Colonize solar systems, smash entire worlds, and crush your foes in epic battles with multiple players and thousands of units. Don't just win, annihilate!
User reviews: Mixed (11,805 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 5, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"The successor to Total Annihilation, well above average with mechanics rarely found in other Real Time Strategy Games."

Recent updates View all (63)

June 9

Single Player Galactic War improvements and redesigns are live!

We've been taking notes on the feedback we've been receiving on the forums both here and on the official Uber forums and have done a massive redesign to the Galactic War!

A few of the included in the changes:
- Tech Discovery Redesign
--You will now be able to choose one tech from a group of three when you explore a system.
--You will no longer be given techs that you already have as one of the three choices.
--You will now only be given techs that you can use--IE no bot buffs without the ability to build bots.
- Rebalanced chances to discover various techs
- Improved AI difficulty ramping
- Improved system difficulty ramping
- New and improved redesigned boss fights for all factions
- Galactic War now defaults to a system size of Medium instead of Epic
- You now have the option to toggle "Hardcore mode" on and off when starting a new war
--Losing a match in Hardcore Mode will end the active Galactic War, as it did in previous Galactic War iterations.
--Losing a match outside of Hardcore Mode will allow you to load a save from before moving into the hostile system.
- Galactic War now has two neutral stars that always spawn next to the starting point

We've also done a huge pass on pathfinding to fix the majority of reported cases of units getting stuck on buildings, as well as AI improvements and a bunch of bug fixes and polish items.

We are glad to finally be able to offer the improvements so many have been asking for, and hope you enjoy the rework on the single player portion of PA!

Head on over to the forums to see the full list of changes and bugfixes!
http://steamcommunity.com/app/233250/discussions/0/598198173696001583/

50 comments Read more

May 28

Resume Anywhere hits Planetary Annihilation!

Currently working on fix for lost connection to server issue. Will update ASAP

In the latest update, we've added the ability to resume anywhere in PA. This means you can rewind any game you are playing or from a save game and play from that point! Lost against the AI? No problem, just rewind back and try a different strategy!

How to use it:
-Load or start a game
-Open Chronocam
-Rewind back to where you want to go. You have to rewind at least 2 seconds
-Select the Play From Here (Beta) button and Yes when asked “Rewind history and restart battle?”
-Wait for simulation to load
*note* Older replays (before this update) will not support resume anywhere and the button will not appear

Full update notes on the AI improvements, UI changes, Balance changes, and bug fixes can be found in game either on the main menu or in the patcher, or by going by the Steam PA forums!

http://steamcommunity.com/app/233250/discussions/0/618463106377632125/

24 comments Read more

About This Game

Colonize solar systems, annihilate homeworlds, and exterminate your foes in epic interplanetary battles with multiple players and thousands of units. Planetary Annihilation takes strategy gaming to a never-before-seen scale -- and gives players powerful tools to control the action.

Blow up everything, anywhere; dominate with punishing spacecraft, robots, and other futuristic machines of war. Arm asteroids and send them on planet-destroying collision courses. And take over an entire galaxy in a dynamic single-player mode with procedurally generated content. Don’t just win, annihilate!

Key Features Include:


  • Epic Single-Player - Galactic War is a twist on traditional real-time strategy campaigns that has players battling across a dynamic galaxy filled with procedurally-generated content. Every playthrough is different. Annihilation is final.
  • Epic Multiplayer - Play with up to ten friends (or enemies) in massive free-for-all and team-based matches.
  • Spectate And Broadcast - Spectate matches with a suite of incredible viewing options or broadcast with integrated Twitch.TV support.
  • Advanced Command And Control - With intuitive drags and clicks, seamlessly switch between planets, mine resources, create custom unit formations, or pulverize armies.
  • Dynamic Picture-In-Picture - View and interact with your units on another planet in a second window as you focus and control the action in your primary view.
  • Instant Replays - View in-match recordings in real-time while matches are in progress. See when a battle turned by rewinding the game to any point or check out the entire match after a game ends.
  • Smash Planets - Don’t just win, annihilate. End games with the mother of all weapons: an asteroid on a collision course.

*Internet connection required.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows Vista SP2 64-bit
    • Processor:32 or 64-bit Dual Core or better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Memory:Integrated graphics with shared memory requires 6GB
    • Graphics:Shader 3.0 / OpenGL 3.2 +
    • Resolution:1280x720
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:These specs are still being determined.
    • Additional:Windows XP is NOT supported. The game will not run in XP.
    • Offline Mode:To automatically use a local server, we require 8GB of RAM and 4 logical CPUs. Local server requires 64-bit. There is no 32-bit server.
    Recommended:
      OS:Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor:Quad Core
    • Memory:8 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Dedicated Graphics Chip (Not Integrated) / OpenGL 3.2+
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:These specs are still being determined.
    • Offline Mode:To automatically use a local server, we require 8GB of RAM and 4 logical CPUs. Local server requires 64-bit. There is no 32-bit server.
    Minimum:
    • OS:OS/X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, or 10.10 (64-bit only)
    • Processor:64-bit Dual Core or better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader 3.0 / Open GL 3.2+
    • Resolution:1280x720
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:These specs are still being determined.
    • Additional:32-bit versions of OS X are not supported
    • Offline Mode:To automatically use a local server, we require 8GB of RAM and 4 logical CPUs.
    Recommended:
    • We urge all OS/X users to use the free upgrade to 10.9 or 10.10 to guarantee maximum compatibility and performance.
    • Offline Mode:To automatically use a local server, we require 8GB of RAM and 4 logical CPUs.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Any Linux distribution supported by Steam, 64-bit only
    • Processor:64-bit Dual Core or better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader 3.0 / Open GL 3.2+
    • Resolution:1280x720
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:These specs are still being determined.
    • Additional:32-bit distributions of Linux are not supported.
    • Offline Mode:To automatically use a local server, we require 8GB of RAM and 4 logical CPUs.
    Recommended:
    • OS:Any Linux distribution supported by Steam, 64-bit only
    • Processor:64-bit Dual Core or better
    • Memory:8 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Shader 3.0 / Open GL 3.2+
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:These specs are still being determined.
    • Offline Mode:To automatically use a local server, we require 8GB of RAM and 4 logical CPUs.
Helpful customer reviews
291 of 389 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
My friend and I teamed up against two AI, an hour had passed as we fortified our planetand suddenly our planet exploded and we won. After looking at the replay the AIs planet was in our orbital path and smashed right into ours we simply died last.

10/10 would spend an hour to crash into a planet again.
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247 of 366 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
375.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
I've been playing this RTS since the initial alpha release, I've watched it steadily get better and better over time. If you enjoyed Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander this game captures a similar (note: similar, not identical) feel, but with a unique approch using spherical maps (you can have one or multiple planets)

The highlight of this game for me is playing with a group of friends in team games with shared armies. I played a good deal of SupCom / SupCom:FA with friends and while it was fun, it just didn't capture the same feeling of team cooperation that you can get from sharing a single set of units working with your friends. Shared armies lets you split up the management of the game by not forcing any one single person to keep track of everything (and in large games over multiple planets, this can be difficult) Tasks such as economy expansion, scouting and raiding, orbital and multi-planet expansion can be split among teammates. This does require a degree of cooperation as there is a single shared resource pool, but the benefits are well worth it.
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92 of 133 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
I wanted so much to love this game. I'm a huge SupCom and TA fan, and this game looked like it was going to be the game that I was playing every day for the next couple of years. But after a while things were starting to look pretty bad, I came back online for the first time in a while to see if things have picked up. The game is still a very bland and repetetive experience. As an RTS all of the authentic strategy is in the first 5 minutes of each game, and then it's just who can push the most build capacity.

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is, in my opinion, the best RTS game ever made. It's basic mechanics are excellent, the need for map control, economy management, unit management, tech management and intel are all closely interdependent, meaning that you're always INVOLVED in the battlefield even during the "quiet" stretches of gameplay. The available maps are excellent, and if you play on Forged Alliance Forever, a community maintained lobby with a competetive 1v1 ladder and public match service for casual players, there are stacks more to download. The game was also beautiful, with a good spread of aesthetically and strategically unique factions from the bread and butter "space marines" UEF, the intel oriented guerillas Cybran, the overrun focussed Aeon, and the tech heavy Seraphim. The game progression from opening to endgame is multifaceted and calls for real-time responses to your opponenents activity. To this day after 5 years of playing Forged Alliance if anybody tells me they're looking to get into a new competetive game I tell them to get FA. Similar things can be said of Total Annihilation, PA's other direct predecessor.

PA takes the "massive-scale" RTS format, and turns the format into an (ironically) incredibly two-dimensional experience. The units are bland and there is no faction diversity, the game escalates quickly but when it gets to its peak it tends to degenerate into a massive drag, especially across multiple planets with player interaction at a minimum, with power plays limited to a very uninteresting blob vs blob. Defensive plays just don't mean much in this game after a point. Your point defence investments will be thrown out for the sake of producing ever more units in the ongoing drudgery that is the endless escalation in this game. It sounds and is pretty cool the first few times you play it, but then you have your 10th game, and you realise you're doing more or less the same thing you did in the last 9, except there's a lava planet in this system, cool! But aside from your units not being able to drive over lakes of lava, that means very little. it's just forced no mans land. Interplanetary warfare epitomizes this. Build lots of orbital defences, build lots of fighters and send them at your opponents defences, wait 5 minutes for the fleet to arrive, hope it works, maybe send some fabricators to teleport an army from your planet to that one. I've done it so many times and I just don't really want to any more.

Huge scope for escalation in an RTS is cool, but you can't build a game on sheer escalation, which is what this is. There is no nuance, deploying a small force well is almost never going to make a game-changing difference, to the point where it's not worth trying, better stick to what you know. The learning curve is too steep as it is to try subtle strategies as a new player, and once you get to grips with the game you realise that there is very little to be done outside of beating your opponent in an arms race.

The game was released unready, and is just generally a very poor execution of a great concept, centred around a gimmick which doesn't come into play that often. My one hope for the game is that some modders come along and take the good (but extremely temperamental) engine and inject some life into it, the elements are there, but Uber half ♥♥♥♥♥ it, and just made the most nondescript RTS they could, and then made it really big and really long... and really ♥♥♥♥ing boring.
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91 of 141 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1,783.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
**Update
Since writing this review, some of the significant gameplay bugs have been fixed, although there are still many to be dealt with. The developer has shown their strong desire to continue patching them out, so for this reason i would now recommend the MULTIPLAYER experience.

If you are looking for a purely SINGLEPLAYER experience however, this is still a wary not recommend. The singleplayer is now definitely functional, alot less rng dependant, and you will more likely have the tools you need to deal with the situations you are put in. However, the underlying gameplay will still quickly grow repetitive. There is no compelling story, and the only difference from simply playing a normal AI battle is that you get cards which grant uninteresting number buffs. e.g. x% more income, build power, damage.

**Original review (please note, most of the bugs listed here have been resolved in patches since which I have marked with an asterix*)

9 months after release, PA is still a not recommend in my books. I love the game to death and will still continue to play it with the awesome community it has, but I just cannot in good conscience recommend it to others. The game suffers from a multitude of longstanding issues including

- Horrendous unit pathing*
- Pages of unfixed bugs
- Frequent crashes*
- Basic functionality like attack move and unit target prioritisation doesn't work*
- Undocumented ladder system
- Lag and unresponsiveness issues throughout the menus and UI*
- System designer is buggy beyond belief and the save button doesn't actually save anything.
- Join game button frequently doesn't work*
- Often serious lag issues when playing from AU to EU server and vice versa (you need to use the US server)*
- Hardly any unit variety since tier 2 (50% of units) is horribly unviable
- A terrible hotkey system design

This game is a very rough gem, and one of its main strengths is that there are talented modders in the community who put out fixes and other ease of use mods that you can get off the PA mod manager (another community tool). An absolute must have if you decide to get this game. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can fix with mods though.

This is a game you play more so because of the community than because of the game itself. So make friends, otherwise I don't think you'll have much fun
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137 of 221 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
81.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Bottom line: While a cool take on an RTS, this game is extremely frustrating. I don't think I will play it again for quite some time.

Edit: after having returned to this review a little more level-headed, I have decided to err in favor of a positive review. I have added some positive points below.

Edit 2: I apologize for how long this review ended up being. I also just saw how many hours Steam has logged for me playing PA. This is partly due to what I mention in bullet 2.

Yes, I am writing this after just being completely hosed in my one and only multiplayer, ranked 1v1 match. Yes, I am writing this after coming from having been recently annihilated on my very last battle in the Galactic War I was in (the furthest I had ever gotten up to that point). Yes, I'm not by any stretch the greatest RTS player out there (but I really thought I was getting the hang of PA after several hours of play). And yes, I'm probably not in the best frame of mind to write an unbiased review. Still, for now, I'm sticking to my opinion above. Let me tell you why:

  • This is not a casual game. There is no Easy Mode.
    For some games, that is okay. Some time ago, I reviewed FTL: Faster Than Light. In FTL, the fact that there is no easy mode is okay because, while it is difficult, all you really need to do better is know how to plan upgrades and know when to pause during a fight (hint: very often). With those two skills, and a measure of patience, your only really challenging enemy is bad luck. In a game with no significant curves thrown at you, you can work through it without a ton of effort most of the time.
    This is only kind of true with PA. In PA, you either do the right thing, maximizing productivity all the time, or lose (and in the case of a Galactic War - permanently). There's very little room for error. Really, the only way to win any fight is to pause often and issue several orders at once. Otherwise you are just going too slowly to keep up. While this is not always a bad thing, I feel it is a little inappropriate for a Real-Time Strategy game.
    With the tech options at your disposal, there are often only a couple of paths you can take to success. If you can build a vehicle factory, do it right away and pump out tanks and AA. If you have air factory tech, focus even more on that and pump out bombers. Always play offensively; there is no such thing as a defensive win unless you already have a serious advantage. Don't interrupt the natural progression of building - make cheap units and buildings first until you have a lot of excess metal and energy. Trying to shoot immediately to an advanced factory, as I have often tried, always fails. Expand as fast as possible, across your start planet and to other planets. In the endgame, metal is always your most restrictive resource, so grab as much as you can as early as you can.
    When you are able to do it right and win, it is a satisfying win. But in the final battles of a Galactic War, you already start significantly overwhelmed, meaning you have to take out as many commanders as fast and early as humanly possible or you lose - badly.
  • There is no way to save and return to a fight - so they always have to be finished in one sitting, or paused and left running.
    Now, I have read somewhere on the forums that is mostly because the developers have to do more optimizations on their end to have the ability to save games using the Chrono Cam, which is basically a replay feature very similar to what you find in the Dirt racing series (or at least Dirt 2). The idea is that, when fully implemented, you can open a saved game (or the one you are in) and rewind/fastforward to any point you choose, and pick up right where you left off. While this will indeed be a very cool feature when implemented (it's one of the things that really sold me about Dirt 2), it doesn't make up for the fact that currently there is no saving at all, not even a stop-gap feature until the Chrono Cam saves are done. This seems like a pretty basic omission to a game not still in beta.
  • There are still some aspects of actual play that feel unfinished. One of the larger examples is planet-smashing. While I have not yet smashed a smaller planet into a larger one (to supposedly achieve the crater effect shown in the promo video), I have successfully smashed some fairly equally-sized planets together - and the resulting animation is completely underwhelming. The attacking planet approaches along a path that often has several unrealistic jerks, it lines up with the target, and runs into it. That's pretty much it. There's no planet-crumbling explosions that shatter it into a thousand pieces or widespread surface deformation as they collide. The model for the two planets simply overlap breifly until they each reach the other's core, and then both instantly disappear. The only evidence that planets once existed there are the mushroom cloud(s) of whatever commander(s) you destroyed still billowing up from the invisible surface of a now non-existent planet.
    Other smaller issues:
    - The relatively small number of structures and units. This would be different if there were some faction-specific units with differing strengths/weaknesses. Right now, the only difference between two armies' units is their color.
    - The pause screen banner has an invisible no-click zone above and below it, requiring repositioning the camera until the desired selection is in the bottom or top quarter of the screen before you can click it.
    - Sometimes after selecting a group of units, the arrow keys stop working; so that you must first deselect the units, move the camera so that you can see the units and the target, then selecting the units and issuing the order.
Also, in case you are wondering, I always play with the maxed out ("Uber") graphics preset and can still get a good framerate, so that is not the issue.

Okay, with those negative points out of the way, here are some positive ones:
  • The general idea behind Planetary Annihilation is certainly ambitious and, if successfully fleshed out, will be totally awesome.
  • PA is still a pretty solid RTS. Play on a single planet feels like it should for any standard RTS (my opinion from my perhaps limited experience).
  • Interplanetary gameplay adds a whole new dimension to an otherwise well-explored genre.
  • Kill your opponents by blowing up their planets. Make it a destruction by collision with another massive body, or with a frickin' laser beam, Death Star style.
  • If planet destruction isn't your cup of tea, then you could try a much more subtle death-by-bajillion-nukes. The mushroom clouds are quite pretty.
  • If that's still a bit strong for your taste, then there's always the classic invasion-with-hundreds-and-hundreds-of-units method.
  • The community seems to be a good one, and the developers do interact and take feedback on the forums.

Ultimately I decided to mark this a positive review, but only just. As I said above, PA can be very frustrating for several reasons, but that is at least partly balanced by how unique it is, and how awesome it has the potential to be.
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