Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Video Games: Sayonara Supreme Commander

The latest victim of my campaign against time-wasting video games is Supreme Commander.

I picked this up at Ollies' for $5 - not a bad deal at all. It looked nice, despite being a few years old, and I was in the mood for sci-fi RTS - additionally, I'm too poor to get SCII and do not yet have a high-end machine to the game justice.

So what went wrong? The problem came to a head in the third mission of the UEF campaign when the Aeon were constantly attacking my bases and denying my attempts to expand the southernmost island. It took me FIVE HOURS to beat it. Needless to say, the wife was not happy when I came to bed at 2:30 am.

The game has this annoying approach of adding to the map and mission objectives incrementally. So you think you're building towards one corner of the map and when you finally get there - Oh, by the way, you have to clear out this base way over here that you had no idea existed, because we wouldn't let you explore that part of the map.

I looked up a walkthrough online and, from what I can tell, nearly all of the 15 missions are structured that way. Assuming each mission takes four hours (benefit of the doubt), that's 60 hours of enemy forces throwing themselves against my massed banks of turrets while I slowly pick away at their defenses. Also, I was so annoyed with the talking heads continually bugging me with comments about needing to check my objectives and that there are still alien scum that need killing. I get it - I'm slow!

60 hours of game play might be fine for your average gamer - heck, it would have been fine for me in college - but it's more than I have to give these days. Especially for a setting and story I really don't have any interest in.

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