Додано: 4 березня
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.
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) :)