the complexity and scale. In fact, it was MORE difficult and a steeper learning curve then not. However, from my years of gaming, I've learned that infact making a game complex, having a solid story, enough action and intensity to make it almost hurt your head, is infact the goal of all major game developers. This was a success for GPG and the former Cavedog Entertainment, as well as Westwood Studios (which I have a reason for discussing about here that I will get to in a moment).
I recently became a part of the C&C 4 beta testing group, as have I also recently downloaded the Demo for Sup-Com 2.
The new game of Command and Conquer 4 felt as if it was destined to be a power continuation of the Tiberium Wars that we remember from where we left off in Tiberian Sun. Now, even if you are not a fan of the series, I do hope that everyone realizes the IMPORTANCE of this franchise, and the reason why it was bought out in the end by EA (Ya know... Evil A$$holes). Westwood practically, if not entierly, spawned the RTS movement back in the early 90s with the development of DUNE 2, then later C&C was born, and so on and so forth. The games began to show signs of going down hill with the introduction of C&C Red Alert 2, and Yuri's Revenge Expansion. Crappy story continuation and terrible gameplay made it choppy and not very fun to play. Even C&C Generals and Zero Hour Expansion were not as pleasing as I was hoping (however, was by itself a decent game that was enjoyable to play, but should never have had the C&C tital). We finally received a breath of fresh air with C&C 3, which revitalized the game series for me. I was pleased, lots of great units, fantastic CGI and decently acted movie sequences. So naturally, when I heard of C&C 4, I was estatic. What a fool I was. Everyone, this game is NOT Command and Conquer. It is a mix of chaotic unit creation, and point collection/capture (for those who have, or currently play WoW, think Arathi Basin control points). The point? Blow the crap out of the other guy, then proceed to capture control points to gain.... you guessed it, POINTS, allowing you to have access to making more units (more points allows more units to be created), and then the actual point allocation is collected until you gave 2500 or whatever, and then... the game is over! If for example, an enemy, or you, manage to destroy the other guy's base/MCV, they arn't dead. They respawn back at the spawn point. THEY HAVE A FREAKIN' SPAWNING GRAVEYARD JUST LIKE WORLD OF WARCRAFT... as I said... think Arathi Basin. I can't even tell you how fast I rage-quitted this game. I gave it another try later, figuring MAYBE I missed something... Nope. I didn't. This game is NOT Command and Conquer, and unless they change it up, the franchise will literally be over (regardless if this is the LAST installment of the story, the franchise will be over due to phail as opposed to the developer deciding it is over).
Even as a non C&C game, I would not rate this gameplay on a high level. I've seen other games with it that made it work, but the shoddy system of having to choose between Defence, Offence, and Support (which, I might add, limits your ability to create ANY units of the other type unless you are veteran player who's racked enough XP points to have access to other units: Meaning if you are a noob, you will NEVER win on your own. EVER. END OF STORY. If you are a veteran, or better, you WIN. ALWAYS. END OF STORY.) All I can say, is WHAT THE F'K WERE THEY THINKING?!!?
SO now you are asking why did I write all that when this thred is about SupCom2? I will explain.
Supreme Commander 2:
The official demo was released not too long ago and I got it off steam to try it out. I had heard from people who already played it that they hated it, so I decided to see for myself, Pro/Con. The startup of menu had a distictive HALF/LIFE menu screen feel, characteristic of the standardized Steam games now being pumped out by the thousands. Ok, I thought... lets try the tetorial to see how everything works.
I started it up, and I must admit, regardless of how annoying that woman's voice is, the tetorial was rather detailed and was well created. The games graphics where CLEARLY dumbed down from SupCom1,FA, which was dissapointing, but I can understand for multi-platforming and compatability issues why they did that (if all of you remember the CPU and Graphics lag problems from SubCom1). Next was the mass/energy. It is sad that they do not allow you to go in debt with metal...er I mean, MASS, and Energy, and it does feel kindof like an insult to my ability as a gamer to figure out how to run things. But I said, Ok... lets see how it works. The inclusion of RESEARCH was an interesting addon which, well... makes the game actually LESS balanced. I tested this theory by creating about 10 of the reasearch nodes, and within 10 minutes, maxed out nearly ALL of my upgrade options... making many of my units on par with power and toughness with some of the strongest Experimentals I had seen yet. That was rather dissapointing. Segregation of a clear tech/class system for a game like this is more then kindof a must, and they basically removed it. Sure, I suppose that technically it takes a long time to create full upgraded units (not mentioning the que time speed up), and how experimentals are a single unit of death: technically. But I mean, really? I've noticed a few bugs even with the demo already I was suprised about. One for example, makes it complicated to have many engeneers to assist other buildings. The options are there, but at times, they just bounce around and do nothing. A slight annoiance that I am sure will be delt with, but... hmm.
The character graphics are terrible. I am VERY suprised they dumbed down the detail on the characters as much as they did. SupCom1 DID feel artificial, but they were beautifully created and not entirely unbelievable. What it is now looks as bad as some game graphics I had seen prior to 2002. Storyline is very weak, and needs (though I doubt it will happen now) a serious revamp. And the unit design... ahh the unit design. WHAT IN THE HECK. Terrible. The ACU's look boxy or 'Mechish' (not that I have a problem with mechs, but seriously... different game!), the tanks seem... nearly FLAT on screen. The air units do not swarm as effectively, and it also seems that once upgraded, EVERYTHING can attack ANYTHING. No more specialty units. A strong game should NEVER, EVER attempt to dumb itself down, even if it is so complicated that many people will not enjoy it... but the point is, is that SOMEONE WOULD. And so the fan-base and loyalists to a franchise will come back, and spread the word to other would be gamers, thus increasing revenue and keeping the comunity happy. The biggest mistake GPG made... was not teaming with Enix (afterall, publicity for BOTH companies was invaluable to profits. I respect that) but it was infact making the game compatable on the XBOX. There is a rule concerning all gamers, which I do hope all of you recognize and agree with me about. Console games cannot port to a computer, or vise versa, and be the same game. How is this? Think about it.
Now, some rules do apply to this, such as flight sims. But there has never been an account on record of a consol gamer going up against a mouse and keyboard user in a FPS, for example, that could compete in 'twitch' and accuracy. The mouse and keyboard are simply faster and more intuitive. Now I'm sure that there will be some people who disagree, but from what I've seen in the 30+ years as a gamer, this has always been the case. The same rules apply to RTS's. A Console Gamer cannot scroll as quickly and command as quickly as a mouse and keyboard can. It is impossible. A consol controller has amaximum of about maybe...10-15 buttons and options (depending on the system) and a standard keyboard has... how many? Lests see: 114. Oh, and don't forget the coupled commands you can get by holding down Shift/Control/Alt buttons. So... the ability to have quick keys wins, and the mouse has at least 5 buttons now with a roller. It cannot compete. SO WHY, would a complicated, fantastic game port to an XboX with a problem like this? Some say money, some say to apply to more player base (meaning more money), pressure from their partners (also eventually meaning... more money). I get it... really. Money rocks. Money makes the games keep flowing. But, change the games too much, you anger and frustrate your player base. While you might be able to get "Little Jimmy 10-year-old" to play (thus annoying the adult comunity like myself), ask yourself GPG: Who has jobs? Who has the ability to purchase new titles? Oh sure, you might get mommy to buy "Little Jimmy 10-year-old" a game, but he can't do it on his own. So tell me this, where is the money? Your community. The ones who WERE kids back before ratings and restriction for purchasing games. The ones who would save their allowance or mow lawns all summer to save up to purchase a new game. That's us, GPG. We were the FIRST ones. We were here when TA was here. We are the following. So, respect us, and create a game that we can enjoy and desire to play. And trust us... make quality products for us, and the money will come. Why else is it that you even exist? Why else is it that games have soared so agressivly to rival the growth of world populations? It's the quality of the games you make.
So, final opinion:
Total Annihilation: (9.5)
TA, Core Contingency (10.0)
Supreme Commander (9.0)
SC-Forged Alliance (10.0)
Supreme Commander 2 (6.5)
Command and Conquer 4 (3.0)
I hope my information and point of view is helpful to all of you, and feel free to continue where I left off if I missed anything important.