Supreme Commander : Forged Alliance – Game Review

supreme commander forged alliance
goldfries rated it
supreme commander forged alliance

Supreme Commander was great but how well does Supreme Commander : Forged Alliance fare? Let’s find out!

The Story

The 3 conflicting factions, the UEF, the Cybran and the Aeon from Supreme Commander, are forced to unite when a new alien race called the Seraphims appear and threaten the existence of all.


The gameplay is no different from Supreme Commander. In fact I’ve decided to copy and paste the gameplay section from my review of Supreme Commander. 🙂 Just click on the link below if you wish to view the “repeated” gameplay portion. 😀

View additional gameplay details

Just as any other RTS games, each race has its strengths and weaknesses. They build similarly but their units and structure vary in offensive and defensive capability, for example the Cybrans have Destroyer ships that could walk on land while the UEF has Tech 3 Gunships that are horribly powerful.

Gunships? Destroyers? YES! you are given an array of ground, air and naval units to choose from. And when I say choose, I don’t mean the measly 2 or 3 (or 1 or none) air units available like those found in Command & Conquer series. Even with a Tech 1 air factory, you get 3 types of air units already. The number of unit available for each Tech level depends on the race you’re using.

All of the race have Tech 4 experiment units and believe me, appropriate tactical usage of these units could tip the tide of the combat, for example the Aeon has the Colossus that sports a very heavy armor, the Cybrans have a mobile artillery unit that rips your base apart should it get into firing range while the UEF has a mobile factory that deals powerful blows while being capable of producing units. And those are just a few examples of the available Tech 4 units; each race has more than 1 Tech 4 unit.

Unlike any other RTS before, Supreme Commander offers a wealth of features that I’ve not come by in any RTS so far. Unlike games like StarCraft or Command & Conquer : Generals, the construction units in Supreme Commander are able to accept build-queues for structures – this means you can actually instruct the unit to build an Extractor at point A, travel to point B, build a generator, travel to point C, build 5 fabricators in the shape of a 5×5 cube – it’s incredible!! No more worries about the unit staying idle upon finish an instructed task, well at least not so often. 🙂 Sometimes I’ll just get them to construct a bunch of generators or defence structures while I look into other more important matters.

Note that those who played Total Annihilation before would most probably pick up the game very fast; after all it’s just a better Total Annihilation.

The game allows employing seemingly limitless tactics for combat, for example you could instruct your 200 bombers to move in a various formations. Don’t under-estimate this feature, a typical RTS would send all your units going almost in a single file and it’s practically suicidal. With the formation move, your units could reach there almost all at once thus increasing the survival rate for your units and allowing it to actually do some damage.

Attacking an opponent is more than just sending a bunch of units, as I mentioned earlier there’s ’seemingly limitless tactics for combat’. You could always engage in an early assault, or you could rush for heavy artillery or nuclear missiles, you could even send in a few Tech 4 units with powerful Tech 3 units accompanying it.

Just like Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander is one of the really rare games that don’t require you to continuously send your harvesting units to collect resources. The focus of Supreme Commander is on the ACU (the commander unit) and resources are based on mass and power (electricity). While the supply is endless, you need to be able to generate enough resources for your expanding unit and base.

By the way, Supreme Commander doesn’t allocate a portion of the screen to have a minimap; instead you get to view the map of the entire scenario by using the mouse-wheel to zoom outwards. It’s kind of like Homeworld series where you press space to view the scenario.

Just like Supreme Commander (SC), Supreme Commander : Forged Alliance (SC:FA) comes with campaign mode, skirmish mode and multi-player mode. For the campaign mode, you have a choice to play the campaign mode for any of the 3 factions . The story unfolds as you progress in the missions. Just like the missions in Supreme Commander, each mission comes with multiple objectives, the new objectives are added and operation areas are expanded upon completion of earlier objectives. So each mission is more like 4 missions crammed into 1.

supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance

SC:FA works just like SC, all factions play similarly while subtle differences among them calls for varying strategies for maximizing their effectiveness in combat. For example, the Cybrans do not have Tech 3 Shield Generators but they have great T2 Destroyers that could walk on land. 🙂

What I liked about SC:FA is that you’re allowed access even to Tech 4 units even in the first mission itself! Great huh? Unlike in SC where your first mission allowed you only a few miserable units and if I’m not mistaken, you’re stuck with Tech 1 for quite a while. 🙁

Besides having a new faction, SC also introduced quite a number of new unit and structures. These new additions are made available as you progress through the game. Furthermore, I notice that you could now build upon your destroyed structures and save 50% of the build time. Woohoo!

supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance

Now let’s have a look at a few things I didn’t like about SC:FA.

Unlike SC where all 3 factions come with a set of campaign of their own that sets them apart, SC:FA uses the same set of campaign for all 3 factions! This is a really disappointing move in my opinion. So it’s basically playing the campaign 3 times with different unit sets. 🙁

Another thing I hate about SC:FA is that the unrealistic “operation area expanded” way of mission-flow. Heck it’s not even logical. Now being a commander of a military force that’s out to save civilizations, it’s damn ridiculous to not being able to know the entire operation area isn’t it? Logically speaking, it doesn’t make sense for any commander to not have any details on the area of operation and the location of both allied and enemy military forces.

supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance

Quite often the “OPERATION AREA EXPANDED” also means “YOU’RE IN TROUBLE”. Woah, suddenly the black piece of covering was removed, lo and behold – a huge enemy base on the upper right corner with a bunch of units coming your way. “WTH!?!?!” would be the next reaction, followed by frantic pace of mass production, unit re-organization and of course – a prayer for survival. Does it make sense? Not at all! As a commander, should I not have complete details of what I’m up against? Apparently not, Chris Taylor and his crew really have to work on this part. Sure it adds to the surprise factor of the game but it sure isn’t logical in terms of engaging full-scale military operations. I’m far from being a SUPREME commander if I can’t have proper intel on what’s going on around the neighborhood!

And last but not least, the stupid bumper car issue. Units would knock each other like bumper cars when they lack space, for example a bunch of engineers trying to build something, or perhaps a group of Fatboys getting into formation. This lack of intelligence has cost me quite a bit in executing tactical moves.

Does the game have stability issues? I believe it does, I had a few crashes but it’s not something that happened often enough to the height of irritation.

Well, despite the above mentioned negative points, SC:FA is still a great game to play.

Graphics & Sound

The game looked a lot better than the original SC. Everything else comes in better detail. While the looks have improved, it’s not something you’ll spend time admiring. Quite often you’ll be zooming in and out between the battle scene to the tactical map.

Speaking of the tactical map, SC:FA has improved the interface greatly to maximize the view area. What caught my attention was the feature to play split screen and even to have cartographic view of the map.

supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance

As for the sound, it’s just a bunch of whoosh, bim, bang, boom. 🙂 The soundtrack of the game showed much improvement, unlike the original SC where the music is pretty repetitive, SC:FA offers more number of soundtrack and they don’t sound bad. The only issue I had was that the sound-effect practically drowned the soundtrack, I had to maximize the music volume and lowering the sound-effects volume to around 25% to get a decent balance.

I also did encounter stuttered execution of the cut-scenes, the scenes between the objectives in the missions. It happened on practically every cut. Looks like even the overclocked Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2140 has met its match because from what I gathered, users of the Intel Core2Quad Q6600 did not encounter this issue. I tried lowering graphic detail and resolution, it didn’t help so I really think it’s processor limitation.

Anyway other than that, a nice touch the developers did for the game would be a loading screen that’s tied to the faction of your choice, e.g. UEF’s loading screen is blue. Then there’s also the user interface that’s tied with the faction of your choice, e.g. green-themed interface for Aeon. That doesn’t mean the interface changes completely, it’s just a change of color.

Skirmish Mode & Online Gaming

Skirmish mode is more fun on SC:FA compared to SC. Not only do you have an additional faction to play, you now also have more units and structures to add to the tactical challenge.

As for the AI, there’s the normal AI which is as dumb as it could be, I had a game where I took down 2 bases with low-level air units as the AI had no anti-air turrets build throughout the entire course of the skirmish. Then there’s the CHEATING AI which obviously cheats and beats you hands down when it comes to resource gathering and unit building. Pretty much useless for 1 on 1 skirmish unless you love the challenge of beating your survival time. 🙂 On the other hand it can be really fun to play against a super AI, e.g. 3 humans vs 1 super AI.

SC:FA also comes with a set of new maps, which is a plus point!

supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance
supreme commander forged alliance

Playing via GPGNet was trouble-free, the only annoyance is the SC:FA will only be launched when you’re about to engage in a game and you need to exit the game to return to GPGNet. So yeah, basically # of games means # of times you are needed to load SC:FA. Sure, it’ll launch the game for you automatically but man, it’s irritating! All the more reason to play via direct connection.


I’m most disappointed with the lack of variation when it comes to faction campaigns. Furthermore, the campaigns are in lack of logic when it comes to military operations.

Nevertheless I enjoy the game for its tactical flexibility which very few RTS provides.


supreme commander forged alliance

PC Specifications Used

The computer setup used for this review.

Processor Intel E2140 Overclocked @ 3.2ghz
Graphic Card Albatron 8800GT 512MB
RAM 2x 1GB Kingston DDR2 667 @ DDR2 800
Motherboard ASUS P5K-E
Cooler Xigmatek HDT-S963
Monitor 20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Operating System Windows XP (SP2)
Driver Version ForceWare 169.09
goldfries rated this product :


  1. Hey,who here thinks the Zerg in starcraft 2 are rediculously hard to play with ?I mean come blizzard…diversity is one thing but this..

Comments are closed.