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 (333 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 30, 2012

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Buy Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition

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Buy Sword of the Stars Collection

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

 

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
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
161.1 hrs on record
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.
Posted: October 15
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
If you ignore any history or preconceptions of a 4x/strategy game you may have, and only compare SotS2 to its predecessor, its still not worth what you're paying for. The AI lacks the indicated intelligence. The UI is anything but, and the host of bugs can at times make the game unplayable even for the most hardened of 4x fans.

And the icing on the cake is that the "developer" has abandoned this potential diamond to remain as nothing but the dirt we have before us. I can only hope a community of mod hungry men and women see this wreck for its original potential.
Posted: September 26
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
This Game is terrible plan and simple don't waste your money. Go buy the original sword of the Stars its a Great Game this game is Not only so far off from the original but is a buggy mess . The First game is great the second is Barely like the first . PS all my HOurs that i have in this Game i had to force myself to play it because i was just trying to get my money back on the Game and i never did and this point can't be bother . Hope This Helps-Daymose
Posted: October 10
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
76.5 hrs on record
Overall a good game. When first released the game was unplayable yes but now it is extremely playable.

My only gripes are the radically changed command system lack of ability to change map sizes (without a third party program) compared to SotS prime. My problem with the command system is that instead of just pressing “M” to move a fleet now you have to assign a “mission”. My other issue is that when you “set up” a game you don’t have the ability to customize the maps like in SotS. I really liked being able to set minimum distance between stars, star count etc.

However all is not bad. The new Loa race is fun to play, especially considering I can’t think of another game that lets you play as an AI race. Another bonus is now you start off with cruisers instead of destroyers, you can still have destroyers but they are now drones carried on special hulls and act as little more than a meat shield. Another benefit of SotS2 is that the tech tree is full but your ability to research tech is dependent on feasibility studies. But this means that even with a 1% chance of feasibility you still have a chance to research and get the tech.

All in all it is a very good game with a steep learning curve. Highly recommended
Posted: September 30
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
i got millions in debt and was overthrown by a planet full of overworked and underpaid space whales 10/10
Posted: October 3
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
This game is clunky, ugly, and overall a headache. Just play the first one, that was a masterpiece.
Posted: October 4
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Gee it would be great if this game worked.
Posted: October 20
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
:\
Posted: October 15
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30.1 hrs on record
This game still seems to be half done,
so much potential but still so far away from the result..

This is another team of developers who have tried to create something that was way above the skills or resources they had availerble.
Posted: September 28
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6.0 hrs on record
TLDR: Ridiculously overly complicated to the point of not being fun at all.

I tried so hard to get into this game but I just can't... I loved, absolutely loved Sword of the Stars, amazing game and a great experience but this... this is just something else entirely. Imagine a good game being assembling a car part by part (a part being the engine, frame, a door, ect.) and this game is assembling a car piece by piece. (all 57,000 pieces of the engine, ect.) It's just ridiculously overly complicated and the UI is painful to get used to and just when you think you're getting the hang of things you find some obscure option that turned out to be critical for development and you should have done that 50 turns ago, oops. I spent 6 hours in this game and never even made it to a battle, I spent all my time trying to figure out wtf to do and starting over a few times because I found out something that I crippled myself by not doing way sooner.

I've seen videos and the graphics are awesome, the battles look amazing and I really wanted to experience some epic battles but I never made it that far because I couldn't bring myself to wade through the toxic wasteland of horrible interface and complex development to make it to a decent battle. It really pains me how horrible this game turned out to be, I wanted it to be amazing, I had a dream... a dream which was utterly crushed when the game released. My dream was restored when I saw the "enhanced edition" with "blah blah fixes ect ect" only to be crushed again by the fact that the game was awful. By the time you can make it to a battle in this game you could completely finish any other decent game and actually enjoy part of that time. Shame on you Kerberos and Paradox for this disgusting mutation of Sword of the Stars and for bringing hope only to dump on it later.
Posted: September 29
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76.6 hrs on record
I can't think of another 4x game I tried very hard to love. There are really great things about this game, so your mileage may vary. But the game breaking bugs, monotonous combat, and over simple strategy has me dreaming of something like Master of Orion. I'm holding out for a good multiplayer 4x space adventure, but perhaps this is simply a sign that my childhood is over.
Posted: September 27
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15.2 hrs on record
Sadly there are aspects of this game which are unfinished, and odd bugs which cause CTD's. From what the pub/dev said they wont be providing any further updates.
Posted: October 24
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105 of 111 people (95%) found this review helpful
94.8 hrs on record
Although very impressive in terms of graphics, and an attempt at innovation, I am forced to write this game off as a techincal failure. I considered this game to be the largest disappointment in 4X history since MOO3.

Also, be aware that there has been no updates since late 2013, which I think suggests that this game will not be getting any updates. From what I understand, the developers have no money to do so.

Pros:
- The graphics are some of the best ever seen for a 4X game, especially a space 1. The Mars 2 engine clearly was the centrepiece of their development.

- They did try to make the game something other than a sequel with beefed up graphics and it does show. Certain aspects like the combat are now more sophisticated, with a damage "grid" and the concept of "critical hits" (very important). This is good.

- If you've played SOTS 1, you'll know. There's a level of complexity here that you don't seen in other games, combining tactical and strategic combat. The problem is, a good deal of what made SOTS 1 outstanding is gone.

- Game will run acceptably well on a low end system, despite the graphics. At time of this review, I am running this on a fairly high end system (overclocked 4.5 GHz CPU, an overclocked AMD r9 290, which as of 2014 is a fairly high end GPU, and an SSD).

- Developers did make an effort to patch the majority of the issues and even offered a free DLC, the End of Flesh.

- There was some effort to make the game modder friendly, but it appears to be incomplete.

Cons:
- You still get crashes at times. Not often, certainly not as much as launch, but it still happens. Most bugs are gone, but you stilll sometimes get CTDs, so save often.

- The UI at times is hard to use and sometimes lags, even on a high end overclocked rig (and yes, I have tested this rig extensively for stability in my CPU, GPU, and RAM overclocks). An SSD does help somewhat I find though. The bigger issue though is the way the UI was designed. I've worked before in computer programming.

A good UI is one that requires as few clicks (or as few taps as possible for touch devices) to get things done. This UI seems to be the exact opposite. A long learning curve in and of itself is not a failure, but it must serve some purpose. I am unsure as to if the UI was left in this state due to lack of funds, or due to the design decisions made.

Another problem is that the game is very, very micro-intensive, particularly during late game. It's a much bigger issue than most 4X games.

- The mission system is very controversial. I really, really hate it. It adds a layer of micro that makes managing large maps very hard, slows down the pace of the game without adding any depth, and causes other complexities. The problem is not so much that it added depth, it's that it did so without adding much to the gameplay itself. A huge step back from SOTS 1.

- Certain features were poorly implemented or appear to be incomplete. For example, the private sector system was not very well done and adds micro problems at times. Given that there are no plans to patch this game, I fear that these features will remain this way. Another example of a feature that had to be axed was 64 bit (important I suppose for using more than 2Gb).

- Autoresolve is in real time, so everything has to be played out in real time. Although imperfect, I would have liked an option to accelerate an autoresolve system.

- There's a general lack of documentation with the game. You have to heavily rely on the wiki for information and to some extent the forums, although participation has since dropped since launch. I think that the wiki should be incorporated into the game somehow.

- The AI is quite dumb I fear and at times, tends to mismanage their own empire into bankruptcy. Often times, what ends up happening is that you expand into the game and you encounter your first player, only to discover that they have really messed up empire management and will not be a challenge.

In effect, this means that multiplayer is the only real area for challenge.

- Compounding the issue above, this game does seem to have issues with network connectivity. I am not sure why as other games seem to be stable. I have asked around and I am not the only person with these problems. I have also fairly extensively tested my network's speed, latency, and stability (works fine on other games).

- Worsening the issue further, this game does not have a very large multiplayer base, so your opportunity to play online is at times, limited

- Normally, I would not put this in a review, but I have found the attitude of the lead developer, Mecron to be highly unprofessional at times. Although I expect trollish behavior from some of the forum participators, it is completely inappropriate for the developer themselves to be acting in such a manner.

There's also a toxic atmosphere on the forums at times, where feedback, even constructive was not permitted and likely to be trolled. Essentially, I think what has happened is those who wanted to change the game for the better have been driven away by the cadre of people who believe the developers can do no wrong, and in effect you get this powerful "groupthink" mentality going on.

People who recommend changes at times are attacked and portrayed as "too stupid to understand why this game is a masterpiece". I will admit the conduct of some of the feedback has been less than admirable. But at the same time, the conduct of those very loyal to this title has also been less than admirable. The critics though have recieved a disproportionate amount of the moderation.


Recommendations: (Unlikely to be implemented due to the fact that this game is not getting patched and for reasons I have indicated above):

- Give the player the option at the start of the game to go for a mission or a SOTS 1 system. I suspect the overwhelming majority of gamers will opt for the SOTS 1 system, save for a very vocal minority.

- I get the impression that the developers did not understand why their first game, SOTS 1 was so successful. It was successful because it was intuitive, easy to play, had a reasonably good UI, but at the same time, a great deal of depth, particularly by the time AMOC and ANY was released.

- Separate the tactical combat into something like Gratitious Space Battles from the strategic portion of the game and let people play "Total War-style multiplayer". This will probably make for a much more engaging game in multiplayer, allowing for shorter combat sessions to take place.


Concluding remarks:
The biggest problem of this game, apart from the stability issues and the poor AI, is the fact that it was not fun to play for a very large percentage of the SOTS1 fanbase. As I indicated above, I think there's a total ignorance of what made SOTS 1 so well recieved.

The development team appears quite frustrated that their fundraising campaigns (they made a few additional efforts to raise money for development) have not been successful, but the issue I see is that they have demonstrated why they are worth additional funding to the majority. There has been a very hostile atmosphere towards feedback and an unwillingness to admit that certain problems exist, much less any indication that they will be addressed.

Complexity in and of itself is not a problem. Neither is a very long learning curve. But the issue is that in this case, complexity never had anything to offer save in tactical combat. It feels like complexity at times was made ... for the sake of complexity. That in many ways detracted from the game experience.

It's very painful for me to have to write this review like this. I really wanted to like this game. I can even see how this game could have evolved into one of the most awesome 4X games ever. But it's clear that in its current form, this game is the largest disappointment since MOO3 in the world of 4X gaming.
Posted: August 24
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39 of 59 people (66%) found this review helpful
326.5 hrs on record
First thing I want to say about this game is that it has a hefty learning curve - read the manual and then some guides, expect your first couple games to go poorly and remember there is friendly fire in this game.

I've heard this game is buggy - 90 hours in and it's only crashed to desktop on me once (0.011 crashs per hour isn't bad IMO), It can take a while between turns as the game goes on but most 4X games I've played do that.

One of the things I love about this game is the varity in the different factions - find one that works for you.

Another thing I liked was the mission system - you have to tell your fleets what you want them to do when you send them out - once they do it they come back to base to repair and resupply.

Like all 4X games it's got a slower pace - These types of games aren't for everybody - if you like complex games that require thought and planning this might be a good fit for you.

***UPDATE***

After playing some multiplayer I have encountered more bugs than before - another crash to desktop and some disconnects (both myself and other players).
If you don't have a good STABLE interent connection you'll have a hard time playing multiplayer on this game.
Posted: June 10
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17 of 25 people (68%) found this review helpful
23.4 hrs on record
The game looks good, but is basically unfinished, plagued with bus and crashes. Great supporting community, but the developers have abandoned it effectively. Save your money and don't bother.
Posted: September 23
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
213.1 hrs on record
This game breaks my heart. Sots 1 was an indie masterpiece. So many 4x games are dry and formulaic, Sots 1 broke the mold with incredibly asymmetric races, abilities, and technologies. There was so much potential here. In Sots 2 the graphics are beautiful, the tech tree is great, more races, more ship components, all more of the awesome stuff that made Sots 1 great. But for some inexplicable reason they took a decent fleet management system and made it 20x more complicated and fiddly. Now trying to do a basic thing like invade a planet involves multiple counter intuitive steps, making the whole thing a chore. Lastly and most unforgivable, they took a reasonable 'autoresolve' system and decided to make the ships fight it out in near-realtime. I imagine the goal here was to create a more accurate autoresolve, but all it results in is 5 minutes each turn watching dots frentically zig around a radar and thoughts of "How could I possibly have lost that battle?". Go play Sots 1.
Posted: August 18
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9 of 16 people (56%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Since thea heavily fixed it up its actually quite good :3
Posted: September 15
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
64.9 hrs on record
I'm very dissappointed. The game has not had an update in over 6 months. The original Sword of the Stars was a fantastic game, and this one had potential. However, I can't recommend it unless they actually finish developement. I didn't realize it wasn't finished until after I bought it.
Posted: July 23
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
16.8 hrs on record
+/+ Unique technology tree.
+/+ Good graphics for a 4x strategy.
+/+ Excellent station management system.
+/+ Each race has its unique strengths, weaknesses, and play styles.
+/+ Prototypes for new ship designs is a unique and interesting idea.

+/- Micromanagement heavy economics, fleet management, & mission system.
+/- Feels like a completely different game than SotS Prime.
+/- 3D star maps (no 2D star map options).

-/- Game slows down between turns and in some menus (10+ seconds between turns – by turn 65!).
-/- You are forced to watch automated combat (it does speed up time during the battle).
-/- Many rules and important information are missing from the user interface and in-game wiki.
-/- Bad user interface (Simple tasks will take longer than they should).
-/- A.I. are not programed as well as other 4x strategy games (including Sword of the Stars Prime).

Verdict: 6.4/10. Sword of the Stars II plays very differently than its predecessor. SotS II includes many interesting and fun changes such as: ship prototypes, station management, more economic options, and a new race to play with. Unfortunately, it also includes a tedious fleet management & mission system and a very poor user interface. These changes may have been forgivable if not for extreme slowdowns and poor A.I. coding. Overall, I cannot recommend this game.
Posted: April 30
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
This game had a horrid release, and has committed a great sin in the fact that many of the core mechanics of the first game have been completely and unnecessarily changed. SotS 1 needed some things major, those being a better diplomacy/ economy system and an easier time to be able to get into the game as many of the tutorials are rubbish. Toss in some current gen graphics and you have a fantastic game. What happened is the opposite, given a poor UI, a way to complex system for building a single damn ship, and making what should be simple aspects of the game into a multitasking nightmare. If you want something fun, try SotS one. You can still play it through Hamachi direct connecting via lan. I have heard people call SotS an ugly girl with a great personality, but with that personality lost on its sequel, theres no reason to waste your time trying to get to know her anymore.
Posted: June 15
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