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Title: Armada 2526 Gold Edition
Genre: Indie, Strategy
Release Date: 28 Feb, 2013
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I find this game lacking in comparison to other 4x space games. But for $22 it's alright. It's not a must have IMO, but if you must add to your 4X space game collection, then I recommend getting this on sale.. It is an amazing strategy game were you take command of a species to lead them to galactic victory. It has a very well designed economic system, a clean unhappiness system, and an amazing diplomacy system, even with AI. There is, however, one MAJOR flaw. The game has a bug where : If you attack an enemy colony, and do not choose to auto calculate the battle, the screen goes to the desktop exept for a GUI overlay. Then, after the battle is over, and the screen will remain black with a GUI overlay. Any text or windows that appear on the black screen will stay there even after closing them. Furthermore, saving the game and rebooting it does not help. Unless you plan on victory without fighting, you simply cannot win.. A competent entry into the space 4x4 genre. Has elements of Masters of Orion 1 and 2 as well as the original Galactic Civilizations 1.
One big weakpoint about Armada 2526, which it shares with GalCiv 1 and fails to match MoO1 and MoO2 with, it doesn't have ships that you design yourself. All ships within the game are all preset blueprints which only unlock when the appropriate tech is researched. This means individual weapon and ship components techs are also not used in this game. Eg the weapon tech tree doesn't open up exotic new weapon types like in MoO1 / 2, it just adds buffs to the game's few generic weapon types - all weapon types are there from the start to the finish of every game, no new ones get invented! All there are is a few bland "Energy Beam", "Missiles" etc. An example weapon tech effect is "Increase all energy based weaponry range by 30%". Ship types are often a bit boring too, just "Cruiser I", "Cruiser II" etc. Ships also have no armour or hull structure points, the shields are IT..... once a shield goes down even a .22 bullet will vapourise a Battlecruiser!!!!! (Anyone familiar with the mediocre "Smugglers V"?)
Despite shields being all there is HP-wise, there are no individual shield techs! Just a couple of small ubiqutious and generic shield HP buffs throughout the whole tech-tree! Obviously no armour or hull techs, as I said the game doesn't even accomodate such things, and ships have no "size" statistics taken into account.
There's no engine techs, no targeting computer techs. In fact the whole tech tree is somewhat bland, and smaller than a lot of Armada 2625's competitors.
Maybe the above is because Armada 2526 is allegedly a remake of a much older game, "Armada 2525" which predates even Master of Orion 1! It's believed MoO1 may even have took a lot of it's ideas from Armada 2525!
Apart from all those weaknesses the game is fairly solid. Don't be fooled by the overall negative tone here, I'm just making sure you are aware of the game's major faults. Don't be put off buying this if you are space 4x4 nut like me, you *will* like it I assure you! And it is way way way better than the godawful "Horizon" (full price a RIP-OFF at well over £20)!
DON'T pay the full retail price of £14.99 though. Wait for a good 50%+ sale!
PS/ All those good looking screen shots on the store page ARE misleading..... you can get the 3d battle scenes to do this, but the game's UI makes it very tricky to do so, you will not often be bothering getting yourself the kind of eye-candy in those advertising shots!. Its a wonderful strategy game! Witha plethora of starships to choose from Armada2526 GE allows for limitless in battle strategies. While at the same time allowing for dictator like control over all that goes on in your empire. If for one reason or another micromanaging becomes a pain, several features allow you to hand different aspects of control to the AI. Alothough there are only 18 different alien races, there are several other factions with differnt perks than the main branch of that race. The map designer enpowers you to create just about any galaxy you heart desires and choose the riches at each planet. The only down falls to this game may be that the game can become a little monotonous after 200 turns if you don't set new goals for your-self and time between turns can be long if you are playing with a lot of races. Above all the game provides a wide variety of stratagies to conqur the galaxy.. Armada 2526, is a fairly old game. There's alot of the UI where that shows, such as ending turns in multiplayer games, ending your turn completely and being unable to act.
Unit diversity could be a touch better as well in early game.
That all aside, the game is deep...shockingly deep. There is a whole lot to fiddle with, and experiment here, from varying techs, planet and star system setups, even setting up migrations of population from one star system to another. Somewhere in the 50th turn I realized I was completely hooked, and my fledling 9 world empire (this is TINY compared to the total number of stars available, even in a "medium" sized map.) was just now barley starting to come out of the red and into the black.
The sheer distance between stars, also makes you feel the sheer vastness of your empire, even when you have 9 inhabited systems (you end up with far far far more) it takes a very long time to get to your new planets. In early game, when your colonizable planets are far flung, you are gambling. it's inevitable really. Do you go so far out that reinforcements will be a LONG time in coming? Or do you take the risk for higher inhabited worlds to come up quicker, and be self sufficient before another empire decides to take them?
There is depth in a great many facets of the game on initial impression, and the sheer scale involved is daunting. Highly recommend, especially as this game is more often than not onsale, 50 to 75 percent off.. Classic, simple to play; but, requires sophistication to win. It is an amazing strategy game were you take command of a species to lead them to galactic victory. It has a very well designed economic system, a clean unhappiness system, and an amazing diplomacy system, even with AI. There is, however, one MAJOR flaw. The game has a bug where : If you attack an enemy colony, and do not choose to auto calculate the battle, the screen goes to the desktop exept for a GUI overlay. Then, after the battle is over, and the screen will remain black with a GUI overlay. Any text or windows that appear on the black screen will stay there even after closing them. Furthermore, saving the game and rebooting it does not help. Unless you plan on victory without fighting, you simply cannot win.
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