This may take awhile to master
staraven wrote this review on .
The first complaint is when ordering from their site, if you want to download and have a copy shipped, they want $20 for shipping and handling! Hmmm maybe they're shipping the DVD in diamonds. I chose just to download as the other items included in the box didn't seem to be useful. The download was in 2 parts - Stardock which took forever to install - and then the game.
It was a smooth process and I had no problems installing. I fired up the game and set the video settings on the highest levels (I'm running Crossfire). After a cursory look at the command mappings, I started the 4 tutorials.
The tutorials are VERY BASIC. If you can win the first game after only the tutorials, you're a game god or a liar.
The first game was small, and I got my butt kicked. The graphics are excellent and sounds was great. The process for moving your view around the map was pretty intuitive and I eventually figured things out - like you don't need a bunch of colony ships (unlike GC:II) and I didn't need 2 shipdocks. I slowly learned a lot about the play and some about strategy. After claiming 2 astroids and an ice planet, things started looking up. Then, I got attacked and it all went to hell. The computer opponent, after hurling an insult at me - something about eating missles for breakfast - cam e at me with 3 or 4 captial ships and oodles of frigates. The capital ships where huge compared to my Cruisers - they had over 3500 hit points, about 2000 more than me, and 3 weapon systems where I had 1. I started poking around the research into logistics and such and think I found some technology I should have researched. Next time I will.
After spending 3 hours until after midnight playing, hardly blinking, and not refilling my adult beverage (which may have had an impact to the outcome) I called it quits and went to be. BUT, the game didn't stop. As I lay in bed I kept thinking about this game, how I could have done things differently, and how I needed to do some more poking around the technology tree. Maybe I shouldn't have been so passive and attacked early? Maybe I should have built up a strong defensive force and lured the enemy to my homeworld? Maybe I should just go to sleep and play again tomorrow. I opted to #3.
Overall, I think this will be a fun game. I don't usually play against human players, but so far this will be challenging and addictive. It's not perfect, but I didn't see any bugs that interferred with game play. I would recommend this game, although like any game, it's not for everyone. Too bad there isn't a demo.