게시 일시: 2014년 12월 15일
(NOTE: I have Endless Space - Emperor Edition - this review is based upon said variant.)
For context, I'm a veteran gamer (since C64/ Atari 2600; now 41 y/o), and a huge fan of turned-based 4x games in-general, and space-themed ones in particular. I only haven't bought Civ: Beyond Earth yet because I'm a "value gamer" (read: cheap - waiting for the price to drop). For context, I've owned the original Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, among others.
My impression is that this game was made by experienced turn-based 4x players who wanted to make "their ideal game"... And thus made this game for themselves first... And turn-based 4x afficinados second. And it shows, IMO.
"Above-par" things about this game (IMO):
+ Excellent tech tree - best in the genre, IMO. Although I haven't played Civ:BE yet... I've seen screen shots of its tech tree... And it looks suspiciously like this one.
+ Lots of race customization options. You can pretty much set your (custom) race's starting attributes however you wish.
+ "Just-right" levels of (micro-)management (IMO). (Bear in mind that I consider aspects of both SMAC and GalCivII to be excessive micromanagement.)
+ For long games at higher levels of difficulty... The terraforming system is terrific.
+ You can bypass battle-level animations (beautiful to watch... But they get old after a while, and they're not tactically relevant... Hence, after a while... You just want to bypass them. In the end... It's just eye-candy serving little real purpose otherwise).
+ Variety of *achievable* victory conditions, even for a player who isn't otherwise waaay far ahead, absolute points-wise ("come from behind" and/or stealth victories *are* possible).
+ Procedurally-generated starting conditions enable lots of variety (enables enhanced replayability).
+ "Just-right" levels of ship customization (not too many options/ variables... Not too few, IMO). In my experience... Ship customization is essential for gaining an edge over AIs in combat.)
+ Unique "wonders" don't grossly unbalance the game, and/or build up unassailable momentum (something that annoys me about Civ5 - grrr...)
"Below par" things about this game (IMO):
- The AI could use some work, in two main regards (IMO): (1) when playing against multiple AIs of a common level of pre-set difficulty... One or two will "runaway" from the rest... And, after a certain stage of the game, become unassailable (such that one wonders whether said 1-2 AIs are set +1 level, relative to the rest), and (2) there's no easily/ elegantly predictable, gradul escalation of difficulty between "Normal" and the next higher level. (As in... You may be regularly winning "Normal" games... But elevate it only one tier higher (and there are several more)... And you'll end up getting your @$$ handed to you every game.) It would be nice to have a more gradual progression of difficulty levels that is in alignment with the # of options made available. (I can't imagine the level of difficulty for their "suicidal" level - I'm just not that hard-core... :-( ).
- Menu (build queue) management could be made a bit better/ more sophisticated. In short... You'll be doing a LOT of menu/ build queue management thoughout the game... And the interface for such leaves a lot to be desired (IMO). I would also appreciate it if they allowed some alternative views, where there was more screen real estate made available for menu lists and related queue management.
- Multiplayer isn't very fault-tolerant (e.g., player temporarily loses connection = they can't reconnect to the game...)
Other things I (don't) like about this game...
+ Its operational footprint is sufficiently low that you can play it on a modern ultrabook with Intel CPU-integral graphics at decent frame rates (if you bypass the battle-level cut-scenes)
+ There are enough game setup options to enable great levels of replayability
+ You can set up your custom race to behave like race A, but masquerade as (look like) race B. (read: in multiplayer, it would be wise to presume that another players race that "looks like" a race you've played against (as a standard race) in AI mode will not necessarily have similar (dis)advantages as the standard race you've played with/ against in the past. In other words... Don't assume anything regarding races in multiplayer mode.).
- I would prefer the option for larger galaxies (80 systems is the limit), as - when playing against 7 AIs (8 players total), the skies become crowded fairly quickly.
- I would prefer a greater array of options regarding the formation types of galaxies which one may start with. Such may break from relative realism... But enhance replayablity (IMO). I find the options available are too similar to one another, with only three distinctly unique types (spiral ("star"), oblong spherical, and donut).
Otherwise... This is among the best turn-based 4x games I've ever played... And while I haven't played them all... I have played some.
I'd like to end by responding to a specific comment another reviewer made (cannot recall the name), that I would like to disagree with (not sure why I'm typing this here...): It *is* possible to manage population happiness levels... Indeed, such is critical for mission success. Typically, the techs required to boost happiness are on the left (food and energy) side of the tech tree. The typical specific techs include, but are not necesarily limited to, "Unlimited Supermarkets", "Unlimited Information Highways', "Colonial Rights", and "Permanent Vacation" (they all have a purple tab color). One can also greatly boost local happiness level by removing any negative planetary anomalies that are present on individual planets (example: Heavy Gravity- there are two technologies in the lower portion of the tree for this purpose), and by lowering expansion disagreement level (2-3 techs in the lower tree for this one, as well). The more you do "all of the above", the greater you can elevate the tax rate whilst still keeping everybody either "ecstatic" or "happy"... Which is what you'll need for mission success.