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This is an EXCELLENT game that takes the galaxy civilization games a clear step further. Open-ended like a new science-fiction world and played as a seat-of-your-pants RTS game, this is a very intelligent hybrid that I greatly enjoyed.

In effect, SINS is a successful blend of the wonderful Galactic Civilizations and Homeworld series, with a sprinkling of Total War for good measure. This is NOT a turn-based civilization game, so expect a much faster pace. What this means is that while it maintains the characteristics of classic turn-based civilization games (exploration, expansion, exploitation and extermination), by relieving from the micromanagement tedium, it allows for an intense RealTime Strategy experience. Now, this probably may not appeal to turn-based purists, but I would advise an open mind: this is a good game.

This concept-blending is new, so expect a slow learning curve - it took me a number of ...false-starts to get the hang of it: after all, it plays like an RTS and (although simplified) it still has enough of turn-based features that need to be taken care of. The interface is simplified and informative at the same time, with info trees sliding out only when needed.

There are three different factions to choose from (financiers, technologists and psitecs) - yet, their differences focus mainly on research tree-branching and ship designs. What I did not like was that the ships of all three factions are effectively the same and their differences are only skin-deep. What I would have liked to find (and was disappointed to the point of withholding the 5th star for fun) was ship design and building! Remember how much fun was to design our own spaceships (from freighters to battleships) in GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS II? Well, no such luck here. Let's hope they keep it in mind when the next patch gets prepared (up to the latest patch, 1.191, one can customize maps and starbases but not starships yet).

Quick and constant exploration is not only encouraged by a necessity if one wants to survive - let alone win. Spaceships built within a solar system cannot travel beyond it, unless using "wormhole"-like singularities. This adds to realism but can stretch your finances to their breaking point - since only locally built ships can be used. Moreover, it makes really hard to locate the strategic points to either built defenses or focus an attack. The AI will constantly be bypassing your planning like the Maginot line - and leave you with such a French feeling...

The graphics (of all of backgrounds, planets and units) are very nicely done. I really liked the multiple afterburners tracing through space as a spaceship squadron was dopplering past my screen...And less-than-cutting-edge PC owners rejoice: even 4-5 years old systems can handle this game like a breeze!
What I truly appreciated was the realistic scale of things. Galaxies are much larger than star systems, which in turn are much larger than planets, which in turn are much larger than space stations...than spaceships and so on. How is this achieved? Excellent zooming!
Supreme Commander was the first game to introduce strategic zoom; however, SINS implements it much better and shows how it should had been done: from a galaxy to a single planet and to a single spaceship, zooming in or out firmly maintains the effectiveness of battle controls by grouping and simplifying the info-tiles as one zooms out. In SupCom, we had to chose between either discerning the units or moving around the battlefield - not a bad first attempt, mind you. In SINS, one almost never looses perspective: ongoing battles, critical hotspots, or colony revolts are all easily identifiable in real-time.

On another note, SINS OF A SOLAR EMPIRE is a STARDOCK release which, yes, means their specialized installation utility (IMPULSE). Nevertheless, this game hides no DRM or other intrusive security idiocy. Since trust and respect between a game publisher and its customers is a two-way street (and STARDOCK was willing to prove its friendship first), SINS deserves our support.

For a price much lower than that of the original game one now gets both mini-expansions (DIPLOMACY and ENTRENCHMENT) as well. ENTRENCHMENT improves the graphics and introduces a number of new bases and weapons upgrades. DIPLOMACY adds more weight to diplomatic options and actions (braking a peace treaty now will cost you dearly!), even making a diplomatic victory possible.
So, if you already own SINS you can always get the expansions through IMPULSE for less. In any other case, this is a bargain.

22 comments|61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Let me start by disclosing that I'm a massive fan of the Sins games, have been since the very first one.

What you get with Trinity is the original game and all the expansions, all for less than a tenner, a fantastic deal for those wanting to dip into this very popular game.

If, like me, you use to play the likes of K240 on the Amiga then you'll love this, it takes the concept of managing asteroids and fleets in K240 and magnifies it to managing solar systems across entire star systems. The size of the game is really hard to explain, but the developers have done an amazing job of allowing you to set up endless games of different sizes giving you infinite replay-ability.

Be warned there is no story mode, you just need to throw yourself in and pick up all the tricks as you go along.

If you've read about this and think it might be your kind of game I would recommend skipping Trinity if you can afford to do so and jump in with the newer game which does away with the Impulse game management and can be purchased on Steam instead: [...]
You can check out a review of the newer game here: [...]

If however you're looking for something under £10 that will give you weeks, if not months and years of gameplay then I highly recommend Trinity.
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on 1 June 2013
If you are a fan of strategy then look no further! As a huge fan of strategy myself I have played many many real time strategy games but I have to say Sins Of A Solar Empire is my favourite. Despite having no campaign the skirmishes against A.I are really good fun! There are a number of difficulty levels to choose from and frankly I wouldn't worry about getting better than the A.I but even if you do you can always go onto the online multiplayer. The matches can be huge and last for hours and hours (and by that I mean getting close to triple figures ) or you could just have a small game which could last 4-5 hours. There is a lot of customisation into victory requirements and the three races give you different tactics to choose from. I really couldn't recommend this game any more.

However if you are looking to buy it don't get this! instead get the rebellion expansion as that comes with the content from all the other expansions and doesn't require the full game! It adds huge starbases and even larger titan class spaceships with which you can destroy other civilisations! (great fun)
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on 6 June 2010
This was an original and great game that has now been added to extremely successfully by the two expansions. The first of these adds buildable space stations that can be turn into super forts but can also add to trade routes or have other features added. The second expansion vastly increases the options when interacting with the AI players. The first is a great expansion, the second is an almost must have.
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on 11 September 2011
Sins of a Solar Empire is a sci-fi RTS in which you can take control of either the human Trade Federation (TEC), the Vasari or the Advent for galactic domination. Trinity version comes with two expansions to the game, called "Entrenchment" and "Diplomacy". Each add new features to the original game.

You are able to colonize several kinds of planets or planetoids to develop your civilization's economy and extract their resources and earn credits. You can create massive fleets of warships to fight with in space, and even bribe space pirate mercenaries to attack one of your enemies if you want.

Despite the fact that this game isn't one of the most recent games (when compared to, for instance, Starcraft II), it still delivers in the graphics department. Zoom in close enough and you can see ships flying on the surface or planets, or ships getting hit by plasma weapons during a fight. Zoom in far enough and you can see the planets and stars of star system you are playing in, but without being able to lose track of your buildings or fleets.

The gameplay is very deep - You can create massive fleets that all move together like squadrons, invest in several kinds of research to boost several aspects about your economy, your war machines, your defenses and other aspects. There are a ton of strategies you can follow, thanks to a complex research tree. Its clever "click or use shortkey" and zooming interface makes it very easy (and fun) to manage all that is going on.

The game is all tied-up together with interesting voice-work (each faction has different voices which all match their culture) and a good, fitting space opera-like score which will remind you of several sci-fi movies or series. You can also hide the icons and tilt the camera and you can see all the action like in a movie.

My only major complaints with this game are a lack of campaign, and the lack of options available in the Map editor. But, if you are interested in a sublime, deep and free to play online multiplayer RTS experience, coated with a beautiful Sci-Fi style, then Sins of a Solar Empire must be in your collection - It is up there among the best, along with other great RTS such as Rise of Nations, Starcraft and Age of Empires.
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on 21 August 2010
This game is amazing. I keep going back to it to play another skirmish. The graphics are great. The tech trees are expansive and provide interesting choices - in an average sized game you will have to prioritise technologies that you need. I love the scope of this game - the smallest ships (excluding fighters/bombers) have 50+ crew and the giant capital ships have crew/populations up to 15,000. You can have huge fleets with around 12 capital ships and hundreds of smaller ships. The battles are intense and epic.
Best space RTS I've ever played.
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on 11 November 2011
Admittedly space strategy have not been top of my list for any period of time. I did have a whirl at homeworld but I found myself orientating to the more Earth based blasters. Sins however stands out to the extent that even I had to take notice. An ambitious game with a scale I seldom see. The scale management system is superb as you can micro and macro manage at will. and it can handle three hundred ships on a map as well as three with very little frame drop or slow down and you can zoom in and watch the battles to the closest detail. Upgrade system is good and will have you balancing upgrades with defending your turf.

But heres the down part, no story mode at all which is quite peculiar to me seeing as they spent so much time and effort building up the back drop to the three factions. Ultimately it should be seen like a civ game with different maps,which isn't bad except the games do not last as long as the civ maps and that makes you feel that your not really achieving anything in single player except for honing your skills for the multiplayer. For that reason it lost one star for me. It feels like a superb but incomplete game, which is begging for a single player to drag some character and 'soul' into the game.
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on 5 February 2011
first off let me just say I think this is a fantastic game but it's just lost those stars for the simple reason of it's hugely complex without any true tutorial, sure it gives you the basics but with a game this in depth (where a large game can take upwards of twelve hours to complete) it just isn't sufficient, it doesn't explain much beyond just that, the very basics, it doesn't really explain the research system, income system, planet types and so on

that said don't let it put you off, if your willing to fumble your way through it or go looking for a FAQ / Guide and read up on it it's a fantastic game that is a lot of fun
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on 6 November 2014
purchased this after hunting for a great sci-fi build your galactic empire type game. What rubbish, poor, unimaginative tech' tree, impossible game play vs the AI, nothing more than a re-work of Homeworld that doesn't work. Wasted £12 and many hours trying to enjoy it.

So, back to Master of Orion 2- truly the best of its kind so far created.
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Its not often that I would admit to buying a game twice, but I have with this. I bought a new laptop and when I came to install Sins I found a box with no CD. So what choice did I have, yep its that good I bought it again. Its a great big univerese spanning strategy game that involves tech development, resource management and as ever fleet battles in space as well as a few nice touches like being able to spread the influence of your civilisation. This is a great game and very very easy to pick up and play, not as in depth as some others but that means you can get on and play it rather than micro-managing your suplly chain. Great addictive game.
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