Sins of a Solar Empire beta unveiled

Preorders of first "RT4X" game from Stardock granted entrance to testing period; game combines tactical combat with "grand-scale space strategy."

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Stardock Entertainment, maker of the well-received Galactic Civilizations series, claims that its upcoming PC game, Sins of a Solar Empire, will be a first in the game industry. The publisher says the science-fiction game will be an introduction to the RT4X genre, a blend of tactical combat and "grand-scale" space strategy. Gamers looking to see if this really is a new genre will have a chance, thanks to the game's beta test.

Those who preorder the game online at the official Web site will gain access to the beta, which begins on March 27. The beta will initially be single-player only and have limited features, but it should ensure that the final release is free of glitches that could hinder performance.

In the game, players will do all the things a legendary space explorer should engage in: taking over planets, engaging in diplomacy with other civilizations, developing technology, and gathering resources. And when the call of battle is sounded, players will duke it out in a three-dimensional tactical map.

Sins of a Solar Empire is currently in development by Ironclad Games and will retail for $44.95. For more on the game, read GameSpot's previous coverage.

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