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Space Empires V review

November 9th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

My review of Space Empires V is now up at Gamesradar. SE5 is a game with a lot of depth, but you will need a lot of patience to get far in it.

When the 4x genre got going strong in the early nineties, developers had to choose a path as the games and market grew. One path led to fewer decisions with greater significance. The other led to smaller decisions but more of them; cumulatively of major importance. The first path meant simplicity and transparency. The second mean charts and new stuff every time out.

Space Empires takes the second path with a vengeance. My brief review never even dealt with the well documented bugs because the most off-putting thing about the game is the size. This game is huge, poorly documented and awe-inspiring in its attention to detail.

Can you think of any other strategy game that takes ordnance supply seriously? You can’t just send a space fleet out to kick butt because it could run out of missiles or torpedoes in its first large scale battle. You need to replenish your weapons, which means no strikes at a capital deep in enemy territory a la Galactic Civilizations. You’ll need to control the “Neutral Zone” or fringe planets so you can feed and arm your fleets.

If you like this sort of thing, you will love Space Empires V. Me, I don’t love this sort of thing, but I can appreciate it. Sort of like quilting, I guess. I understand why people enjoy this sort of micromanagement, even if it makes the larger galaxies completely impractical.

Gamespot gave Jeff Lackey a good 1200 words for his review, so he covers the technical end and gameplay in much greater detail than I did. His final verdict (“fair”) is perfectly in line with my own. SE5 is for the die-hards and the wannabe converts. This is for people who found GalCiv too shallow and Sword of the Stars too mysterious.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Bruce

    What was that? 350 words? What is the point of taking a review of under 400 words and posting it on the web over 3 separate pages?

  • Troy

    I don’t do layout. I just do words. I’m sure there is a business reason behind it.

  • Bruce

    I know. It was a rhetorical question.

    It almost seems like a parody of web layout, though.