Thought I would take some time to review one of my all time favourite PC games after the latest release of the series – Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. SOASE isn’t a new game, the first title in the series – Sins of a Solar Empire was released over 4 years ago in February 2008 from Stardock/Ironclad Games and since then has had two follow up expansions - Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment and Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy. If your not familiar with the game, and I know many people aren’t it’s an epic real-time strategy set in space around three playable factions – the TEC (Trader Emergency Coalition), Advent and Vasari.
If your not a fan of space games then have a read of some of my other posts, otherwise read on!
Released on 12th June 2012, SOASE:Rebellion has been the long awaited sequel to the SOASE universe and trust me I’ve been waiting a long time for this game! Rebellion adds a new depth to the original game and whereas Diplomacy and Entrenchment were expansions to the original game, Rebellion is a stand-alone expansion hence it’s price of roughly £25. The biggest additions to the game are the new Titan class ships are a type of super-capital ship and completely dwarf existing capital ships, these truly monsterous ships deliver tremendous firepower and can single-handedly stand up against huge fleets.
The second big addition to the game is the introduction of new playable factions – this is probably the most notable update. In the original SOASE universe players could only play one of three races, TEC (Humans that desire peace and profit), Advent(Pseudo-Religious race of Humans) and Vasari (Aliens rampant on destroying everything), however Rebellion sees the addition of playable factions within these races. Each race is split into Loyalist and Rebel factions and each comes with their own unique research trees, Titan ship and corvette class ship. The TEC coalition has split and divided them into loyal and rebel factions where the rebels are bent on destroying any xenos species and concentrating on military efforts while the loyal TEC are more concerned with defending their home worlds and building trade. The rebel TEC faction brings the exciting ability of being able to ally with pirate and neutral factions while also gaining credits from bombarding worlds – I guess I like this more as I tend to play TEC more than any other race.
Rebellion also brings a long awaited update to the graphics engine which is meant to improve particle effects and enhance textures. When SOASE was released 4 years ago the graphics were outstanding and I believe they have stood the test of time as the graphics are as beautiful as ever (as the gallery below shows) the update doesn’t overhaul the graphics, but there is a noticeable differenced compared to the previous releases. I truly think SOASE has some of the best graphics of any game. I would recommend a decent graphics card and processor for this game though, especially playing against the AI as things can start to slow down when there are hundreds of units and multiple players – this is my only gripe about Sins of a Solar Empire even though I have a decent spec computer of a Q9450 Quad core processor and Nvidia 9800GT graphics card (although saying that it is about 6 years old now :().
Overall Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is a brilliant game, single player games against the computer can last hours/days and even months across multiple stars in a vast universe. With Sins of a Solar Empire you can start a game and lose 5 hours or even a day without noticing! Although there are no major updates in single player campaigns or back story to Sins I still believe it is one of the most underrated and playable strategy games of all time. Stardock\Ironclad Games have really hit the nail on the head here in Gaming and are one of the top producers in my opinion, Stardock also have some other cool software such as WindowBlinds to skin Windows desktops! I think I know what I’ll be doing for the next month :).