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    Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance Review

    Click for a larger image

    Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance Review

    System Requirements:
    Windows XP SP2+
    1.8Ghz Processor (3Ghz Rec)
    512MB RAM (2GB Rec)
    8GB HD Space
    ATI 9600+ / NVidia 6200+ Graphics Card (6800+ Rec)
    Broadband Connection required for multiplayer


    Overview: Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is the sequel/standalone expansion to the RTS Supreme Commander. The expansion pack continues the massive scale warfare of its predecessor and introduces a new race as well as new units, plus some gameplay and interface tweaks.


    Click for a larger imageIn Forged Alliance, the 3 races that were previously at war have been forced to unite to fight against the invasion of a new threat – the Seraphim. Instead of playing each individual race through separate concurrent or storylines, Forged Alliance features the same set of missions, all of which are playable by each of the 3 factions. The major missions and plot lines remain the same, although there are some variances in dialogue and secondary missions in each campaign. Each race has enough unique characteristics and differing units to require different strategies and to maintain the interest in playing through the same maps. The new race (the Seraphim) is available to play in multiplayer/skirmish games only.


    Click for a larger image
    Click for a larger image

    The Supreme Commander universe is based on the “Epic” premise – think of a typical RTS game and multiply the map size by 5 to 10. In fact, there is no minimap for the game; instead the entire playable area can be zoomed out so that you end up with a full screen “minimap” where units and buildings are reduced to coloured pixels.

    The GUI works fairly well from a practical point of view - GPG has redesigned the screen so that the menu bars have become more compact, and combined with the ability to hide side navigation bars means that playable area of the screen has become noticeably larger. The zooming ability means that you can zoom into a unit to fill the entire screen (nice eye candy, but not very practical), or zoom out to a full tactical overview. The scroll wheel on your mouse will probably be your best friend while playing this game.


    Click for a larger image
    Click for a larger image

    The game also features an ongoing storyline within each mission – when a set of objectives are completed, the map will expand and new objectives will appear. The continuous growth of the map fits in nicely in line with the theme and emphasises the epic scale of the game. Its fun, but it can start to get tedious after 3-4 hours of battle after battle on the same map - It felt a bit like an RPG with a developing storyline and continuous battles, but without the satisfaction that comes with the reward of levelling up and gaining new items.

    The major flaw of this sort of interface is that the further the map stretches out, the more difficult the supply lines are to maintain. Short of continually building forward bases, it progressively takes longer and longer to repair and to resupply with fresh troops.

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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

    An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.

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