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 (432 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
98 of 113 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
192.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Disappointing.

Such promise, squandered.

The interface and even at times design decisions make getting to the fun (and there is some fun buried there, somewhere) a lot of work. When you finally get there it may also crash.

There are a lot of amazing ideas here, but they're not explained very well, tend to lead to opaque mechanics that have invisible causes and effects, and generally it's impossible to recommend... but you can see the shadow of a truly amazing game that just didn't quite make it, if you like exploring such a thing.

It also looks very pretty. If you can cope with reduced graphics and not nearly as much innovative reach in exchange for understandable mechanics which actually work, you should play Sword of the Stars 1 - it is well polished and still the best space 4X I've played.
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83 of 107 people (78%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
100.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
More bugs than an crackhouse mattress and crashes like a drunk chimpanzee in a demolition derby. It gobbles down memory and then leaks it back out in a hundred places. As we all know it was released unfinished. Now, years later, it is still not finished and clearly never will be.

The saddest thing is that even if all of these problems were fixed it still wouldn't be a good game. Clunky interface, a UI that is more concerned with neon than functionality, and a plethora of just plain bad design decisions make you wonder how the same people who created the masterpiece that was the original Sword of the Stars could live with themselves after putting their names on this overpriced disaster.

You can forget about balance anywhere. Races, ships, technology, pirates, the economy - everything in this is completely out of alignment in some way or another. Tutorials? What are those? The manual seems to have been written for a different game and is more concerned with giving background fiction than any usuable information.

Worst of all is that somehow, despite all the shiny new graphics and toys, they've made combat both look and play worse than the original (which was actually very good, by the way).

Metaphorically speaking, SotS2 is someone looking at a sports car that was SotS1 and saying "You know what this thing needs? A piano tied to the roof! Yeah! And we'll save weight by removing one of the tires!"

Note that in sharp contrast the original SotS1 is a very good game, and I advise anyone considering this one to go buy that far superior product instead. You won't regret SotS1. You will regret this one, however.
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68 of 91 people (75%) found this review helpful
205.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Recommended*

* - you have to be interested in large scale strategy games and be capable of either self teaching or searching for answers

TL;DR - This is a good strategy game that doesn't require you to play the original to enjoy it (in fact you may be better off if you have NOT played the original). Just beware of the devs and fanboys.

Sword of the Stars II is a 4X strategy game with turn-based empire management and fleet movement coupled with visually stunning real-time space combat with ships that you, the player, can design. Now, when I say design, I don't mean you determine the length and silhouette and window placement or any of that. When designing a ship you pick three sections (in game described as a Command [front] Mission [middle] and Engine [back] section). Once you have selected your sections you can place weapons of varying size and modules which provide bonuses like extra crew, increased range, and much more.

But what about the factions. Well there are 7, the Humans, Hivers (insect like), Tarkasians (reptilian), Morrigi (avian/bird), Liir-Zuul Alliance (Liir are dolphin/whale like while the Zuul are genetically modified slavers that are difficult to define), Suul'ka Horde (Suul'ka are giant telepathic terrors of war that are allied with some more extreme Zuul) and the Loa (Artificially Intelligent race). Most of the factions have a very distinct system of faster than light travel (Morrigi, Tarka and Liir are all very similar with only minor differences) and each race has its own technological advantages and disadvantages.

The Tech Tree is randomly generated each game and most techs require you to perform a "Feasibility Study" during which you spend a few turns determining how likely you will be in achieving a certain tech. This is where alot of the faction specific technological advantages come into play (for example the Morrigi have a better chance of getting high end energy weapon techs than the Tarkasians). This "Feasibility Study" is a very divisive topic, however, I personally enjoy it as it means that you can't start a game and know that you don't have Shield techs despite playing as the Liir (the Liir have the best Shield tech chance, however, this still happened to me). This means that each game has an element of unpredictability that is maintained into the late-game whereas a simple tech tree where you could see all your paths would mean that at turn 1 you could plan your entire game.

Fleet Movement is also a divisive topic as ships cannot be moved unless they are in fleets with a dedicated command ship. I have personally had no issues with this system. You make a fleet and can then right click on a target, decide what to do and then select the desired fleet that is in range. Or, you can right click a fleet, select a desired action and then select a world in range.

Diplomacy, unfortunately, is essentially non-existent. The AI behaves erratically and while it may accept a peace treaty on one turn it may declare war on you the very next turn. I always wanted to rule the galaxy alone anyways but it is still a major eyesore on the game.

Finally, support for the game has, for all intents and purposes, ceased. The developers (which can be/are extremely difficult/stubborn) released a patch in August of 2014, however, there were no patch notes released and any comments on the patch were disregarded by the devs. As a result I cannot confirm or deny any of the findings, however, it is my suspicion that the AI was made more aggressive and everything else remained as it was before. But many people (fanboys?) will say that turn times are shorter and menus come up quicker and their cat came back from the dead after that "non-patch" as the devs deny any patch taking place.

So if you are looking for a grand strategy game with real-time space battles, stunning visuals, a handful of unique races and a learning curve that provides a sense of accomplishment then I recommend you give this game a try. It's come a long way from the opening day launch disaster.
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40 of 55 people (73%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Pre-Release Review
Abandoned game with gamebreaking bugs. Buyer Beware
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30 of 41 people (73%) found this review helpful
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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24 of 33 people (73%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
I wanted to like this game, I really did. I was a huge fan of SotS1 but this game just really let me down. It has most of what's in SotS1 but its just filled with so much more bloat and covered in pretty graphics. The mission system - horrible bloat. Prototyping new designs - garbage idea. The tech tree is less interesting. Colonizing planets is a pain in the ♥♥♥. If you want good space based 4x gameplay, get SotS1 and pass this junk over.
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19 of 27 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person 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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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
30.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
I wanted this game to be fixed, but as of 11/14 it is still a smoking pile. There are a *ton* of mechanics that are just completely un-explained. You can find guides and youtube video's where people try to explain. Most of the time its literally them not understanding, but explaining how they managed to get it to somewhat work. The tech is interesting, combat is very meh mostly because the AI is TERRIBLE at it.

Its not nearly as buggy as launch, and it does run MUUUUCH faster, but the AI is terrible and that just makes the gameplay completely lackluster. I got to a point where I had 3-4 battles every few turns, and if I automated them it would be a complete loss, but if I micro'd them myself it would be a flawless victory with my ships sustaining very little damage. Considering the tediousness of having to manually control *EVERY* fight, I couldn't even finish a game, it would have taken me about 3 years!

Overall, SWOTS 1 was a vastly superior game, I had hopes for this one, but the developers really dropped the ball....and then kicked it down the street and into the gutter.
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7 of 8 people (88%) 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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8 of 10 people (80%) 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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19 of 31 people (61%) found this review helpful
149.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
This game has come along way since its disastrous launch, however I'd still peg it at being somewhere in the late beta stage. Some interfaces don't work right, other features are still broken, diplomacy is mostly an afterthought, and you'll still experience the odd crash to desktop. With all that said, once you learn the interface and how the fleet system works it can still be an enjoyable experience. Buy on sale if you're a fan of the original, but be aware that developer support has officially ended.
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8 of 11 people (73%) 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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2,136.6 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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6 of 9 people (67%) 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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8 of 13 people (62%) 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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4 of 6 people (67%) 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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5 of 8 people (63%) 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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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
45.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
Game is unplayable.

Turns are way too long. I keep wondering what this game is doing on every turn. It seems to be exploring the human genome.

It is unfortunate, bacause many other elements look good.
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1 of 1 people (100%) 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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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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