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.
  2. Dec 27, 2012
    68
    It remains only as a recommendation for diehard fans of the genre.
  3. Jan 9, 2013
    65
    A game that confuses "more" with "better" and "depth". A classic example of second-system effect. Every decade needs its own "Master of Orion 3", I guess.
  4. Jan 2, 2013
    55
    Slightly better than it was before, Sword of the Stars II is finally playable, but still hobbled by bizarre design decisions.
  5. Feb 21, 2013
    83
    Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition is getting there, three steps forward and two steps back. But for gods sake, start creating enemies, not stupid names with some attributes! And hey, diplomacy between mighty star empires is not handled by SMS messages! [Feb 2013]
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 30
  2. Negative: 7 out of 30
  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
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 19, 2012
    8
    While still a bit rough around the edges, SotSII currently offers a fun, immersive 4X experience with depth that is simply unparalleled in the genre. The deep tactical combat simulation engine makes for incredibly rewarding space opera (no surprise there for fans of the original game) featuring your custom-designed ships. The strategic layer of the game was significantly expanded resulting in a slower pacing and more thoughtful gameplay. That might be a disappointment for some who liked the simplicity and fast pacing of the original, and delight others (me included).

    Since it's disastrous release in 2011 the developer showed incredible dedication in continuously improving the game via free patches, and intends to keep at it for years to come (same as with the original).

    The one remaining gripe that I have with the game at the moment is a somewhat lacking AI, but this too is a subject of continuous improvement.
    Full Review »