Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Feb 6, 2013
    40
    Sword of the Stars II is exhausting. It has a genius to its depth of strategy, customization, and lore, and its ambition is unmatched by perhaps any other 4X title out there, but trying to reach the fruit of any of those qualities leaves one fastened to the sappy bark of labyrinthine menus and a glacial pace. Amidst the high pedigree of the 4X genre, there simply is no reason to play this.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 29
  2. Negative: 7 out of 29
  1. Dec 19, 2012
    9
    8.5 to be more exact. Kerberos has dedicated more than a year to making their baby work right, and it is now damn impressive. It still has some bugs, unfortunately, and it still suffers from a UIX that only a mother could really love.

    However, it's a better UIX than Dwarf Fortress, the visuals can be epic, the tech tree is epic, the lore is rich, and the possibilities are endless.

    Kerberos definitely likes to push the boundaries and explore new ways of approaching 4X / strategy games. So although you won't be jumping in comfortably seeing all your old Total War style interfaces and abstractions, you will learn a hell of a lot, and see 4X with new eyes of a newbie. There are some brilliant ideas to explore, and they generally lead to warships worthy of song and legend.

    Slow down, be willing to learn something different, and RTFM first. Then - in game - you can open the chat (single player or multi) and be connected with everyone else online to share stories, ask questions, and **** the time away while you immerse yourself in one of the best war games ever made.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 19, 2012
    6
    After the infamous launch, Kerberos delivered a year worth of patches with a free expansion and turned Sword of the Stars II into nice, playable game. It expands on ideas from the original game and adds many more new features as well. The core game-play is a turn-based empire building simulation with engaging real-time tactical battles.

    The variety of ships that can be sent against your enemy is mind-blowing. From smallest battle-riders to gargantuan leviathans bristling with guns. Most of the ships are modular. Individual sections and weapons can be combined in hundreds of ways allowing you to fine-tune your designs against your enemies. Tactical battles are probably the best part of the game.

    The strategic game-play lets you control many aspects of your galactic empire like colonization, balancing of budget, research of new technologies, designing ships, interstellar trade, diplomacy and espionage. Sadly, it is the strategic part of the game, which suffers from several issues, that makes it less game and more empire management enterprise application.

    The missions system is very bare bone, it
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  3. Dec 19, 2012
    10
    Possibly one of the best 4X games of this age. It is a bit rough around the edges still but overall the game is fantastic. Lots of depth, engaging lore and back story, each race plays very differently from one another, non-linear tech tree (no one way to victory), impressive asymmetrical balance, and amazing visuals in the 3D combat.

    Even more important really is the the strategic depth is unmatched. Each weapon system has pros and cons for different situations, and hard and soft counters that your enemy could deploy. In MP there is an impressive degree of meta-game that unfolds simply dealing with deploying counters and solutions to what your opponent is fielding currently to gain the upper hand. Tactical depth is also impressive with flanking and diversion tactics, stealth and countermeasures... both close range and long range engagement strategies as well as an impressive degree of battle rider carrier tactics. Beyond this there is also ship-to-ship level combat psionics both offensive and defensive.

    The Kerberos team continues to update and support their game well after launch and I continue to look forward to what comes next in the SOTS universe.
    Full Review »