I'm still playing through the campaign, and I'm guessing I'm about halfway through the first mission of chapter 3, and it's kind of a rough one. F.A.T.H.E.R., the AI that is, apparently, the "highest authority" in S.A.A.T continues to be insane. I've tracked it down to its island refuge where it, for some reason, decided to nuke a bunch of other islands (destroying a few buildings, but leaving the trees unharmed). To stop the rogue AI, I have to build up my population until the third tier of workers.
It's a challenge that's stretching my novice city management skills to their limit. Basically, there is a complex interplay of resources, energy, credits, and building space that needs to be navigated to insure that my people have all the luxuries necessary to support a highly educated population. I keep running into shortages that, when I patch them, lead to shortages in other areas, which, upon correcting, lead to new shortages, and so on and so forth. I've got about 400 of the necessary 1200 eco engineers, but after building my second city center and a whole bunch of new houses, my economy suddenly collapsed, and I'm starting to worry that I may not be able to get it to recover.
Still, I guess that's the challenge of the game. If it were easy, it wouldn't be worth doing. (Or maybe it would, there is something oddly relaxing about playing a building game where everything goes right).
It's a little stressful, though, so I'm thinking of putting the campaign on hiatus and starting an open-ended game, so that I can explore the tech tree and resource chains in a situation with a little less pressure. I mean, this is towards the end of the campaign mode, so it may be that I'm too much of a newb to tackle it.
I'm liking the game, though. Exploring the maps, finding resources, and advancing your sci-fi technology are all fun and satisfying. More than enough to keep me going for the last 10 hours.