Posted: March 23
Just Recently stumbled accross this 4X Space RTS from few years back. Here's why it's awesome:
+++ Actual working 3D Space!!
+++ Ships have momentum, which makes them feel very massive. Travel time is half acceleration and half deceleration. Changing direction at high speed is very slow. This pleases me to no end.
++ Adjustable and pausable game speed. This really works for me as I like to ponder and micro-manage everything.
++ All processes are highly automizable. This really cuts back the tedious parts of managing an expansive galactic empire.
++ Very high customization. Designing ships is my favorite part of the game.
+ Tech research is a bit more complex than usual. Different fields have connections to other fields and researching these connections lets you discover new fields and speed up research of known fields. If I understood correctly, there's also no hard tech cap so you can never just "complete" science.
+ Easily moddable. (I added some portraits for new alien races for my game. No hassle. (The stock ones vere quite terrible.)
+/- Camera controls are are thorough and free. They are a bit unintuitive, but worth learning. Minus is for occasional buggy jamming of the edge-scroll (at least for me). Maybe it's a feature, but I haven't figured out how it forks.
I have been really enjoying myself playing this game. Even so, there are some negatives:
- No working orbital/gravity mechanic. No space game has this (except Kerbal), so no biggie. Ships can just sit still in space right next to a star. You can order ships to orbit planets but they need to fire engines constantly to stay in orbit.
- There are no collisions. Ships can just fly into stars, planets and each other with no remorse.
-- Moons are completely untouchable. You can't even click on them let alone build on them.
-- There's no real difference between playing different species. Everyone is basically just humans with slightly different shapes. "Gaian" is the preferred type of planet for all.
-- There's no real variance between planets. They all have just "type", "size" and few random traits. I'd very much prefer full detail or at least atmosphere, mass and temperature.
---The scale is horribly ridiculous. For both time and space. I'd prefer something a bit closer to realism, but this game measures time in seconds and it really takes just a few dozen of those to travel to the next star system with the basic rocket thrusters. Also the models of the ships are almost the size of planets, which are almost the size of stars and they are all practically brushing against each other in a crowded universe. A big turn-off for my space-boner, but I can live with that consentrating on all the positives.
I absolutely recommend this if you're into 4X space strategy. I haven't really tried most of the recent games of the genre so I can't tell how this compares to them, but this game reminded me of good old Space Empires, Master of Orion and Ascendancy. The atmosphere is maybe not as good in this as it is in them, but I enjoy this at least as much as I did (and do) them. There's a demo in the interwebs, if you want to try it before you buy it.