User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 92
  2. Negative: 5 out of 92

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  1. Aug 23, 2014
    10
    Features:
    An incredible amount of customization of difficulty, complexity and length of each playing session.
    Graphics on par with the latest AAA titles despite being released in 09. Second-to-none levels of optimization. Potentially thousands of units and weapon discharge effects on the screen at the same time with virtually no frame-rate loss. Hundreds, if not thousands of hours of
    Features:
    An incredible amount of customization of difficulty, complexity and length of each playing session.
    Graphics on par with the latest AAA titles despite being released in 09.
    Second-to-none levels of optimization. Potentially thousands of units and weapon discharge effects on the screen at the same time with virtually no frame-rate loss.
    Hundreds, if not thousands of hours of depth and gameplay.
    A very steep learning curve.
    The best AI you will ever play against (as the title implies).
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  2. Jul 14, 2014
    9
    AI War: Fleet Command is an excellent game that requires a lot of time to play and can be a bit overwhelming but the rewards for persevering through what can be very confusing at first is a deep and interesting game that mixes some of the best elements of 4x, RTS, and tower defense games together.

    The game is set for a team of 1-8 human players working together against an AI that
    AI War: Fleet Command is an excellent game that requires a lot of time to play and can be a bit overwhelming but the rewards for persevering through what can be very confusing at first is a deep and interesting game that mixes some of the best elements of 4x, RTS, and tower defense games together.

    The game is set for a team of 1-8 human players working together against an AI that responds to the players’ action by becoming angrier; sending out larger and continuously more powerful waves of units to attack the players as they try to reclaim the galaxy and drive both AIs out by taking out their 2 home systems. The game has a staggering array of units, some of which are AI or specific NPC faction only, others are basic and the players always have access to them, still others are acquired upon capturing facilities and via research. The plethora of things to play with is enjoyable even taken on their own, and more so once you get to use them in battle after battle.

    The game also lets you fine tune your experience to an incredible degree. The AI’s have a wide array of difficulties to set with random or player-selected personalities that determine their mix of units and general behavior patterns. You can also turn certain more advanced units on or off if you so desire, and if you have the expansions, which I highly recommend, you can even turn certain aspects of the packs on or off or even set them with variable levels of difficulty if you like. There are also other factions that can be turned on to add more challenge and diversity to your game. You can even alter certain portions of how the AI gets angrier at the players which is a key factor in the pace of the game.

    The game takes place in a galaxy whose parameters the game’s host sets before beginning, if playing a single player game, you are the host by default, and these parameters include the number of star systems as well as the topography of these star systems. The systems are linked via wormholes that become focal points of your strategy and you can set the style of the galaxy from a long single line of systems with minimal connections to webs of connections all over the place. In an interesting consequence of the way the game plays out, a moderate sized galaxy is actually the easiest to play. A small galaxy gives the player less research, which in turn means fewer units to use against the AI, while a large galaxy will take longer to play and the longer the game goes, the angrier the AI gets, and as the AI gets angrier, it attacks with larger and more powerful forces and its defensives get more formidable.

    The dynamic of the AI reacting to the players’ actions is the core of the game. Unless playing against a very easy AI, the players cannot take over every system, the AI will grow far too powerful as their anger grows from losing so many systems and their homeworlds will become too tough to crack. Some systems are far more valuable and your efforts to wrest systems from the AI should focus on these. A system with a lot of resources, with capturable labs or other facilities that allow new units to be built, old Golems that need to be repaired, and other various things that you want to take for yourself, all are good targets for conquest. A dead-end system with no real value should instead be screened and bypassed. It’s not worth the time and AI aggression increase to take less valuable systems. This guerilla warfare system is part of what makes the game what it is. It feels like a typical 4x game in many ways, but it plays out very differently, with the players having to balance the understandable desire to conquer the galaxy with the fact that the AI will become very nasty if you try.

    I heartily recommend this game, but it can be a daunting undertaking and takes a long time to play a full campaign. It’s quite inexpensive on Steam, the complete pack including all the expansions is currently 16.99 US dollars and even considering that very reasonable price it’s put on sale often as well. Even the demo can be made into the full game by purchasing a key and activating it, so you can try out the actual game for free before deciding to take the plunge. If you like detailed games with a lot of options and permutations, it’s a plunge you will very likely enjoy.
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  3. May 11, 2014
    9
    Utterly engrossing, impossible to put down, just a fantastic game.

    There could be scope for improvements on the graphics side but there would be a danger or meddling with the sole of the game. I play on an Mac using the track pad just be wary as this can add a bit more difficulty to the game. The tutorial in itself takes time but is absolutely necessary to play through fully.
  4. Oct 6, 2013
    7
    Very good, very detailed RTS with visually the bare minimum required to play the game. Extremely complex so if you prefer to get straight down to battle without micromanagement, this probably isn't for you,
  5. Jun 29, 2013
    10
    Incredible game. It's one of the most rewarding and challenging strategy games I've ever played. There is a fairly steep learning curve, so be sure to use the tutorials (all of them!) and then the first game you play be sure it's got the 'beginner' script set up.
    I feel that many people may not be aware of many of the features designed to reduce micromanagement (for example, the "V"
    Incredible game. It's one of the most rewarding and challenging strategy games I've ever played. There is a fairly steep learning curve, so be sure to use the tutorials (all of them!) and then the first game you play be sure it's got the 'beginner' script set up.
    I feel that many people may not be aware of many of the features designed to reduce micromanagement (for example, the "V" shortcut key to automate most actions of any ship). If you choose to micromanage, you certainly can, but that cuts out most of the fun of the game.
    I strongly suggest you play this game, and given it's only $10 on steam (and it's often on sale for only $2.50), it's definitely worth the purchase.
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  6. May 7, 2013
    10
    A very stratefic game that takes quite some time to get into. Please note that you have to invest quite a bit of time before you can actually enjoy this game, but the time spent is well worth it. AI wars is also constantly supported.
  7. Feb 7, 2013
    8
    Great game, if you have the patience to learn it. As others have mentioned, the learning curve is steep. There are tutorials, and forums, and wikis and instructions, and you will need to reference them all many times to get a real sense of what is going on. In a nutshell, make progress, but don't cheese the AI off too much or you will die. You have to always be aware of the AI'sGreat game, if you have the patience to learn it. As others have mentioned, the learning curve is steep. There are tutorials, and forums, and wikis and instructions, and you will need to reference them all many times to get a real sense of what is going on. In a nutshell, make progress, but don't cheese the AI off too much or you will die. You have to always be aware of the AI's progress meter.

    The fun is in seeing how far you can push the AI before that happens, and if you get really good, you will win a game or two. If you can't stand losing, this is not your game. If you find losing is a part of the learning experience, you will enjoy this game.
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  8. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    What an absolutely brilliant game. AI War presents the player an impressive and even daunting challenge in a way I have never yet experienced before in an RTS. The one main reason why I love this game so much? It boils down to the decisions the player gets to make... a multitude of tough decisions that actually make a difference... and there are no right answers. DislikeWhat an absolutely brilliant game. AI War presents the player an impressive and even daunting challenge in a way I have never yet experienced before in an RTS. The one main reason why I love this game so much? It boils down to the decisions the player gets to make... a multitude of tough decisions that actually make a difference... and there are no right answers. Dislike micromanagement? The game design has your back. Or maybe you love micromanagement... manage away! The diverse array of strategies, tactics, weaponry, tech, etc. as well as a near infinite number of maps, game options, etc. will ensure that every game is not only different, but that every game will contain DEPTH. You will lose to the AI... a lot. This game puts the pain in growing pains, but it also makes success so so sweet. The expansions are a must. I highly suggest you read the Arcen AI War Wiki for getting started tips. There is so much to absorb and even after 50 hours of play I'm still learning. Chris Parks did a phenomenal job and I hope he continues to make such fantastic games... and ultimately I hope we keep seeing expansions for AI War. Worth every single penny spent, plus more. Expand
  9. Aug 15, 2012
    10
    A bit complex at first, but the tutorial open you the doors to a world of pure strategy. The AI is really astounding (starting at difficulty level 7, which is considered where the real game begins) The game is coop-directed, so even if it can be appreciated in solo, you will only increase the fun exponentially to the number of friend you grab. Even more, ArcenGames supports feedback fromA bit complex at first, but the tutorial open you the doors to a world of pure strategy. The AI is really astounding (starting at difficulty level 7, which is considered where the real game begins) The game is coop-directed, so even if it can be appreciated in solo, you will only increase the fun exponentially to the number of friend you grab. Even more, ArcenGames supports feedback from the community; the game now can hardly be compared to what it was at the beginning. RTS lovers got to try the demo. Expand
  10. Mar 7, 2012
    6
    AI War takes real time strategy to the extreme. I managed to make it through the tutorial and am now able to grasp the basic elements of structures and squads. It's a tremendous amount of detail, highly complex, and overwhelming for just about anyone, especially novices to this genre. Looking underneath all the complexity, one can clearly see the fundamental RTS elements: gather resources,AI War takes real time strategy to the extreme. I managed to make it through the tutorial and am now able to grasp the basic elements of structures and squads. It's a tremendous amount of detail, highly complex, and overwhelming for just about anyone, especially novices to this genre. Looking underneath all the complexity, one can clearly see the fundamental RTS elements: gather resources, build structures, create a military, and kill your opponent. It just takes place on a much grander scale than most.

    The game is quite intimidating because of the sheer number of options, the busy HUD, and the non intuitive user interface, but the game allows total control over every intricate detail and that is truly where the game's strength lies. You have the freedom to control ANYTHING. I can clearly see the long term enjoyment at this early stage, but it will take a lot of patience, persistence, and dedication to get there. Fair warning--this is not a game that offers instant gratification.
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  11. Sep 30, 2011
    9
    Although one of the more confusing games on the market, once you wrap your head around it, you will find it to be one of the deepest RTS games that you are likely to play.
  12. Sep 11, 2011
    8
    this game is not for anyone who wants quick strategy games. the trial on steam allows 3 hours on each game and sounds like a lot, but you won't even get past 1/4th of the game. unless you're a superhuman with unholy management skills you wont have a problem with finding a challenge in this game. i personally love this game, but i can see why it's not for everyone. you should probablythis game is not for anyone who wants quick strategy games. the trial on steam allows 3 hours on each game and sounds like a lot, but you won't even get past 1/4th of the game. unless you're a superhuman with unholy management skills you wont have a problem with finding a challenge in this game. i personally love this game, but i can see why it's not for everyone. you should probably download the demo just to see whether or not it's the right kind of game. Expand
  13. Feb 11, 2011
    9
    This game works almost entirely because it throws away the standard RTS convention of trying to make the AI players act like human players. The AI in this game is an AI. It acts like an AI. It's deliberately designed to play differently then a human. As a result, a lot of the stupid cheating that other games do in order to make the AI a challenge while giving it the human's rules don'tThis game works almost entirely because it throws away the standard RTS convention of trying to make the AI players act like human players. The AI in this game is an AI. It acts like an AI. It's deliberately designed to play differently then a human. As a result, a lot of the stupid cheating that other games do in order to make the AI a challenge while giving it the human's rules don't exist here. The AI is not playing with the same rules you are, but it is playing a well defined set of rules. Exploiting the AI isn't cheesy in this game, it's virtually required on higher difficulty (and not as easy as it sounds, the AI gets pretty mean). The goal is to beat the AI while taking as few planets as possible, because the more you take the more aggressive the AI gets in response. Graphics are nothing to write home about. Soundtrack is good. Ship selection is good, and insanely huge if you have the expansions. Any serious RTS fan should give this one a try. Expand
  14. Jan 17, 2011
    9
    AI Wars does not shine with graphics. AI Wars does not shine with its interface. And AI War certainly did not reinvent the "build up army and then mow down the enemy" genre.

    AI Wars shines with its AI (the name of the game kinda gives that focus away). An AI that learns from you. An AI that you have to beat again and again, just 'cause you got it once does not mean that the same
    AI Wars does not shine with graphics. AI Wars does not shine with its interface. And AI War certainly did not reinvent the "build up army and then mow down the enemy" genre.

    AI Wars shines with its AI (the name of the game kinda gives that focus away). An AI that learns from you. An AI that you have to beat again and again, just 'cause you got it once does not mean that the same strategy will work again. Or that it will work anymore later in the game when the AI found out how you play and adapts. If you notice a plan works too well, it could well be that the AI lets you "win" a few non critical planets and think that your idea is great, only to set the trap for you on one of the more important key systems.

    Another thing that makes AI interesting is that you can't simply use the steamroller tactics that often give you the edge in such games, i.e. mass your forces and roll over the enemy, build a new front line, roll forwards... If you do that, you already lost because the AI gets more powerful depending on how many systems you invade and "liberate". Every time you take over a key system, you "give" the AI more "progress", which translates into more power it may use against you.

    In general an awesome game that only has one sore point: Multiplayer. No, it is actually stunning in multiplayer (seriously, playing this game with a few people is just plain awesome), since you co-op against the AI. What blows is that the game comes without any tool whatsoever for matchmaking. So either you have a few friends you play with or you can only hope to find someone on their boards that might want to play at the same time as you do, you talk it out and agree on a time... no "lobby" system to connect to and hop into a game with some other random player who wants to give it a spin.

    But if you and your friends happen to like challenging, co-op RTS games with a very challenging AI, by all means this is a great game!
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Feb 15, 2011
    80
    The heart of AI War is in its asymmetrical nature, but that uniqueness permeates the entire game, from the way each fight works to your overarching strategy.
  2. Expertly crafted resourcing and development tools prevent stagnation of the game's simple conquest objective, and the sheer scope of ships, maps and difficulty levels – not to mention co-op – is likely to keep this gem afloat for some time. RTS fans rejoice.
  3. Excellent space strategy. [Nov 2009, p.90]