Master of Orion 2: The Battle at Antares was probably the defining game in the 4X genre (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate); it set the standard for a decade of games. Featuring a robust tech tree, intricate ship design, active ship combat, a big, goodie filled universe, and intense colony management, MOO2 had it all. Despite being well over a decade old, the game still has a level of depth that has been unmatched by its successors. Additionally, even though Microprose is long out of business (gobbled up by whomever), the game’s support has been taken over by fans (Lord Brazen, for those interested), who have kept the game playable on KALI and have steadily eradicated the last remaining bugs in the game. As exciting as it is to have a game so old with such a following, it also depresses me that the industry has yet to produce a worthy sequel. → Read the rest
I’m still not writing to say that MOO2 has been unseated from it’s throne as best 4X space game ever, but Sword of the Stars may be the closest thing to bastard upstart rival capable of causing a genre wide (or at least, Golden Jew wide) civil war. The full game builds upon the demo, showing that the guys at Kerebros know what they’re doing and have created an extremely entertaining, robust game with a great deal of replayability.
This review will be written assuming you read my demo review. If you haven’t, you should go read it. Let me touch upon some high level items first. The one personal pet peeve I have about SOTS is they decided to go the route of “you should discover the intricacies of the game by playing it.” → Read the rest