User Score
4.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 136
  2. Negative: 72 out of 136

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  1. Nov 3, 2011
    5
    Older gamers remember Master of Orion 2 being a great Sci-Fi 4X game. Then MOO3 was terrible.

    Sword of the Stars 2 is a similar case, except that it is because SOTS2 is not finished. If you are looking for an excellent turn-based + RTS Sci-Fi 4X, "Sword of the Stars: Ultimate Collection" is worth your time and money. (Available on Steam, etc.) Note: SOTS is complex, so RTFM. As
    Older gamers remember Master of Orion 2 being a great Sci-Fi 4X game. Then MOO3 was terrible.

    Sword of the Stars 2 is a similar case, except that it is because SOTS2 is not finished. If you are looking for an excellent turn-based + RTS Sci-Fi 4X, "Sword of the Stars: Ultimate Collection" is worth your time and money. (Available on Steam, etc.) Note: SOTS is complex, so RTFM.

    As for SOTS2 it is going to take time for the developers to finish it, so my recommendation is to play the first SOTS for a couple months before you try the new one.
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  2. Jun 8, 2012
    7
    This game has a troubled history to say the least. But the developers have been beating it into shape via relentless patching and support and it's now fairly close to its intended glory.
    It's not yet in a 1.0 state, but it's definitely getting there. And since the game can be found for a very cheap price, I'd definitely recommend it.
  3. Jul 21, 2012
    5
    Two disclaimers first: I didn't play the original Swords of the Stars, so I can't compare them. Also, I only played this game for about 2 days, before I lost interest. There's a chance the game picks up immensly in the later stages I never reached, but I suspect it doesn't.

    Important note about the game version: I've read about the rocky start of the game, basically being a beta version
    Two disclaimers first: I didn't play the original Swords of the Stars, so I can't compare them. Also, I only played this game for about 2 days, before I lost interest. There's a chance the game picks up immensly in the later stages I never reached, but I suspect it doesn't.

    Important note about the game version: I've read about the rocky start of the game, basically being a beta version on launch day. I downloaded it off Steam in July 2012, and the current version seems to be pretty polished. It is still lacking helpful tooltips and ingame documentation, but the game didn't crash on me or had missing features that I noticed.

    My review:

    When I read about Sword of the Stars II (SotSII), I was really excited: combining two of my favorite genres, 4X and RTS, sounded perfect. A similar hybrid, Sins of a Solar Empire, I've already played and kind of liked it, but the complexity of a full 4X strategy game is missing in Sins.

    To make it short, SotSII is a pretty big disappointment. First, it's rather ugly. Not in the sense that the graphics aren't great, I wouldn't care. But the interface is clumsy, sluggish and the color schemes look like **** I could forgive that easily though if the gameplay would be a revelation -- but I just don't feel that.

    Compared to Master of Orion II, the gold standard for space 4X games, I would say SotSII is slightly more complex, which could be good. But unfortunately, it is "more complex" in a stupid way (which is bad). Many of the variables you can tweak feel disconnected, only having small effects, and you sometimes wonder why you even have to bother with setting them. If you enjoy tweaking numbers only for the sake of tweaking them, you might like the game more than I did, but I feel complexity in itself is not a goal, but *motivated* complexity (like, say, in X3 Terran Conflict) is what you'd want.

    Combat feels like it could be the most interesting part, with a rather complex weapon and armor system, but the interface is a pain, and it just doesn't feel very satisfying to play those battles. Maybe because I didn't play long enough, and I did't see the causal connections and effects of my weapon layouts clearly enough yet, but there's something arbitrary about which weapons beat which armor. Same as above, it's complex, but not in a way that makes me feel I'm being smart when I succeed in doing something, but more like it's tedious to understand the differences.

    tl;dr SotSII is a rather complex strategy game, a hybrid between 4X and RTS. Interface and design aren't very pretty, and, more importantly, while the game is complex, it feels complex in an arbitrary, unmotivated way, that wasn't fun for me.
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  4. May 29, 2012
    6
    May 29th, 2012 - 7 out of 10 Already the game has improved. The time has been greatly reduced for turns. Even at turn 80 they only take 5 - 10 seconds and lag between screens has been cut down. However, the UI is still missing many things that would considered standard in other games of the same type, and the only way to learn the game is to search through the SOTS2 wiki, the kerberosMay 29th, 2012 - 7 out of 10 Already the game has improved. The time has been greatly reduced for turns. Even at turn 80 they only take 5 - 10 seconds and lag between screens has been cut down. However, the UI is still missing many things that would considered standard in other games of the same type, and the only way to learn the game is to search through the SOTS2 wiki, the kerberos forums, and just playing it. However, I am enjoying it quite a bit and so I would rate it a seven now, but only for those people who really like this type of game. May 23rd 2012 - 5 out of 10


    I got this game because I am big fan of Paradox and was hoping for a good 4X game. For those of you still looking at this game and wondering "Is it ready?" I would have to answer that it is not. I have no problems with it crashing to desktop but there are still three major issues that I've noticed after playing it for seven hours. Delay between turns is still pretty terrible. I have 8 GB of RAM, an excellent video card and CPU but after turn 50 (which is very early in the game) the time between turns became significant. Second, the UI is pretty terrible, revealing almost nothing about the game. Parts of the screen are cut off, information is easy to find, you can't even look at a planet and tell what buildings or space stations it has. I am mainly comparing this to Europa Universalis III a great game by Paradox which displays all the information seamlessly. Finally, in addition to the bad UI it is very difficult to understand how to do even the most basic actions, or to understand what various techs, governmental skills, and ships do. They do have both a beginners guide and a manual for the game, which I have read before and after playing, yet they are sparse and do not contain anything but the most basic generalities. Underneath all these problems I think there is an interesting game, but its not there yet and I hope it becomes what they say it will. On the other hand, some of the UI seems so terrible that it should really be redone entirely and I don't have much hope of that. As the game improves (hopefully) I plan to adjust the score.
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  5. Dec 31, 2011
    5
    Eventually they will fix this game, by then most interested people will however already have forgotten about it. The rest will have a hard time spreading the message. Kerberos itself now has a reputation and credibility problem which not even Paradox could fix. It was not Paradox' fault here, it was Kerberos' fault, just so you know before you bash Paradox. Advertising the game when thereEventually they will fix this game, by then most interested people will however already have forgotten about it. The rest will have a hard time spreading the message. Kerberos itself now has a reputation and credibility problem which not even Paradox could fix. It was not Paradox' fault here, it was Kerberos' fault, just so you know before you bash Paradox. Advertising the game when there are so many people warning about it and its developer company would need a miracle or a professional spin-doctor to make it actually work out in favour and turn it into profitable franchise. As an indy company they should never have got to that point.

    About the game itself there is not much to say about yet as I have yet to finish a game. I always hit a game-stopping crash even after nearly 1.5 months after release. It is shaping up, things are improving, and alot of things finally getting functional. It is almost as watching game development live. As if you are part of their QA team. There is no doubt about it they are really trying to fix it up. But they are already over their promised deadline. If things are going as they are now then I'd say they will be done around end of February 2012. Which should have been the official release date.
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  6. Nov 9, 2011
    6
    SOTS2 has had a really rough release; from uploading a very old beta version to having to own up to the fact that they either ran out of time or money and the game was only around 70% finished with a lot of bugs present. However even after just a week of patching the game is very stable for most people. I am writing this review based off of my 493 turn game using the Zuul on the mapSOTS2 has had a really rough release; from uploading a very old beta version to having to own up to the fact that they either ran out of time or money and the game was only around 70% finished with a lot of bugs present. However even after just a week of patching the game is very stable for most people. I am writing this review based off of my 493 turn game using the Zuul on the map Disc.

    For the most part the game functions well. There are some bugs and problem areas but in general, after Friday's patch, things have gotten smoother. A lot of the stuff that was in SOTS1 is still present and, in most cases, updated or built upon. First let's go over the changes to the game play. SOTSII is more about macro management then micro. Planets have now been places into a new entity on the star map called systems. Basically like a real star system the planets orbit around a sun. You can no longer have an infinite number of ships in a fleet and fleets require a command information center ship along with an admiral. You also do not directly interface with fleets anymore, instead you give them orders through a context menu. Admirals can also ignore your orders if certain conditions are met, for example they will not usually attack a planet if you are not at war with that empire. Fighters and Destroyers are no longer used. Instead you start out with Cruisers and can progress up to Leviathans. Levs are the new biggest thing on the block and dwarf cruisers and size up dreadnaughts by a fare margin. They are also expensive as all hell. When designing ships you can no longer put whatever you want onto a ship; Kerberos added several metrics to ships that regulate what can and cannot be put onto a ship. For example you cannot fit lancers to all of the heavy cannons on a dreadnaught now because there will not be enough power available. Laser weapons take up energy while everything else takes up supply space. Both take up points from the crew member metric. Research has also change a bit from prime. Now you cannot immediately research all technologies, instead you now have some techs that are locked and must be studied for feasibility. If your scientists find that a technology has a low feasibility rating you are less like to be able to learn that tech and it will go over budget indefinitely when researching. As other have stated, the game is not quite finished yet, but it should be close to complete and reasonably bug free by December. You can still play through it right now but between updates and bugs you may find that you are forced to restart your games a lot. However if you can put aside your gamer ego and peer into what is actually there at the moment you might be presently surprised that this could become possibly the best 4X game released recently.
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  7. Nov 2, 2011
    6
    I am a big fan of the original Sword of the Stars 1, a 4X space game with a turn based strategy component and a real-time battle component. It was an innovative and fun game that the developer (Kerberos) strongly supported over the years with patches and expansions. The game was long on content and provided interesting strategic challenges, while still being a blast. The space battlesI am a big fan of the original Sword of the Stars 1, a 4X space game with a turn based strategy component and a real-time battle component. It was an innovative and fun game that the developer (Kerberos) strongly supported over the years with patches and expansions. The game was long on content and provided interesting strategic challenges, while still being a blast. The space battles in particular were a both fun and beautiful.

    Due to the above I eagerly awaited the October 28th release of Sword of the Stars 2 (SotS2). SotS2 promised to follow the standard sequel formula with updated graphics and some overall design improvements. In some ways it has met that promise. The graphics are breathtaking, and there are many improvements to the overall design.

    Unfortunately, I am badly disappointed with the game. The game is not particularly buggy, and does not crash overly much for a new release, but it appears to be simply unfinished. Many core features are simply unimplemented even after a couple hurried patches. Large stretches of the game look as though they are just rough drafts. With so much of the game unfinished one wonders how any balancing work or AI development could have been seriously undertaken.

    The most frustrating thing of all is that it is clear there is a tremendous game here...or at least the potential for one. Yet, until A LOT more work is put in, the game is borderline unplayable. This makes the game very hard to rate. It is like a brilliant student with good test scores who just didn't write a term paper. Sure you could fail them, but that doesn't seem fair. On the other hand just grading them on potential isn't fair to the rest of the students who actually did the work. I really wish I could just hand out an "incomplete", but metacritic does not work that way. With another few months of work this could easily have been one of the best games of the year (95).
    But as it is now I would not recommend anyone buy it, even hardcore fans of the genre (25).

    I guess I will average those and give it a 6.

    If the developer survives long enough to complete the game there should be many long hours of fun to be had sometime in the distant future. Whether that is weeks, months, or years from now only time will tell.
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Metascore
44

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 14
  2. Negative: 7 out of 14
  1. Feb 13, 2012
    30
    Bottom line is that on paper, this is an incredibly deep and varied game, but time and again, the reach of the programmers vastly exceeds their grasp. Even months after release, there's so little in this game that's working as intended, that only the most desperate die-hard fan of the genre should even consider this game.
  2. Feb 13, 2012
    79
    Sword of the Stars 2 had one of the worst launches ever. At present condition (January) the code is quite playable, game is sometimes even fun. Kerberos will upgrade the game and it seems to be getting better and better. [Feb 2012]
  3. Dec 23, 2011
    35
    Sword of the Stars 2 is what happens when a space opera becomes a hostage of amateurish idealists.