Publisert: 3. februar
I can't recommend this enough. This is the most fun I've had with a 4x since Alpha Centauri. They implemented a lot of elegant solutions to reduce tedium and streamline management without losing depth or complexity. The UI is not intuitive largely because they kept it from being cluttered, as such the tutorials are highly recommended.
Ship design was done very well. It is very satisfying to come up against an overwhelming opposition, make a few minor adjustments to a design and alter its tactics and come back and win not because you had bigger boots but because you used an effective strategy. There is a lot of depth to design, and variety is rewarded.
Strategy in combat is very enjoyable as you are given plenty of useful tools. You can make a 2 tier setup with heavily fortified ships engaging close range and long range support keeping distance without having to constantly switch between the various groups to give orders. That might sound oversimplified, but it doesn't play itself. It simply gives tools that streamline basic tactics and the end result is a smarter and more fluid battle. Also, combat is simulated in engine, there are no behind the curtains dice rolls to verify hit and miss. If missiles get shot down, it's because anti-missile turrets hit their target. Furthermore, it is possible to target specific points on the enemy if you want to disable something specific, like getting behind the enemy and taking out their forward shields, or their engines. Combat is as tedious or simple as you choose to make it, and the end result is a rewarding experience.
Diplomacy is available, but rather than assume you want to be friendly with the neighbors, the default is war, with alliances and NAP's being something you have to work for if that’s what your into. It's there if you enjoy the challenge of diplomacy, but its assumed you want to blow things up. With that said, any time you encounter a new player or AI for the first time your ships are set to hold fire, so the game respects the possibility of peace, but you must research their language and diplomatic options for them to be available.
People say this is underrated, and I have to agree. I'm more than a little annoyed that I didn't find this gem until now.