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Sins of a Solar Empire


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4.3 out of 5 stars Based on 63 Customer Ratings

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"Good but not as expected"
3 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Having been brought up with classics of 4X galactic conquest (The 4 Xs stand for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) like Master Of Orion, Birth Of The Federation and Imperium Galactica, I might be a bit spoiled and gotten my hopes up too much over what everyone was saying for Sins. It's a good game, there's no doubt of that, but it feels less like a strategic conquest, more like a big, strung out skirmish, with heavy emphasis on eXterminate and not the other 4 X's. The options for building up planets under your control are very limited. Basically all there is is “Upgrade Population”, which increases credit revenue “Upgrade max number of Civilian/Military Buildings” which does just that, and “Explore Planet”, the latter of which sometimes reveals artefacts which give your faction a bonus.

Diplomacy also seems to be pretty broken, and shallow. Your opponents will give you “Missions”, which are basically just cold-call demands for money/resources or killing X number of Y opponent's Z's, which, if completed will make them like you more. Blowing up their ships doesn't seem to miff them very much, nor does putting outposts/fleets too close to their borders, (like in a game such as Birth Of The Federation), and I find it disappointing that you can't actually make any demands of THEM.

Hopefully if they choose to make an expansion, or sequel for the game, they'll add in the depth they missed out on, but I won't hold my breath. Master Of Orion 2 and Birth Of The Federation have held their age well and they still run on XP so I'll keep my lust for galactic conquest sated with them for now.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
"Insomnia? Play this!"
2 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Boring! Actually, boring and not particularly challenging either. For the most part, victory comes down to a case of “I have more ships than you, so I'm going to smear your sorry carcass all over the galaxy!” Or variations on this theme, such as “I've spent the entire game paying the pirates to harass your shipping and raid your worlds, and while they've been doing that I've been building a fleet bigger than the Borg Collective!”

The different races aren't terribly different. The humans employ vessels that are rather dull and industrial-looking but generally good all-rounders. The psychic mutants use ships fitted with a lot of fancy beam weaponry but their overall durability is somewhat lacking. And the last kid in the galactic sandpit, the ugly extraterrestrials, field a variety of very tough ships, but you have to take out a second mortgage on all your planets in order to build anything resembling a battle-ready fleet.

The playing field, or galaxy in this instance, which you can make as big or as small as you like, generally dictates the length of the game. Larger galaxies will necessitate locking yourself in your room for the next six months while wearing adult undergarments. Diplomacy is a case of “Do this for me and I might be your friend for a bit; at least until you start refusing my ludicrous demands or failing in your assigned tasks, after which I’ll show up at your nearest planet with a fleet of heavily-armed battleships.”

No single-player campaign means no story-based missions. Each race has a vaguely intriguing backstory, but other than that the entire game is one giant skirmish. Skirmishing is fun… for a while. Then it just gets mind-numbingly dull. A bit like this game.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
3 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

It is a Massivly impressive game, the graphics are awsome, the gameplay becomes tedious however after a few hours of gameplay, as there are no missions. Enemy AI also becomes tiresome as they flee in the face of a larger fleet causing you to have to chase them through systems untill you can corner or hit them with a pincer manouver.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Sins of a Solar Empire represents the birth of the RT4X genre, seamlessly blending spectacular tactical combat with grand-scale space strategy. Players must conquer worlds, engage in diplomacy and trade with other civilizations, and use the resources at their disposal to enhance their economy, develop new technology and increase military power. They must then test their mettle on a 3D tactical battlefield, where their ships will fight it out in stunning visual glory.

Take control of one of three space-faring races as you work to establish your dominance of the galaxy in Sins of a Solar Empire. Through a combination of diplomacy, economic savvy, the spread of culture and of course sheer brute force and victory on the battlefield you will establish order over your corner of the galaxy.

Explore the Epic Scale of a Dynamic Galaxy: Explore and conquer neighboring planets and distant solar systems in a massively scaled, fully 3D galaxy featuring planets, clusters of asteroids, rare comets and radiant stars.

Customize and Improve Powerful Units: As battle hardened capital ships advance in level, their core offensive and defensive systems are improved and their unique abilities are unlocked.  Try out the devastating Raze Planet, the tactical Clairvoyance and the hull ravaging Phase Missile Swarm.

Take on Multiple Roles: Transition between the roles of emperor and fleet commander as you zoom-in seamlessly to direct a crucial battle while managing the rest of your empire effortlessly on the same screen.

Extensive Diplomatic and Economic Strategies: Diplomatic and economic strategies can exercise a variety of options including forging and breaking alliances, trading resources, placing bounties on backstabbing ex-allies and over-powered tyrants, blockading enemy planets, establishing trade routes and manipulating the commodities market.

Technical Features

Sins of a Solar Empire is powered by the Iron Engine - a brand new, advanced graphics engine from developer Ironclad Games that was built specifically for Sins.  Using the latest in DirectX 9 technology, Sins is able to deliver a massive, detailed galaxy for the player to explore, expand into, exploit and ultimately conquer in real-time, all while being able to perform well on a range of systems and hardware. Here are a few of the major features of the Iron Engine that you'll see in Sins of a Solar Empire:

  • Can support thousands of planets and solar systems, the only limitation is the player's system.
  • Massive, detailed textures on ships, planets and orbital structures.
  • Hundreds of ships on-screen at once, engaged in epic battle.
  • Up to 10,000 particles (explosions, missiles, laser blasts etc.) on the screen at once in full-out combat.
  • Seamless zoom-in and zoom-out from looking at a one-man space fighter, to viewing your entire empire spanning billions of kilometers of space.
  • The Iron Engine is designed to perform well on systems ranging from middle-of-the-road hardware, to the biggest, most powerful machines on the market today. Effects, number of ships, planets etc. are only limited by how powerful your machine is. There are no hard-coded limits.
Under the Hood...

Beyond what you'll specifically be seeing in Sins of a Solar Empire, the Iron Engine packs a number of advanced features that take advantage of the most powerful graphics cards on the market. These features ensure that the engine, and games built with it, will easily scale with future hardware.

Here are just a few of the technical features of the Iron Engine:

  • Per-Pixel Specular Lighting
  • Dynamic Fractal Generation
  • Post Process Bloom Filtering
  • High Resolution Compressed Textures
  • Environment Mapping
  • Custom Pixel and Vertex Shaders For All Meshes and Effects
  • An Advanced Particle System

System Requirements:

Windows XP SP2/Vista, 1.8 GHz Single-Core Processor, 512 MB RAM (1 GB for Windows Vista), 128 MB DirectX 9 3D Video Card (Radeon 9600 / GeForce FX 6600 and above), DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card, DVD-ROM Drive, 3 GB Hard Drive Space, Keyboard and Mouse, DirectX 9.0c

2.2 GHz Dual- or Quad-Core Processor, 1 GB RAM (2 GB for Windows Vista), 256 MB DirectX 9 3D Video Card (Radeon X1600 / GeForce 7600 and above
Release date NZ
March 3rd, 2008
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