As an old fan of the Civilization series (I started with 2) and turn-based strategy in general, I highly recommend this title. Don't let the year of its publishing date keep you from trying it, it has aged very well. I'll try to give a short summary of each of the game's components that have made an impression on me:
Graphics: They're not eye-poppingly modern, but they are fully 3D and done well. All of the artwork is very "clean", by which I mean no model clipping or tearing and nice, high-quality textures. Nothing is gritty or blurry. The controls make it easy to navigate and view the 3D galaxy from any angle and helps you appreciate the attention to detail. Finally there are little things like moons orbiting around planets and asteroid fields with cosmic dust around them that really make you feel like you're in an active space environment.
Interface & Controls: All fairly straight forward and intuitive. There are multiple camera angles and styles for different playstyles and veterans of the Civ series or 4X games in general will be able to pick this game up quickly.
Learning Curve: The developers have made a smart move and provided several in-game video tutorials with voiceover that do a good job hitting the major game elements without going into too much depth. The transcript of each voiceover is also provided, so there is the video, the text and the voiceover to help different kinds of learners.
Gameplay: An absolute blast. The custom ship-building is very well done and satisfying. The galactic map is easy to navigate and there is enough automation to help you decide your level of micromanagement. With a huge level of customization in game settings and ship designs it won't be hard to setup the game the way you like.
- Just a fan of turn-based strategy who stumbled upon this title and was very impressed. Definitely give this a try.
posted by flamefang (Waterlooville, HAMPSHIRE) May 24, 2012
Member since May 2012
In principle this is a really good game. You can have endless fun creating your own starships for use in combat or trade colonisation missions. In fact you could treat crating your starships as almost a separate game in itself. I managed to creat loads of ships that look soooo cool! Once you have created them you can customise weapons and armour, troop and colonisation modules, trade modules, sensor packs and lots of other parameters too to counter the various challenges you will meet. Player and alien species alike can be endlessly customised as well which is also fun.
Gameplay is a bit confusing at first, but once you get used to the interface its fine. and the space battles are also fun
But the biggest downfall of this game is the timescales (number of turns it takes to do anything). Initially starships only move 2 places a turn, when you want them to go about 10. The tech tree takes soooooooo long to research, everything just takes so long it frankly makes the game very boring. When this game was designed the stinge-masters obviously got hold of it and decided to lengthen all the timescales of everything so that you couldn't get hold of evrything all at once, but it's just made the game very hard work and laborious, even on the accelerated option. Note to developers- "just speed it all up!!!", then it would be a good game.