Well it’s about goddamn time!

Endless Space.   Community Driven 4x space game by some French peoples.  When you play, in the distance you can hear the cowes lowing out MOO.  Shot out onto the internets via Steam in alpha format if you pre-order the game, and while it is definitely an ALPHA, the game and interface shows a great deal of promise for those of use that feel we have been urinated upon from a great height by games like Sword of the Stars and Galactic Civ.

High points:

Combat is tight as Seven of Nine’s uniform and will work for both single player AND multiplayer

The interface is Jeisa Chiminazzo.  Extremely impressive both functionally and visually.

Ship design is easy.

BauriceMastard did a video of some play where he and I were babbling about it and of course it’s worth a listen– all fourty three minutes and twenty six seconds of it.

Gods of Gaming, Please don't let Stardock get the Master of Orion License

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.