RTS and customization are the recipe for a good game, but did Zero Sum Games bake this game into a true 4X Strategy game?
In this game you explore the vast space of a semi-customizable and random galaxy filled with danger and adventures.
You can choose from 8 distinct races (like Humans, a bear race and an angry wolf pack among others) and customize its traits and symbol and when you start the game, everyone starts equally, with a planet and you must explore the rest of the galaxy with scouts and eventually colonize some planets.
Every planet has its good and bad aspects (one can be more profitable if you exploit it for resources or more profitable if you make it an agricultural planet or even if you make it your war machine building core!
It’s really up to you, the game sets the foundations and you must build whatever you want on top.
With the other 7 races inhabiting the same galaxy, they will approach from time to time to either show signs of good faith or just wanting to throw everything they have at you. Gifting planets or technologies is a way to making an ally in the cold and lonely galaxy but if you want, you can invade every planet they have and completely annihilate them with your made-from-scratch bomber you constructed in the hangar.
From small scouts to corvettes or even bigger ships, you get to customize every aspect of it with the hangar view to suit your needs (even if there’s already pre-defined ships you can build if you so desire) and with the research feature of StarDrive; new and improved technologies will help you make stronger allies, stronger ships and more useful planets – if you have the patience because this is a rather time consuming and slow game if you only find out about the speed adjuster in the end, like someone did… (Hint: press the “+” and “-“ key)
But it can’t be all wonders, unfortunately. I would’ve loved to see the socialization between races happen more and more diverse, more options of dialogue with a better and longer animation for the races, because you’ll be staring at the same looping 10 second animation for the whole game (only different from races to races)
Another aspect that needs improvement is the Planet view and respective ground battle screen because if you put an image of this side by side with an image of the rest of the game, you would think that it doesn’t belong there. The ground battle fight is also a little bit too complicated.
I hope that if this bothers the fans (like it did to me), the developers will put more effort in these two things to make this game almost flawless for its genre.
This sure is a great game for its genre, sporting good graphics, a lot of replay ability and as most customization as you’d ask for a game of this type. The small lack of effort towards the end might’ve made one or two aspects of the game chunky, but overall I played it for hours (till I rage quited, damn you Ralyeh!)
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