I have decided that I am a “space-themed game” gamer. I prefer sci-fi over fantasy in general, so it makes sense that I gravitate more towards sci-fi games than I do high-fantasy games. Generally, I believe the market backs me up in this, as the only genre that I can think of right now that is fantasy-heavy is — wait for it — the MMO segment! My blogging career owes a lot to my time as a primarily MMO player, but since I’ve been playing fewer MMOs (as there have seemingly been fewer new MMOs worth playing, IMO), I’ve kind of relied on a more honest uptake of sci-fi games.
Obviously there’s my love of Star Citizen, which even in its unfinished state is showcasing features that no other game has reached for in terms of flat-out simulation. This weekend I played a little bit of Elite Dangerous. I could have just fired up Citizen, but the patch-day reset kind of makes progress difficult. I spend most of my Elite time taking simple courier missions and flirted with the idea of taking some of the other types of missions on offer, like ones to scan stuff on planets, but never got around to it. I did try and outfit my Imperial Clipper (which I don’t remember buying) for a combat role, but when I waded into a fight to defend a cargo ship, I died almost instantly. I am not a combat pilot in Elite Dangerous, so I’ll stick to moving cargo.
I bought a game called SpaceBourne this weekend because it looked like a good game that sat somewhere between the simplistic model of Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and the bonkers depth of an X game (X4: Foundations, et al). The game is pretty good overall, but it’s pretty awesome considering it was apparently created by a single person. Some of the English localization is hilariously spotty, but it’s an Early Access title so I can’t complain.
This game didn’t really do much for me, though, so I installed Endless Space 2 and played that for a few hours yesterday. As far as 4X games go, this one is probably the one that most barely meets the criteria, only because it focuses less on the meat and potatoes of what you’d consider to be a true 4X game and leans heavily on narrative and secondary systems like government. Although it’s a game from Amplitude Studios, it has a lot of the kinds of features you’d see from a Paradox product and despite Paradox having Stellaris, I didn’t want that heavy a 4X game, so Endless Space 2 was a perfect choice.
Finally, I want to talk about a game I’m kinda playing, but I can’t because it’s in alpha and has an NDA attached with it. Suffice to say that it’s a game that I never thought I’d want to talk about, but I really, really do because, quite frankly, it’s pretty awesome even in its alpha state. I hope to unload my screenshots and impressions eventually when the Wall of Silence drops. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!