Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Supreme Commander 2

Go To
Supreme Commander 2 is the 2010 sequel to the Real-Time Strategy game Supreme Commander. The game takes place twenty five years after the events of Forged Alliance, during which time the Seraphim have been destroyed and humanity has come together in a utopian peace. All is thrown into jeopardy, however, when the president of the coalition is murdered by an unknown party, with the leaders of the United Earth Federation, the Cybran Nation and the Order of the Illuminate blaming each other for the president's murder and taking up arms again.

Supreme Commander 2 is notable for having a distinctly less hardcore tone than its predecessors. The story is much more light-hearted than in the previous two games, and contains a great amount of humour. Despite the seeming gravity of the premise, the scale of the story never escalates much, and is mostly a character-driven romp. The game is designed around the idea that the economic crash of 2009 would affect the gaming market—graphics were scaled down to allow the game to work on the Xbox 360, as well as on lower-end PCs, as it was assumed that people would not be able to afford expensive gaming rigs. The maximum map size was reduced and much of the game streamlined and simplified to allow for quicker matches, fitting the controls on a gamepad, a lower entry threshold and to remove focus from the economical micromanagement aspects.

Reception of the game at the time was mixed; although Supreme Commander 2 was popular with critics, the game was controversial amongst hardcore fans for its gameplay streamlining, and ultimately the game failed to make the same splash as its predecessors.

This game contains examples of:

  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: UEF experimental Flying Air Factory, which is pretty much what it sounds like.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: One of this games single most useful additions to the formula is the automatic creation of selection groups whenever orders are issued or units are created in sequence. This makes commanding your forces from the strategic view much, much easier.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Illuminate "Pullinsmash" (a huge tank that creates a singularity above itself, sucking in nearby units) seems to play this one straight. For the research, mass and energy costs, it destructive power relative to other experimentals as well as conventional units is quite poor. Stick it in the water, though, and it becomes a killing machine.
    • The Cybran Bomb-Bouncer's shield only barely extends beyond its own body. Its Megablast, however, is one-button death.
    • The original Cybran Monkeylord from the first game was brought over and it retains the larger scale of everything. Cost included.
  • Base on Wheels: Not quite to the hilariously ludicrous extent of the original Fatboy, but the Fatboy Mk.2 is basically a firebase on treads, sporting four huge battleship turrets and a fifth dorsal turret the size of most factories.
  • Boring, but Practical: This is the UEF's aesthetic (though not their gameplay mode, see Faction Calculus below). When they build a building, it looks like it's being constructed by a modern robotic assembly line, most of their units use kinetic weapons like slug-throwers and physical missiles, and they don't have too many fancy tricks up their sleeve. The Cybrans go for a Technology Porn aesthetic, and the Illuminate go for a sort of Crystal Spires and Togas look.
  • Brain in a Jar: Gustav Brackman. Also, humorously, the Cybran experimental research building has a detachable giant brain that can be used to fight. Power of the mind?
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shiva is destroyed, the war is averted, Ivan is a well-respected leader in the alliance, Maddox was discharged but gets to be with his family, and Thalia... is arrested and doesn't even get the chance to see her brother before he dies.
  • But Thou Must!: In the final mission, you have to destroy four shield generators to get to the commander. Brackman asks you to find another way, but there is none.
  • Captain Obvious: Ivan and Gustaf Brackman. Admittedly, Ivan may be describing things to his father that his father cannot see himself, but Gustaf has no such excuse.
    Ivan: It breathes fire.
    Gustaf: It may be necessary to subdue the creature before gathering the sample.

    Gustaf: It appears I greatly underestimated Gauge's ability to get the ectosynthesiser online
  • Catapult to Glory: One of the UEF's experimental buildings is a giant factory/cannon that builds robots quickly and cheaply, then launches them all the way across the map—possibly right inside or behind the enemy base.
  • Civil Warcraft: Happens midway through the first campaign and continues on later campaigns.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: William Gauge swaps between villanous gloating and childlike chatter with no pause in between.
    Gauge: Dominic, what have you heard about the invasion?
    Maddox: Just rumours.
    Gauge: Ooh, I love rumours!
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In skirmish games, you can pick if an AI will explicitly cheat or not. This results in a significant increase in difficulty. If you want to lose, look no further.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Although most units start out heavily specialized, they generally have researchable upgrades that allow them to fill multiple roles. For instance, certain factions can upgrade their tanks and assault bots with anti-air guns, obviating the need to build AA-only units. The Cybrans can even mount a gun on their otherwise-helpless Engineers. Some units are still overspecialized, however; the UEF has an anti-air fighter jet and a bomber jet, but no fighter-bombers like the other two sides.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The general feel of the Illuminate side. All land units are hover units, and they've got teleporters a-plenty. They've also got the largest number of giant land-bound Experimentals.
  • Escape Pod: You can research the ability to make your ACU's head pop off and eject to safety. Very handy in Assassination skirmishes, where the destruction of your ACU means game over. You have to have the head reconstruct a body for itself, but that's better than losing the game.
  • Even Mooks Have Loved Ones: Can't really blame Maddox for going against his faction, considering they were going to kill his wife and son.
  • Everything Fades: Averted. And now you can reclaim lost ocean units this time, whereas you couldn't in the first.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The three protagonists of Supreme Commander 2 apparently did go to school together.
  • Expy: The Cybran's Command-class Carrier is a dead ringer for the Antaeus Adaptive Cruiser, albeit without the ludicrously powerful deck guns.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • The UEF is the Powerhouse. They have a lot of artillery (more than any other faction), strong defense towers, and hard-hitting units. They suffer in production, having the most costly mass converter research (five slots down the tree and nearly twice the research points of others) and generally slightly more expensive toys.
    • The Aeon are Subversive. Their defense towers get dedicated shields, which no other faction has, their high-end experimentals are hard to kill, and their units are multi-purposed so they don't need a navy. They even get teleporters to bypass defenses. This is countered by their regular units not being quite as tough.
    • The Cybran end up being the Balanced in this game. They actually have the crappiest defense towers, but this is made up with their mass conversion being tied to their energy generators, which are also more efficient than the other factions. Short version: their production never stops with enough energy on hand. They have one of the quickest-building and most balanced experimentals in the game, which are easily unlocked. They also have the best research centers, meaning they get to top form very fast. Their best experimentals, however, take much longer to build than others, and in the short game can be taken out fairly easily.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Cybrans are often called Chipheads by other characters.
  • Fastball Special: An RTS equivalent of it, anyhow. One of the UEF Experimental buildings is a cheaper-and-faster factory that stores the units it makes and launches them across the map as artillery shells, whereupon they deploy at the target area.
  • Fun with Acronyms: the cybrans can research a technology that turns their ships into huge Spider Tanks, called the Land Emergence Galleon System, or L.E.G.S.
  • General Ripper: Colonel Rodgers, the UEF commander.
  • Glass Cannon: Surprisingly, the assault bots fall under this trope, despite being amongst the toughest units in the previous game. They can still dish out significant damage, though. The Infinity War Battle Pack DLC also adds the Illuminate Shotja Sniper Bot, which does a lot of initial shot damage but cannot take a hit.
  • Grey Goo: An early Cybran mission involves you attempting to fight this. A base on a planet has gone haywire and is pumping out tons of mechanized engineers who are themselves constructing ludicrous numbers of anti-air and anti-ground turrets. The surplus engineers attack by capturing and converting your units to their side. The simplest method of dealing with this, though somewhat time-consuming, is to turtle with a wall of turrets until you can build Megaliths or a Navy with long-range bombardment capacity. Once you have units with better attack range than the basic defenses the Engineers construct, winning is inevitable.
  • The Hero: Ivan becomes this, logically because his third of the campaign is the last and thus he's had time to see the mistakes the others made. In spite of that, though, he is wholly heroic, even refusing some of his father's orders for the greater good.
  • Hostile Terraforming: Actually used twice. The first is in the Grey Goo scenario mentioned above. The second is the Shiva machine, which Dr. Brackman speculates to be a sort of planetary-scale molecular rearranger to change planet surfaces to match an alien template. And possibly to create the Seraphim, if he's right about it predating them. For sure it's more advanced than his Cybran-tech ever was.
  • Hover Tank: The majority of the Illuminates land units are hover units, allowing them to traverse across water with ease. This also means that they don't need to create naval units like the other two factions.
  • Humongous Mecha: The ACU beats all sides. KING KRYPTOR. The Illuminate Universal Collosus is right up there with it, but not quite as heavy. Never before have units the size of a fully-grown pine tree seemed so dwarfed in comparison. One could say that the majority of experimental units, in fact, are HUMONGOUS Humongous Mechas.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: While not quite punny, the names of a fair number of Illuminate units are downright painful when said out loud. Some of the worst offenders are the Airnomo (Air no more), a walking AA battery, the Willfindja (We'll find ya), a massive floating tank that specializes in dispatching submarines, and the Fistoosh (the sound a missile launch makes), a mobile missile launcher. The Infinity War Battle Pack DLC adds the Shotja (Shot ya), a sniper bot with a lot of range that deals a ton of initial shot damage but cannot move quickly, has a very low fire rate, and is very fragile.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Assassination game mode. Justified as units are robots and the commander usually takes a nice piece of his base with him, unless you have done some research. Justified in that the ACU is technically the only manned unit in your army, from which you are commanding (hence Armored Command Unit)—if you die, everything else has nothing to control it.
  • Ironic Echo: Colonel Rodgers tells Maddox that "Speeches will get you nowhere" when the latter is trying to stop the attack on New Cathedral. Maddox throws it back at Rodgers before blowing up his command post.
  • Ironic Name: A very minor example in the final mission of the Illuminate campaign. One of the commanders you're tasked with eliminating never says a word even when he's killed, which is somewhat unusual since almost every other commander has a line or two. His name? Commander Teller (which may or may not be an unintentional reference).
  • Leitmotif: Whenever Gauge shows up (especially if it involves nukes) for a Cybran Surprise Attack, you'll be hearing discordant, manic music.
  • Laughably Evil: Gauge, the main antagonist, quotes classical literature and other famous sources and is generally entertaining to listen to.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game takes itself a lot less seriously than its predecessors. The colors are brighter, unit designs lean more towards novelty and the Rule of Cool and there are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments in the campaigns, especially for the Cybran side. There are still darker moments, but even then, the story never threatens to expand its scope to that of the total galactic war of the previous games.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Dominic Maddox, a UEF commander, and Annika Koenig, an Illuminate teacher. Her family was quite welcoming to Dominic, while his was deeply offended and disowned their only son. Dominic continues to get flak for it from his UEF comrades and Colonel Rodgers even uses it to question his loyalty repeatedly.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Stinger reveals that Gauge was following Dr. Brackman's orders all along.
  • Meaningful Name: Gauge might be a reference to Hilary Gage, a man who suffered brain damage that caused him to be uncontrollably emotional.
  • Mighty Glacier: Several experimental units are huge, pack a lot of fire power, but are real slow in traveling across the map. The UEF have the King Kriptor, and Fatboy. The Illuminate have their Urchinow, Airnomo, and Universal Colossus. The Cybrans have the Megalith, Cybersaurus Rex, and Monkeylord.
  • Military Brat: Dominic Maddox, the UEF Player Character, enlisted to follow in his father's footsteps, who had served as a Commander in the Infinite War.
  • Military Mashup Machine: Most Illuminate units have hover capabilities in addition to their other features by default, and Cybran ships can be upgraded to allow them to walk on land.
  • More Dakka: UEF has a research option that adds more more cannon barrels to tanks, artillery, cruisers and battleships. They also get a few upgrades that allow most of their buildings to have turrets and anti-air capability, turning every structure they have into something that can defend itself. They also have three distinct artillery structures,note  so expect to deal with quite a lot of bombardment when dealing with them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Thalia Kael when she realized that Gauge has used her, and all of her actions were that of terrorism.
  • Nerf: Several units return from the previous game, with significant changes:
    • The UEF Fatboy has lost its shield, its anti-aircraft, air-staging, and manufacturing capabilities, its guns are weaker and they fire at half the speed of the old ones.
    • The Illuminate Czar has been renamed the Darkenoid and has lost its anti-aircraft, aircraft-carrying, and manufacturing abilities.
    • The Cybran Megalith is significantly smaller and less heavily armed than its predecessor. It has also lost its manufacturing capability.
    • Experimentals in general are significantly weaker and cheaper compared to the previous games and behave more like an additional unit tier than the game changers they were previously. The sole exception is the original Monkeylord under Awesome, but Impractical above.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At the end of the second campaign, Thalia Kael realizes that Gauge tricked her into a lot of terrorist acts, by attacking a Cybran military convoy on a humanitarian supply run, releasing the Guardians who are more than just the worst criminals of the Illuminate and UEF, and destroying the Illuminate government research facility and in the end, allow Gauge to obtain a lot of things. Maddox also unfortunately destroyed the holographic shell guarding the entrance to the Shiva terraformer, which Gauge is able to reach easily as a result.
  • No OSHA Compliance: You have to research the technology that prevents your ACU from going off like a nuke under fire.
  • Non-Entity General: Averted. Each campaign's commander has a name, face, voice and family: UEF's Dominic Maddox has an Illuminate wife and son, Illuminate's Thalia Kael has her terminally ill brother, and Cybran's Ivan Brackman is the clone-son of Doctor Brackman. Anyone's guess as to what happened to the first clone-son from Supreme Commander, though.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: William Gauge points out to Thalia that for all her ideals, she's actually a terrorist and has done more to hurt people than help. To hammer this point home, he nukes a city and says he couldn't have done it without her.
  • Nuke 'em: Willam Gauge does it repeatedly. In fact, he once does so twice in the same mission, following up the second with this Oppenheimer quote:
    Gauge: If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. For I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.
    • A nuke is a guaranteed kill for pretty much anything in the blast area. Experimentals and the commander usually take two.
  • Psycho Prototype: William Gauge, a prototype Cybran who's quite insane.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Your ACU is slow-moving but outclasses most starting units and, once fully upgraded, can even give some of the Experimentals a run for their money.
  • Reinventing the Wheel: One of the complaints leveled at Supreme Commander 2 was that the research tree introduced this to a game that had previously been free of it. Your research must be redone every level.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: Subverted. Thalia Kael and her brother seem like quite decent people until they take a step back and realize what exactly they've been doing.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Actually justified and portrayed fairly realistically with nanomachines. Made faster with supporting engineers.
  • Sequel Hook: Gauge, who survived the final mission, aids Brackman in transferring himself to a proto-brain.
  • Shout-Out: The Cybran look somewhat orky this time around.
  • Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Averted. The nukes seem to have been toned down from the previous game, but they're still devastatingly powerful.
  • Spider Tank: Most of the Cybran units fall under this trope. If you have the right upgrade, it even applies to the ships!
  • Suicide Attack: Every Cybran Surface Unit and structure comes equipped with self destruct charges when upgraded, making them walking ordinance instead of cannon fodder.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Both Maddox and Thalia participate in destabilizing the alliance, the latter more than the former. They face consequences for this; Maddox just gets an honorable discharge, since he broke ranks as soon as the morally-questionable orders came in. Thalia stuck with it for far longer, and is arrested as a result.
    • Political divisions still exist among the newly reunified humans following the events of Forged Alliance, as the scars of a thousand year long Forever War aren't going to heal within one generation. One major problem is that a large portion of the Aeon were wiped out after siding with the Seraphim, leaving Illuminate citizens a minority in the Coalition. Compounding matters is the UEF has come to dominate Coalition politics both due to their majority population and because they tend to vote however UEF leaders tell them to, having lived for almost a thousand years under a highly regimented military junta.
      • The really ugly side of this shows up during the UEF campaign, as Maddox's wife expresses concerns about attacks against Illuminate citizens, and the moment hostilities break out, all of the Cybran officers on Altair II are immediately arrested and anyone of Illuminate descent end up being attacked later on.
  • Tactical Superweapon Unit: The game has what ammounts to the Updated Re Release of many of the previous game's super units, and more besides. They require Experimental Gantry structures to deploy from as well. The game features the option to launch them at 50% build capacity (which the game refers to as "launching half-baked") as an emergency measure, in which case, they're riddled with problems and often stall.
    • UEF:
      • The King Kryptor is a giant robot with battleship turrets for Shoulder Cannons and fireball-launcher hands.
      • The Fat Man returns as a pure land battleship, without the bubble shields and factory.
      • The Terror is a King Mook version of their regular gunship.
      • The Mega Fortress is an Airborne Aircraft Carrier with its own compliment of weaponry-most of them pointed at the ground, relying on its fighter compliment to tackle other air threats.
      • The Atantis returns almost unchanged (besides swapping out AA capacity for a bigger deck gun), and is only slightly more expensive then their next most powerful battleship
    • Cybran:
      • The Megalith returns with bigger guns and without its integrated factory and Drop Pod dispenser.
      • The Cybranosaurus Rex can only be called a "Dragon in Powered Armor."
      • The Soul Ripper returns unchanged.
      • The Kraken is a submarine battleship made in imitation of, what else, a giant squid, with a cannon on each tentacle.
      • The Monkey Lord also returns, but is behind a DLC paywall.
    • Aeon (most units are named in the Seraphim Conlang from the first game's Expansion Pack):
      • The Galactic Collossus returns unchanged.
      • The Czar's little brother, the Darkenoid loses its aircraft capacity, but retains the underside quantum laser array.
      • The Urchinow is a superheavy tank referred to as an "Assault Block," which has three big cannons and multiple light guns.
      • The Willfindja is a huge Hover Tank with all its weaponry mounted on twenty or so Attack Drones.
      • The Sooprizer is a large gunship intended for surgical strikes to compliment the Darkenoid.
  • Tech Tree: Instead of tech tiers like the previous game, the Tech Tree is used to unlock new units, abilities, and structures through research points. This has the benefit of allowing you to upgrade everything instantly just by purchasing the relevant tech. The downside is that there is a ton of things to purchase and you need a lot of research stations to build up points at a meaningful rate. You also gain Tech Points by destroying enemy units, but unless you're killing things constantly, the buildup will not be that fast, which is why you also have to build research stations that slowly generate more research points over time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The second mission of the Cybran campaign. The player travels to a planet with an old Cybran base running a self-maintenance program. The base has some bugs in the code, however, building an excessive number of defensive towers and sending swarms of engineers to capture everything that can be captured. The player nabs some data from the control center and leaves. None of this is ever mentioned again, and bears no relation to the rest of the game except for mechanics.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Everyone's run-of-the-mill Long Range Artillery/Tactical Missiles and the obvious Nuke. Then there's "Shiva" - an autonomous terraforming device.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: With the exception of a few of their airborne units, every single unit in the Illuminate arsenal has a pair of huge banners featuring their emblem on it. Y'know, just in case you couldn't tell who they belonged to.
  • You Monster!: Gauge is accused of this by Thalia after nuking a place. He disagrees and demonstrates something really monstrous- at least four nukes!- while also listing off what Thalia actually did.