This game had a ton of potential but was abandoned by the developer for greener pastures after he decided it would be good to start on a sequel while charging full price to everyone (including the people who have bought this unfinished project). It was initially released with a ton of bugs and still has many things that have yet to be fully fleshed out much less finished in any considerable degree. The ship designer and the battles that rarely take place are the only positives to take out of this game.
The diplomacy part of the game is very shallow indeed. With races declaring war on you with little motivation beyond your empire's progression crossing a line set by their predetermined level of aggressiveness. The same goes with positive interaction. It's very much a game of watching a bar go up or down to get them to do something you want to do.
Empire building is also shallow and unfinished. There is almost no internal management other than building a shallow level of building sets that make all your colonies resemble one another after only a colony or two. Rebellion takes place when your treasury drops below a certain level and only in this manner. Civilization 2 has more in depth internal management than this title.
Military matters are hampered by two things: The lack of any meaningful artificial intelligence and the small tech tree present in the game. The tech tree is the smallest tree I've seen in a 4x game (and smaller than some RTS games like Rise of Nations or even Age of Empires). The AI assembles the same, tired fleet makeup and then throws it at you. This means pretty much every single game plays out the same way regardless of the galaxy size. The one saving grace in enemy behavior is that the game saves your custom ship designs and then uses them against you in subsequent games should you choose another race to play as. I would love to see other 4x games incorporate this feature into their titles so I'm faced with much more difficult fleet makeups since they were designed by myself or other players who post their designs for others to use.
All in all, I'm very disappointed in not only the way this game turned out, but the developer's behavior on the steam forums once people heard he was abandoning any serious development on the game on an interview. He would ban people who warned others about the state of development and has had meltdowns on multiple gaming forums when confronted about the issue. Do not give your money to this studio. Other 4x's like Galactic Civilizations II or Distant Worlds do this genre much more of a service.
Posted: November 25th, 2013