User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 58
  2. Negative: 14 out of 58

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  1. Dec 19, 2012
    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.
  2. Dec 19, 2012
    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.
  3. Dec 19, 2012
    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
  4. Dec 19, 2012
    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.
  5. Dec 19, 2012
    I would say a very good game. Very complex and deep strategy, fixes the problems I had with SotS1, namely ships spam and lack of stuff to do in peace times. Now we get to organize system defenses and Stations. Graphics is also a very strong point, one can notice the huge attention to details in both small drones and huge Leviathan class ships. The races are very unique, their differences are not just cosmetic as in other 4x games.Tactical combat is very entertaining and deep. There are occasional bugs and Ai is easy to beat if you are an experienced player, but one can count on Kerb support to react to bugs and upgrade the ai. Definitly worth playing if you like space 4x Expand
  6. Dec 19, 2012
    By far the best space strategy game I have ever played. Lots of replayability due to randomized tech tree, VERY pretty graphics, and an intense lore background. Its developers are very dedicated, and have gone above and beyond to continually love the game and add features (many of which are player suggestions) over the long-term.
  7. Dec 5, 2012
    As a player of the original and someone who bought into the second game early on after release I can whole heartily say that Kerberos Productions is a fantastic company for sticking with the game in its original unplayable state. Yes, they shouldn't have released it so early but more and more company's are being pressed into getting funding early rather then waiting till the game is stable. They shouldn't have done this but as we've seen from other games it's becoming a standard practice.

    As for this game on its own due to the patches and engine tweaks, it's finally playable and stable. The game is an excellent take on the 4x space strategy with many quirks that are fairly unique to this game. Please check out my blog for a full review in a few days.
  8. Dec 19, 2012
    Continuing the dedication to their user base Kerberos is becoming famous for, they have integrated the first expansion, End of flesh, for free into existing copies and any future copies of the game. The game itself now has 7 unique, fully fleshed out races with excellent lore to build your own stories on. Each race has their own unique FTL Drive, with the latest drive being probably the most unique so far.

    It is a 4X space game of unparalleled beauty, built from the ground up as a DX10 engine, and complexity without the game drowning you in spreadsheets 10 pages deep. Combining complex strategic turn based game play with full randomized solar systems and real time space combat using self designed ships and the infamous randomized tech tree each game will be a unique story based on your decisions. The only downside currently being the AI that is still learning to use the more advanced systems. Scenarios are also still being planned on being added (for free).

    Without a doubt the best, prettiest and most complex 4X game to date. Be prepared to RTM ;)
  9. Dec 19, 2012
    Kerberos has done a wonderful job trying to polish this game, the ideas behind it really are awesome. But, as a life long strategy gamer, I find myself playing a game that truly is still in beta a year after its release. The ui is not intuitive some basic game functions are hard to find and require reading the company forums to understand. The AI is like playing a toddler and even often kills itself rather then offer a challenge. There are numerous bugs while playing the game and a common theme seems to be that with every patch come new bugs, some worse then the ones that were fixed. The Enhanced Edition, in my opinion, moved this game from an alpha phase to a mid beta phase. But even facing bugs constantly and having the game CTD every 5 turns in one game it still gives me the "just one more turn" feeling. At least until you get to late game , which with the lacking diplomacy and intel options and with the need to extremely micro manage it just gets old. I would pass on purchasing this game until at least the next expansion, but if you do buy it you have been warned. Expand
  10. Dec 19, 2012
    The game still posses a few rough edges but nothing that seriously detracts from gameplay. Kerberos has shown unparalled dedication in polishing and improving this game and all signs show they plan to continue doing so for a long time to come. It is one of the most complex and satisfying 4x experiences i've ever had and Highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan or even remotely interested in the genre. Expand
  11. Dec 19, 2012
    The simple matter now is down to if you like the complexity or not, and the somewhat overwhelming start if you are new. But if such things don't bother you, there are literally hundreds of hours of great fun to be had, and that is really all that matters. Fun. This isn't a 5 hour FPS that is a horrible port, that still generates endless 90+ reviews (how that happens I will leave up to you to decide). This is a game that is clearly made by people that loves the idea, loves to work on it and loves their job. That means certain things can at times be quite a bit too subtle, but the devs are constantly working on it.

    And battles between very different fleets of Dreadnoughts and Levithans can lead to some of the most enjoyable moments in strategic gaming.
  12. Dec 19, 2012
    I have logged approximately a thousand hours on this game since it's difficult birth a year ago. I have seen it mature into the best 4x game I have ever played. The devs are constantly tweaking and fixing and adjusting at an impressive pace. There are still the occasional bugs and the learning curve is nearly vertical at first, but the new global chat in game (even single-player) really helps you get over the first hurdles. Amazing depth, incredible lore (both the novel and the website) and very satisfying gameplay. Expand
  13. Dec 19, 2012
    Sword of the Stars 2 Enchanced Edition is a game that was horrible on release but patched to hell after release. It was horrible at the start but a good game now. It is a Real Time Combat, Turn Based Galactic Strategy game along the lines of Moo And Moo 2. Tech trees, customizable ships, several races that all play different. Granted there are still a few bugs, But it is a very enjoyable game IFF You are into this sort of game. If not, it can be a bit intimidating and I only recommend it for people who are fans of a long term game. You won't play a three hour match. Just telling you that upfront. Expand
  14. Dec 21, 2012
    I've started a weekly game of this with my friends. Every Wednesday night. The asymmetry between races is worked out fantastically well. Each faction moves by a different FTL method and has completely different versions of the same ship sections. Each time I play one of the seven races, it is a totally new experience. The new target based mission system is also great. It makes the end game (something many people fear in a 4X) more manageable, since I am choosing targets which brings up a list of fleets that can attempt the mission type I select... not finding my fleets then telling them to go wherever. Admirals and admiral traits were a neat twist too. Expand
  15. xfu
    Jan 8, 2013
    Just one more turn, or 300. This game is a very nice 4x Space strategy game. It did have a terrible launch, but Kerberos have pulled it back and it's shaping up to be an epic game. There are 2 free expansion packs included with the enhanced edition and some alternative race skins.
    The game still has a few bugs to be worked out and the UI is a little dated, but this is far outweighed by
    the sheer amount of depth in the game. The game's theme is very Neon and will burn your eye balls out with the bloom, but that is the artistic style of the game. It has a steep learning curve, just alike all 4x, but once you master the game you can't stop playing hour after hour. The factions are all different from each other with pros and cons to playing a race. The tech tree is really good and has some randomness to it depending on your race . One of the features i like is the weapon turrets on the ships pop up and all turn and track other ships. They really put a lot of effort into the ship animations, and the ship design is an awesome feature. When i got to dreadnought size which are 3 times bigger it takes a good 5 mins even to put all the weapons on this monster, then the leviathan sized class ship...OMG.

    Overall an awesome game with good replay-ability and strategic depth, just a few more bug fixes and it's golden.
  16. Jan 13, 2013
    I a giving a strong 8 out of 10, because all is now (compared to first release):
    - Stable
    - Overhauled UI, much more streamlined
    - Enjoyable and Fun ! (my favorite part, designing dreadnought).

    The only point which needs some love is the AI.
  17. Dec 28, 2012
    SOTS2:EoF is by far the best 4x game ever devised, from the ship design to the brutish 3d star combat, this game delivers on all levels. If you are a returning fan of this platform then you will be pleased to know that this game has gone through a transformation and it is still being modified to suit the needs of the stat hungry fans out there. This game has a great tech tree system as in its original design several years ago, has interesting depth and is filled with intriguing possibilities. Try this game out if you are a fan of space combat, sci-fi space destruction, technology development, and strategic mastery. Expand
  18. Jan 24, 2013
    Sequel to one of my favorite strategy games of all time, SOTS 2 is prime example of ambitions overgrowing actual capabilities. Launch of the game was a disaster: it wasn't even a beta. Now, after tons of patches and free expansion with new playable race, Sots 2 is definitely better at every aspect - but it still falls way short of meeting expectations. It's very complex game, with great variety of options and possible strategies - however, it is also one of the least approachable games I have ever seen. Unclear interface, cryptic tooltips and utter lack of any tutorial in game are obstacles for any new players. If you manage to overcome them, you will find good sides of this game - and they are plenty. However, they all fade when you realize that AI is COMPLETELY broken, and does not present any threat whatsoever. Seriously - computer controlled empires not only cannot beat player, they also fail to defend against random encounters game throws at them and often collapse due to missmanegement of economy and mounting debt. I am willing to bet that anyone giving this game super-high score has not played it long enough to actually measure AI capabilities. Maybe after another year it will get acceptable - for now, if you value single player at least, I recommend to stay away from this game. Expand
  19. May 31, 2013
    Has become progressively better, and is now almost perfect. Better than any other 4x game out there, including its predecessor. Next expansion will make it an even fuller game right now it is exciting, fun, and daunting at just the right times. Rock on Kerberos!
  20. 41b
    Jan 14, 2014
    It's a good game. I've spent a lot of time on it. I'm sure it would become better with multiplayer. Paradox have cancelled any further development or expansions it seems. Unfortunate, I would've paid again for an improved experience. SOTS2 is fundamentally better than SOTS1 in every way, but like the base SOTS1 is not that interesting after a while. I wish Paradox revive the game or shell out for SOTS3, because the death of the franchise because of a poor release would be terrible.

    Having said that, if SOTS2 were to be the last of the series, it would not be such a bad thing. On the whole it is a very good game.
  21. May 21, 2013
    If you bought this game, I'm sorry you wasted your money. I bought this game thinking that it would be an improvement on the original, however it's not. Everyone is 100 times more complicated. The game is beyond buggy, and the managed to suck all the fun from it. This one will never be as good as the first.
  22. Sep 18, 2013
    I was disappointed by this buggy sequel to one of the greatest games of all time, but after almost a year of patches, it is FINALLY playable! This game has some of the best ingame graphics I've seen in a while. While it is essentially an exact remake, they did add a lot of extra features to this game which make it amazing despite my rating. It has amazing customization, good sound, great voice acting, the list goes on. The only thing that keeps the score down is the fact that it is essentially a DLC rather than a full game. Expand
  23. Oct 1, 2013
    SotS2 have some really good qualities and some really bad ones.
    Good: Factions play very different, having fundamentally different essential technology and properties. Technology tree works very well with discoveries that does different things instead of just increasing some percentage score. New technology means wider range of options as much as it does better options. Ship models are
    for the most part very cool and gothic sci-fi looking. Some look like tho, being to stylished for a theme that doesn't really work.
    Bad: Some randomized events will just wipe you from the game. You can turn them off, but that also means loosing a really cool portion of the game. AI is really crap. Some portions of the game is complex for the sake of being complex, that is without bettering the game. The game is of mediocre complexity, but because the creators go out of their way to obscure the mechanics of the game you'll have more trouble understanding it than even the most complex games out there. Some game elements require some extremely tedious, constant and stupid micro-management. The government system in particular is very bad. Space-combat is mediocre in both functionality and enjoyability, which is also bad if you want this part of the game to be fun.
    While this game have some really good qualities, the bad parts bring it down to a level where I don't care to play it.
  24. Jan 23, 2014
    The game has come a long way since it's release. In that time all major bugs have been eliminated and very few minor bugs remain. The ship design system is one of the best around (probably the best of all 3D games). The Good: - The real time battles are very nicely done and would put the game among the most fun if the AI was actually competant. - Very nice physics; every projectile is simulated, ships have directional armour and the maps are fully 3D i.e units can travel horizontally and vertically (although controlling units in real time is limited to 3 different levels)
    - The ship designer I would rate as the best of all 3D games (Gal Civ not counted since most of the design process has no actual effect on gameplay)
    - Decent variety of maps to play on
    - Deep tech tree

    The Bad:

    - No campaign
    - Real time combat AI can still be beaten with vastly inferior forces because they never focus your ships and only seem to have 1 strategy
    - Requires a fast quad-core CPU and at least 6GB of RAM. Even with these, the turn loading times can get to be more than 1 minute late game with few players
    - No decent tutorial other than the manual and lets play vids on youtube
    - Can only save ship designs for the current game i.e you have to redesign all ships if you start a new game
    - Options when setting up games is very limited compared to other 4X games
    - Random encounters get incredibly annoying in long games and always use the same tactics which can lead to fighting the exact same battle 2 times a turn. (can be turned off thankfully)

    For it's price it is a very good game and has one of the few developers that still care about the game after 2 years. If you are unsure about the learning curve then watch some of the "Lets Play" vids.
  25. Feb 25, 2014
    after bad release this game got a lot of patches, fixes and more content, for this day(25 feb,2014) its the best x4 space game, by far the most content, stunning graphics, very wide research tree that change every game, the battle is RTS with a lot of tactics,missiles, torpedos,lasers,beams,mines,balistic weapons,drones,battle raiders,assault carrys and more.. we can design ships how you like and you got a lot of ships design options, you can play diplomatic or go for war, you can make you empire as economic with a lot of trade rutes, can build space stations with couple of types, build planetary defences with platforms and more, moreover you got 6 races to play, every race play very different with its research and move in space,replay value is never end, i recommend this game for all x4 TBS+RTS gamers. Expand
  26. Mar 11, 2014
    Much improved over the old game as it usually just devolved into massive fleet spam.
    The new game requires you to manage fleets/resources in a much more realistic way.
    Learning curve is a little bit steep but the people at kerberos forums are extremely helpful!
  27. Apr 7, 2014
    A long time has passed since launch, and SOTS2 is at last in a playable state although still very unstable on some machines. And straight it goes in the book called "what could have been great". This game is far too ambitious for what it manages to accomplish.

    Ship design is fun and allows for a lot of strategic depth, and this is where the "actually good bits" ends. While some battles
    are indeed fun, in this kind of game you do get a lot of very similar, repetitive battle. Well, you will have to fight ALL battles yourself, as the automated AI is dsurprisingly incompetent. There is something deeply wrong with how battles are handled and sometimes the best strategy is "point the ships far away and wait for the timer to run out".

    Random events become very annoying after a certain point: you will have to deal again and again and again with the same nuisances. Speaking of that, there are a lot of annoying things that shold just have been left out. Diplomacy is one of those. Either do it properly or don't do it at all. Another one is the lore, which is just embarassing. Just ignore it and look at the ships. Building freighters one by one instead of having a way to automate the process is just stupid.

    However, most of all, the excruciatingly slow pace coupled with the need to fight every battle make playing this game a very frustrating experience, and don't forget about the occasional bug that will simply make an entire fleet disappear, or a planet will stop being regarded as colonized for no reason and all ships in reserve will be lost.
  28. Feb 28, 2013
    Too little, too late. The UI is terrible, the AI is terrible. If you must have a space empire builder buy its predecessor. no missions. tooltips are cryptic to say the least, so i suggest reading the manual before you even try to have a go.
  29. Aug 22, 2013
    31 employees of Paradox writing reviews? I can't see how anyone would give this above a 6 rating. But the proof of the mater can probably be seen that only 43 people have bothered to review the game.

    More than a year after the initial release, this game has been polished, but it's a polished turd. None of the fun or playability of the first Sword of the Stars, the only thing that
    might be seen as an improvement is the ship models, but they are largely covered up by obnoxious looking "badges" that look like something from a 1980s clip-art collection, then once the fighting starts (if your game doesn't crash and you give up in frustration before you even meet another empire to fight) horribly garish disco lights are what we get for combat effects.

    Save your time, money and sanity and stay away from this title.
  30. Sep 24, 2013
    Kerboros is a smaller development studio whose ideas are always much larger than their technical prowess. Kerberos games tend to be full of amazing ideas, and always drip with potential, but are ultimately ruined by bugs, glitches, poor optimization, or other technological snafus. So let it be with Sword of the Stars II. There is something unethical in releasing a somewhat fixed version of an older game that was utterly unplayable, slapping an "enhanced edition" moniker on it, and calling it a game...but that is exactly what you get here. A mostly working game that feels like it needs another six months in the incubator, even in later 2013. Expand
  31. May 26, 2014
    (This is from a comment i made on a youtube video and i will in future fix this review but for now this is i think enough.)

    Okay i just now finished my first ever sots2 game before that i never played sots will play sots1 in future, i did play all 4x after 2000 besides sots and armada.

    I won a Diplomatic victory it was 4 players im not going go into detail i just write my end

    Ended at turn 420 had one crash after five hours+ and had to restart client four times in round four+ hours due to memory leak.

    AI in diplomacy works fine i seen no flew.

    Economics you have private and state you got open and close boarders you got two type of citizens one are state other civilians that will expend on trade and mining stations and even colonies if you move your sliders up and have your boarders open.

    You got government that makes sense it is from left to right very socialistic to communist to liberal to plutocracy and anarchism and center and something between and something i missed .

    Research all 8 races have their own techs and then you got techs that some cant have some can more and less and there are tons of techs that each game will be different for everyone and will play out differently!
    You have special and salvage techs!

    Colonization is not simple you have a choice want high pop=more taxes= want it open want your people to build and spend money on projects such as mines to trade freighters and expend even to new worlds they colonize?sure!

    Want to have that colony closed more secured from pirates and other enemies but less trade and want more imperial more government state pop?more industry?sure!

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 21, 2013
    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]
  2. Feb 6, 2013
    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.
  3. Jan 9, 2013
    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.