Imo, this reviewer was a very poor one. Not very objective, relying only on initial expereince of the game, and it seems as he went into it with an already determined outcome.
The only thing he got right was: "AI War: Fleet Command has been out for quite a while and a glance at Metacritic shows that it has reviewed very well. This worries me on a personal level because it suggests that there's something here I'm just not getting."
He might be right, he just don't get it. He seems to be living in a world of generic simple minded RTS that follow only mainstream formula.
Many new games published focusing all too much on the fansy patns graphic presentation, loosing all focus on the gameplay that makes a game good. I never understood how anyone can think that fansy 3D can replace good gameplay! Give me a 2D game with superior gameplay any day!
I don't get his beef with the music either, I like the music in AI War, but I guess thats up to taste. This is normal for music, but him stateing that it just sucks seems very amateurish for a review, imo
AI War is different, very different. AI War is the only real RTS that the AI can challenge me in, and still offers a nice coop feature with other players for even more fun. And its focus on strategy is also good, that stops the run of the mill gameplay with just caputuring all one can. I.e in SupCom capturing most fo teh resource points is importetnt to produce more stuff quicker. In AI war (as you all know of course) it will seal you doom.
I should point out, I like games like Civ4 as well, but I really only play Civ4 against other human players as the AI is so 'meh' in thoose games, and the fact that its more fun to play against my friends in that kind of game, its built for player versus player, and does so in a good way I think.
As for the list, seems to cover the needed things. Nice one!