Design: Randall Montanari
The last year or so has seen a number of excellent real-time strategy games hit the market, from Company of Heroes to Star Wars: Empire At War. 2007 is shaping up to be no worse than 2006, though, with the impending release of Command & Conquer 3 looming large on the release schedule. Not content to be outshone by that game, though, Gas Powered Games has recently launched Supreme Commander, their long-awaited spiritual successor to Total Annihilation, one of the classics of the RTS genre.
Total Annihilation was launched almost ten years ago, and featured two armies of robotic units fighting across vast landscapes in an eternal war. That theme is echoed in Supreme Commander, where three factions (the United Earth Federation, the Cybran Nation, and the Aeon Illuminate) wage an Infinite War for control of the galaxy, or their own destinies. Human soldiers aren't employed, however; instead, each side appropriates raw mass and energy to create large numbers of automated units that wage a war by proxy while the leaders of each faction bark orders from far away. Each side does have human champions, though, in the form of an Armored Command Unit, which is controlled by a pilot, and which has the ability to create entire armies of units and structures with their matter replicator technology.
In Supreme Commander, you take on the role of one of these ACU's, as you attempt to guide your faction to victory in the Infinite War. If you never played Total Annihilation, or even if you did, then you're in for a treat, as Supreme Commander takes some of the basic aspects of the RTS genre and blows the entire thing up to superhuman size. The maps are bigger than you've ever seen, the explosions are more deadly, and there are more units to pack into your army. It's quite a fun game, and GameSpot's Game Guide will get you started with it.