TL;DR – A fantastic addition to the base game that really improves the exploration phase.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Review – Last year I got back into Stellaris a 4X space strategy game, a combination that feels like a video game designed just for me. Over the years it has had a lot of improvements building upon the strengths of the base game. Since then there have been a couple of expansion packs and DLCs and today we are looking the latest addition for the game Ancient Relics.
The core component of this new story pack is the addition of archaeological digs and from this the addition of minor and major artifacts. As you explore out at the start of the game you may stumble across archaeological digs on random planets. These require a science ship to work them much like anomalies but with a little twist. There is a random element in the process where you have a chance to improve until you crack the next level. Most of the digs have multiple levels that you have to progress to before you can complete it and earn research points, resources, or more.
TL;DR – Stepping into the storied world of 4x, Stellaris takes us into space and taps into that love of exploration among the stars … or just conquering everything you see, with deep systems that give you the kind of customisation that you need in a empire building game.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Strategy games are my jam, I love building up an empire, mining all the minerals, spawning all the Overlords, launching all the nukes. As well as this, I am a huge sci-fi fan, so when you add a strategy game, to a space setting like Sins of a Solar Empire, Birth of the Federation, or Space Empires 3, well then you are on to a winner. However, while I had picked up Stellaris back when it first came out it didn’t quite gel with me but recently I took another shot at it with the Utopia and Distant Stars DLC and found that ‘one more turn’ grove. So now that I have played a couple of games of it, including some multiplayer, I have a better idea of the game and feel confident in my review.
TL;DR – A good entry into the 4X genre, but it does not quite have the staying power of others in the field.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
2016 is turning out to be the year of the 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) games, with a number of quality releases not seen since the mid-90s golden age. Already this year we have had the quite good Stellaris, and as well as this, soon we will get the sequel to the great Endless Space and then the next entry into the granddaddy of 4X Civilization. At this point, it should be clear that I love me some 4X, whether it’s turn based or real time, bring it on. So I was interested to hear that one of the classics of the golden era Master of Orion was getting a remake/sequel/reinterpretation, so now that it is out of Early Access I thought I would pick it up to see how it goes. Now I need to say growing up I did miss the original Master of Orion games, I was playing more Civilization at the time and we didn’t have the luxury of Steam or GOG for those more obscure games, but I did get to play some of the games it inspired, like Birth of the Federation, so while I won’t be able to personally compare Master of Orion with the original, I will be able to compare it with the 4X genre generally speaking. Continue reading →