Supreme Commander demo: Final impressions

So these are my last impressions of the demo before release. In my previous post I had some pretty negative things to say about Supreme Commander’s AI. After asking around in the forums and talking with people who’ve played the beta, I’ve been assured that the AI was, for some silly reason, “dumbed down” for the demo, and that it’s actually more challenging in the real game. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I’ll be pretty damn annoyed if the retail game doesn’t end up shipping with an AI that can routinely trounce me.

I’ve just been running into silly situations with the demo AI. Like I’ll catch their commander outside of their base with an early game rush, and he sticks around to fight (and thus die) rather than wisely fleeing to the safety of his base. Other times, the enemy hasn’t built any defenses to speak of, and I just roll through their base over the course of a couple of minutes with my smallish army, slowly destroying it from one end to the other. The AI also seems to love building shipyards, but then never really attacks me with any navy to speak of. And its attempted assaults before the endgame (when it uses experimental units that actually pose a threat) are laughable. For instance, it’ll send along a string of twenty light-assault bots, which is easily repelled by a single Tier I point-defense tower. And it makes no real effort whatsoever to secure resources, especially the two mass-rich islands on the demo map.

But whatever. I’m putting the demo shortcomings behind me and I expect to enjoy the retail release immensely. I’m hoping that all of these issues (especially the dual monitor issues) are worked out. There’s just so much to love about this game. One little aspect that I’ve enjoyed is the formations. The game intelligently puts all of the units in a group into formation (artillery in the rear, heavy units in the front), and then you can just slowly advance the formation and totally wreck an enemy base.

By the way, a little birdie told me that Supreme Commander is now available on BitTorrent. I wouldn’t know anything about that, though …

(And I will certainly be buying the game when it’s released!)

See more of my posts on Supreme Commander.

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