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Lost Empire: Immortals

Out... and out. We’re zooming out of a single star system. Out and out, until all we can see are the coils of a spiral galaxy. Lost Empire: Immortals is big. Very big. 5,000 separate star systems big. And it’s yours for the taking.

Not all yours, of course, as you’re one of six major races venturing out from your home system, building an empire across the galaxy, encountering not just each other but many minor races that are loose cannons to your expansionism. Food, minerals and credits are the resources you crave, and you manage your empire system by system, getting them to specialise in, say, farming or trading, while at the same time researching a tech tree and designing fleets. You get to customise your ships individually, using the eight hull classes available, and need to balance small, agile ships with big, slow, scary ones. Battles are automated, but you can play them back afterwards to see those attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion and the C-beams glittering in the dark at the Tannhauser Gate. And, yes, it does look a bit like Homeworld.

Which of the six races you play as will affect strategy - one is stealthy, one uber-intelligent, one breeds like bunnies. Each has its own small storyline, involving them and the mysterious Immortals of the title, who dole out missions and rewards. Vast in scale and potentially vast in playing time if you choose to start at a more remote arm of the galaxy, this may be space at is most operatic.

Mar 3, 2008