Ancient Space is a story driven single player real time strategy game where you take command of a fleet embarking on a scientific mission to chart undiscovered reaches of space called ‘The Black Zone’. Overcome overwhelming odds and fight for your life and the survival of your ship and its crew.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (256 reviews) - 47% of the 256 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 23, 2014

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About This Game

Venture deep into space to uncover secrets and find a lost expedition!

Ancient Space features real time strategic starship battles that encourages tactical maneuvering. In time honored RTS tradition, you build and upgrade your fleet as you complete mission objectives and gather resources which allow you to progress further into the game. Chart your approach – from defense to offense and everything in between such as escort and stealth missions.

Embark and explore the darkest recesses of space in this tale of strategic resource management and engrossing interstellar warfare.

Main features:
A stellar cast: The game is voiced by fan-favorites from much loved sci-fi movies and television shows such as Star Trek: Enterprise, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly.
Deep space exploration: Each mission advances the plot further and introduces a new area of space being explored with secrets to discover and dangers to react to.
Command your fleet: Build, maintain and strategically use a multitude of ship types to deploy into battle, each with distinct tactical uses during grand strategic space warfare as you square off against notorious pirates and mysterious aliens.
Upgradeable progression: Your units can be upgraded. Various upgrades to player ships are applied throughout the campaign. You decide what to enhance and what to leave behind.
Choose your crew: Before each mission, choose up to three officers with special abilities that aid your progress through the missions. Recruit more crew members along your journey.
An engrossing campaign: The single player campaign comes with a pulsating story that follows epic battles and tackles philosophical questions about humanity and science whilst posing the question – what lies beyond?

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Vista 64 bit/Win 7/Win 8
    • Processor: 3.10GHz Intel Core i3-2100
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 460 or AMD equivalent
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Vista 64 bit/Win 7/Win 8
    • Processor: 3GHz Intel i5 quad core or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 or equivalent
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: MAC OS Mavericks
    • Processor: 3.10GHz Intel Core i3-2100
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 460 or AMD equivalent
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: MAC OS Mavericks
    • Processor: 3GHz Intel i5 quad core or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 or equivalent
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (256 reviews)
Recently Posted
Ralf the Huge
73.5 hrs
Posted: August 14
**** (out of 5)
It's a good strategical game in space with an interesting story. You can adapt the difficulty level by the how much you stop the game for your planning. Everything works quite fine, although the quests get quit long to master and a so it takes a bit too much time for the strategic chellenge. Graphics, Voice acting and play scenes are nicely done and give a good space feeling like you were out there.
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ebonweaver
3.0 hrs
Posted: July 17
If you get it cheap it's worth a couple hours, but honestly there are just better games out there. Gameplay is uninspired. Pathing is terrible. Units randomly fly off in the middle of a fight for no reason. Crashed once randomly. Setting makes no sense at all and indicates developers didn't really understand the 3-D environment of space. In the end, you don't feel like this is a space game, not sure what it is. Story feels like missions should lead in to each other as far as units (like Homeworld), but they don't (so more like every other RTS), but that feels disjointed. My whole fleet just warped to the next area, and is now gone? Awkward. Again, not the worst game by any means, but it's so meh it's not really satisfying.
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rkristofor
0.5 hrs
Posted: July 9
this is a pointless game of shooting dots on the screen with no strategy what so ever do not waist the money on this worthless game
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frizzeldian12
2.6 hrs
Posted: June 26
I have no idea how to play this game. The tutorial was boring and too long and didnt explain how the units work or the abilities!! Im an RTS MASTER and I have no idea what Im doing in this game!! Tried looking for another tutorial or SOMETHING to explain how to play and got NOTHING. Complete %^$@!!
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Mad_Chocobo
6.8 hrs
Posted: June 19
awkward controls
Helpful? Yes No Funny
19.0 hrs
Posted: June 8
It's not the best RTS I've ever played, but the setting is interesting, the story is pretty good and the missions are actually quite diverse and pretty fun. I love the abilities the different units have.

Don't go into it expecting Homeworld (nothing but Homeworld has been Homeworld so far). It's more focused on managing abilities on your ships and playing your ships to their strengths, while Homeworld was more focused on economy and tech. It's easy to fall into the same rhythm every mission, like putting together the same kind of fleet and doing the same thing every mission. However, while that can work, the different missions play to different ships strengths.

Not a bad game. Pick it up cheap. I'd give it a 7/10.
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[LoR] Team Triss
2.3 hrs
Posted: May 21
I want to love this game. It looks great, sounds great, and has Dwight Schultz, Ron Glass, and John Billingsley as voice actors.

But it's so damn slow, and I think it has a very poorly done RPS system under the hood, where your rock beats their scissors, but your rock gets decimated at the same time.

I've tried it several times, culminating in just under 3 hours of playtime, and I think this time I'm uninstalling for good.
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Yamroo
6.2 hrs
Posted: May 14
Cannot recommend. It is frustrating to control, and illogical in concept.

I made it to about the 3rd mission and cannot go on any longer.

The only thing it has going for it is that it is a space game, but even then, it plays like a submarine game.
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Hronic
33.4 hrs
Posted: May 13
Hello,
I'm huge fan of RTS games, having years of experience from StarCraft and Total War series, I was hoping for the game of the similar scale, at least huge epic battles in space :P Unfortunately it was not the case. Game is generally worth trying out as there aren't many RTS games on the market, but buy it only while discounted. Here are Pros & Cons in my opinion:

Pros:
- It looks nice , especially the background and maps, ple
- Plenty of tactical options and possibilities (different combinations of ships etc. i was playing though with just one my favourite :))
- low price (bought for 5 EUR on discount)
- Stellar views
- Fun defensive missions

Cons:
- Poor heroes and poor plot
- Weary voice, repetitive music ...
- Over-pseudo- 3D, sometimes confusing
- No mutli potential
- iI's not a challenge even on high difficulty, it just requires patience
- The variety of units (for me only 3 types, small, medium and big, that's all -_- other doesn't matter)
- Linear real time tactical games.
- Does not challenge player and force him to think in three dimensions.
- I was playing it almost 2 year after releasing and it still had bugs ;/
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GarrickWinter
18.5 hrs
Posted: March 19
I like what this game is trying to do. Single-player story-driven RTS? Hell yes. Beautiful space environments? More please. Three dimensional space combat? I want it! Sadly, as much as it pains me to say this, there are just too many flaws in the execution for the game to be as enjoyable as it should be.

Let's start with the worst - there are some serious technical issues going on here. I've had the game hang permanently once, and I've had a save file corrupted, which I'm honestly not used to seeing in games these days. I also had a gamebreaking bug in the mission Psychonauts (I think that's Mission 7?) where the object tied to a mission objective simply never appeared, forcing me to enable cheats through a config file and auto-win the mission. This kind of stuff is a real shame, doubly so because the game seems to have been abandoned fairly quickly after launch, with no hope of patches.

Less utterly broken, but still really bad, is unit pathfinding. It can be incredibly difficult to get your units to do what you want, especially if you're trying to make use of 3D movement. I've repeatedly tried to navigate my fleet above or below objects in 3D only to have them move back down to the basic plane of movement, putting them in the way of enemy fire or getting stuck behind obstacles. Units also seem to sometimes just forget their move orders, and some abilities seem to break sometimes. The Dreadnought, for example, has a triple-blast cannon ability that obliterates buildings and does heavy damage to units, but sometimes it just doesn't seem to fire all or any of its shots despite triggering the cooldown. All of this means that half the time unit command is smooth, and the other half of the time it's infuriating.

Even when it works, the gameplay design isn't flawless. Issuing targeted commands on units that are closed together is tricky, requiring you to pause and angle the camera to select what you actually want rather than all the icons beside it. A lot of combat must be either really difficult or finnicky, because I spent a lot of time waiting around to build up my forces before tackling tougher points of resistence, as going in full-force is often your only hope.

The game does indeed look great, but unfortunately it's best to play at a distance a lot of the time, so you see the unit icons much more than you see the detailed units. The sound design and music are well-done, the cutscenes look cool, and the story overall is fairly interesting, though there are a few predictable beats (sudden but inevitable betrayal!), and a few threads left hanging that, I fear, will never get resolved in a sequel.

Ultimately, it boils down to that - Ancient Space has some good ideas that are marred by poor execution in a few key areas, and it's really begging for a sequel, or a massive patch, that fixes these things. Sadly I doubt it will get either, and as such I can't really recommend this unless you're willing to deal with a fair amount of technical frustrations while playing.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
1,115 of 1,345 people (83%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
To paraphrase a certain quirky games reviewer - "Ancient Space is Like Homeworld but..."

(Also... ancient space? isn't most space ancient?)

Imagine for a minute you're playing Homeworld with persistent ramifications level to level (the more you suck early on, the tougher later levels will be - so don't suck)... well Ancient Space has none of that. Careful resource management? Nope. A large variet of units? Nah. Major differences between your ships and the baddies? Nu-uh. Massive truely 3D space environments where you have to think tactically in three dimensions? Sorry - but it does pretend fairly well.

No. Ancient Space (which in TeamSpeak is pronounced "AAAAAAAncient Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace") instead goes down the Dawn of War route to being a game.

There are persistent resource points - which given the infinite nature of space, are of course severly limited in number and fixed. You can only place "buildings" on the fixed resource points (really they're turrets. Either good vs Cap ships OR small and medium ships, radar, repair, or slow the enemy) which is lucky as the AI is too stupid to try going around them.

The resources are infinite - being one of those X resource/time types, which is mostly fine, but it robs you of the risk vs reward of trying to go further and further out from your base to mine/dig/harvest stuff that was present in RTS games since Dune 2

Ship numbers are insanely low. Don't expect to re-enact cool space battles from films or previous games... the most I've seen so far was 21 slots (some ships take more than one slot). I say ship numbers are low - they're low for you. The enemy have no such troubles, and their production times are much shorter (so the poxy ships that disable your pop up so often that they get very annoying very quickly).

Ships are ... boring really. 2 or 3 of each size of ship (eventually 4 different fight sized ships! woo). The limitations on numbers and the small variety mean that Corsairs are the best thing since sliced-starships. They can imobilise an enemy and then capture it 6 of them takes on every resource area/enemy building facility I've come across) and you could build more.

Space is apparently not 3D... it pretends to be... but it's really just a blanket over some bumpy things (like it was in the original Doom). Why do I say this? because you can't direct your ships up or down... there are some floaty circles in space which are higher or lower than each other and if you click on them then your ships will dutifully move there - but you can't positions ships half-way without fist commanding them to move somewhere then stopping them midway. Homeworld might have been more years ago than I'd like to admit, but they worked out how to go up and down back then. Then there's the fact that the circles of space being transparent which occasionally causes ships to go somewhere you didn't think you were clicking because the context sensitive movement system though you wanted to go somewhere closer to the camera than you knew about. Seriously the movement in this game is almost poor enough to be a bug - not quite, but really... meh!

Between missions do your actions carry any weight? No. You can upgrade some ships a bit (and one ship a lot) by spending points which are arbitarily doled out at the end of each mission. Ships you build vanish mysteriously to be replaced by an entirely different fleet of ships the mission designers thought would see you through.

In Homeworld you had your entire race with you on one ship - because your previous home had been bombed into a radioactive hellish nightmare type affair... so it made sense that you lose your mothership, you lose. In this game despite travelling everywhere by fixed, reliable and free warp gates, you send your utterly irreplaceable carrier on every mission... not just outside the last gate so you can send reinforcements through as and when they're needed... because, reasons.

But the graphics are awesome right? Well, they're ok I guess - we are unfortunately in a time where graphics are pretty good even in low budget titles. Sure things are pretty, but no prettier than X3 for instance and that's several years old. Textures are alright, models are ok... nothing says "OMG! THIS IS AWESOME I WILL NOW DRY HUMP MY MONITOR" though.

Also, the levels are small - it's space! Why must things be so small... Warp-gates are the only way to get from one sector to another so there's no inbetween space, and the sectors themselves are tiny (compared to Homeworld).

I know by now people will be wondering why compare it to Homeworld so much? Well to those people - go play Homeworld then play this... you'll see that at no time has there been an original idea design wise. This game is trying to be Homeworld and a bit more.

People really seemed fixated on Skirmish mode in forum posts running up to release - there are three skirmish missions. No free form - decide things yourself missions... nope, 3 specific missions. The first is a Horde type game "survive as long as possible"...

There's no multiplayer. No Co-op, no Versus mode. I've heard people counter with "well, that means they can focus on the single player story" ... Well, Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaancient Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace is clearly aping both Homeworld and Dawn of War - both games had rich developed single player experiences AND multiplayer.

I can't recommend this game - not because it's terrible, not because it's below average, but simply because it's trying to be two games which were both better examples of being them. Had Homeworld and Dawn of War not existed then this would be good. But they do exist, and having played them, this feels more like a poor copy that it would otherwise.

Allow me to move ships UP and DOWN in space
Allow me to play the game with friends (co-op campaign or competitive)
Allow me to build a fleet of ships (not a couple of ships)
Allow me to take ships from one mission to another
Allow me to choose a strategy from a variety of ships and play styles (rather than severly limiting my choices by having so few unit types - best ships in the game are the Corsair and Cutlass and you have to capture those)
Increase the number of skirmish options

Fix those and you'll have a game that's almost as good as Homeworld (which if Gearbox are reading - a release date for the remaster would be nice). Till then you have an average game which doesn't stand out enough to recommend - even at £14.99
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141 of 156 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
An RTS set in the future and in space. Large fleets of warships exchanging fire. Everything from small frigates to extremely large super carriers and battle cruisers. Sounds good? I thought it did. Watched a few videos, read the reviews, and thought I would give it a go anyway. The entire premise sounds fantastic, but the game has one really fatal flaw that makes it almost unplayable. I will explain further on.

Positives

+ Diverse amount of ships, creating strategy and counter strategy
+ The environment looks really nice
+ Particle effects look not too bad, explosions and lasers look pretty awesome in huge fleet battles
+ Upgrading system for the fleet and your carrier allow for different playstyles
+ Limited amount of ships that you can build, forcing you to choose the best ship for the job
+ Music is pretty good, though the effects sound a little washed out
+ Replayability is pretty good via skirmishing, even without multiplayer

Neutral

+/- Graphics could look slightly better, what I mean is if you zoom all the way in on a ship, it looks really pixelated. Not a huge deal, but the textures could have been better.
+/- No grinding, and only a limited amount of scrap collected per mission make it hard to have a good fleet all the time. Upgrades can be resold for full value, but the upgrade phase is before the next mission, and without any kind of brief it is hard to anticipate what you would be facing.

Negatives

While there is only one negative point I can think of so far, it is the biggest and most glaring issue with this game. It take the playability of this game down to almost zero. All of the positives and neutrals do absolutely nothing to allieviate this one, and only one, negative point. Here it is,

- Ship pathfinding and obstacle negotiation is non-existent

Seems like that would not be a huge deal? Well, this is a strategy game, in space, with spaceships. And the pathfinding is terrible, and they can't fly their way out of a wet paper bag. Multiple times I have failed a mission simply due to my ships not responding to a move order, or getting stuck in an infinite loop of "bounce off wall and try to go through it again, only to bounce off of it". A slight work around has been to activate the tactical pause, and micro manage each move and positioning ship by ship. Gets tedious and should not be that way.

Conclusion

Other than the pathfinding issue, this would be a great game. I simply cannot recommend this game, based only on that issue. If the devs release a patch to fix the pathfinding, then this would be a fantastic game.

Category Score
Gameplay 1/5
Graphics 4/5
Music & Sound 4/5
Replayability 4/5

Total 13/20 = 65%

Cannot Recommend

TL;DR

Game is pretty good, looks good, has decent replay value, music and sounds washed out a little, but major pathfinding issue makes it unplayable for me.

65%
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104 of 128 people (81%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 13, 2015
Plainly: The game that tries to do too many things, piles too many things on player and does none of them well enough justify them.

If you really, really, really want a "space rts" (that has good chance of dissapointing more ways than one) give it a go... but don't pay the full price it isn't worth it not by a long shot.

Rant version:

Well it looks and sounds quite good. But there are problems and quite many of them.

The "maps" in game look very nice, not just empty space which is nice... untill you need to navigate corridors and entrances on paralel levels... the rounting of the units can be bad, or worse the larger ships tend to get caught, if not stuck, either slowed to a crawl or taking the bloody longest route to get anywhere. Makes one hope the maps were void of any obstacles.

The combat areas are usually split to more than several sectors, which might sound good but hardly is. Areas are connected by wormholes and AI or player can go through em almost at will, reingforcing or attacking dependending objectives. The problems begin when you have to, divide ships and atention to 2, 3 or 4 locations. The ship limit is so appalling you really can have only one proper assault force and maintain effective ship type diversity, there are only few ships that that can churn out more cannon fodder and naturally (except the main carrier) those are pretty much out from your fighting force.
To hold the areas and collect resources you need to capture certain positions in sectors, in these positions you build stations and upgrade from quite a few options, sounds again nice but overall the stations are quite apalling in deffence, only able to hold their ground to a lightest of assault without backup. Naturally there are several diffrent station types ranging from slowing, repairing, detecting and what not half of them are a damn waste... except perhaps the repair one. Why there had to be so many options? Could there have not bee more extensive upgrades instead of single useless specialition? Guess not.
Basicly you are left with useless "defense" which should be protected, except you dont have the manpower really to do that if you are seriously thinking of pushing foward.

Many of the units have special abilities, abilities you need to use due the limited fleet sizes, again sounds good but leads to way too much micromanagering even with a pause option in battle. Some or most the abilities hould have been made autotriggering , enabled or not bloody there at all.

The missions are interesting and... warying... wich again should be good, but again it is done quite irritating way. Usually you start with everal sectors, usually full of opposition. Beside objectives attacking something, deffending, scanning object you need to maintain deffenses and counter enemy attacks that the "deffensive stations" rarely can handle. The objectives can be spread around on several diffrent sectors and at best have time limits... felt every second objective seems to be time limited or needing to protect something thats as sturdy as thin glass chalice.
At best you need attack, deffend, scan, chase something down from several diffrent sectors, without manpower to cover half of it (never mentioning the rock, paper, scizors of the ship types yay!", the production capacity to mantain pressure, or attention that would need to be divided between 2, 3 or 4 hotspots in diffrent sectors.

Overall the the problem, the core problem is that the game tries to do too many things at the sametime, not doing half of them decently but still piling it all to the players plater all the same and thats where it falls appart.

The game can hardly get out of the swamp of mediocrity but is it a bad game? No, if not good one either.
But... kinda makes one sad to see people comparing and even praising this to be a "spiritual" successor to the Homeworld series.
Even with the fact "time makes the memories golden", one can say the original homeworld with its many bugs, and flaws was a good game, and so was the sequel. Comparing this rubbish to it is a damn crime againts the gilded memories of "better times and games".





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158 of 216 people (73%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
Ancient Space is a 3D, space based, story heavy, single player, real time strategy game (RTS).

The Great:

- Gorgeous 3D space environments that should be the standard for space RTS games going forward
- RPG mechanics such as gear and specializations customization added to ships and capital ships that make you wonder why no one else has done it this well in an RTS game before
- Detailed and intricate RTS with RPG aspects gameplay works very well - a solid foundation to build upon
- Voice-acting and story are well above average for the genre

The Good:

- Intuitive control scheme
- Varying difficulty
- Nice pacing such that it is almost always interesting but not exhausting or stressful

The Bad:

- Some technical glitches present
- Graphics options are nearly non-existent
- Missions can run long at times and sometimes contain tedious overlong sections
- Occasional excessive difficulty
- This game would do very well to include Steam Workshop support for easy modding support

Overall:

This looks to be a very worthy addition to the RTS genre. While a slightly tighter and more forgiving campaign might have proved better, at $20, and given how much the game innovates in some ways (e.g. adding "gear" to your fleet of ships and the overall art direction) it is hard to find much to complain about. If you like strategy games or RTS games in particular, you should definitely pick this game up.
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412 of 602 people (68%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
I'll expand upon this review later as I play through more of the game. The time that I've spent on it so far is merely a review of my first impression of the first 5 missions.

Compared to other RTS games, this game doesn't really do anything that better games, such as Homeworld, haven't already brought to the table. The difficulty is pretty damn hard due to the way the AI are unfairly given so many units that are all thrown upon you. The game is not difficult because of an intelligent AI, but more because you have to face overwhelming numbers most of the time which sometimes leaves you feeling cheated when you're beaten.

Example:
In mission 2, you have to face roughly 50 units with your 12. The enemy are given battleships and frigates and many fighter squadrons. You only have a carrier, a battleship and 9 squadrons of fighters/bombers. You cannot build frigates yet, and frigates are good against fighters, so your fighters get mowed down while they try to hit the enemy fighter squadrons which counter your bombers. Even then, frigates are fairly decent against bombers, which doesn't make much sense. To win, you have to have your fleet at the center of the map where your turret's angle of fire (if you haven't built many turrets, you are screwed and have to restart; the trigger which spawns all of these units is unexpected and you won't have enough time to build the turrets to counter the threat) can deal the most damage on the incoming enemy units and allow you pick off the early incoming units one by one until the battleships arrive, rather than having a massive wall of enemy units focusing on your mission critical capital ships (if you lose either the carrier or battleship, you fail).

To each mission, there is a specific formula to how you should beat each mission (e.g. you have to build/upgrade these units, attack these units at this time, use this special ability etc all in this order to win the mission, you will find it extremely hard to do it any other way). This then becomes a gruelling trial and error affair where you have to figure out the formula and win, which sometimes frustrates you to no end and limits your tactical options to win the mission. Some tactical choices you make earlier in the mission render the later part of the mission next to impossible to win, resulting in you having to go back and restart.

This game looks pretty much your typical RTS game, but not what you'd entirely expect. It may not introduce many new things to the genre, but it does keep you on your toes and is unforgiving. This can be interesting, especially for people who want a challenge.

I do not wish to give this a negative recommendation, I'd rather give it a neutral rating (some will hate it, some will love it, some will think it's just okay). But, since there is no such option, and I'd rather lean a little to the negative side, I have given it a negative recommendation. I'd suggest you wait for the eventual sale to come around if you wish to get this game, just incase you get disappointed with it.
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121 of 161 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
An unsatisfying drink for the parched rts fan. Bland is probably the best way to describe this game. Limited maps inspired by moba lanes with limited placement "tower" defense type buildings thrown in.

To be honest pickings are slim right now in the rts genre unfortunately which inspired my purchase. The best thing I found about this is the price. My disappointment was slightly eased.

Its pretty but like a great looking painting, you wish you could go there but when you reach out you realise its just 2d afterall and you can only look...

Homeworld ruined pretty much any pleasure which might have been found here with comparisons but even standing on its own merits its weak.

God knows how many years on and nothing has touched homeworld since.

Just soulless.

Edit - missed a word out. Cleaned up last paragraph.
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162 of 225 people (72%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
I've played with numerous space RTS games in the past and I have to say I like Ancient Space. I'm at Mission 4 and until this point it has a very good atmosphere, something what only older games, Homeworld or Conquest: Frontier Wars were able to give. And maybe I've played space RTS, such as Homeworld a long time ago, and I played that one on hard, but this is the first time I've lost on normal (I've lost a few times already, first during Mission 1 and then right at the beginning of Mission 3 and a few times after that. It's not an easy game.).

As a storywriter, as that's my job IRL, what I like the most that here the characters sounds life like. They don't explain evident elements, but tell it well, like if they would part of their life. This is something what I miss from others games and what I really like here, as this gave the first good impression during the first cutscene, namely that we have a character who doesn't feel the necessity to explain the whys or whens in the log, but tells everything natural.

The only thing what I've found strange that the were no VO during the tutorial and I miss the unit feedbacks (However they're synthetics, so I can live with it.). And the narrators are also doing their job well. What I also liked is that during the tutorial, the music was also able to give a great atmosphere, something what many games are unable to. And if I already speak about the music, as it's one of the necessary element, I have to say it is also great and very atmospheric.

I still have to get used to the controls and such, but I already see that the upgrades and scannable elements also make sense, and they don't feel as just filler elements, but they're really give something for your units, so as the officers and their skills. Overall, after the first few hours, I'm pretty impressed with the game as it's giving back something what only older games, such as Homeworld or Conquest: Frontier Wars were able to give. I believe Ancient Space worth the investment and your time.

My rig is a FX8320 3.5/4Ghz, 8GB Ram with a Sapphire R7 260X and on this config the game plays smoothly in 1920x1080.
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48 of 51 people (94%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 16, 2015
"Ancient Space" is a really decent entry into the space RTS genre, which (very refreshingly) gets away from the ironically boring routine of just having to be fast, fast, FAST!

Indeed, the game pretty much goes in the opposite direction. Many missions are downright...contemplative in pacing. However, this isn't to say that there aren't some pulse-pounding moments where you have to think quickly. Indeed, if you forget that you can "get on the gas," you probably won't complete all the missions.

Going along with the previous paragraph, I'm very pleased to say that this title emphasizes giving things thought, especially in terms of figuring out what fleet configuration works for you. Frantic micromanagement really isn't the order of the day, although some micromanagement helps you get the most out of your units. The friendly ship AI isn't brilliant, but it's good enough that you can often let them make a number of decisions themselves. This emphasis on strategy (as opposed to hotkey mashing) even applies to those moments where you can't dawdle: You have to recognize what's going on and react swiftly but deliberately, whether it's proceeding with a certain kind of build or just running away.

No, the game doesn't reach "Homeworld-franchise" territory. The scale of the game is too limited for that, both in the story and the way the game plays. "Ancient Space" is really a number of interconnected, constrained arenas that do become relatively easy to predict. (At the same time, I have to give a nod to the developers choosing a workable and recognizable mechanic, and then sticking with it consistently.) Also, this isn't a game about battles with tens upon tens of ships. Resources tend to be pretty thin, though steady, and your unit cap never goes much beyond 20. Unlike in other offerings, you're simply prevented from being able to "overwhelm" the enemy - and a person might argue that this helps to keep things interesting.

On the story side, the scope of the narrative is surprisingly human-scale. This does allow for some interesting intrigue and a pretty decent plot-twist, but it doesn't quite fire the imagination like a "Homeworld" game might. "Sprawling" and "epic" just don't describe the way "Ancient Space" feels, and sprawling epicness is what's required for a "Homeworld" experience. There has to be a confluence of visual style, musical depth, and narrative context that conveys an almost mystical sense of size. This game doesn't get to that point, and it may be that it just wasn't meant to. That is to say that "Ancient Space" isn't a bad setpiece at all. It's just that the metaphorical walls aren't very far apart.

There are some "mechanical" errors to be found. I had some moments where ships would infuriatingly fail to pathfind, and perhaps connected with that, I had a couple of occasions where ships would just halt for no apparent reason.

But those are only little dings. "Ancient Space" is a good game, and definitely worth a playthrough. It seems to have been crafted well, and it scratches the RTS itch in a slightly different way than other contenders in the genre. I say, "Good On Ya" to CreativeForge for putting this thing together. I enjoyed it.
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57 of 66 people (86%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 18, 2015
In short - heavy Homeworld-inspired space RTS, with few interesting ideas and worth playing, despite lacking the final polish.

In each of 15 missions (plus few skirmish scenarios, without typical "random" skirmish and no multiplayer) you are tasked with various main and optional objectives from the range of typical RTS tasks - convoy escorts, strategic points capturing and holding, scanning/picking up objects and such. Most of them have to be taken on simultaneously, which, along with rather fast combat, makes active pause really important, not to mention fleet composition (since your "replicants" aka squad cap is usually smaller than needed and enemy nearly always have advantage in numbers). Ships are generally divided into 4 categories (small, medium, large and "extra large" + buildings) and while you unlock new models automatically with progress, it is possible to capture enemy ships as well, which increase options. Upgrading ships with parts found along the missions in preparation screen between them, as well as selecting officers for battle (providing various active buffs or abilities during the mission) and researching new modules for your main ship is also possible.

Story, however, suffer from rather poor presentation - most background information, treated often by characters as oblivious, is skipped or hidden in ships/discoveries descriptions. Voices are poorly done. Abilities to hold fire against selected targets or adjusting units speed to slowest ones are missing and would be really needed in many situations. Missions are heavy scripted and thus some have to be repeated few times, always with same or similar results. Camera controls are problematic sometimes (many users instinctively use zoom along with WSAD keys to operate camera in third dimension, only to find that said zooming is heavy restricted. Devs replied that they never intended zoom to be used as camera controls, as keys Q and E covers moving in up and down - explanation can can be understood, but is still less intuitive than it could be).

Overall 7/10 or even 8/10 game. Maybe not the best space RTS out there - but we had almost nothing new lately and game is still fun. Ending suggest sequel, so maybe next time it will go better?

By the way - if you experience heavy fps drops during the game and graphical options dont do anything - try to manually add the game to your GPU control panel list.
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90 of 121 people (74%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
Not bad, but severely underwhelming. It's the sort of thing you would find in the $5 bin at WalMart and be pleasantly surprised by. Worth purchasing on sale, maybe, but at full price there's far better games out there.

The big upside is that it's extremely challenging. Not because of the enemy AI or anything, no it's hard due to the sheer ridiculous swarms of enemy ships you will face - missions are generally pretty short and brutal slugfests hopelessly outnumbered which you can win by being equal parts clever and lucky.

The story is alright but extremely generic. It's somewhat nonsensical to me to send in your precious, irreplaceable carrier for every mission and to abandon your fleet whenever you leave the sector, but then I'm not some masterful tactician so who am I to say.

The maps are not open, as was implied - they are typically divided into 3 small sectors connected by warp gates. The only place you can build is fixed positions and the only thing you can build is turrets.

Ship pathfinding is hilariously bad. You can somewhat overcome this by manually instructing your ships around every small obstacle but this obviously presents an absolute nightmare situation doing a lot of things, like trying to send ships reinforce other ships in a major fleet fight, or trying to not smash your keyboard and froth at the mouth in your chair.

I could go on but I think you get the point. It has potential, yes. It's not a bad game. But it's far outclassed, even by games decades older than it (yes I mean Homeworld 2). And I wouldn't reccommend anyone buy it at full price.
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