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Old 14-04-2008, 08:37:17   #45
Pubs Minister
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Banned
Played the demo, liked it, bought the game, played my first game.

First impressions:

It's big! Even the small maps feel impressively large and you can build up fairly huge fleets. I ended my first game with 3 fleets including 8 capital ships, although I later found out that was massive overkill.

It's basically a cross between GalCiv II and Warcraft III. Any regular RTS players will find it all reassuringly familiar. You've got all your traditional RTS aspects. The mix of units is what you'd expect you've got building units, colonising units, attack units, long range units, repair units, buff units and capital ships which are similar to WC3 heroes even down to their types. You've got your tanks, buff capital ships, healers etc. They also have abilities that level up and at level 6 you get to have the hero, er I mean ship's super ability activated.

You've also got 3 resources credits, metal and crystal. You need to mine metal and crystal but it's fairly automatic. If a planet you own has a metal or crystal rich asteroid circling it you click the planet and tell it to build a crystal mine and leave it to it. No fucking peons thank god.

The control system is surprisingly intuitive. It's not really 3 dimensional in terms of combat. All the ships basically fly flat loops around the equator, but you don't feel bad about that. Combat looks great when you zoom in. You can build everything that can be built at a planet without leaving the main planet screen which is very handy. You can group your ships into the traditional Ctrl+# groups as well as into fleets.

It's slow. Although it's an RTS it's not frenetic. I haven't played multi-player but I don't get the impression that a couple of seconds either way are going to make the same kind of difference they do in WC3 or Dawn of War. Combat takes a long time, which gives you a chance to micro-manage stuff, although the default attack actions of the fleet are very good, leaving you to intervene in key areas or manage your capital ships abilities. If you outnumber the opposing fleet you can just leave them to it. The downside is that games can take a long time and fleets can take an age to travel long distances.

The tech tree is big and you definitely have to make choices, you can't afford to research everything.

There's no frills. No campaign just sandbox (which is what I prefer in RTS anyway) a rudimentary intro video. The interface outside the main game is functional enough.

I can see why people are making mods of this. The space battles are very atmospheric and really do look great.
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