Quicksilver’s Master of Orion 3 was personally my biggest disappointment in gaming–and singlehandedly dug the 4X turn-based space game’s grave after a decade or so of good stuff (MOO2, Ascendancy, Reach for the Stars, etc.). We’ve had some independent efforts since, and some semi-big name games that were incredibly lackluster, either didn’t do multiplayer well (forgivable), were just effectively mods of CIV 4 (Gal Civ I’m looking at you) or just plain huffed a pan-galactic cockle (Sword of the Stars). With the’ release’ of Elemental War of Magic we’ve seen that while Stardock may have the passion for attempting to recreate some of the older games we love with new graphics, and even the financial clout and true grit to get them published (that’s the hard part), that does not mean that they are able to make good games.
What I’d like to see is Stardock to focus on their Gal Civ games, and now that CIV 5 is out for them to copy all the gameplay from, a new release is inevitable in the next few years. While I have no interest in the Gal Civ games (I can just go play CIV 4 or 5 and pretend it’s a space field), they have a following that may help to keep the genre alive while someone else– almost anyone else– picks up the Master of Orion Licence from Atari where it sits, languishing after Quicksilver Games cascade of space piss debacle.