"Lets waste six hours of our life"
That's the line we usually say between myself and my friends before we start up any Co-Op matches that involve more than 4 people or AI. Even on fastest speed, this game is elegant. It's slow, sweeping and magnificent in it's design and application of it's game systems.
Do you enjoy the cinematic quality of two massive battleships going full broadside on one-another while fighters zip around and frigates queue up into firing lines? To zoom in and watch individual firing ports off your prized seige ship pound that enemy planet into submission? This game has it.
Do you prefer to see things as if on a tactical map, removed and distant, like a commander moving his pieces against his foe in a war room? Do you like the challege of managing your territories and loyalties, sending hundreds of ships against your foe from multiple fronts? This game has it.
Macro-managing is a must. In smaller doses, in smaller matches this game can be plaid in a very micro-intensive fashion, as you'll typically only ever fight one fleet at a time. Though the real gorgeous splendor of this game is when you find yourself beset from multiple sides, having to give up territory cause your fleet is elsewhere on the defense, and counter-attacking to send foes scurrying back to their precious resources. This game is very unforgiving in larger matches, and on higher difficulties. AI opponents, according to their presets and difficulty ratings, will use different tactics and strategies to win.
The graphics of this game are gorgeous for it's time and scale. You can zoom out to a galaxy level and see small icons representing fleets and planets, or you can zoom in to watch ships phase-jump towards disant worlds. It even has cinematic modes for those of you who like to make films! I recommend this game, though only to those who are infatuated with real time strategy games.