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Supreme Cmdr

Universal Combat - First Impressions

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I got UC yesterday and have been having fun with it so far, I played a little BCM when it was first released. UC is a big improvement over it from what I've seem so far, but there are a few things I didnt like which are:

You don't seem to be able to hyperspace to stuff unless its a LONG way off, which means a lot of just flying strait for ages not doing much, sometimes its quicker to jump away and then to the target. Maybe some time compression while in A/P which stops when something targets you would be nice?

The main guns on all the capships seem to powerful vs the A.I. they can rip through any carrier/cruiser in seconds and never seem to run out of power, even on 100% unless they are badly damaged. It can make combat to easy and feels like your in a fighter at times

I've been getting a lot of CTDs in roam mode, usually when random enemys show up (using rc7).

And the last is, it seems impossible to get back into orbit in some ships once you enter an atmosphere, I havn't tried this since patching though so I don't know if its still a problem.

Overall the game is much better than I was expecting from reading the reviews, the learning curve isnt THAT bad, I've learnt most of the stuff already (in 2 days). It seems most reviewers didn't really spend enough time playing it

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Now i finally got my new Radeon 9200 SE + UC today shipped and i played it now for 2 hours. Here are my impressions:

The first time i started up UC, i noticed the new Mainmenu, its several times better than the BCMG one. I startet with Free Roam and hopped in my brand new Megaron, just to glare at it like 10 Minutes, i cant believe that all ships now have such a nice grafic, so i switched to all ships + station in my radar and viewed from external just to see that this is true

I flyed with my Megaron in the Front of the Earth, observed it and selected a Raider city in a day missionzone. I setted up all WP to do a quick shuttle + OC Attack, while i beam myself down to the Planet. I readed severall Threats in the DC Forum how bad the Planetary Grafics are, but i must say that theyre WAY better than BCMG. After i had beamed right down to the enemy city, i watched how my Shuttles deployed 10 Marines + 2 Mayem tanks in it(really good 3D Models again) I spendet about one hour to play with my own Marines (ok, i killed the half of it ), than i figured out they do what i do with escort command and spendet another 20 Minutes, just to Jump+Prone etc

Than finally i wantet to blast the undefended enemy City away. I tryed SAD command on my Marines + OC and severall other commands but not one shot was fired on a building (i had 2 Assault Marines with me, theyre still alive)

So, i just want to know how to crush that city down. Im still there on the Planet

edit: 2 Marines are heavy wounded, so i wantet to evac it with my Shuttle. i setted 2 WP, one with Proceed to Next and the other 10 km away exact on the Marines which i wantet to evac (evac is on on them), with Extract Team. The Shuttle landed fine, but absoluty nothing happens than, do i something wrong?

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Another thing I've been noticing is, in roam if you fly to an enemy station to attack it I get killed instantly before I even come out of hyperspace, but I see other A.I. ships flying to it and attacking without getting a scratch, am I missing something here?

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quote:

Originally posted by Joel Schultz:

The music wasn't quite as hyperactive as in BCM -- not that BCM's was bad; I really liked it. UC's music is slower, moodier. Given that battles aren't frenetic frag-fests until you get into the thick of them, I thought it appropriate. It takes time to get places in the game, time in which you can plan your attack (or retreat) or in which to cringe at one's stupidity for getting in over one's head. The music was reminiscent of Total Annihilation's slower non-battle music (TA is one of my standards for excellent game music), while still retaining elements that reminded me of BCM's score. Nice job Vanethian!

Sound effects were good. Some were integrated so subtly I didn't notice -- I went to check to see if I left a TV on before I realized that background chatter I heard was the game. I dunno, I'm not to good at rating sound effects unless they are pretty bad or detract. UC's did not.


Many thanks Joel! I'm mainly an orchestral music composer than an electronic one, so the soundtrack style is much more melodic with complex orchestrations than "pumping" with fast rhythms, but I made also some cool synth/orchestra mixes so I'm very glad of this work.

About the sounds, they are very "strong", but the aggressive equalization can be appreciated only with good speakers and subwoofer. I would like to know the audio specifics of the machines of the reviewers who criticized the sound effects... i would laugh for about an hour or so, for sure

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Well, it's been a while and I think I am now ready to give my first impression. I've been playing the game for about a month now, and I didn't think I was qualified to speak about it with such limited knowledge of the game after just a few hours of playing.

I got the game because of its imensity and endless possibilities. That's what I love most about it, and those are my favorite types of games (i.e. Omikron, Morrowind).

The interface and options are daunting at first, no doubt. I needed to wait until I could get past that to comment intelligently. And the game has become much more enjoyable after all the patches (currently on RC7). After a few things have been ironed out (i.e. FP bugs), and other things gotten used to, I can enjoy myself in the various modes.

I love the open-endedness and the ability to choose my role. That's what it's all about for me. I do not mind that the game requires a degree of patience, i.e. while traveling through space (or learning the game!). The sense of scale is certainly enhanced by this for me. Thus far, my favorite moments have been in exploring and trading, mining, etc. I'll always remember the first time I took my ship to land on earth, getting out on a palm tree covered island, and turning around to see the Aestorm (that things huge!).

I also understand why we cannot expect UC to look/feel/play like UT2k3/4, a game that, though good, has spoiled many with it's graphics. But since I'm not a graphics gamer I do not require such aesthetics in order to enjoy a game. I don't mean to say that UC graphics are not good. I certainly don't agree with the bashing that the gfx of the game have received and I think they are solid and nicely atmospheric. Though I would not mind some higher res textures for things like wormholes, the skybox, and maybe planets (but that's just a minor personal preference).

In addition, I think the music is very suitable for what I have been doing so far. I agree with the praise given to the soundtrack in the quoted post above. Well done!

And one more thing (before this turns into a book). I love the things you don't see, and only notice the effects of, the most about this game: the AI system (which I'm only beginning to realize the greatness of), and the fact that all goes on in realtime. Thanks to Derek for making what I consider to be a milestone in the gaming industry (though the industry may not realize this!).

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quote:

Originally posted by mentis:

But since I'm not a graphics gamer I do not require such aesthetics in order to enjoy a game.

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quote:

Originally posted by Robstein:

quote:

Originally posted by mentis:

But since I'm not a graphics gamer I do not require such aesthetics in order to enjoy a game.


He he. Indeed. Hell, I even dig out X-Com every once in a while. In fact, some of my favorite games have had terrible graphics even for their time (Vandal Hearts for PSX comes to mind). But I digress.

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Guest Grayfox

heh bought UC a few days ago when i went in to buy upgrade parts for my PC... i dont think it was chance that, when i was looking around while they were getting my items, i spotted UC... i dont believe in chance.

when i see a new motherboard, processor, and UC, i dont see chance... i see providence

took it home, and tried it right out o the box, and got wasted, cause i tried the ole vet addage of "the controls will be the same"...ya right.

it'll take some getting used to, but im already in love with the game... marine commmand and control, gunships, and 6 or so classes of marine... im in love. and thats just planetside ops... i havent even begun to delve into space travel.

now SC, if you can just teach it to cook...

on a more personal note SC, i agree that $20 for such an awesome game is like a slap in the face, and i am GLAD that you are making the bastards pay. it wouldnt have mattered if the game was 50-60, i know your products, and i know the level of support offered, i would gladly pay as much for such outstanding work both ingame and tech support/community wise.

[ 03-19-2004, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: Grayfox ]

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This is my first post ever on the forum. First, thanks everyone for all the generous info, it is like a real community...with a stern taskmaster. Anyone ever played "hardwar?" That community is like this one: fanatical and innovative and helpful.

For 19.99 UC is a bargain. I bought two and haven't opened the second box. I have owned the game for a month and have begun to get the hang of things. Its fantastic. Each version improves. Other games have "better" graphics but UC gameplay is great. i think the coolest thing is that you can get as detailed as you like. For now i am just mastering space-ops and thats a handful. You can play this game for months on end and never quit a game you started. Thats all I ever wanted.

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Welcome Heart/Clint Eastwood (Your Sig).

Actually my favorite was "The Good,Bad and the Ugly". There was something about that civil war scene,I just dont know.The futility of war? Don't know...

At any rate once you feel comfortable with the single player game get the latest MP patch and join us on MP.

Normally the HOXDNA.ORG server (compliments to Werewolf) will be up as much as possible,plus the prime East and / or West servers (compliments to prime fleet) may be available to the general public.

Hope to see you there!

[ 03-24-2004, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: Cc ]

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After playing a few seconds I started grinning. My Violon handled like a school bus and not the sportscar I was used to in BCMG. I like it.

On Hardwar and UC: Both games are played by ppl who can answer the question: "What shall I do next?" all by themselves.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

Post your thoughts here. And please, no fanboy stuff. Keep it real. Keep it focused. Say what you like, don't like etc etc otherwise, there won't be the add-on we are working on, nor the sequel.

Well it has been a very long time for me as a very old hardcore fan, I played and supported the original BC and was very disapointed with the early release. (Not our Supreme Commanders fault). My first thoughts of UC. Here goes

1. I love it

2. There should be a tutorial within the game. it took me 2 days to learn how to use it by trial and error. But I believe they are about to be published

3. I was hoping for the graphics to be a little bit cleaner but prefer the gameplay element which is what the game is all about.

4. Gameplay, is brillian

5: Is it me or does RC7 disable ctrl P for ptl (I think) I have to manually switch on my turrets.

Overall

BTW I paid £20 for this and would have easily forked out double for this. When you release your next title, I wouldn't hessitate to pay £40 for any of your games.

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I've had the pleasure to play quite a bit with UC now and here are my 'first' impressions:

1) I don't miss a tutorial. Eons ago, when I was born, I didn't get one either, so why should I need one in UC? The best way to learn this game is by making stupid mistakes. It works for me;

2) great community (as you can see I joined the Prime Fleet) which gives UC/BC even more depth through the roleplaying opportunities available. The open environment of UC really challenges the player to come up with great playing ideas;

3) The price I had to pay for the game, ridiculously low... But enough has been said on the web about that. I hope you gained some profit out of it after all, SC;);

4) The thing I don't like it the current collision detection on planets (i.e. the shuttle keeps wobbling about after exiting on a sloped surface);

So, all in all, a very impressive product that I'll keep playing and playing. Great work!

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My first impressions? Well, I loaded the game, and started out in roam mode, thinking It would be about the same as BCMG, Wow, I loved the graphics of the ships, space stations and such. they,re GREAT!. I heard so much about the trees grass and such, I headed for earth.

when I arrived and checked out the cities I was impressed. much imporvement. I hopped out and went for a stroll. Turned around and about Sh*t. there was a bear walking toward me. lol I really enjoyed exploring around. thought Id go for a swim and was again astounded at the reality of the sea floor and all the FISH. I spent a couple of days just checking out various sites on earth. Amazing job on the illusion of reality.

After that I decided to check out the moon and do a little mining. leaving earth I took out my first opponant, and was AGAIN impressed at the realism.

Loved the new jump gates BTW. Upon arriving at the moon I was ambushed by a cruiser and a couple of fighters. Man!, they had me afraid I was in for it, before I had a chance to check out the solar system. what a fight!! makes BCMG like childs play. Awesome. AND AGAIN I am impressed.

After finally doing a suicide run at the cruiser, in an attempt to finish him ,all the while hearing about the damage I was sustaining and wondering if I was going to survive, I finally turned and entered planet fall. MOST exciting battle, I ever had..!!! ASTOUNDING REALISM.

And just when I was thinking I could not be impressed more, I sent a shuttle to drop a drone, as proceeded to a landing waypoint, I realized the reality of the topography of the moon was so real, I felt I was really on the moon. Took me an hour to find a place to safely set down to do repairs.

ALL in ALL the REALISM made me speechless. FANTASTIC JOB DEREK!!!!!

Cant wait to do all the repairs and get underway..gonna take a few days...LOL

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quote:


Originally posted by street:

I heard so much about the trees grass and such, I headed for earth.


heh, thats nuthin' - wait'll you see the new terrain vegetation in the upcoming patch.

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So far I've played three IA's, and I'm having a blast! Finally an AI that challenges you, rather than boring you.

Graphics could be better, but I fully understand the reason behind the design decision. Mostly, I've been playing in FPS mode - reasoning that this would be simpler than trying to grab the bull by the tail and control it was frustrated quite a bit b/c "G" to designate targets didn't seem to work (I'm running RC7) and I didn't find out about the TOM or the PLV until I discovered them in the manual addendum.

N00bs take note: When the S/C says to read ALL of the material, manuals, addendums, appendixes, and thr VCF - he's not just whistling dixie: these four together are an amazingly concise reference for the game. Most of my questions about playing the game are answered there.

One comment about FPS mode: approaching the supply station, the AE would automatically stoop to crouch mode and I would have to back off and jump to stand again. Not a show-stopper, but vaguely annoying.

Also, the tags in the hud over each marine/OC in your view in many cases obscure the target making it difficult to target using the rifle; imo it would be better if this was placed over the head of the marine, instead of across the model.

Once I have the TOM and TACOPS figured out, I'm going to have a blast with this! Looking forward to roam as a commander...

Oh, and on that note; here's the video card to plan on buying for UC:E2E:

NVidia 6800

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I don't think this game is above critisizm. However, to critisize this game's features by comparing them to some other games such as Freelancer and Eve, is to disqualify the argument.

There is no game you can compare the BC series to, any version. So to say the graphics look 4 years old does not make any sense. What are you comparing it to?

UC looks incredible graphically, even close up planets. The improvements are many and great. I only wish Dreamsnatcher didn't dumb it down from Derek's original design.

The only think I don't like with BCMG and UC is the multiplayer, so far I have not been able to get a server up and running. Freelancer is incredibly easy to get a server up and running, but I get bored with that game too fast.

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Well I'm no longer a cheap bum. I finally picked up my copy of Universal Combat today. Can't wait to give it a spin. I love the box art especially the inside one with the lone marine just sitting there looking rather depressed or tired you take your pick.

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quote:


Originally posted by LostInSpace:

Well I'm no longer a cheap bum. I finally picked up my copy of Universal Combat today. Can't wait to give it a spin. I love the box art especially the inside one with the lone marine just sitting there looking rather depressed or tired you take your pick.


Which part of the first impressions pre-requisite in the thread subject, was unclear? And no, first impressions of the box don't apply.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

quote:

Originally posted by LostInSpace:

Well I'm no longer a cheap bum. I finally picked up my copy of Universal Combat today. Can't wait to give it a spin. I love the box art especially the inside one with the lone marine just sitting there looking rather depressed or tired you take your pick.

Which part of the first impressions pre-requisite in the thread subject, was unclear? And no, first impressions of the box don't apply.


You're right. Sorry. I was going for a step by step impression from box to the contents and then the installation and game play. I meant to follow it up with my first impression of the game. Well here it is. I installed and ran the game with no problem. Then installed the RC7 patch again no problem. I played Instant scenario: IA0115 MI Marine Tactical Intercept planet. I started off in the middle of a base and we were under attack. Thunder, lightning and rain I jumped into the fray. Took out three enemy Marines until I was picked off myself. From the trees to the wildlife it's very immersive and fun. I'm going to enjoy this game.

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StarRider, if you're criticizing my criticism I'm not comparing anything, just making a statement. My first thought was it was hard to discriminate targets from the background especially at a distance - that's the essence of my "graphics could be better".

From what I've seen of the space-combat scenes, this isn't nearly as much of a criticism but in the cluttered terrain of a planet, especially when dealing with an AI as sharp as the one in UC, you don't need confusion due to the graphics.

To enumerate:

1) Perspective is a little too artificial, for lack of a better word. It's hard to judge range, and everything gets blocky at distant ranges. (the aformentioned tag doesn't help)

1a) The hud radar display clusters all targets on a plane which you view from it's edge. This compounds the problem above. (A more conventional top-down display that shows the targets around you and their ranges would be less confusing)

2) More high res textures would improve the look tremendously. Again, not a criticism just a comment - I know why Derek doesn't go for the "flash".

3) It's hard to pick up items off the ground because they blend in too well. (I noticed when I was using the gunship, that dead marines appeared to drop things like rocket launchers, but I was unable to confirm this because I could never find anything despite occasionally seeing them displayed on the hud. I don't know if you actually can pick things up at this point)

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quote:


Originally posted by Sir Krustin:

[QB] My first thought was it was hard to discriminate targets from the background especially at a distance - that's the essence of my "graphics could be better".


Graphics has nothing to do with ranging. A model at 25km, is still a model at 25km and nothing about graphics will make it appear as anything other than a model at 25km.

quote:


From what I've seen of the space-combat scenes, this isn't nearly as much of a criticism but in the cluttered terrain of a planet, especially when dealing with an AI as sharp as the one in UC, you don't need confusion due to the graphics.


This is not an arcade game. It is a military game. As such, SA is a key component. Unless you learn what it is, you should't be playing a military game. Its not an arcade game.

quote:


To enumerate:

1) Perspective is a little too artificial, for lack of a better word. It's hard to judge range, and everything gets blocky at distant ranges. (the aformentioned tag doesn't help)


Rubbish. Targets are accurately sized and placed in the world. There is nothing artificial about them. As I indicated above, you have a very effective radar system (which has been in place for almost 15 yrs) and it works just fine. Learn how to use it when a target is BVR.

quote:


1a) The hud radar display clusters all targets on a plane which you view from it's edge. This compounds the problem above. (A more conventional top-down display that shows the targets around you and their ranges would be less confusing)

The radar is not responsible for cluttering anything. It is a wide band radar and if you know math, you should know the effects of a group of objects, in close proximity as projected onto a device designed to identify them as far away as 250km.

Guess you have the ability to cycle targets either with the keyboard or a mouse and also be able to identify them in the VDD.

quote:


2) More high res textures would improve the look tremendously.

No it won't.

quote:


3) It's hard to pick up items off the ground because they blend in too well. (I noticed when I was using the gunship, that dead marines appeared to drop things like rocket launchers, but I was unable to confirm this because I could never find anything despite occasionally seeing them displayed on the hud. I don't know if you actually can pick things up at this point)

Not sure who/what gave you the impression that you could pick things off the ground.

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Here is an analogy to an arcade shooter and a military game.

Unreal 2 vs. Operation Flashpoint.

OFP has huge maps, but the graphics aren't that great though. The ground clipping and the running/walking are graphically terrible compared to Unreal 2. Any military FPS with the size and scope of OFP will certainly not compare to the graphics quality of Unreal 2. I hope the reasons are obvious.

Freelancer vs. Universal Combat or BCMG.

UC has a huge universe and you can land on planets, anywhere on them and fight in mission zones. Same situation with ground and objects, almost exactly the same problems. Again, UC is a military game. Freelancer, small maps/systems, small universe, excellent graphics.

But, remember, even Freelancer was criticicized heavily 1 year ago because the graphics were 'dated'.

I think 'some' gamers are the most finicky souls on earth, esp. when it comes to graphics.

I'm a graphics hound, love the look of EVE, the graphics of Freelancer. But I enjoy BCMG and UC for other reasons, gameplay,gameplay,gameplay.

UC is a treat, a bonus that was added to satisfy us graphics hound.

In fact, I was thinking over the weekend that the Edge to Edge title is being developed in part to satisfy all the Graphics Critics, to prove that 3000ad can produce a graphically wonderfull game in the 3000ad universe.

I hope I didn't go to far off topic.

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OK. First impressions. All positive.

First thing I noticed was the music. Every track a winner. Really immersive and scene setting. It was days before I could stop thinking about how good it is.

Next I noticed the new TLM UI. Really clean & crisp. A great improvement.

Then I noticed the graphics. Like so many things in the game, more of the same only a whole notch better.

I like the new planetfall transition, not just one moment I'm in space and the next in the planet's atmosphere.

Then landing and seeing vegetation, animals. Wading into water and swimming through swaying weeds. Brushing past a huge shark. It's things like this that mean you're there, not just playing a game.

I'm still very much a Noob, I don't get a lot of time to play so I wasn't hugely familiar with BCMG. However, everywhere I look I just see improvements. The whole thing just feels "tighter" & richer, if you know what I mean.

Finally, dare I say this, I probably wouldn't have any first impressions if it wasn't for the new price. I had decided not to buy UC but when I saw it going for such a low price I couldn't resist trying it. I'm very glad I did.

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