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PC Game Review: Sins of a Solar Empire

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There’s so much quality content here. It’s hard to believe it's all on one disk — and therein lies the advantage of this title. You can actually run it on older computers! You can also pick right up when someone disconnects – a big problem today (sore losers, etc.). Players must patiently build up their assets in this solid, real time space odyssey. The best part is players don’t need a top of the line computer (that seems to go out of date in two weeks) to enjoy this deeply enjoyable game.

The 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate) strategy has great organization. Once players patiently wade through setup and orientation it’s easy to reach action scenarios even quicker. Familiarity with “God” games gives players an advantage in the epic battles, but most players should be able to understand the format pretty quickly. Game creators boost the fun factor with great automated capabilities where you can actually trust your army’s movement, eliminating the need to micromanage everything yourself. Your ships select their own enemies or you can micromanage the attacks.

Players won’t get wiped out easily either, which greatly boosts the overall entertainment factor while cutting out potential frustration that makes players leave the cosmos. The Empire Tree, which lists all colonized planets along with the fleets and structures orbiting them, keeps everything organized and makes it easy for players to jump from one area to another. The additional options, such as putting out bounty prices (yes, there are space pirates) and getting items from the black market, add some nice variety and excitement to the festivities.

Races include the Vasari, a genetic variation of humans, and the Trader Emergency Coalition (can’t help but think Star Wars, no matter what title people come up with), which are organized under the Empire Tree. Groups can be easily found and navigated to through this nifty system. Each group also has an extensive background story. Once you’ve chosen your race, conglomerates do your bidding in construction/colonization, exploration, diplomacy, and technology, instead of dragging single items together and wasting valuable setup time. Most of your management involves keeping resting units busy (no fatigue here).

Movements follow the rules of gravity, which limits the number of ships and structures. Careful positioning of fleets becomes the best offense because defensive elements like turrets aren’t very effective because of short ranges. Players can easily set a rally point to get their whole fleet to a point of crisis if needed, though getting new ships there can be a challenge. Some trial and error work is unavoidable here, but the end results are worth the effort, though it can take a while for games to end. This outstanding, highly replayable game also has great colorful visuals in the forefront of a wide black space, sketched drawings. Collector's Edition also available.

Sins of a Solar Empire is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence and Mild Language.


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