This review is relevant as of 25/06/2014 using version Galactic .67523
The Gameplay for Planetary Annihilation consists of having a commander that is dropped on a planet, and having to build up your base, carefully managing an economy so that you don’t expand too quickly or too slowly, while building a massive armada of troops that you will use to help annihilate your enemies.
A match takes place across a solar system and depending on what kind of solar system you are fighting on (does it have moons? How many planets? Etc) it drastically changes what kind of tactics you will have to use and what kind of approach you need to take to beat the enemy.
For fans of Supreme commander this game will seem extremely familiar, with some of the supreme commander team being behind this game, it retains the feel that supreme commander had and most importantly it does not dumb down itself for the masses, it retains a great deal of complexity while accurately achieving the “easy to learn hard to master” feel.
You will have to manage orbital, aerial, naval, and land troops to achieve victory. This can be slightly overwhelming when you are managing multiple planets and is the only downside to the Gameplay. But if your cup of tea happens to be managing a massive amount of troops in a gigantic scale then that will not be a downside for you.
In the multiplayer side of things you can have multiple people playing as the same faction, or being able to command each-others armies. This means you can have a 3v1 against the computer (who of course can manage all their troops no problem) and have a challenging time. The resources are balanced depending on the breakdown of the teams, so if you are 3 v 1 the 1 will get a 3x resources boost to keep things balanced.
I give Gameplay a 9/10 only losing 1 point for sometimes being difficult to manage the scale of things, but I stress that this is personal preference and that I know other players who enjoy this aspect very much.
Gameplay is a much more important aspect of a game for me than graphics. But those who have a much higher standard for graphical fidelity will not be disappointed. The game looks fantastic and the planets are visually pleasing, the graphics are as realistic as they need to be while retaining a very high quality look about them.
There is not much more I can say about the graphics other than they look fantastic, the game can sometimes slow down when there is a large system with a lot going on (this game is demanding on your system specs) but overall this does not detract from Gameplay. With it being early access there is still optimisation to be done so the finished product will run a lot smoother.
I give graphics a 9/10 only losing out to slowdowns when there is quite a large amount going on it a system.
The game balance is still somewhat lacking in most departments, although the developers have made some passes at correcting the game balance it is still unbalanced in many aspects.
In multiplayer some units get neglected in favour of others because they are far better than their same-tiered counterparts which should not be the case. The units should each fill in different roles and have different strengths/weaknesses rather than just an overall better feel to them.
Galactic warfare needs some more balancing on its technology side of things before it is an acceptably balanced game mode. With the locking away of certain technologies, some things become completely uncounterable and the player cannot even choose to branch out into these technologies that can counter the enemies due to the strange RNG system that the developers have went with for Galactic warfare.
I give balance a 5/10, for the most part the balance is acceptable and the game is playable, the galactic warfare drags this down quite significantly but the multiplayer experience is not detracted (simply because people tend to use the same overpowered units and it cancels out)
Being early access it is natural to expect bugs therefore I will not go into many details about the bugs that are In the game and only briefly cover the current state of the game
The game as it is right now is surprisingly bug free, some things such as the pause button going off the screen and the game not connecting to the game servers (which you NEED to do to play the game at all) can be very irritating, but the support for the game is good and the developers have a good track record of swatting bugs as they come up with frequent updates.
This section does not get a score, simply because it doesn’t seem appropriate to put this into the averaged score at the end of the review being that it is early access.
Overall I think if you like supreme commander, and you want a game that feels like what supreme commander 2 should have been like, you should most certainly buy this game. In early access it is already extremely fun and playable with a great community and vibrant multiplayer.
With offline play coming up soon the issue of having to play it connected will no longer be a problem, which was one of my major gripes with the game at first.
Overall this game gets an 8/10 from me. Very worth the £10 I spent on the steam sale for the game and most certainly worth the full price as well.