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Lords of Winter

When we were introduced to the dev behind Sword of the Stars 2, it was not before we were pointed at a poster on the booth. A small starship, labelled as a human cruiser, was about to be engulfed by a gigantic, sprawling alien entity. As is all the rage at the moment, it seems that the Sword of the Stars series is getting in on the ‘massive, gigantic monsters!’ bandwagon. The much anticipated seventh race in the game, the Suul'ka, are touted as being way different from all the other races – not to mention significantly more enormouser.

“Aliens ate my homeworld”

Sword of the Stars 2 aims to diverge from the traditional way in which space exploration/civilisation building games are made, and focus more on detailed combat while streamlining the empire building. As expected, the game features a 3D combat engine, and ship design in firmly in the hands of the player. Tech tree advances are randomised, but each race has a weighting toward certain core techs. This will create a ‘usual’ pattern of technologies for each race that will change slightly from game to game, keeping players on their toes.

An interesting technique that we saw was the blurred lines between SP and MP. If your friend Bob (he doesn’t actually have to be called Bob, we’re just working with an example) can only spare you a couple of hours to play multiplay before he has to go out for his Lambada class (it also doesn’t have to be a Lambada class – work with me here), you can switch him in for one of the rival races in your SP game for a bit, then switch it back once you’re back on your lonesome. You can even switch teams in-game, and since we’re all honourable we’d only ever use this to explore alternative courses once we’d finished the game fairly. We’d never use it just to jump ship and hop into the shoes of the race that’s just eaten out homeworld, would we?

Would we?

After criticism of the first game, the campaign screen now features a simplified information interface as well as a gorgeous 3D star map. Sword of the Stars 2 system requirement data has shifted over the course of the year but Felix has just posted the latest full requirements for SotS2 and we’re certainly looking at something that can handle Direct X 10 as a minimum.

We are looking forward to seeing what they are going to deliver in the final version with all this computer power. SotS2  is due out in only a few months so they will be adding the final touches and getting ready to ship soon.

Huge numbers of customisation points on star ships