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Supreme Cmdr

Universal Combat - First Impressions

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I have been playing the game for about a week now... all I can say is WWWWOOOOOOWWWWW!!!! With all things considered (size of environment, complete controllability - except as described below, and multiple modes of AO's [area of ops]), I think the graphics are marvelous. Those that ridicule the graphics are off their rocker. I just finished HL2 and that had 5 disks and a 45min install time... sure it looked great, but still didn't even come close to the massive gaming environment that you have provided. I haven't played any of the BC series so I am coming in fresh with no knowledge of previous controls etc... I have never been a big fan of keyboard controls except for fps. However, I do like the fact that the keyboard controls still take precedent even when a joystick is used. That has allowed for customization of my joy profile with the x52.

The multiple modes of play are outstanding. space, planetside flying & vehicles, and fps -- fabulous intigration. I love the personnel tracking on the ship. I just wish I could send the marines to more places specifically, at least until the CO ai increases to a smarter level - although I'm sure that gets into other complications with the game. Still trying to get a grasp of all the control features and where the various items are located in the menus... it seems a little unorganized right now, but I am sure that the organization of it will seep in as I play more. The depth of control is still quite amazing. There seems to be an issue with the orders for support craft -- escort, defend, etc. I have read all the posts, but there should be a difference in the way the ships react to the environment with respect to those commands (i.e.: "escort" remains with the target and attacks only in close proximity to the target - ignoring distant targets; "defend" performs on a system scale, but places priority on enemy closer to the target ship) hope that made sense. I have seen that it depends on where you give the command from... why should it matter whether you give the command from the TOM or the TLM -- it's still an order from the commander.

I appreciate the way you support your game - I can't think of any of the developers out there that spend so much time in the personal aspect of monitoring the boards. ... harsh sometimes, but then again stupidity deserves to be treated in such ways. Don't know exactly how to go about it, but organizing the forums a bit might help with the information search. (ie - rules for post title corresponding with the body, no multiple questions within one post - but that takes up space, etc) I have seen some boards that work really well that way, and it helps eliminate the multiple posts that are spread from Alpha Centauri to Regulus with little tidbits of info.

I'm not a tech person when it comes to the inner program workings, but I am an old gamer from way back - enough games on my shelves to start my own store - so I can't really provide much in the way of technical criticisms.

Overall I love this game, appreciate the effort that has gone into it, and the support that the creators and the rest of the senior players put into it and the forums to keep it going.

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universal combat

Ok let's start with the graphics,they are not outstanding but they are quite good regarding that you can fight both in space and on planets( or can have massive assaults without too heavy performance losses.

The only thing that disturbs me a bit is the texture flickering and that sometimes yellow or green lines pop up and mess up my screen(but i know that's why there is the tech support )

2.The game:i just can say great job that's the kind of game i've ever dreamed of,a game where one can nearly do what ever he wants... There are just 4. things which could be improved(in my opinion):1.randomly created quest for every caste in the roam mode(like attacking a diplomat when being assassin)

2.Much more things to trade for!!!

3.The fights between capital ships in space should be much slower,e.g by increasing the shield and armor/hull strength,also the fire rate of the main gun is much too high even at full energy,i guess 1 shot in 3 seconds whould be more appropiate

4.At least i miss a damage model for the assets

But apart from this i guess i have found the first game ever that has a long term park on my HD

Thanks to the developers for this great game

(i'm very looking forward to uc-awa)

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quote:


Originally posted by paranide:

The only thing that disturbs me a bit is the texture flickering and that sometimes yellow or green lines pop up and mess up my screen(but i know that's why there is the tech support )


Thats probably a problem with your graphics card's video drivers. Make sure that you have the latest drivers and DirectX 9.0c installed.

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I've had this game for about 1 1/2 weeks now and it is definitely one of the coolest games I have ever played.

Before I read the game I saw some reviews maligning the graphics engine, the controls and even the gameplay. Those reviewers were idiots! Obviosuly they tried to rush through the game without even actually learning how to play. How can you review a game you haven't really played?

This isn't a game to rush through at all. This is a game to savor and relish for a good, long time. It took me about 3 days to have any level of proficiency in a CC.

There are just so many options, so many things you can do. Take any two or three features from UC and you have what another company would call a complete game.

Graphics: The graphics are great considering the massive amount of stuff the game has to model. I have games that are supposed to have cutting edge graphics and I still sit there going "WTF is that?". In UC I have never had a problem identifying what I am looking at. The way everything looks actually makes sense and is very functional. Anything more would almost be superfluous.

The gameplay is the mainstay of this game and this is where the game truly shines. This is one of those rare gems, a totally open ended game (in roam mode) where you have the freedom to decide where to go and what to do. There is so much freedom in fact that I think many new players may be overwhelmed by the sheer possibilities. The learning curve is somewhat high but nowehere near the insane level the reviews said it was at. In under a week I have figured out that if something seems to be screwing up in the game it's probably due to my own mistakes. "Why is my shield suddenly going down?"

For Example:

I had sent a marine out in a shuttle to a planet to do some mining and he seemed to be having a hard time landing, deploying the drone, ect... He eventually did all that but alot slower than the ones I had sent out previously. Then when the drone was ready to be picked up I gave him a waypoint order to retrieve the drone. Well the shuttle crash landed and became too damaged to take off (it would take off then drift back down to the ground again). I was like WTF??? So after some difficulty I had it towed back to the CC. I checked out the marine who had been piloting it in perscan and lo and behold... he was the biggest dumbass on the whole ship. His AI was really low, around 6% if I remember correctly.

I also read in some review that the game was unstable... Yet another unfair misrepresentation. When I bought the game I ran it out of the box for about 2 days and never had a problem. I have since installed the patches and have not had a single CTD or other glitch. That's very impressive considering my video card is crap and crashes on most other games I have after a few hours of play.

Overall my first impression of UC is a very, very good one. It might have been different if I hadn't bothered to read the manual and appendix or if I gave up on trying to play after a few hours of play like I bet most people do. But thankfully I stuck with it and now am looking forward to many nights exploring the stars. Many thanks to 3000AD for producing such a magnificent game.

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Thanks for your support; the upcoming ucAWA pushes the envelope that much farther, without ruining what makes UC what it is.

I swear if this keeps up, I'm going the Microsoft Flight Simulator route; and tagging the year at the end.

Next up, Universal Combat 2006

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LMAO!!!

You won't do that BOSS......not your style...LOL!

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And to think you have been giving away all those annual updates as patches all these years.

Look at Madden. All they do is add a new feature or two, update the rosters and tack it all on the same engine. What a gig. A license to print money.

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The scope of this game is absolutely phenomonal. To think that from the ground to the sea (although i haven't had much success at piloting any naval craft yet), then to the sky and beyond is a concept that should appeal to any hardcore sim, strategy and any tactical orientated mind. Obviously each individual person is going to encounter different issues with graphics, sound, FPS mode,(like not being able to command ground troops effectively and accurately, but as mentioned this is not HALO or trying to assimilate it). But given the range of playability and range of careers, not to mention that any craft that's in the game can be piloted or driven. I, on first impressions am very happy with my recent purchase thank you very much.

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Well, bearing in mind that I haven't hardly had enough time to do much more than rub the surface of UC's CD, my initial impressions of UC are as follows:

The game rocks. Hard.

Thus far, there are a number of criticisms that were leveled at Universal Combat that I would very strongly disagree with (though there are also a few that I think are justified) - and quite a few bits of recognition that I think have been just plain skipped entirely.

The games graphics are, IMHO, not 'dated'. Dated, by my standards, means that they're what gamers saw as average 1/2 a year (6 months, kids) to a year ago. Homeworld 2, released back in September of '03, had reviewers almost wetting their beds at night with it's visual appeal. It's graphics are strictly inferior to UCs (Don't think so? I've got some beautiful shots of a full sortie in HW2, and it won't take long for me to catch some in UC). There's a LOT to like about the varying ship designs, the variations between the shapes of different vessels, and of the different environments one can find oneself looking into. You want to see some really impressive environmental achievements? Just send an away team planetside and have them wander around for a while. Not only are the planetary environments huge beyond comprehension, they're DYNAMIC. Birds fly through the air, bugs buzz past the camera, fish swim the seas and all manner of animals santer through the brush (I've seen wolves, bears and horses thus far - and I'm sure there's plenty more). There's TONS of strictly beautifying, superficial suspension of disbelief going-on... there's dozens (hundreds?) of different tree and shrub models, all of which are situated in such a way that they convey a believable wilderness. Collision detection? WHO THE HELL WHINES ABOUT COLLISION DETECTION IN AN ENVIRONMENT WITH THIS MUCH SCOPE? You'd be spending your entire planetside voyage getting stuck on, over, under and/or between trees and animals. Woo. Fun.

The control scheme is not difficult. For a sim. Honestly, I think the authors of most articles on this game were thinking 'arcade shooer' rather than 'simulation' when they picked it up. The manual that comes in the game box is roughly 6"x4" and has 96 double-sided pages, from cover to cover. It covers all of the basics and then some. There's also a fold-out keyboard command summary that's roughly the equivalent of 3 pages of the manual in length (Why didn't they just stick it in the back of the manual?). Ever played a Microsoft flight sim? The handbook you get is about as hefty as a quantum physics handbook, and about just as likely to give you headaches. The UC manual is clear, to the point and very readble. Any respectable armchair pilot should be able to pick-up the controls and interface of UC in a heartbeat.

With the above token, however, it should be said that while the controls are a snap to hop into, the game is another story entirely. Let's face it: it's daunting. This doesn't have to be looked at in a negative way, of course - a lot of players (myself included) enjoy the sensation of being presented with something so monumentous. So intimidating. For those that just want to see what this whole 'Roam' deal is about, we pick our Captain and his ship, we think-up some creative names for them both... and then we're dumped out into the vastness of space. We're suddenly left on our own in a jungle of comets, pirates, insurgents, police, starfighters and battleships. It's like the time your friends suddenly left your introverted rump sitting in a chair all alone across the table from that really hot girl. WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW...!?!?

You either let the uncomfortable silence drift-in and went looking for something a little more conventional to do, or you walked her home and got laid.

Some players just aren't going to be able to cope with the raw scale and scope of this game. This is not a fault; it's simply a matter of design. Our average mainstreamer, who's used to the game telling him what to do next (rather than setting his own agendas within the game) is going to probably get hit with a sensation of being overloaded. It's not his kind of game. As for the rest of us? This is all we've ever hoped for (and then some).

Does the game lack professionalism? Not a drop. Professionalism, IMHO, is delivered in the presentation. The music (which is great, by the way!), sounds, chatter, menus, art... UC certainly doesn't 'feel' any different than any other boxed gaming product I've recently purchased. Was Dreamcatcher justified in releasing UC as a 'bargain title'? Well, I've got mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I'd have definately purchased the game at standard retail price and felt very satisfied that my dollar was well spent. It is also of my own opinion that Dreamcatcher made this gesture as a fairly blatant slap in Mr. Smart's face to demonstrate that developers had better be prepared to ask, "How high?" when they say, "Jump!". However, on the other hand, I don't see any reason to view 'bargain' status as a bad thing. Look at Serious Sam - it's a bargain game, and I'll be damned if it's not one of the most fun FPS games I've ever played. And, on the other end of the spectrum, a high price is not always a guarantee of gameplay value. Anyone else who purchased 'Steel Battalion' for the X-Box know what I'm talking about (Or, back in the day, the 'high-end' flight sims that ran for $120.00+, but just plain sucked). Of course, I sympathize with Mr. Smart and respect that he would be very frustrated at the situation (I don't think there's anyone in the world who'd be pleased to suddenly find out that their paycheck was unjustifiably being cut by more than 50%), but I laso think that his perspective is from a rather unique bias. As a gamer who's financially unaffected by Dreamcatcher's decision to make UC a bargain title, why should I care that I'm picking-up a game for $19.99 that has equal or better quality than the titles on the shelf that are in the 40-70 dollar range?

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Well said Sir Exalted Leader.

I am in complete agreement. In addition, I have alot of those fifty dollar titles sitting on my shelf gathering dust until I decide to haul them up to my local used game outlet for trade in. I doubt that I will ever see a BC title on their shelves.

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May as well put in my .5 cent worth on UC...

An easy simulation? Can end up being that way IF you focus and actually imerse yourself into it, reminding yourself constantly as well in ROAM scenarios, that you ARE infact, thrown into it, and it's up to you to live or die in it. Reviewers, when it came out, flunked and really should have their heads examined CLOSELY since they either didn't want to evaluate it on the scale it should have been, or were too 'babied' with other simulations or games to really see the difference.

Sure, I've played it off and on over the past few months and FINALLY registered it, let alone actually sat down and worked hard on not pile-driving myself into a planet or moon. I'm also positive that it'll take a good sit-down with it for a few months to get a good grasp on most of the aspects this simulation holds. Remember too, it has the capability of catering to a vast majority of people and styles of play, and allows you to change your style and do anything you want in it

(IE one day you feel like ripping apart a few enemies...the next, maby you just want to do some trading and make some cold, hard credits there)

Graphics:

Given the sheer size of the 'world' your in, they are better than most, if not all...lets see PS2 do this on their system while we watch their systems cry like a baby at all it'd have to compute

Interaction with it to do the things you think you need to do:

Some have complained and want it easier!?!?! You CAN NOT just click your mouse once or twice and expect to get done what you want to...the simulations got waaaay too much it's capable of to even TRY to put that kind of simplicity into it. It takes time to learn it and get used to the VOLUME of whats possible to control in it. Our own race sure didn't get to orbit or the Moon without having to figure out a few things along the way

A plus AND a minus here....PRICE:

Many should have LOVED it only being $19.95 ...not even a half cent for everything you can do in it if you ask me (and the value is probably lower for everything that can be done, just an example there)

The bad part of the $19.95 thing is the kicker...one friggin man works his tail off on something of this scale, possibly hoping for $39.95 even, only to get reamed in the backside.

If I bought another simulation at this pure MAGNITUDE and scale...I wouldn't mind putting out $100+ for it because I myself have only seen 1 single game that comes CLOSE to this scale....Vampire The Masquerade-Bloodlines....and IT IS LIMITING to what you can do in it, unlike Universal Combat which allows you to do what you want, just about WHEN you want too.

Only 2 downfalls I've met in the simulation so far is that it adheres, nay, demands to be at a real-time experience...your starting off, so are your crew with you...minor addition to it to compensate for it (if even possible) add in a choice of how smart you'd LIKE your people to be with you...not running around like the bobble-head you are, even after a week of simulation-time play

The other minus is my personal experience with actually being able to view a few occurances, BUT...that's due to my own graphics chip in the computer...can't bomb the heck out of a planet yet till I get a card to throw into the thing....clean exit though after the computer goes "HICK-UP: You want me to do WHAT?!?!?""

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Yeah this is supposed to be about first impressions.....

This game came off looking really cool, but then after about a day of dieing, I discoverd the FUEL issue. Dont get me wrong this game is truly amazing in its openness. This game is the closest thing to an RPG as any game will EVER get. (and i thought that EVN was good!) BUT dont you think that a goverment like GALCOM would want to keep there warships up and running with fuel when you really need it, cause your salary is not nearly enough to survie..........

I dont want to sound lame but this game is incedible.

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Play the game for what it is, not what you want it to be or what you think it should be.

Obviously as the designer, I wanted the game the way it is. You don't have to like it.

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Must say, i love the game, heres my views:

Good:

LOTS of things to do and i love the way you have to use your imagination, many games dont have this and this is what makes the game what it is IMO.

Tactical implementation is brilliant compared to the likes of red alert games, on this you really have to plan and think and i liked that.

Graphics are great, no problems and for how big the size of the planets are i think they are really good.

Too many good things to point out so i will just say my bad points:

Hard learning curve, in game tutorials should be implemented but the pdf tutorial is good enough, lot of alt tabbing for me cos i dont have printer so ie - my problem.

Hard to move around in tacops, when u click on a planet surface it zooms in aswell as move to that location, should be an option to move around without zooming (If there is and ive missed it i apologize and could you please tell me how)

Combat graphics like when shooting on a planet is a bit crap but i suppose for a world this size they have to be.

Dont think this is a bug but sometimes when i order a shuttle to land sometimes it hovers for about 10 minutes before it touches down.

When focusing on a particular city or base you can often see other targets that are in the distance and is all cluttered, maybe should be an option to turn this off.

Jetpack landings have to be really slow or else my AE gets injured for falling about 4 foot off the ground.

Thats really all i have to say, there are too many good points to list here and the good points outweigh the bad ones so overall i would give this game 9.5 out of 10

EDIT: BTW ever think about adding a realism option like in silent hunter where you can change things like unlimited fuel and other options.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cmdr_Heard:

Just remembered this, why did you take out the cockpit images from the first battlecruiser because they looked ace.

The reason is because this version has A LOT more ships, vehicles and everything else that can be driven or flown, so it would have been a massive undertaking to model the cockpit of all those different ships.

You will need to wait for BC NextGen for that feature again.

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Liked: The imersiveness. How even though I don't play the game all the time, anytime I see a spaceship on the Sci-Fi channel... in goes the UC cd lol.

Disliked: Not really UC's fault, but the vertex shaders lol. This game works on one of my old computers that have an on-board intel, which as said in one of the threads has a vertex shader but not a pixel shader. Well I recently purchased another eMachine, installed a NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX card and found out it didn't include a vertex shader. I figured if it could play other graphics intense games this would work like a charm... wrong. Another thing I disliked was how hard/near impossible it was to control my marines off the ship. Lastly, the game needs more action. Instead of just a ship or two every now and then, have actual fleets for the gammulleans. Like have 3-4 pre-maded fleets that patrol and if you run into one, you need to high-tail it out of there.

Ideas: Create a PDF that tells people how to create and implement their own ships? Maybe create a small editor that has a max to certain factors so that people won't make their ship invincible to start with.

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