1,043 people found this review helpful
35 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 55.5 hrs on record (38.5 hrs at review time)
Posted: May 15, 2015 @ 9:51pm
Updated: May 28, 2015 @ 12:37pm

I can not currently recommend this game for the full $50 price. Maybe later when the price drops or some patches come out to fix some things.

There is just some real irritating flaws in the game that when combined with the other problems drop the game down the the blah level. Most could be fixed easily. Two and five probably will never change which is what will keep this game not much above the blah level.

1. Capitals on a planet, The AI places them at random wherever it wants. Considering capitals give bonuses to surrounding buildings it makes a big difference on where it was placed. It seems to me that if I find an unsettled planet I should be able to choose the location of the capital. So because the AI chose a dumb spot for a capital you lose those bonuses because they go to waste. The best example would be if hexes were about the size of Australia and you were to colonize a planet with land masses like Earth, why would you place your capital in Australia and forfeit all bonuses?

2. No retreat option for combat. Similar games (Master of Orion and Endless Space) at least gave you the option to retreat during combat, meaning you could take some damage and/or losses but at least have a chance to run away. So later in game if the enemy is bigger and faster then you do not stand a chance of getting away. At that point you might as well concede the game. Simply because a fleet can attack as many times as it has movement points.

3. You can draw production in a shipyard from multiple planets over long distances to build colony ships, but somehow people just can not make that same trip. Yet these same people are going to climb into that ship you just built and travel ten times that same distance. So now you have to waste multiple turns just putting people into your colony ship.

4. Technology specialization. What was the point in this feature? The specialization technologies can traded and you can find the specialized in anomalies. Which if you receive a tech you have no made a choice, you lose that choice. So if you wanted to specialize in a certain bonus, but a friendly AI gives you a different specialization tech, then maybe next game, unless you get lucky and find another AI to trade for it. The fact that you lose your choice of specialization is extremely lame. Never mind how it can get exploited in multiplayer.

5. Battles are either "quick result" or "watch battle" meaning you have zero control on that battle. All of the battle tactics are based on what job tags you gave the ships in your fleet. Which means no singling out a target to kill first. The battles for the most part are not worth watching anyways because either option is going to give you the same outcome.

6. Construction ships and using the station option to call for one. Someone had a great idea to be able to have a space station go "Hey I need a construction drone to build another module" and you click that button. Then a construction drone will be built and sent to that station. Sounds cool right? Real cool up to the point that this feature will clear any orders an existing drone currently has. So if you manually sent a drone to build a new station, it wont reach it. So that means you have to wait to use this feature until your manual drone is done. This feature will clear orders a drone already has, but will not clear guard or sentry, so makign them in advance and planning on using this feature does not work.

7. Excess research and production is lost. When the game calculates the end of a turn if it finishes building or researching something any points over that mark are NOT carried to the next project, the points are just gone. This just seems to make the game drag on and it also makes specialized manufacturing planets nearly pointless because so much can go to waste.

8. Ship designer spamming designs. Whenever you get new technologies the ship designer will spit out new ships designs, which later in the game leads to having way too many designs to sort through. Stardock solved this in previous versions and other games by adding a feature able to turn off the auto-designer. Considering that feature exists in multiple other Stardock games the feature should exist here.

9. Cultural expansion is ridiculous. It expands faster than you can explore early on. If you never explored it then how is your culture affecting it? About equal to the Roman Empire holding cultural sway over North America before they even knew it existed. The only way to catch up later is you disposable scouts with stacks of engines, lifesupport, and scanners which is about mid game. Since I have only played insane maps, then smaller maps probably run a higher chance of culture flipping.

10. Rush production is really flawed. If you rush a production in queue then no other production points are gained from that planet or shipyard for that turn. On top of that rushing production is a set amount, even if you have the production item almost complete.

11. The pirates are pointless. Four hundred turns in on a insane map size and I am discovering the same low tech pirates that were encounted in the first dozen turns. This makes them nothing but a nuisance, one that apparently the AI ignores. Not even sure if they attack the AI or not because the pirates will not attack anything stronger than them. So basically then end up as nothing but clutter to make your end turn processing longer.

These are the just the basic things I can think of that should have been ironed out during the beta.

Now for the technical aspects.

1. The sound for cut scene movies. Apparently someone forgot to include cut scene movie volume with the sound options in the game. So it just comes out as a bunch of mumbling.

2. End of turn processing on large map. This is really what kills the gaming mood. I made it up to around 400 turns on an insane map before it was just too ridiculous to play. The time to process became about 2-3 minutes a turn, which really sucks if the only thing you do on your turn is spend a few seconds to click next turn.
The other issue is every time the end turn process it kicks in all the fans in my computer into overdrive just to keep up with the processing. Meanwhile you can not touch much with getting the "not responding error" from Windows. Which by the way if you are seeing that blue circle between turns, it aint a Stardock logo thing, that is Windows saying "hey this program aint responding." Which leads me to wonder if running the game is really good for the computer.

3. Ship designer, great feature (seriously.) One tip though, you might want to save your game before using it. Otherwise you could be sent back to your last autosave it decides to crash.

4. I received the achievement for the completing the first part of the campaign game simply by clicking to start it. Sounds petty and nitpicking, but think about it for a moment. That is really sloppy coding and testing. Where else in making the game were they sloppy? I think the first patch today fixed this along with a dozen other achievements, which basically proved my point.

5. After about 200 turns the text on the UI starts disappearing. Which is really annoying with diplomacy options.

I was one of those customers burned years ago by Stardock with Elemental: War of Magic. This release reeks of the same issues. The whole "release it and patch it later" attitude. About the same effect as buying an early access game when they are on the .8x builds.

So in short, if you are on the fence on buying this, let me knock you off it. Wait and watch, in the mean time take a browse through the forums. Sure in six months of patch it might be a decent game, but news flash I doubt it will still be $50 price tag on it.

If you are mainly thinking about the game mainly because of the ship editor then do yourself a favor and go find a free 3d animation program like Blender and learn something in the process.
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IslandDog May 3, 2016 @ 12:48pm 
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

We have recently released the v1.7 update which features a variety of additions and improvements such as Starbase management, improved ship list, diplomacy updates, and much more.

You can see the full changelog here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/226860/discussions/1/392184522706494896/

If you'd had a chance to play with the recent update we'd like to hear your updated feedback.

sinistar Nov 12, 2015 @ 12:35pm 
Wow, man, this is by far the most spot on negative review I've seen. Most of the issues I took for granted, as part of the game, but you're right in pointing out these as design flaws. Not sure if devs are reading it, but if they fixed them all, I would be happy from spending my money.
zmakad Nov 4, 2015 @ 11:35am 
Nobody is arguing with you buddy, those are some fine sisters you have there :p2chell:
Bored Peon Nov 4, 2015 @ 1:16am 
Ya well wasnt looking to insult Austraila, just it made the best example using known continents/land masses. Using the game engines use of hexes/bonuses and Earth land masses if I was allowed to chose where I placed a capital on a planet I colonized it would be somewhere big like US/Canadian border, or somewhere in Russia.

Yet because the AI choses to pick where your capital is placed it makes it more like the AI colonized the planet, not you. Which I would have been fine with IF you were allowed to relocate it later.
Epicurus Nov 3, 2015 @ 6:16pm 
Im from Australia, and why wouldnt uou have a capital here! We are awesome. Keeping out refugees, marrying our sisters and rooting kangeroos, how could you go wrong? Other than that, good job on the review!
Bored Peon Nov 3, 2015 @ 12:01am 
I really wonder about the people posting insults directed at me because they do not agree with the review. Spending thet time to write insults is awaste of time. Simply because all I have to do is click DELETE and poof your insults and opinion is gone.

You are entitled to your own opinion, so go make your own review of the game.
Nanako =^.^= Nov 2, 2015 @ 7:04am 
This review is incredible, you think like me.
We are exactly the kind of nitpicking nerds they should have had on the design team.

Stardock made a technically brilliant game, but with a ton of really stupid design decisions that drag it down massively.

I love you. and i'm subscribing to this thread. Please do continue to post updates and revised thoughts here whenever a patch is released. I'd like to hang onto that glimmer of hope
Vela Sep 25, 2015 @ 7:57pm 
your review opened my eyes and finally got me to knock this off my wishlist despite the current sale considering the lack of relevant fixes even 4 months later, so thank you for the honest review and helping me not waste my money.
Obsidian Shadow Sep 25, 2015 @ 8:40am 
Thanks for writing a detailed objective review.
I own CD versions of 4 Stardock games: Elemental, Fallen enchantress, Sins, GC2. The fun element is meagre, the pacing is glacial. I was disappointed with each.

You saved me from purchasing another game that was not sufficiently playtested before being released commercially.
Bored Peon Sep 24, 2015 @ 9:26pm 
Yeah here it is four months after release and it might as well still be in beta.

I have been watching the forums and patch notes to see if something makes it worth playing again. Nothing but more disappointing sloppiness.

Governors were implmented. However their values for which improvements to build are completely whacked.

Complaints on saved games not workind from one patch to the next.

The funniest posts, the fan boys calling the numerous patches to fix the game a form of "patch support" like it is some form of adding new content instead of fixing what should have been fixed before release.