Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter (Enhanced Edition) Image
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65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Summary: In Sword of the Stars 2, gamers will be reaquianted with the original six races from Swords of the Stars I and its expansions as well as reveal the dark secret of the original series, the Suulka - an ancient race that is responsible for tampering with the Liir, Zuul, and other races in theIn Sword of the Stars 2, gamers will be reaquianted with the original six races from Swords of the Stars I and its expansions as well as reveal the dark secret of the original series, the Suulka - an ancient race that is responsible for tampering with the Liir, Zuul, and other races in the SotS universe! Not limited to another entire new race and their unique drive technology, SotS2 will be a major step forward in the SotS approach to 4X gameplay, taking the easy-to-learn-hard-to-master philosophy set out in SotS1 and following that path to a new standard in space strategy games. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Pelit (Finland)
    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]
  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 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.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 8 out of 32
  1. 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,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.
    Expand
  2. Mar 11, 2014
    10
    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
    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!
    Expand
  3. 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 has8.5 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.
    Expand
  4. 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 theWhile 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.
    Expand
  5. Jan 23, 2014
    7
    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 shipThe 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.
    Expand
  6. Dec 19, 2012
    4
    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, IKerberos 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
  7. May 21, 2013
    0
    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, howeverIf 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. Expand

See all 32 User Reviews