Once upon a time, an intergalactic warlord colonized a planet with their species. This game is the result.
It's not often my lead-ins to my reviews are so short, and it's not often that I review a game prior to spending at least 24 hours in-game with it, but this game isn't one I can recommend, for various reasons.
First things first - "Lords of the Black Sun" is a space-based 4X game, where you attempt to conquer the universe, Cid Meyer's Civilizations
-style. You build installations on planets, create colony ships, build pre-defined military vessels, and can even create custom units. Units stack, and space battles take place in a sort of Final Fantasy Tactics
cut-out battle scene.
All of this sounds like a strategy gamer's dream, so why do I sound so against it?
First, the interface is horrible, and I'm not merely talking about the presentation, though that's pretty awful. The UI isn't optimized for a player's experience; it's hard to see even a neophyte developer looking at the UI and thinking, 'the players are going to love this
.' Most of the menuing takes more actions than is really necessary.
Second, the game itself feels utterly soulless.
It feels like someone started by taking a look at Cid Meyer's Alpha Centaur
, then proceeded to put it further into space
, but instead of hiring a writer, gave it to someone's nephew. The result is an experience that doesn't capture the wonder of interstellar colonization, or galactic politics, but is rather an experience that it's hard to care about for even a single session.
Mechanically, the game is sound - as stated above, it's the sort of thing strategy gamers claim to love and want
. The execution is so terrible, especially given the $30 asking price
, which is entirely too much for what you're getting. Firaxis Games, these guys ain't.PROS:
- Mechanicallly sound game
- Great space visuals
- Interesting fleet-to-fleet combat
- Good custom unit creation system.
- Uninspired, forgettable writing and scenario
- Ugly UI that impedes the player
- Forgettable music
- Unstable game - the end of my expeirence came after the game just crashed for no apparent reason.
- Way too expensive for what you're actually getting.
Verdict: Avoid it. The developers need to do some serious work on this game and lower the price for this game to be worth it. If they will do this, I will take a second look and re-evaluate my review.