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Games of E3

The Escapist Staff | 10 Jun 2011 22:00
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Sword of the Stars 2: Lords of Winter

The original Sword of the Stars was a deep, engaging, and daunting 4X space game - a dying breed. Sword of the Stars 2 promises the same depth without the steep learning curve and hopefully will keep 4X fans going for some time.

Read Allistair's full preview of Sword of the Stars 2: Lords of Winter here. The game will be available August 18 for the PC.

Allistair Pinsof:
The detail on the new ship models is immediately apparent when jumping into one of the game's real-time battles. Customizing a ship's paint job and features is nice, but it's how it all factors into gameplay that matters. Taking down an opponent's ship in the original SotS was as simple as destroying two parts of it, but now players must factor in how individual sections power a ship. This makes formations and rolling all the more important in this sequel.

With improved rolls, formations based around a new three-dimensional playing field, and a tweaked targeting system, the combat system will incorporate updated features of expansions while including some exclusive to this sequel. The developer promised annoying cat-and-mouse matches with an enemy's command ship will be a thing of the past, this time out. While the strategic depth of this sequel might scare away newcomers, Kerberos are doing their best to streamline combat (now most encounters last 4-5 minutes) and the game's interface.

The original was made by just a couple guys and it showed. The interface catered to the hardcore while scaring those new to the genre. The sequel cuts off the fat by hiding unnecessary info and smartly organizing the numbers that do matter. The game's menus and art assets have also undergone a makeover. Everything from character avatars to the returning randomized tech tree have undergone visual improvements, making for a professional looking game made by a modestly sized team.

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