Sins of a Solar Empire

Sept 25, 2007

Developer,Ironclad has ambitious plans for the design of Sins of a Solar Empire. Billed as a "RT4X," the game attempts to marry gigantic playing fields and deep strategy - on a scale usually reserved for turn-based 4X titles - with the fast-paced action of an RTS.

Like most 4X titles, Sins looks huge. Maps vary in size from large to gigantic, with the smallest consisting of several planets while the largest features multiple solar systems with planets orbiting each star. Add on epic fleets, economy management, tech trees to climb, and Ironclad's challenging task of bringing a game of 4X proportions like this from turn-based to real-time becomes clearer.

Above: You can zoom the camera out until stars and planets are little more than dots or zoom in all the way for some really cinematic scenes

Planets must be colonized, cultivated for tax revenue, and protected from attack. Asteroids must be mined for resources. Fleets must be constructed, weapons must be upgraded, and of course, there are your enemies that could strike at any moment. It's the sort stuff you're used to dealing with in a traditional RTS, but on a grander scale with a greater level of depth.

With so much going on in these maps of galactic proportions, we were wondering if Sins would wind up killing us with over-the-top micro-management on a macro level. But from our brief time with the beta, the game handles quite well without feeling overwhelming or dumbed down.