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Which Sci-Fi game?

 
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Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 9:08:57 AM   
darken92

 

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I have been looking at the various games, Starships Unlimited, Armada 2526, Distant Worlds and I know next to nothing about these games. I therefore am asking that old painfull question, which one should I buy.

I played Reach for the Stars 15 years ago.

I prefer turn to real time.
I would be looking for fun and more on the lighter side, something to play now and then, not commit my life too.
Needs a decent AI.
Looking for flavour, for want of a better word, in this instance looks are important.

Any one with any ideas?
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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 9:31:05 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I'm afraid I'm no help. The only one on that list I've played is Distant Worlds. Sorry!

I never played Reach for the Stars. How did you like it?


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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 10:51:47 AM   
Perturabo


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IIRC Supremacy was pretty decent.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 4:05:03 PM   
Hertston


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Hard to choose with those criteria, really.  Armada 2526 has 'real-time' battles rather than turn-based ones, but they aren't complex and you can always use the auto-resolution option.  Distant Worlds is pausible continuous time rather than 'real time'; so it's not turns but you aren't hassled by time pressure.  It's a very effective approach at creating a 'living universe' you can just sit back and watch if you wanted to, something that turn-based games just can't do.   Both have decent enough graphics for what are really 'indie' games, but neither will exactly have your shiny new DX11 gaming powerhouse groaning under the strain.  I don't think any space 4X really excels in the graphics department.  Stardock's Galactic Civilizations 2 is perhaps a little prettier, but doesn't really fit the "fun and more on the lighter side" bit.  Sword of the Stars has a 'comic book' art style you either love or hate, but has a sequel coming out later this year anyway.   Sins of a Solar Empire is the prettiest, but is more 'real time' than 4X.   Generally space games just don't have the budgets; probably of turn based games only the Civilization series and maybe Heroes of Might and Magic are the only ones that do.

As to AI, all will give you a good game, or they do me anyway.   


Starships Unlimited is a little long in the tooth now, and while a nice enough game there isn't any real reason to recommend it over the others.  

< Message edited by Hertston -- 4/17/2011 4:06:04 PM >

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 4:37:24 PM   
Lrfss


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I've played many over the years, For old games SciFi turned based I liked the X-Com series & the Matrix edition of same for tactical ground combat. Space wise I liked Reach for the Stars years ago. Now I would go with Distant Worlds with the RotS expansion. Though I normally prefer turn based, the pausable aspect gives you just about the same feel and possibly a better format overall since so many thinks are going on and you can either micro manage or let the AI handle everything... DW/RotS has a lot of player support and appears to be going somewhere long term with a great deal of players desires incorperated over time in to the system. Not a perfect diamond, not a chunk of coal, but maybe 3/4's of the way to a diamond assuming the Dev(s) continue to support and expand what is a great concept IMHO... On a scale from one to ten I give it a 7.0, I bet it will hit 8.0 before years end I hope.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 5:46:27 PM   
SLAAKMAN


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Starcraft Broodwars is still the bomb. You can pick it up on ebay for around 10-15 bucks;

http://cgi.ebay.com/StarCraft-Battle-Chest-PC-1999-/170629467259?pt=Video_Games_Games&hash=item27ba4f0c7b

Dont bother with SC2. Its only eye candy.


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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 7:32:06 PM   
WarHunter


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There have only been 2 sci-fi games of any worth ever made.

Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_of_Orion_II:_Battle_at_Antares

X-COM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM

Nothing has been created to knock these ladies from the top.
If it makes me old school, lost in the outer limits of the twilight zone of gaming, so be it.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/17/2011 9:35:16 PM   
doomtrader


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I would go with Alpha Centauri.
One of the best in my opinion

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/18/2011 2:40:11 AM   
barniface


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try this one, its got a demo:

"Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space" , developed by Digital Eel and published by Shrapnel Games.
The Good: Very quick games, easy to learn, simple but effective graphics, numerous upgrades, random maps, different ship types actually alter strategy, mod-friendly, strangely addictive
The Not So Good: High score too dependant on meeting trading aliens, slightly repetitious, component information is cumbersome if loaded, radar ruins some of the surprise element, no permanent ship status during combat, nebulae stink
What say you? A fast-paced and surprisingly fun space exploration and combat game: 7/8"

this is from out of eight review website, not my review. I would go with distant worlds. Very good value,
and support.
good luck , Rob

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/18/2011 4:53:43 AM   
diablo1

 

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Well there are some that don't like to consider the X3:Universe series as a 4x game because you can fly the spaceships in them if you want to, but, to me it's the best 4x game out there since you do xplore, xpand, xploit & xterminate the enemy and you don't have to ever fly one of the ships if you don't want to as you can remote control your fleet(s) and your bases from any base, supply depot or space station (although it's rather slow to play this way). It has an economic system of supply and demand and you can even build your own eco space stations and attach them to one another and make a star port. Once you've played it you might not ever want to go back to those traditional 4x games because they don't offer near as much in gameplay and fun. Nothing like trafficing spaceweed and space alcohol and trying to escape the galactic police in a real space chase or combat. You can fight entire star systems and races and take over their space (this is a lot of fun) X3:Terran Conflict is the best right now.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/18/2011 5:43:51 AM   
Greybriar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: darken92

....I prefer turn to real time....


quote:

ORIGINAL: SLAAKMAN

Starcraft Broodwars is still the bomb....

StarCraft is a RTS.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/18/2011 7:43:45 AM   
Anguille


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Without a doubt Armada 2526 with the Supernova expansion.

I am myself more the turn-based strategist. Battles are real-time but slow and can be auto-resolved.

Check the videos posted in the Armada 2526 forum.

Cheers


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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/18/2011 8:25:58 AM   
martok


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darken92, I own (and enjoy) both Distant Worlds and Armada 2526. Both are marvelous 4x titles, and both are easily in my top five space strategy games of all time. I can honestly (and easily) recommend either one.




That being said, from your description, it sounds like Armada 2526 would almost certainly be the better fit for you: It's turn-based, and although (as previously mentioned) the battles are in real-time, they're quite manageable. (Admittedly, I find the combat system itself to be somewhat lacking, but at least you don't feel like combat is a stereotypical RTS twitch-fest.) It's quick & easy to learn how to play without sacrificing depth, and the customization options are reasonably robust. As for AI, Armada's computer opponents -- while of course by no means perfect -- are easily among the more competent ones I've seen in over ten years of playing strategy games. The game's atmosphere is also quite good as well.

Overall, it's a very solid game done in the traditional 4x style. And it's now that much better with last week's release of the new Supernova expansion.




In comparison, Distant Worlds is very deep and complex -- quite possibly the deepest and most complex space strategy game out there that's not F2P. (I added the last part so as to not enrage Aurora fans. ) The civilian economy is a brilliant feature, and the various automation options are enormously useful in easing the player's burden. The game has a ton of atmosphere with a great sense of immersion, and happily is not fast-paced like your stereotypical RTS. (A lot of folks compare DW to being like Europa Universalis in space, which I personally find to be fairly apt analogy.) It also has a significant number of customization options, giving it a high replay value. In short, Distant Worlds has a richness that I've seen in very few -- if any -- other strategy games.


However, DW's main drawbacks (at least from your perspective) are three:

1.) It's in real-time, and while not a game-breaker, does still make it harder for the player to keep up with events (especially later on in a campaign) than in a turn-based game.

2.) The AI is....fairly decent, but honestly it's not as good as in Armada. Unless you stack the odds heavily in the AI's favor in the game's setup screen, it's relatively easy to beat the various computer opponents in Distant Worlds.

3.) DW requires a lot more time invested in order to get the most out of it. It has a rather steep learning curve when you're first figuring out how to play (partially due to a poorly-designed UI), and even after that that, campaigns usually take a good while to play through. (In contrast, you can easily knock out a campaign in Armada in a single evening, depending on what settings you're using.) In that sense, DW's depth & complexity is simultaneously one of its biggest strengths & weaknesses.





In the end, my best advice is that you really, really should get both Distant Worlds and Armada 2526 if you can. Seriously, I feel you'd be doing yourself a disservice otherwise IMHO! I cannot emphasize that enough.

However, if you truly only want (and/or are allowed) to get one 4x title for the time being, I'd go with Armada first. It's "lighter" (as you put it), well-designed with solid gameplay, it's very easy to learn how to play, the AI puts up a pretty good challenge, and doesn't require a huge time commitment.

Of course, you may find yourself playing it til the wee hours of the morning anyway.... (Don't say we didn't warn you!)




EDIT: In the interests of full disclosure, I do somewhat prefer Armada 2526 over Distant Worlds. However, that would be a little like putting two beautiful women in front of me and asking if I prefer the blond or the redhead: Sure, I prefer redheads overall, but I wouldn't kick the blond out of my bed either.



< Message edited by martok -- 4/18/2011 8:53:43 AM >


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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 12:18:47 AM   
SLAAKMAN


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StarCraft is a RTS.

He only said he prefered it. He didnt exclude it.


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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 7:52:12 AM   
ilovestrategy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SLAAKMAN

StarCraft is a RTS.

He only said he prefered it. He didnt exclude it.



Slaakman has a point. Dang, I was gonna state my favorite RTS but I don't want to hijack someone's thread.

My favorite sci fi game of all time is Ascendancy. Dumb AI but I still love it. Even now, I can hear the music in my head.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 8:29:32 AM   
Anguille


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy
My favorite sci fi game of all time is Ascendancy. Dumb AI but I still love it. Even now, I can hear the music in my head.


Didn't you use the AI patch?

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 9:31:40 AM   
jamesm

 

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Has anyone played Star Ruler?

< Message edited by jamesm -- 4/19/2011 12:59:37 PM >

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 11:38:55 AM   
diablo1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anguille

quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy
My favorite sci fi game of all time is Ascendancy. Dumb AI but I still love it. Even now, I can hear the music in my head.


Didn't you use the AI patch?


Yeah and it still sucked. But, still a fun sci-fi empire building game. I love the combat engine.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 1:28:13 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jamesm
Has anyone played Star Ruler?


Yup. Decent enough game, but it was released 70% complete (which the devs happily admitted), and still is nowhere near 100%. It has some particularly clever ideas and mechanics (you want a planet-sized system destroyer? Star Ruler is your game), but the UI is very clumsy IMHO. Above all, the game just lacks character and immersion with no distinct races and no sort of back-story at all. Worth the price you will currently pay for it just to mess about with it for a weekend.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 4:27:29 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: darken92
I have been looking at the various games, Starships Unlimited, Armada 2526, Distant Worlds and I know next to nothing about these games. I therefore am asking that old painfull question, which one should I buy.

I played Reach for the Stars 15 years ago.

I prefer turn to real time.
I would be looking for fun and more on the lighter side, something to play now and then, not commit my life too.
Needs a decent AI.
Looking for flavour, for want of a better word, in this instance looks are important.

Any one with any ideas?


Hi Darken,

I assume you've already read through the product pages and looked at the forums for those games. I'll just add a few suggestions.

I also favor turn-based overall, but for these three games, it doesn't matter. The two that are "real-time" are fully pausable and with various speeds, which means that you are never rushed and without a chance to do what you want to do.

Starships Unlimited is a great "casual" sci-fi game. It's sort of a MOO-lite with elements of Star Trek. Very much focused on a smaller scale and very addictive. A great game to put on a laptop or netbook and travel with, an excellent choice if you just want a quick fix. It's also an older game though, so the graphics are well behind Distant Worlds and Armada 2526.

Armada 2526 is classic 4X turn-based gameplay. IMHO it's the best turn-based 4X Sci-Fi game on the market right now, especially once you add in the new features and gameplay in the Supernova expansion. This one will feel more like Master of Orion and Reach for the Stars than the others, overall.

Distant Worlds is very immersive and fairly revolutionary, IMHO and should be in every sci-fi strategy gamer's library for that reason alone. It has a real "living galaxy" feel and the real-time aspect really works to enhance that without preventing the player from doing as much as they want. The combination of automation and advisors means that you can ease your way into the game and control as much or as little as you want. As with Armada 2526, the expansion for Distant Worlds is a major upgrade and makes the whole game much better.

I love all of them for different reasons. Obviously I'm not unbiased, but we publish games that we love to play and all three of these have given me many hours of fun.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/19/2011 7:22:37 PM   
Anguille


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Good idea about starships unlimited. I am thinking about getting a netbook for my travel and that may well the game i need for that.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 5/23/2011 3:09:16 PM   
milkweg


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UFO:ET with Bman and Coasty mods is a lot like X-Com so consider that game. They are releasing a sequel too this September, hopefully, and Bman is on board to make sure it is X-Com worthy.

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RE: Which Sci-Fi game? - 4/5/2012 12:57:53 PM   
Anguille


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
Starships Unlimited is a great "casual" sci-fi game. It's sort of a MOO-lite with elements of Star Trek. Very much focused on a smaller scale and very addictive. A great game to put on a laptop or netbook and travel with, an excellent choice if you just want a quick fix. It's also an older game though, so the graphics are well behind Distant Worlds and Armada 2526.


I've just started to play Starships Unlimited on my netbook and am really enjoying it. Thanks for the good recommandation!

Cheers


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