Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Space Empires V - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

Space Empires V is the latest edition in the Space Empires series. This new chapter completely updates the UI and takes the player into a real-time rendered 3D universe. Watch space battles played out in glorious detail and realistic effects. Expand, Explore, Exploit, and Exterminate in a huge living breathing galaxy. New features abound with political alliances between multiple empires, a top-down ship design system, a hexagonal movement grid, and many more. Due to player demand, the game is completely 'moddable' and even adds a scriptable AI system to the mix. Space Empires V boldly takes the next step in the genre of space strategy.

Previous Playtime

38 hours

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

Looking back at the store page, it's hard to remember what, specifically, inspired this purchase. I'm pretty sure it being on sale with Space Empires IV for only five dollars helped, but the title and presentation are so generic, I'm not sure what about it caught my eye. I guess being a feature-rich space 4X was enough.

Expectations and Prior Experience

That being said, my tepid reaction to the game's Store page is not at all indicative of how much I eventually enjoyed the game itself. The things that leap out in my memory are its massive tech tree, complex game setup, and its truly staggering number of diplomatic options. I also remember that some of the mechanics were pretty opaque and the user interface was scarcely better than its predecessor's.

However, I have to confess that my memories of the larger game are somewhat distorted by the fact that most of my 38 hours were spent playing on a "no wormholes" start and that the time I spent "really" playing the game, complete with alien rivals, diplomacy, and warfare, was probably less than a dozen hours.

And if I'm being super-duper honest, I expect that I will repeat that pattern once again. It's my usual custom to play at least one easy game from beginning to end in order to get a feel for a game's tech tree, and I'm not the sort to get bored just by clicking "next turn" a thousand times in a row. So playing a game where it's basically just me, by myself, is not an issue for me. And if I remember correctly, the game's tech tree is so large that even this optimally fast way of playing is likely to take close to 20 hours.

So strap in for an extremely dull and uneventful ride!

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