Sins of a Solar Empire Preview
Ironclad Games and Stardock Entertainment have decided to send us an early release of their newest game Sins of a Solar Empire. Much can be said about this title and what it can offer gamers. Ironclad has been able to pull off what others have shied away from, but makes this game more flexible depending on your style of real time strategy tactics. The graphics and scalability are just more icing on the cake of this potentially great game.
"That's a huge…map!"
Sins of a Solar Empire gives players a scalability that is not seen in very many other real time strategy titles. If you are the type of player who enjoys micromanaging your ships as they combat the opposing forces, then you are given the opportunity to do so. However if you prefer seeing the overall picture and letting the AI take control, then you are allowed to do this as well. This really helps to pull gamers in that may have otherwise skipped a particular title due to its scale.
The ability to control your ships and buildings on different levels is a great idea and has the potential to be great for hardcore strategy gamers. However many casual real time strategy players may find themselves confused at having to manage various planets and upgrading individual ships. One thing is sure and that is that those not seasoned with real time strategy gaming experience need not apply to this title.Graphics Galore
Another excellent thing about this title is its amazing graphics. So far, Ironclad has managed to create gorgeous maps and planets that are buzzing with activity. In particular, if you zoom in on a planet you can actually see the population as it grows. This may not seem like much it will visually show how powerful the enemy may be, as a result of, their income from these planets. This, in addition to being able to watch as laser fire hits your ships and explodes, really lets you just enjoy what is being shown on your screen.
The greatest thing of all about Sins of a Solar Empires graphics is its scalability. The game engine allows players to choose a resolution as low as 1024x768 or as high as their hardware can handle. On my system, I was able to play the game in 1650x1080 resolution with all options on high without even a hiccup in loading or resolution. Ironclad's graphics engine is able to pull off this large amount of scale and onscreen action with minimal impact on even a two year old gaming system.Upgrade Upgrade and Upgrade Some More
Sins of a Solar Empire allow players to upgrade just about everything. The game offers you capital ships, which are basically huge, powerful ships that gain power-ups as they gain experience. These ships can gain unique abilities that are either passive or require player input to use them. These power-ups can either make or break a battle and help to add to a players overall strategy when they are in combat.
In addition to being able to upgrade your capital ship, you can upgrade each individual planet that you capture. These various upgrades allow you to gain more taxes or place more defensive structures around each planet. This helps you to defend your planet or to gain more credits that will allow you to build capital ships.
The research tree in Sins of a Solar Empire is one of the largest I have ever seen in a video game. Players are allowed to upgrade their military or planets and get to choose which individual way they want to advance. How you choose to advance can determine how fast you can build ships, gain credits or take over other planets. These features, in addition to being able to upgrade individual capital ships, allows for extremely varied styles of gameplay.Mark Your Calendar
Ironclad has, so far, pulled off what many others have not. They have created a real time strategy game that gives players a wide range of options, upgrades and units. Hardcore real time strategy gamers may finally have the game that truly tailors to whatever style of gameplay they feel most comfortable with. This title will be available February 4, 2008 and is a must buy for the hardcore strategy gamer.
By: Ryan Lodata