If you've been looking for a reason to revisit 2011's SIns of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, might I tempt you with a fresh injection of Star Trek? Galaxy-class Federation starships? Borg Cubes? Klingon Vor'cha? Romulan... whatever it is Romulans drive? The Star Trek Armada III mod completely transforms Sins into Trek, with custom models, animations, effects, and technology.
The Armada 3 mod has been under space-construction for a couple of years, and recently went into beta. While there's still some tweaking and balancing happening behind the scenes, and plans for expansions in the future, version 1.0 already feels impressively polished. It can actually be a little hard to play sometimes because it's so much fun to just zoom in on ships and structures and admire the detail. When you do start to play, it actually feels less like a mod and more like a real Star Trek game.
Not everyone can drive the Enterprise! There are tons of other types of detailed spacecraft. Like this one!
The mod lets you play as one of four races. There's the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Borg Collective. Not only does each side have its own UI theme (a nice touch) but they have their own strengths and weaknesses. The Federation can dominate the markets with their economic know-how, but their construction times (presumably due to Federation red-tape) can leave you short a few ships when the space-poop hits the fan. Klingons, meanwhile, have incredibly powerful weapons, but lag a bit behind in infrastructure and economy. The Borg, obviously, are efficient and powerful, but their weakness is... well, they don't actually have one. Watch out for those Borg. They're bad news. Romulans... well, they probably have some attributes, too!
Sending the fleet into warp, you even get the blue-flashy-light-wink. I'm sure it has a technical name.
You can also summon some of the heroes from the Star Trek universe. Sisko, Picard, and Janeway can pilot your federation ships in a pinch, if you've unlocked the ability to call on them through your research tree. Klingon heroes include Kurn, whose brother was Worf, and Chancellor Gowron, who was killed by Worf. Wait. Is Star Trek implying that all Klingons know each other, or am I imagining things? I didn't play as the Borg, so I'm not sure who their heroes are, but they're probably some terrifying robot monsters. And, as is probably clear by now, I don't give a single hot toot about the Romulans.
Photon torpedoes, disruptor beams, shield effects... it all looks great and true to the fiction.
Being able to call in actual Star Trek characters is cool, but it's even cooler to hear their actual voices in the game, provided by sound snippets from the TV shows. I know it sounds cheesy, but it fits in amazingly well. Speaking of sound, the mod has a great soundtrack consisting of remastered tracks from Armada 1 and 2, as well as from Starfleet Command 3. And, the ships, the weapons, and the rest of the game's sound effects go a long way to transforming Sins into an authentic-feeling Trek universe.
Smooth head or lumpy head? The choice is yours.
The small touches are nice, too. Resources consist of credits, dilithium, and tritanium, which, as Wikipedia tells me, are things you would like to have a lot of in the Star Trek universe. The menus, the UI, even the tiniest of icons and emblems look great. As I said above, it doesn't feel like a mod as much as an actual Star Trek game. Even random pirate ships are modeled after space vessels from the show. It's pretty clear the team behind the mod are fans who really want to get the details right.
Research means more Star Trek ships, and the ability to summons Star Trek heroes.
I played a few rounds as the Federation, and a couple as the Klingons. In terms of balance, I'll just say that I lost no matter which side I was playing, so at least it's fair (I am pretty terrible at strategy). I definitely recommend it if you have Sins: Rebellion, and if you don't, it's only $40 on Steam. Wait, $40? Still? Well, wishlist it, then, and snap it up in a sale. If you're a strategy fan and Trekkie, this mod is your jam.
There's even a little custom intro movie. For you to watch once and then skip forever.
Installation: Grab the latest version (and hotfix, where applicable) here. It's self-installing. When it's done, just boot the game up and you'll be ready to make it so.
It s been a long time since we heard from Ironclad s MOBA Sins of a Dark Age, but it s still alive and kicking and has just landed on Steam Early Access for $5. That s a steal compared to the $25 you had to pay previously for a founder edition and access to the closed beta. However, when it s ready, Sins of a Dark Age will be free-to-play. Ironclad is known mostly for Sins of a Solar Empire, which is one of our favorite strategy games ever. When Ironclad first revealed Sins of a Dark Age it billed it as a MOBA and real-time strategy hybrid, but has since dropped the game s commander role. Last we heard, Sins of a Dark Age was leaning more in the role-playing game direction by giving players PvE quests, which can trigger special events, earn special rewards, or harm the enemy team. Judging by the most recent trailer, it seems that Ironclad is sticking to that direction, though Dark Age is described as an action strategy game on its Steam page. Buying the game will get you one of three bundles which contains a rare skin, uncommon piece of Hero Gear, Rare Skin Recipe, Uncommon Materials, and Common Materials. Ironclad says Sins of a Dark Age will be in Early Access for months, not years, but for now it comes with the usual warnings about missing content, bugs, and so on, so proceed with caution.
Ironclad Games and Stardock Entertainment are pleased to announce the release of the v1.82 BETA version for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. This update is largely designed to address balance issues with the Stellar Phenomena DLC, but also contains several other fixes.
The v1.82 BETA will run through January 2014 as we look at player feedback and make more fixes. Please note that code fixes are not included in this first release - we'll be looking at those in January; so more is on the way!
To update to the v1.82 BETA:
Select Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion from your Steam Library list
The fifth major update to Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is live! Diplomacy and stability are the major focuses of v1.5, which you can enjoy as soon as your Steam client automatically downloads the patch.
The diplomatic AI has been overhauled, making for a more varied and interesting strategic layer. The AI is also more verbose now, telling players how it feels about them and their other rival empires in no uncertain terms.
We also put a big focus on stability for v1.5. We’ve fixed the top 20 crashes and hangs that were affecting players, on top of the usual bug fixes, balance tweaks, and UI improvements.
Last week, I put out a universal distress call, pleading for some PC news with which to battle the approaching armada of console minutia. This morning, I get in to find that somebody has left a howdytron on our galactic garbleblab. Translating the message, I find... an advertisement for squirdleprong enlargement pills. Stupid space spam. Oh well, that was a waste of time. In which case, we'll have to make do with these first Galactic Civilizations 3 screenshots.
Click to enlargenate.
Here we see the new diplomacy screen. As in GalCiv2, there are a number of options for trade negotiations, including tech, ships, starbases colonies and resources. That means the infamous Tom Francis "give me everything you own for 1 bc" insult tactic is still alive and well.
A Drengin Battleship. From the picture, it's impossible to tell how many guns it's carrying. My guess is: a lot.
The main map screen made its debut in our GalCiv III preview, but I'm reposting it here because it's where you'll be spending most of your time in-game. The UI has had a pretty significant overhaul, and seems to strike a pretty nice balance between depth and readability.
Finally, a Krynn Starship, likely packed full of television and mind control.
For more details, and to here from the game's developers, check out our recent Galactic Civilizations 3 preview. You can also check out some of the game's concept art from the GalCiv 3 website, and see the announcement trailer below.
In the Betas tab, select the v1.5 Beta option from the first drop-down menu
Once your download is finished, launch the game
We’ve done a lot of work with diplomacy in this patch, so you should see the AI talking to you more both about how it feels about you and its views on the other players in the game. There are also a bunch of tweaks to the diplomatic AI under the hood, which we think make for a more compelling strategy layer.
UI and balance have received their usual pass as well. Among many other changes, cycling units now skips armies set to guard, spell descriptions have been improved, and Heart of Fire has an unrest penalty to make early Fire magic less overpowering.
We also tracked down a couple of nasty crash and hang bugs that were afflicting some users. Legendary Heroes should be much more stable now.
Ironclad Games' Sins of a Solar Empire came out in 2008, and the space-faring real-time strategy game has since had three expansions—the last of which was Rebellion in 2012. Its newest DLC is a much smaller affair, but still adds new content for only a little bit of money.
The Stellar Phenomena pack adds six new deep space anomalies and 11 random events to the existing game. According to Ironclad's news post, the DLC lets players "exploit what resources remain in these dangerous sectors while you can," which sounds like it's priming the game's player base for a future in unsustainable oil-drilling. The anomalies include starship graveyards and antimatter fountains—a bite-sized bit of content that will only set you back $5.
Earlier in the year, Ironclad's Blair Fraser lamented the status of the RTS as a niche, going so far as to call it "done." But Ironclad still supports its five year-old RTS and Civilization IV lead designer Soren Johnson just announced a new studio dedicated to RTSs. "Niche?" Maybe. But that's not stopping developers from succeeding as RTS-only developers. Nor is it stopping them from starting fresh in 2013.
Ironclad Games and Stardock Entertainment are pleased to announce that the Stellar Phenomena DLC pack for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is now available, along with the v1.80 update today.
Stellar Phenomena adds nine new deep space anomalies and 11 optional random events add new strategic and tactical possibilities to the award-winning sci-fi 4X RTS. Additionally, the v1.80 update includes an updated shader system plus additional balance and bug fixes.