"What a great game"
Version: Space War Commander 1.0
Original, high-quality gameplay
Let?s not beat around the bush. The game does not have the latest 3d graphics. It?s got some beautiful art but it?s not quite Starcraft 2. The faster you get over it, the faster you realize how great a game this is.
First, let me explain why I am qualified to judge this game. I played through the demo three times, using different strategies. Then, I bought the game and have been playing it non-stop the last couple of days. I think I am about halfway through the main campaign.
Basically, you are a commander and you have a map on which all of your fleets are displayed. You have a starbase that you need to defend while there may be any number of enemies against you in a single galaxy. Some enemies attack you directly while others like Pirates and Mercenaries are neutrals. They can be manipulated into helping you, but can also wreak havoc on your ships if you aren?t careful.
This game requires a lot of strategy. Forget rushing. Forget drag-selecting all your units and just sending them all to attack. This is a strategy game. If you try to use the typical RTS strategies, you will lose. Instead, you want do things like send Freighters to carry cargo between asteroids and planets. You can make a profit by taking advantage of the supply and demand in each galaxy. I?ve never seen this in a strategy game, and it?s a cool thing. The ships are all very distinct and you quickly learn which does what. You will have at most 8-15 ships at a time, so you end up developing kind of a personal relationship with them. When you lose a single ship, it?s a big deal. So forget cannon-fodder units from other games. You will want every ship you have to survive. You can also do things like hunt enemy ships and sell their hulls for scrap. Finally, there are all kinds of planets and asteroids that you can capture. I have encountered about 6 different enemy races so far, and I am sure that there are more.
I have to say that the story in this game is one of the best I?ve ever seen. I usually don?t pay attention to the story in games I play, but I really like this one. Forget the tired good vs. evil junk in other games. The story here is about shades of gray. It starts very casually but then really gets good as you play through the game and different races start dealing with you. There are a number of surprises that I won?t spoil for you here.
Finally, the sound and music. The sound effects during battles do a good job of letting you know about important stuff that happens. For example, if a ship is low on armor, you will hear about it and can react before it?s too late. The music is a mix of symphony + faster tracks. Very atmospheric, in my opinion.
Last word: basically, this is a rare gem of a game. If you like mindless games or care only about eye candy, you probably will not like this game. However, I think that most people would really enjoy it.
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