By Mario Garcia
Manufacturer: Ironclad Games
Publisher: Stardock Entertainment
Review Rating: 9
Sins of a Solar Empire is a RTS within a 4X game. 4 X games are classically turn based games with the premise of “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate.” Sins does this beautifully with many planets to explore and conquer within each game. There can be from one star and a few planets to up to hundreds within a single game which means taking on a game means you should clear some time in your schedule.The feel of the game truly conveys the massive scale of planets and distances in space along with the scale of the ships and battles in space.
The exploration of the planets is pretty straightforward in the beginning of the game as each race scrambles to take a good foothold. Though some planets require tech upgrades for exploration and you may end up fighting over a planet you can’t take and then have to defend the space or retreat until you can colonize it. Once you have acquired a planet you can position space stations around the planets. Logistical platforms like metal and crystal extractors, frigate and capital shipyards, research stations and trade outposts make and use the resources that your empire needs to run. Orbital defense platforms such as Gauss cannons and strike craft hangars keep enemy fleets and marauders at bay.
Ships come in frigate, cruiser, and capital classes. The frigates make up the basic ship types including construction and colonization ships. They are usually lightly armored and fast with either laser or missile armaments. Cruisers are the more specialized support ships made for ship to ship, strike craft defense, planetary bombardment or repair capabilities. The Ship Design is a bit bland though many mods add extra ship designs as well as classic Sci Fi franchise ships. Star Wars and Star Trek Mods are currently available and are constantly being upgraded.
There is no Single Player campaign for Sins so each game essentially writes its own story of conquest and treachery. The slow pace and micromanagement make it easy to get into for people who generally do not like the lighting fast pace of standard RTS fare. However this slow paced game play makes Sins a Serious time sink so make sure you have plenty of time if you want to get through even a small map.
All in all Sins of a solar empire is a great Strategy Game. Different mods and fresh systems every game makes a new experience. Multiplayer is alot of fun and the addition of themed mods make this a gem that will be great to come back to again and again . Just make sure you have plenty of time to play.