Great concept, poor programming.
SEV carried ship customization and space battles where Moo2 left off, quite successfully. SEV offers fantastic freedom of designing of ships, units (like fighters, ground troops, drones, weapon platforms) star bases so that there is no limit in whatever purpose of designs. The only limit is the technology, and it is fun to advance in technology and rush to ship design and add new components.
Dİplomacy is outstanding, there are tons of options in diplomacy featuring each and every option you would demand, has not yet seen in any 4x game.
Space battles are also good but even you have incredibly detailed options like, targeting each weapon of a ship to different target and creating fleets for different orders during battle (boarding, invasion of planets, point blank skirmishers and ramming enemy ships) with too crowded battles it often turns out to a chaos. There is a nice time adjustment feature though so you can slow things as you desire.
The weak features i spotted for SEV is as follows:
- Technology is too rapidly advances, too many research areas, and tech descriptions/benefits are not explained well.
- Supplies and ordnances can only be tracked within planet menu. So you have to check each planet for these materials one by one. There is no listing available how much these materials in stock in which planet.
- Although fleet management has tons of options and is a detailed feature, once ships are in fleet most of options like retrofit is disabled. You have to dismiss the fleet for these commands. (It is bad as you create a couple task forces within fleet with different orders and once you dismiss the fleet all these settings are to be repeated)
- There is no "Next / previous" buttons in planet menu. You have to close the menu and open it again for the next planet (after searching and finding the planet from the minimap) It is funny as such an easy option is not implemented.
- Also there are no options possible from the planet / ship properties menu. it is only for viewing components / cargo / orders. it would make life easier if it was possible to execute commands from there.
- Mouse actions are not user friendly. In fact the whole interface is not user friendly. Menus must be closed from the close button below (there is no right-click cancel option for which most games utilize) Lots of things are under specific menus, And instead of keyboard shortcuts, i would surely prefer buttons in menus.
- Repair times are not available to player. You can only see the percentage of the ships repaired each turn.
- Turn passes are time consuming.
- Cargo transfers and recover units from space are performed in a difficult menu. Why in earth a simple drag & drop is not available?
- Weapons are not differentiated from each other clearly, advantages vs drawbacks are not obvious. Why would a player should choose a plasma missile over a gamma-pulse missile???
- Sound effects are awful
- Graphics could have been a lot better.
- Musics are poor
- Weapons lack of special features. (There is only a ion cannon? which damages ship engines only)
- The worst issue is the game weirdly consumes too much CPU and GPU power, despite its simple 3D graphics and static gameplay. It is not a demanding game( it shouldt be) but FPS values drop down to 10FPS in deep down menus like ship designing screen. A lot of players are complainant about it and despite tons of patches released this issue is not addressed in any of them even its so common.
Funny that my Nvidia 7400GO performs better than 8600GT pc which make things even more strange.
All in all, SEV is a great game , despite its flaws, with its extraordinary Diplomacy, ship design, fleet management and extreme modability. It would surely be much more eye candy if it featured a Galactic Civilizations 2 type interface and colorful menus but again, It is a truly deep strategy game offering lots of features other than stated above, yet any game has offered.