Wow, just wow. Finally the 4X space strategy game that is at least as good but probably much better than master of orion I and II. I can't believe it, especially with the mixed ratings that it got. I could write pages and pages of text about it to show how good it is, but nobody would read it so ill try to keep it short and simple. Here it goes:
- The game is a typical 4X strategy game where you build and colonize new planets to expand your empire. You build ships and conquer worlds! The strategy part can be pretty deep. Long range view of things is needed for you to succeed at the highest level of difficulty.
- The game looks like it started with the freeorion game package and expanded from there. The galaxy map looks good, the planetary interface is good too, but the ship combat and research interface are a bit underwhelming. They are functional, but not great.
- Each planet is independent and must be colonized. Systems can have as many as 10 planets or as few as none! You can also automate the planet building and management with governors who will develop it just like you want to. For example: Agricultural governor, Industrial governer, Research governor, etc.
- On each planet, you have 3 to 4 ship queue(depending if you have a shipyard built or not). So you can actually build 4 ships at the same time! Each queue is for each ship size which are 'small', 'medium transport/colony', 'cruiser' and 'mothership'.
- You have default designs and named ships but you can redesign them at your heart content! Space on the ship is your limiting factor (also how much it will cost to build, but hey if you're rich, why not put all the bells and whistle on it!)
- Starting Technologies with random tek tree every game. If you are very unlucky, too bad for you! Adaptation is the key here. Also, you can't see which tek leads to what so you never know when you are going to get a new tek. You get surprised often! (Like when i got terraforming by increasing my tek level in bioweapon! I was like Da ♥♥♥♥? Yeaaaah!)
- You can find all kind of nifty things by digging on planets with archeology sites. Especially new tek that you don't have in your tek list. Or greatly improving one or more of your teks.
- Tek research is slow. It takes awhile to build your colony and the needed research labs that will boost the speed of your research. This means you got to use your tek plenty before you get to something better.
- Ships can be refitted with better tek components or new ones for that matter. The cost of refitting depends on how much change has been done to the design.
- Diplomacy is actually pretty good and the ai is not insane. Each race seems to have a distinct personality too, but nothing too mind blowing. Still, it is pretty solid. If they like you, they are not suddenly going to war against you out of nowhere unless you did something bad! (You naughty you!). The interface is functional, but not very good graphically speaking. Still, it works fine so who cares!
- You have a limited number of war ships that you can have at the same time until you improve your logistic tek and build a ♥♥♥♥ ton of starbases. This means you have to weight carefully your needs before building a new ship. And scrapping ships is actually a good thing to do when your needs change. The limit of ships is a soft one before you start paying INSANE maintenance on each new ship, so if youre very rich, you can still bust the limit with little problems, but the maintenance cost gets very high very fast so i do not recommend doing this very often or for long.
- There is ground invasion. I haven't tried it yet but you can bomb and invade with troops. There are many tek you can improve to help you with ground combat: tanks, hovercraft, aircraft, bombers, personnel carriers, rifle slugs, neutrino guns and plenty more! You can become a god at invading planets or defending from invasion too!
Now the cons of this game:
- The graphic are so so. This is not a game with pretty graphic. They are not horrible, but they look like they have been done without any artist or a bad one or they just didn't have the time to pretty them. I'm very glad that they didn't waste their time on graphics honestly because then we would have a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ game like master of orion 3 with superb graphic and good looking interface (that wasn't functional nor intuitive nor very usable) and a bad game to play. They concentrated on making the game fun to play and plenty challenging too!
- The sound is appropriate and the music is good. You don't get tired of hearing the same music, it fits the space age theme of the game very well.
- Going with the graphics, the cutscene are note very good either, but hey you don't care!
I'm giving a 10/10 on this game for the overall awesomeness of it. You like long winded, slow building, deep strategy game? This game is your next lover!