Saturday, August 6, 2016

AI War: Fleet Command - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

"You are outgunned. You are massively outnumbered. You must win." These are your orders.

Humanity has already fought its war against the machines -- and lost. AI death squads stand watch over every planet and every wormhole, the few remaining human settlements are held captive in orbiting bubbles, and the AIs have turned their attention outward, away from the galaxy, to alien threats or opportunities unknown.

This inattention is our only hope: a small resistance, too insignificant even to be noticed by the AI central command, has survived. These are the forces you will command. The AI subcommanders will fight you to the death when they see you -- but your glimmer of opportunity comes from quietly subduing those subcommanders without alerting central processing to the danger until it's too late.

You do have a few things going in your favor. Your ships are much faster. You have safe AI routines to automate defenses and mining outposts. You have production techniques that can churn out fully-outfitted unmanned fighters in seconds. There will never be more than a few thousand of your ships versus tens of thousands of theirs, but through careful strategy you must somehow reach and destroy the heavily-guarded AI cores.

Go forth into the galaxy, steal AI technology, recapture those planets you must in order to achieve your ends, and save what remains of humanity. But draw too much attention to yourself, and the full might of the AI overlords will come crashing down.

Previous Playtime

0 hours

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

Like most of my purchases, it was on deep discount and I impulsively snatched it up. I didn't really know anything about it except that it had an intriguing premise, it was made by the same developer as The Last Federation, and the bundle included all of the DLC.

Expectations and Prior Experience

I'm a little nervous about this game. It looks like a pretty intense RTS, which is a genre that's given me a trouble in the past. According to the store page, it's a twist on the regular formula, where you have to balance production against stealth. Not being especially experienced with the genre, I'm not sure how much I'll appreciate the nuance of this reversal, but the novelty has piqued my interest.

The failure state here is if the game proves to be too hard, if it requires me to react to quickly or focus on too many things at a time. But that's just my typical RTS anxiety. My only real concern that's specific to this game is that maybe managing the AI's aggression will prove to be a frustrating chore, where I'm punished every time I start to feel like I'm doing well.

On the other hand, maybe this game will prove to be an arresting strategic challenge. Maybe I'll get that rush of good feelings that comes with solving a problem and the overwhelming power of the AI will only make it more satisfying to defeat.

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