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on 23 November 2009
A very well made game with lots to keep the most harden gamer happy but having said that their is one big draw back and that is why have they not made number Sins Of A Solar Empire 2 for the(PC) as not many games come out on that platform any more!! but game play is good, well good graphic, music lets it down a bit, the sound fx is good, overall a good game to buy with lots of hours to play you will lose track of time when in this game. And thats! all focks......
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on 24 May 2008
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 patch gets prepared.

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 ...info-tiles 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. Nevertheless, this game hides no DRM or other intrusive security idiocy. It was released in early February in the US (from where I got my copy) and although it is not protected by anything more than its customers trust and honor, it NEVER LEFT THE BESTSELLER LIST EVER SINCE. That should be a lesson to other game publishers who insult their own customers with Limited Installations and draconian DRM.
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.

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on 26 May 2008
I'm not a real fan of gargantuan space based 4X games such as Galactic Civilizations - a little too slow and usually festooned with complicated interfaces and menus within menus within menus within a drop down box!

But Sins bridges the gap between RTS games while maintaining a realistically slow pace that goes with being a galactic spanning strategy game. It really reminded me of that old classic Imperium Galactica II albeit without the ground based combat.

First of all the graphics are great, and the superzoom function is straight out of Supreme Commander (thats a good thing). The tutorial gives you decent foundations in the essentials of conquering the galaxy in order to start a few small games with the AI. I'm not really a fan of multiplayer gaming so I was disappointed with the apparent lack of a single player campaign - so far I've only played instant-action style maps of varying sizes with the AI. Nevertheless it can certainly suck you in as you construct a space-faring economy while researching technologies to build up a war fleet.

Sins also introduces key battleship units that level up with experience like the Hero characters in Warcraft III or commander units in Dawn of War. By the time your flagships (yes you can have mroe than one!) get to a high level they're pretty much nigh-on-invulnerable. Another unique concept it brings in is a non-player pirate faction. As part of the diplomacy mechanic you can put a bounty on any opposing player's head and they can do the same to you. The pirates then attack the player with the highest current bounty. Kinda like ebay with hitmen.

There are other features too such as a vast tech tree, several races to choose from and a simple black market economy.

Overall a very deep and satisfying game but it can take a while to get used to, and even a single game on a small map can take hours! 4 stars mainly because there is no real single player story-based campaign despite the intro movie setting the scene for a decent story (at least I haven't found it yet! - you'd think it would be a big button saying "Campaign" or something).
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on 15 November 2008
Not only is this a great game (check out the reviews for it) it is also published by a company that respects its cash paying customers.

After reading the review, i decided i couldnt wait for UK release, so i bought online in the USA, downloaded it, then shortly after the DVD arrived in the post.

Its a very deep RTS, kinda like Homeworld 2 but more intense and more deep. If you like Homeworld 2 your gonna love this game.

On the subject of DRM... Stardock's policy is to sell its games without horrible SecureROM or other evil harmful malware/data mining software being included. It believes that its cash paying customers should be treated with respect as they want their customers to return in the future. It means there is nothing to stop you from copying the game, but why should we? It is reasonably priced, offers weeks of entertainment and their refreshing approach doesnt not knacker up your windows installation.. what is really sensible is that they believe that customers who have bought their games could have decided to go and steal the software online if they really wanted to.. so why treat them like criminals?

These people should be commended and because of their forward thinking policy, i hope this game becomes a bestseller on AMAZON and you guys support them by buying their products.

here's their "Gamers Bill of Rights"

1. Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
2. Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
3. Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
4. Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
5. Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will play adequately on that computer.
6. Gamers shall have the right to expect that games won't install hidden drivers or other potentially harmful software without their consent.
7. Gamers shall have the right to re-download the latest versions of the games they own at any time.
8. Gamers shall have the right to not be treated as potential criminals by developers or publishers.
9. Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
10. Gamers shall have the right that games which are installed to the hard drive shall not require a CD/DVD to remain in the drive to play.

Well done Stardock - im looking forward to them publishing more major titles in the future.
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on 17 June 2008
This game doesnt.
Think about it - what does a campagn do...
Each mission gets you a new bit of tech
Makes the overall game artificially last longer

Thats about it .
This game doesnt need one - I played a small map last night for 5 hours.
The pace is just right.
The AI adapted to my strategies with apparent ease.
I remember one encouter :
I attacked a planet - the enemy fleet sat and watched untill the planatary defences had weakened my fleet - enemy ships were still entering the system - It then sent an attacking force to the nearest one of my planets and engaged my attack fleet.

It was sneaky!!!

I cant praise the gameply enough - I would call it elegant.
Simple to learn very dificult to master - like all the best games:)
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on 5 July 2009
If you love action RTS like company of heroes, dawn of war or the tank rush blitzkreig of C&C then do not buy this, you will be disappointed. This is a game that rewards the true strategist, the planner and the tacticain. The enemy Ai in this game is the most telling example of just how rich this game is.
I've had enemy fleets jump out to other star systems and abandon there worlds rather then lose a fleet in combat, theyd much rather wait and engage when they have a chance, no just attacking because you are there. ive conquered systems and built colonies and infrasturcture only to move a fleet to a battle elsewhere for the Ai to pick that moment to move in. In this game your not thinking about hoarding and getting the killer unit, there is no killer unit, capital ships can be easily destroyed by wings of bombers, To iterate, its all about the tactic and the srategy. If you want that then get this, you wont be disappointed. Its such good fun and intuitive, dont be put off its not that hard to learn and youll love trying to master it. For proof just check the vids on youtube.
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on 25 August 2008
OK, first of all, I have never in the past had any time for RTS games, I loved the Total War turned based strategy type games (and still do). I thought that no other game would ever surpass Rome Total War for the excessive amount of time I spent on the game (my wife even called herself a 'Rome Widow'!)

Until this little gem of a game. It is a, at first, slow burning strategy game, with a very intuitive interface (absolutely no need for the keyboard, everything can be accessed using the mouse), nice graphics and very clever AI (If you do not make alliances, you will be beaten!) It just pulls you in until at some point, you realise you've just spent four hours on one of the smaller scenarios, when you think you've only been playing for half an hour or so!

It is so deep and challenging (on the harder difficulty levels), that I find myself doing what I did when playing Rome; I spend time at work thinking about the best strategy to expand my empire - do I kill them with commerce, or a fleet of heavily armed, levelled up battle cruiser and frigate fleets, or a sprinkling of both? The game, like all good strategy games, makes you think about your choices, and penalises you if you make the wrong ones (like I did when I thought I'd just sit it out until I had enough money, crystal and metal to 'level up' my planets and resources....)

If you like strategy games, be it RTS or turned based, you cannot fail to like this game, it is fun, clever, nice looking, easy to get into and quite addictive, a rare combination in these days of looks are everything with game play an afterthought.

Highly recommended, and excellent value for money. It has changed my views about RTS games forever.
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on 11 August 2009
I can't update it past 1.05 because I bought it 2nd hand from Amazon. The game itself is just fine. It's not perfect but there are many things to like about it that have been detailed elsewhere. I have no desire to buy pirated copies of games but if I'm penalised for buying a game from a legitimate seller is there any reason to be honest? Any reason at all?

I'd give the game 4 stars. I'd give the dumbass security system that treats honest gamers like chimps no stars.

Bear this in mind if you are buying from a reseller.
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on 10 July 2008
Sure this game has depth with scenarios consisting well over 100 systems, It would take you weeks, many mugs of coffee and a hermit-like lifestyle if you wish to play till the end. Single player is good but nothing mind-blowing, the AI can be difficult but also boring and dormant. Multiplayer is where its at but because of the depth of this game small scenarios work best. You're looking at 2hrs+ for a game that has ~16 systems.

Tech tree's are interesting and well structured and its up to you whether you want to build up military force or economics first, or do both like me sometimes.

Visually its great for a RTS (4x) style game with good accompanying sounds. The only other thing I could compare it too visually is Empire at War or Homeworld. Though the scale of this game is "epic" the units and structures are somewhat rather small and don't feel like the vessel they are. Take the Capitol ships for example, if only they were like those from X3:Reunion, that would rock.

I took a gamble buying this game as its something of a new genre (sub-genre?) having not played anything like this before. This game has so much potential its screaming out for further development. Luckily the devs are releasing a new patch sometime this month, par on expansion-like size so they say which will be interesting. If in doubt stick it out otherwise buy it! :)
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on 5 June 2009
Since I first played Star Wars Rebellion, I always wished there would a second version that is more playable. Lucas Arts could not fulfil this wish - of course. But Stardock Games seriously did it. The perfect mixture between RTS like Starcraft and 4X like Civilisation, and a hint of RPGaming. Seriously, there is nothing I miss in this game. Awesome!!!
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