Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition – Review
Follow Genre: RTS, Space!
Developer: Kerberos Productions
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platform: PC

Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition – Review

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Good: This game is sort of a gem of gamings passed, giving you enjoyment that came only from the 4x titles of the 90s.
Bad: The very sparing times where the graphics portion of the game is interesting or more then a menu are few as space battles as well are few.
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Sword of the stars II is a sequel to 06’s sword of the stars 1. The game sports  system similarities to that of anno  and of homeworld. For readers familiar with those games: the game is both parts anno and homeworld with much of the game’s functions and combat system coming from homeworld, with a little twist of master of orion thrown in. Making this game reminiscent of the late 90s and early 2000s rts boom.



Sword of the stars has no real narrative and is more focused on you as a player. Like many other 4x genre of games (civilizations, age of empires, etc) the focus is on exploration which leads to colonization of new worlds and ultimately domination. In short there is no narrative, but if someone wanted to weave their own story of how their race came to control of a galaxy or a universe, I doubt there would be anything wrong with that. On top of that you can take any unique thing happening during gameplay as your own story, as something interesting always does happen.



The game is primarily menu driven, and for those that are familiar with other paradox games, or even the europa universalis games, you will be right at home. Much like other space rts games and even space sims, the game features planetary and space station colonization. All of which are menu driven as well, letting you take care of finer ‘politics’ by telling populations only to use certain parts of their planet for harvesting, which ultimately curbs population growth but keeps the planet able to support itself. But aside from in-depth options in regard to every facet of the game and away from research pages and galaxy maps, the game does not wholly deliver on graphics. It is not full fledged like its brethren before it, homeworld, in that yes it does allow you to control and even overview space combat but the game is not per say focused on it nor is it as influential as it was to homeworld and similar titles. The space combat is crisp but I personally felt it was much closer to legos taking each other apart than full featured space combat. The combat and map overviews are very nice though, giving you a radial or localized control of the battlefield.



This game is not something you really get a full featured soundtrack out of. But rather I would base this category more around gameplay. The game makes noise to let you know pretty much anything to everything is going on. The only thing it does not make noise for, is letting you know there are new messages in global chat. The global chat itself is a nice little feature and allows the games entire community to talk, but again there is no sound to notify you of new messages but rather the icon blinks repeatedly like a strobe. Hovering over systems as well as clicking them gives a nice assuring pulse noise and considering the size of some of the galaxy maps, this is a good thing because it is not difficult to click between systems or astral bodies, but at times many of them will be grouped fairly closed together.



The game is primarily done through it’s huge skew of menus and tabs. For the most part the focus is to make sure your race has an emphasis on research, while also balancing between population and resources on your worlds and or colonies. The secondary function of the game is then exploration and battle, the game’s battle system is almost as detailed as homeworld and it does allow very good control of your units; in groups, separately or for the most part as you see fit, you can also modify how they use the category of weapons they have equipped during combat. Much of the game is played through your fleets, not directly in battle, but also for exploration purposes: fleets are needed to upgrade space stations. As such they allow you to do some very intrinsic fleet/ship customization, allowing you to modify hardpoints and what weapons are attached to them, all of which is dictated by your race and technologies researched. The game fully ends once you have either conquered or have been conquered by the races you choose at the games initial setup to be in your sandbox match. The game also sports multiplayer, though it doesn’t seem to be a widely used feature and is only accessible with specific port forwarding due to restraints by steam and not full immersion by the drm.

The game currently has 7 playable races with each race having a sub category. So in total the number would come to 14. The game itself is very smooth with significant logical events leading to the next level.  The battle portion does play very close to that of a naval battle. You can control the behavior of your units telling them to either ignore the enemy or to pursue them. The naval portion really starts to show when you start positioning your battleships, there are 3 levels; a top, a center, and a bottom. And depending on what kind of ship you are attacking (or defending from) your placement is very important especially if that vessel has underbelly weapons.

Between both micromanaging and the games slightly frequent space battles, the game itself is very satisfying gameplay wise. It ultimately is not for everyone as it is a rts title that much akin to anno and europa. It’s one you will be going through multiple sit downs, as it is not a 10 minute sort of play-through but rather several hours, depending on the match you devise.



There really is too much for me to possibly go over as far as this game goes. Much like the case of anno or even europa universalis (which this game so beautifully reminds me of), there are simply too many variables. There are too many subparts or influences and variables that stem from each and every system that it would take me months to experience or even be able to draw into some detail at all. The game is very much amazing though and when space battles do happen, it is even more stunning, like watching colossal corporation battles in eve or even how homeworld battles used to be but much more polished.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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