The Enhanced Edition contains Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter and the first expansion, the End of Flesh. The new expansion introduces the new playable race, the Loa. All previous DLCs containing new avatars, new combat music, alternate voices, skins, and new badges for the warships are also included.
User reviews: Mixed (460 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 30, 2012

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Includes 2 items: Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition, Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection

 

About This Game

The Enhanced Edition contains Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter and the first expansion, the End of Flesh. The new expansion introduces the new playable race, the Loa. All previous DLCs containing new avatars, new combat music, alternate voices, skins, and new badges for the warships are also included.

Customize your own starships, amass your fleet, explore the outer reaches of the galaxy and expand your empire. Research new alien technologies and bring them into battle with a mix of turn-based strategy and real-time skirmishes.

Now a new Faction bursts onto the scene, a race of Artificial Intelligence who once served as slaves and now return seeking vengeance. Playing as the Loa, your Fleets will become masters of metamorphosis, shape-shifting into new forms to become the ships you need, where you need them. Durable and hardy, your colonies can be built on any rocky planet. Building an empire of silicon and steel, you will bring your former masters to their knees…or will you bring about the End of Flesh.

Key Features

  • Play as the Loa, with over 120 new ship sections and their own unique drive system – the Neutrino Pulse Gate
  • Over 25 additional technologies, including a new Cybernetic Tech Tree
  • 10 new weapons and attacks to use in battle
  • New ship sections for the original six Factions, including 2 new Leviathan class vessels
  • 2 new Independent Races to encounter, study and incorporate into your empire
  • New Random Encounters, a new Grand Menace, and new Star Maps
  • New Evacuation Mission, and Supplemental Mission system allowing players to focus on the Target or the Fleet
  • All Race DLCs: Suul’ka, Liir, Morrigi, Hiver, SolForce, Zuul and Tarka

System Requirements

    Minimum:

    • OS:Windows 7 - 64 bit
    • Processor:Core2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512-MB DirectX 10, Integrated graphics (laptops) are not supported
    • DirectX®:10
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Sound:Any Windows Vista compatible sound device, stereo speakers or head phones
    • Additional:, DirectX February 2010 or newer (DX10). 3-button mouse and keyboard. Internet required for online play. LAN required for local multiplayer

    Recommended:

    • Additional:, DirectX February 2010 or newer (DX10). 3-button mouse and keyboard. Internet required for online play. LAN required for local multiplayer
Helpful customer reviews
66 of 80 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
931.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014
3 yrs after the release and the game feels like a Beta.
Massive memory leak, turns take ages even on small maps and the UI is really horrible.

More bugs than I could count and most likely this is a dead project since it's been a year since last patch.

This might be the greatest plunder in the history of videogaming in regards with the great reviews it had after the release. It was the first time I saw good reviews after an Alpha release and I'm never gonna buy a game again until 1 yr from the release has passed and I've read dozens of user reviews.

Lesson learned.
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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
82.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Most of the issues have been detailed in other reviews, so I'll keep this one short.

If you are a fan of the original SotS, just stick with the Complete Collection (Born of Blood, Murder of Crows, and Argos Naval Yard) and avoid this. The prettier graphics, bigger ships, and larger systems are not worth all the bugs, dreary gameplay, random crashes, and generally unfinished nature of the game (the in-game SotS-pedia help guide is mostly blank pages or just unhelpful). Trust me.

If you are looking into Sword of the Stars and want to buy this one because the graphics look better and the story seems cooler than the first one, don't waste your money; go buy the original Sword of the Stars Complete Collection and enjoy the game and the universe before it was left out in the cold to die. If you ignore this and figure that you'll pick it up anyway and give it a shot, and you end up being disgusted with it, do yourself a favour and pick up the first game and try it too.
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2,484.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
Recommended? Sort of.
I bought this at a steep discount years ago (less than 10 bucks), and have alternately loved and hated it ever since.
The game was originally released in a mid-alpha state, resulting in a lot of the rage evidenced in some reviews. After a free expansion, about 50 mid-sized patches and over a hundred micro-patches, what you have is basically a game in permanent mid-beta.

Most of what could be fixed without a complete redesign has been. What remains is an extremely time-consuming, mostly rewarding game that will occasionally infuriate you.

Put simply, the Mars2 engine is a paper tiger; anyone who's seen videos of a North Korean Parade knows what I'm talking about here. Yes, it can display some very pretty and entertaining visuals and doesn't do too badly handling most of the strategic- or combat- layer graphics that make the game fun. No, it simply cannot handle the dataload imposed upon it by an eight-player game.

SotS 2's real saving grace is that it is extremely easy to mod, tweak, break, or bend to suit your gaming style. All you need is a basic grasp of English, some logical thinking skills, and a text editor. Most of the .entity, .section, etc. files are simple xml-coded text files. A free sqlite database editor will allow you to change almost anything in your saved games, too. Want to research everything? about 15 mins. with the .techtree file and my bugs -and bugs only- can play with every tech that matters to a bug (and some that don't). *Spoiler* This and some creative finacing gets me every tech in about 250 turns.

The bad news: This game is never getting finished, is a resource hog, and crashes whenever it bites off more than it can chew. The multiple redundant autosaves are a lifesaver, but getting past some turn-to-turn crashes will require you to figure out which event was the straw that broke the engine's back. If we want this game to work perfectly, we'll have to redesign it ourselves, XML is easy to edit, but extremely wasteful coding (Micro soft-in-the-head designed xml). If Kerberos had gone with a more machine-centric scripting language, This game would be an all-time bestseller but would be much harder to mod.

Tech Specs:
You don't need a datashredder to play this game well (at least as well as it can be played). gen 3 core i3's in quad-core mode, or fm2-based quad cores are probably okay on data processing here, Sots2 cannot fully utilize 6 or 8 cores, so your best bets are a decent i5 or i7 from Intel (not necesessarily new), Kaveri-based quad core, or Vishera based CPU from AMD. My FX-8350 occasionally reaches 20% load, but I've modded the heck out of most game files to make battles more exciting. My A10-4600 laptop can run the vanilla game well.

My old GTX 480 video card is overkill for the vanilla game at 1920x1080 with max detail, but I sometimes get a little hitching with all the extra ships and weapons I've modded into some battles. Integrated video on an Intel chip won't get you anywhere, but the mid-range gaming qualites of an A10 laptop iGPU or A8 desktop iGPU is okay if you have extra RAM -see next-

Memory!!! This is why you must have 64-bit windows. Don't have 8gb? Don't bother!. Between the poor engine choice, the leaky and ineffecient coding, and the sheer amount of data that needs to be crunched, this game eats memory fast. At turn 200 on a medium-large map with 4 of 5 players still alive and about half the map occupied, I'm using 20% of the 32gb of DDR3 in my desktop. My modding has a role to play there, but years of trial and error have shown me that 8-player games are simply not practical on nearly any machine with this game engine, and 6-player matches require a custom computer with about $1k worth of parts in them. An 8gb computer with dedicated graphics can run Vanilla okay most of the time with 2-4 players.

The Bottom Line-
Is this an extremely time-consuming game? Yes! -though it's really not as bad as 90% of mmos- Is Sots 2 often frustrating? Yes! Is it rewarding to play for 3 days, get to turn 220 and take a huge nap? Yes!! Is all of this really worth the hassle and a sizeable chunk of money? Probably not for 70% of gamers who like consoles even a little. This is a great game for guys like me who've been gaming on semi-high-end computers since the late 90's. Getting the game into the state I have it in now is like owning the Millennium Falcon: You spend a lot of time now and then figuring out what's wrong with your mod, or if it's even your fault or the devs. You put some real effort into understanding and modifying this rustbucket of a game, have a lot of fun and get really frustrated when you spend an hour getting your empire just where you want it for turn 221 and it crashes just before you get around to saving. (Think Escape from Hoth in episode 5 here). The real fun is taking a mostly functional scrapheap of a YT-1300 and trying to make it really fly (metaphorically speaking). Actual gameplay is a little better than the reality of war: Most of what you do during a turn isn't all that exciting, but it's pretty wild when space-lizards, telepathic dolphins and rat slavemasters all decide they want to cook you in your chitin just before you get the chance to nuke their homeworlds. Thanks for reading my super-long post. I think it says something that I recommend this game to at least some people right after the metaphorical Falcon decided not to enter hyperspace with Rat Vader coming for me. (seriously, I stayed up all night playing with this thing only to have it crash around noon. 4hours later I've just finished typing a recommendation) :)
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
This game is very hard to understand when you first start, the online community can help but the lack of any hints or a easy to find in game manual is a little disappointing. Still the graphics are good and the gameplay is okay, I just wish it was as easy to pickup up as some of the other 4x titles like Civ and Galactic Civ.
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36 of 59 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
I didn't get to play the original Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter on release.The game was so buggy that even the publisher, Paradox Interactive, apologized for it.Paradox has released so many games with so many bugs that they should be immune to criticism by now, so for them to call a game “buggy” is newsworthy.On the bright side, Paradox is also pretty responsive in terms of getting bug patches out early and often. The game was eventually brought into a playable state and some more content was added.Thus resulted the game we have today: Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition.I like complicated games.In general, the more complicated the mechanics are, the more involved I get.Paradox in particular is known for putting out these sorts of mega-games, where the learning curve is tougher than quantum physics and just playing the game is an accomplishment.The point of complexity, however, is to provide the player with meaningful decisions appropriate to their position in the game.SotS2 is a failure at almost every level in terms of making complexity fun. One can play this game for hours and simply have no idea what is going on.In a game like this your decisions should be meaningful.You should know you are making a decision, be clearly presented with all the relevant information, know what your options are, and understand how your decision will impact the game.SotS2 ruins any possibility of making meaningful decisions by completely confusing the player.It's hard to tell when a decision is being made in the first place.To a large extent this is synergistic with another problem: there are so many decisions to be made that it unclear when you are making an important decision and when you're not.The tech tree itself is misleading. Every game you get a different selection of techs, and even among those certain (random) techs will not be available to research this game.There are some very questionable design choices that make just playing the game a pain.The 3D star map is confusing and misleading.The distances between systems are difficult to determine.Rotating the display around to get a better idea of things is headache-inducing and leaves the player lost. Star maps should just stick to being 2D until 3D displays work.Is there anything good about this game?Well, the ships look cool.And the backstory is awesome.When I read the background material and skimmed the intro material this looked like such a cool game.I really, really wanted this to be good. In summary, Sword of the Stars 2: Enhanced Edition is a confused, sprawling mess of a game. The user will spend most their time confusedly clicking on buttons. Overall 6/10.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
132.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
THE GOOD:
Basically a sci-fi Total War game. You have the campaign map where you buy ships, order fleets onto missions, and generally have a nice 4X time. When you encounter another player -> zoom into the tactical map for real time action.

The campaign map is beautiful, each faction gets a different movement mechanic from the standard warp drive of one race to instatanious gates and node lines of others. You really feel like a unique race not a re-skin. This keeps up with the ship designs, some races are hulking great beasts, slow and powerful, others are quick and fragile. Humans for instance have decent all-rounder ships, slightly less well armed than average but fast over the strategic map, unfortunately the drive section is very fragile and can strand your ships far from home.

Did I mention that? Yeah your ships are distructable in nice modular chunks, from individual turrets to command/mission/drive sections. Add to that a 4-facing armour matrix, shields that are very well balanced IMO, weapons that all have a use (though you will rely on a few favourites if you don't have a special need), and the tactical combat will keep you entertained alone.

THE BAD:
It's shonky, no two ways about it. The campaign UI is a bit slow to respond, after about 200 turns it takes quite a while for the calculations to play out and ocationally crashes (but that has got much better since release, in fact no crashes for ~ 3 months). Sometimes stuff doesn't update or doesn't work for no particular reason, and last but not least: THERE IS NO IN GAME WAY TO LEARN.

Yes that annoys me, you spend countless man-hours making a great combat game with a slightly shonky campaign layer and don't tell anyone how to use it. Thankfully the community has stepped up to the challenge and fixed this, creating beginners guides and guides on individual races (start with the Tarka, they are the most straight forward - or Hiver if you like to turtle). The guides are good, use them.

Another area that needs attention is the AI, it's pretty bonkers. It will declare war on your massive empire and send colony ships to bombard your planets which get killed straight away by planetary missiles (did I mention missiles, yeah there are missiles, and point defence for your ships, and weapons platforms... I like the tech). It will also be bestest mates with you but be mildly miffed you "stole that tasty planet near me" for 100 turns and then declare a holy war to wipe the stain of your civilization from the galaxy with 10 Leviathan class ships when all you wanted to do was trade with everyone and be a mecantile hippy empire (still sore about that).

When the campaign AI works it can be pretty impressive, I think it managed to plan an invasion once and pulled it off simultaniously against me and two other AI. That invasion was let down by the tactical AI (better but not exactly Sun Tzu) and a wall of torpedo platforms.

THE UGLY:
Three words, randomised tech tree. Some people hate it, some love it. I am in the second camp. But, I also loved the randomised discovery in Alpha Centuari (I don't care if it's not balanced, that's how science works guys, sometimes you miss a really obvious idea). Certain techs are always available, like cutting lasers, and dreadnought ships. Others, well, it's the luck of the draw. The Zuul are having an energy weapon bonanza and enslaving your planets? If you're lucky just research the "♥♥♥♥ you energy weapons" shield (only covers the front, not quite as OP as at first sight). If you're not lucky, well hopefully the cash you save in equipping that shield will let you build more ships and the Zuul run out of light to put in their lasers. It's about rolling with the punches, but it is pretty galling when those punches are a fleet of heavy phaser drones and your stuck with the crappiest point defence. It's also pretty horrible when your home planet gets glassed 10 turns in by a ghost ship.

Yeah, ghost ship I hate the ghost ship. Like a '90s RPG you are subjected to random encounters (I think they are not completely random but it feels like it). This mechanic is at the same time absolutely horrible and absolutely brilliant. It's horrible when 10 turns in, your economy is trashed by a giant wandering ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ (built by the humans and then lost forever to wander the stars... the lore is actually pretty cool). It's brilliant when your struggling colony, with only that admiral you should retire because he got the shakes (yeah your admirals have stats, some are mass murdering ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s, some just like to grow flowers) - but can't quite let go because he won that battle that one time - and a couple of second rate ships for support, is being slowly worn down by slaver attacks. Admiral shaky holds his battered squadron together while the new guy from the academy is bringing reenforcements in the form of the newest (and cheapest) system defence craft.

The random encounters make you feel like starfleet command, an ancient derelict in one system, a hive of wasp-like silicon lifeforms in another, colony alpha-nine has an incoming metor shower. More variety would make it perfect, an option to turn off mr ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ghost ship would be sublime.

THE SHOWDOWN:
Would I recommend this? Yes I would. Mostly because it deserves to do well. It improves on everything SOTS1 fell down on and expanded what it did well. It's not perfect by any means but it has ambition that alot of sequels lack. Paradox could have played it safe, they could have updated SOTS1, make a few fixes to the dodgy bits and called it a day. They didn't. They fixed the broken stuff and then said "You know what would be cool? Building science stations to observe pre-FTL aliens. Letting players build Bablyon 5. Treaties that real civilisations would make (re-create the treaty of Farixen). A ship that shoots asteroids at planets (actually in the first one but it's really cool)". Like I said some of it doesn't work, the science stations are better suited to sitting behind your lines researching important things, from what I can tell Bablyon 5 doesn't do much, the AI won't make interesting limitation treaties with me, but the asteroid gun is great.

The tactical combat is the best bit, the strategic map feels like a way to move ships to make fun battles happen. I really wish Paradox would release a single player campaign about a lost human exploration fleet, a load of linked missions with persistent officers who learned? Excellent. In the mean time, admiral shaky has some slavers to kill.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
144.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
The other reviews of this game are quite old by now. The game has updated plenty since release, fixing many of the bugs and performance issues other reviewers were having.

While not the same as the original Sword of the Stars, SotS 2 is a great 4x game. It adds a great amount of complexity and diversity to the already diverse SotS formula. The fleet command interface is strange compared to the original SotS but once you get used to it it is quite reasonable.

The only problem I have with this game (besides some minor interface quirks) is the AI. As other people have complained, the AI has a tendency to just camp around its homeworlds for the entire game. But this, however, does not mean that the AI will be sedantary. The AI will send you fleets composed of a dozen different designs, making the tech to see the loadouts of enemy ships completely useless, because the AI never ♥♥♥♥in' sticks to any one design.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
Somewhat polished but seemed to crash even during the first 15-20 turns of gameplay. Interface is unintuitive and there is no tutorial. However, the main letdown was inability to randomly generate a map with given parameters. There is only a handful of premade maps out of which you must pick one to play a game on.

GFX was nice and modern enough and races seem to have been generated to be unique enough. Tech tree is sort of nice. In general, however, I feel there might be better 4X space games out there. Might be worth a try if you get it for less than 5 EUR on sale.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
24.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
They took a great game and then added a buch of crap that it didn't need, over complicated it, and made it not worth the effort of even trying to play. The only good thing was the new graphics but compaired to everything thats now bad about it, it's not even worth enjoying the new looks it has to offer.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
67.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
I bought this game in pre-order, since SotS1 was a good game, and this promissed to be even better.
What a huge misstake. The game is not only buggy, the gameplay is often piled with good ideas working in a bad way.
Ae: The mission system, feels more like a restriction to your movment, when compared to SotS1.

I let this game rest for a while, thinking Kerberos would be good devs and fix this pile of poop. Recently, I looked into it, and the gameplay is still horribly broken, the techtree is still pretty much a downgrade from SotS1 (no numbers on what the tech does, no info on what section it mounts etc.). The ship builder, while also filled with good Ideas is suffering from the same problems. I still played around to Round 40 in my trial game, when the game start taking many seconds, just to get to the next turn. After round 70 it just crashed. All time wasted.

I was let down by Kerberos, and soon after you only heared about the Pit or Groundpounders, both niche games for a far smaller audience. So it seems like these devs have bitten of more than they can swallow, and it serves them well.

BUYERS beware!
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
274.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
This game has so much promiss and it comes short. It is much more playable now but you have massive UI lagging just makes the game a pain to play.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
you know all those games on early access that the developer never finishes

this is like that except the developers are literally con men
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
74.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
With end turn taking so long to get to next turn, it feel like you are playing half the game waiting for you next turn.

Els it is a good game.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
Having played Sword Of the Stars I felt this should be there right next to it.

They did a fair job at complicating systems, extending the game as it was, and with commanders now having experience and getting promoted as well as ship modules that further define a ships capabilities they did all right.

Unfortunately they took out the tutorials, which, with this new interface they probably should have extended upon, the encyclopedia is full of spelling errors and looks as though its a fan-production (or at least I hope it is, having seen Star Trek Enterprise it seems all so familiar) that they decided to implement into the game, and then there is the Research screen, which I always had a problem with, even in the first version. The having to confirm some aspects to research but not others... I'm affraid to touch any slider in the game now just because there might be a hidden confirm button I'll need to find first...not the kind of easter eggs I was hoping for.

I loved the first game, but I'm not sure what I should be calling...this...

On the up-side, I haven't experienced a single crash people are (still) going on about.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1,577.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
I loved and still love Sots 1, and though I keep coming back to Sots 2, it is just frustrating! After all the time, the game is now in PreBeta or max Beta state. By no way has the game reached release version state.
If it would come out now, in the current state, I would be still mad about Kerberos, but they could patch and improve the game... And I don't care about Paradox making pressure or what ever, I bought the game because of the opinion I had about Kerberos, didn't even realize that Paradox came into the boat at the time. Fact is, Kerberos sold something that they knew they couldn't deliver! As I know by now about Paradox being part of the deal, the blame is on both firms!
The game did change compared to Sots 1, it took me a long time to accept that, but it's just that, I accepted the changes.

What I can't accept are all the bugs that make the game unplayable, and the inconsistencies that shout BETA into my face.

The major Problems that ♥♥♥♥♥♥ me of:
- Constant crashes to desktop (mars engine error -> probably an internal error to the engine, which may even be a design error, thus not easily fixed)
- Savegames may become and will become corrupt, could be due to crashes or what ever...
- Wait time in between turns, hello? Even SWIV on Amiga published in 1991 managed to eliminate Load Screens by preloading data during play time. A little calculation would be acceptable but the current state is ridicule.
- LOA fleet count is just wrong... As the game moves on, the count for LOA ships just explodes, bankrupting you in the process. One may revert a cube of 8 ships, to reduce the count ingame from 8 up to 100++. Strangely I found no mention about this one anywhere?

Bad design decisions or balance issues:
- Extended Range ships only got slighty more range than an Armor ship (both with camel modules).
- Estimated mission times off
- Impossibility to chain missions
- GUI:
Planet overview, way too small, cannot be ordered by planets, but only by systems > click each and every system!
Keyboard shortcuts missing
text truncated with no scroll bars
Fleet overview, clicking a fleet will not focus on the fleet, same is true for some events like pirate attacks
- Non customizable turn review (Hiver fleet casted successfully > uncheck, mission X finished > check, notification on planet infrastructure 100% > check)
- Unable to export / import ship designs > first turn without prototyp cost takes time.

That's just what came into my mind as I was typing these lines, I won't put up a beta test report here, as it's the wrong place and patching is over!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
The game would have done so much better if they took the first game, updated the graphics and then sold it. Sure they would have got flak for that, but as someone who really enjoys playing SOTS 1, I REALLY hate SOTS 2. When I have to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out how to move my fleet from star A to star B, let alone how to move it once I get into a battle, you know you have problems with the UI. I am a person who can start a game up, figure out how to play it as I go, and generally encounter no problems. It is RARE that I can't figure something out. In this game, like I havbe already said, can't even figure out how to move my fleets. The worst part is is that there is no tutorial!!!!!! So there I was, excited about the sequel, and spending over an hour trying to figure out the game. So when I got stumped completely I was like, "okay, let me save the game and then go to the main menu to start the tutorial, I am probably only making this harder than it has to be by completely missing some stupid button!". So I got to the main menu and discovered there was no tutorial. In frustration I quit and went to play SOTS 1 which is simple and intuitive. I mean how hard can it be to put a button in that says, move fleet?

Anyways, this game was terrible, and I hate to say that because after I learned a few basic controls, the ideas they where trying to implement where actually pretty good.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
51.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Yeah okay. Changing this to a "Yes" from a "No".

Why did I start with no? Well it has to do with threshold of pain. Games shouldn't surprise players and then say 'well you should have read the manual' and you can read the full details of "No" way down there somewhere.


Reasons for "Yes"? Because after you get past the surprises and understand the game - I think there's a good - maybe even awesome game in here. Here are some pluses:

+ Massive tactical star battles that are player controlled. Take that GalCiv.

+ Very deep and randomized tech tree. This means some games will have more severe handicaps than others and you'll have to make due even when some tech isn't available.

+ Customizable ships.


~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ancient reasons for "No" below ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This review was written to be sent on a time machine to the past to the "has not yet bought SotS2" younger, more innocent version of "huminado": don't buy it.

And it's not because this isn't a great game. Don't get me wrong - I like this game. I like what the game is good at doing. But I can't recommend it. It's only to prevent myself that painful moment of having buyer's regret and believing I've been ripped off.

This will happen to most people who buy this game. It might not be justified. If they read the manual or the forums they might find out the game is fine, or they might run into other issues.

But I know that feeling of buyer's remorse. If I can avoid it, even at the price of never playing a great game which has confusing surprises - I will.

To sum this review up: this game does not meet current standards of quality for TBS. There's a very good chance players will run into problems which could easily be avoided if the game were finished. In my case, if I had read the whole manual, I might have avoided an issue. But I don't expect anyone to ever read a manual - I expect games to be intuitive on their own.

If you want the details, read my blog post on the anti-wiener game design pattern here: http://clientserverhell.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-anti-wiener-pattern.html


------ Further observation ------

The longer I play the more it becomes clear reading the manual is not optional. And some details are missing in the manual. For example, the term PD is never explained, neither in the game, nor the manual, nor the wiki. If you don't know what that term is (and maybe some people don't) - then you'll have to ask around.

I haven't played long enough to say, but this sort of missing detail doesn't mean bad game design, but it does mean assumptions are made about the player's level of expertise before they open the box. It shouldn't discourage anyone from trying though. I still have to give it thumbs down - at least until I see the game in a state that is more friendly to new players.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
There's no shortage of good 4X experiences out there, and this game just isn't one of them.

The game is an abject technical failure. It was completely unplayable on its release, and it's still riddled with performance issues and frequent crashes, even after the developer has finished updating it.

The game had good ideas, but the way in which they were implemented ended up generating way too much micromanagement, without actually expanding the range of meaningful choices available to the player. Star system management takes more time each turn now, not because you're making difficult choices about how to invest your resources, but because the game will punish you if you don't spend enough time fiddling with the dials.

The core gameplay of the first Sword of the Stars is still there, but it's buried beneath poor game design choices and technical issues that should've been fixed. All in all, that game is just a better experience than this one.

Its current price as of this writing is about half of its launch price, which is still more than it is worth. I would maybe suggest picking it up for under five dollars if it's on a generous sale, and you're already tired of the first SotS. Otherwise, steer clear.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
89.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
i ama amazed of the impressive number of negative review for this game.
i admit it. it is not perfect. but is still a marvellous 4x game.
one on the few that use the Total war sistem for the game: strategic map with turns, battle real time.
the fact that you have to choose(unless you are korean) between manage your empire or lead and overview the combat is the major weak point of title like sins of a solar empire. the fact that the combat is scripted automatic or on turn is the major weakness of title like endless space.
with this game you have all the time to manage your empire fleet and planet and then play the battles with your fleets.
one of the things that make my brain explode is the ship costumization. you have 3 major class Cruiser, battleship, and leviatans. you can then change armaments power shield tipe or structure and modules creating your pesonal space ship for every situation. you can then save the model and mass produce it. you can name it. watch its performance. and when you discover new upgrade you can upgrade the ship or build from 0 a new type of ship. and not only ship. also hangar space station all that can be used in real time battle is upgradable.
you will start with few options but with time you will have endless possibility.
also the defense sistem is pretty good with auto defense from colonized planet(they shoot missile to target in a certain range) and placeble defense pre battle. so if you want to transform a planet in a forstress you can.
also the fact that every race has his pesonal faster than light travel is very interesting. human for example can only use jump from point a to b using game setted road between planets. this limit the possibility of move because to arrive in certain area you must make several jumps. but is the fastest of all the others(if you don't count that of another race that use instant portal between a and b but you have to reach first point b with extremly slow travel and build the portal) and gave humans a huge advantage in early exploration. but this is only an example other race use others sistem so you have to learn it all if you want to efficiently guard your empire from invasions.
in real time battle you have to choose the formation. the targets the movement of damaged ship. when to use special abilities or release yours drone from your carriers. you will learn to love your precius ships(you cn name each one) and will joy of their triumps and cry of their destruction. you can't blame the game. you choose what to reserch and how to build and equip the ships. you even control them. so it is very very rewarding when your new battleship destroy an entire group of enem cruiser and still hasn't a scratch. or if the battleship fail utterly you start to question your project and immediatly crate a new version to correct the errors in the previus class.
this game is gold. is really one of most complete challenging and well made game 4x i have ever seen.
give it a chance. you will not be disappointed
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
501.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
Sadly...I must agree with the many posts before me. I bought this game as The Lords of Winter iteration and stayed with it through all the patches. There are some epic 3D battles to be had here - and this game mechanic is awesome - but many areas remain bland...and that makes for a bland galaxy. The star systems are just not interesting to explore or colonize - as it is just a matter of ramming as many colony ships back and forth as you can. Because the eXplore portion is weak, it makes the eXpand portion also bland and boring. This galaxy is not alive in any substantial way.

Pluses: (1) Multi-player tactical is fun. (2) Multi-player strategy is OK.

Spend your money on funding a team with the real posibility of completing a better 4X space game.
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