User Score
4.5

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 134
  2. Negative: 70 out of 134

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  1. Nov 4, 2013
    1
    Clunky interfaces that seem to be designed to maximize the number of clicks needed to perform routine functions. Frustrating movement system and combat system. Normally when something like this happens one is rewarded with stunning graphics, but not so here. The graphics are merely alright and not worth the abysmal gameplay. If you liked the originals you probably won't like this.
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    4
    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
  3. Dec 29, 2012
    1
    Dec 7 2012. It's ugly, right from the title screen. The ship models are distorted and messy - they look unfinished and cartooney against the sharp, industrial look of Eve Online or Sins. The UI is also hard on the eyes, although the actual starmap looks pretty good. The gameplay is also dull. Exploring and colonizing systems is done via 'missions', which are essentially the same as other 4X games except that they take 4x the number of mouseclicks to initiate. To colonize a planet, you don't just build a colony ship.. you have to build a command ship, then a colony ship, then a supply ship, then attach an admiral to create a fleet, THEN select your destination. I've heard this game called 'deep' but 'convoluted' comes to mind. The first time you enter into combat, you're greeted with more of the terrible graphics, and absolutely no inkling as to what tactics might benefit you. Unlike the Total War series, where it's clear that higher terrain is good for archers, while hiding in the woods is a good defense from missiles, etc., instead you are floating around in space with the only discernable strategies being.. move there, or shoot that. The UI is counterintuitive at every turn. You could pick up MOO2 and learn it without looking at a single manual or forum. This game is a dog's breakfast and you will be forced to look at the manual (which is awful) the beginner's guide (which is also awful, but longer) then the wiki (which is entirely incomplete). Here's an excerpt from the beginner's guide: "Once the core modules of a ship have been decided upon, you can begin to arm the space-craft with weapons across the breadth of it's surface. The amount of weapon points available will vary depending on the hull type, size and command, mission and propulsion modules selected". This is the entire section on ship weapon design. Great, so I can put weapons on the ship. Brilliant. What's the point of having mounts in particular locations? Is there a directional advantage? Would there be a benefit to placing certain weapons in certain slots? This game is complex in the same way walking around someone else's house in the dark is complex. Here's another example - trade is fundamental to a successful empire, and these require freighters. There is no section on freighters in the manual and no in-game explanation. What are the devs smoking? All of this aside, once I got into the game and had a dozen colonies with a humming economy, several naval bases and attack fleets, I found I was having the same amount of fun that I was at the start, i.e. none. I think the recent high scores for the game are because people are impressed it's actually out of alpha 1 year after its launch. It's just a shame that the game looks 15 years out of date and is boring as bat sh!t. UPDATE 8 December 2012. After playing this for a whole day, this game is even worse than I thought, so changing the 5 rating to a 1. So many of the mechanics make absolutely no sense. For example, I had 3 fleets defending an outpost planet that was close to enemy territory. Sure enough, the enemy attacks.. but I can only enter combat with 1 fleet while the other 2 wait. Why? There's no logical reason for this.. if you have fleets stationed at a system, they should all be able to fight. Another example - each fleet has a home system. If a fleet leaves the system for a mission, once the mission is completed, it has to return to its home system to refuel and resupply. Why? Why not just fly to the nearest system to refuel? Basically, the developers have invented these mechanics to create their gameplay - and they are all nonsensical. They all serve to make the game more complicated, less elegant, and less logical. Combine that with the steep learning curve and lack of information, and it's just a mess. If you decide to embrace all of their illogical mechanics, you might have a great time after about 20 hours of learning the fundamentals, but I'd rather spend time on a well-made game Expand
  4. Dec 5, 2012
    10
    New Player to SOTS:
    It has been a little over a year since release, and with the release of the enhanced edition it is now ready to play, and at such a low cost, as a result I would recommend this game to any fan of 4X games. There are many features and lots to do, however it is complicated in areas, which will make the casual crows hate it, but when has the casual crowd ever played space
    4X games...
    Pro's: Faction differences - particularly in it's travel methods
    Mission System - initially seems worse when you get started but when you have a large empire you notice how intuitive it actually is
    Combat - looks great and is very tactical
    Graphics - Game looks amazing

    Con's:
    Load times - game has long load times, at times
    CTD - game occasionally crashes, however you can see all the patches for this and it auto saves regularly
    Expand
  5. Dec 4, 2012
    9
    A must have if you're into 4X games- It's rich and detailed, it has some of the most dynamic, diverse and flexible 3D space combat around, excellent ship and faction customisation - but most of all it has this fresh creativity which opens the game world up to a huge range of unexpected encounters, galaxy-destroying catastrophes, events and god-like alien incursions. I don't think I've seen a game implement so many different sci-fi ideas so well - some of the hundreds of examples include: AI uprisings, galaxy-infesting insect swarms, tractor-beam drones which attempt to smash your ships onto the surface of a planet, asteroid storms, ancient automated defence platforms, a society of telepathic nomadic cyborg space-squids, megacomets which carve a path through the stars and I even once had a 'galactic peace enforcer' from another galaxy who sat in the middle of the map and broadcast orders for every species in the galaxy to stop all wars, otherwise it would use almost unlimited tech to wipe out the aggressors.
    All happening visually and spontaneously in an unscripted - randomly generated way, on a 3D plane, and in bloody excellent DX10 graphics.

    Of course it also has a mind-bogglingly complex strategic interface, weeks-long playtimes and a cliff of a learning curve, but most good games do.

    The game has come a long way since its abysmal release over a year ago, the game is now fully playable and fairly stable overall. I play it regularly and quite enjoy it. That said, there are some lingering interface issues and one or two features which don't feel properly polished yet - and I get a crash to desktop once every few hours of gameplay.

    The developers have a long history of supporting their games for YEARS after release, and so far they've deployed thousands of free bugfixes and content updates, plus released a free expansion pack in the last few days.

    I have absolutely no doubt that the game will be patched to perfection and mountains content added as the years go by, just as the first game was supported.

    Bottom line: This is a well-implemented deep sci-fi universe with impressively creative mechanics, sophisticated and satisfying space combat and some of the most dedicated developers (Supported their last game with 3 expansion packs and constant content patches over 5 years) and deserving publishers out there (Paradox fund new and interesting kinds of games, unlike the commercial giants who tend to be afraid of creativity).

    I strongly recommend you buy it and support these guys to make a great game even better.
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  6. Dec 4, 2012
    9
    It's finally, over a year later, mind, it's the 4X it was meant to be.
    I feel for Kerberos that this game may never stand amongst the great 4X's. If it had been released in it's EOF(Enhanced) state then it would have rocked.
    But it's cheaper now, and if you need a 4X fix, i don't hesitate to recommend it now.
  7. Dec 4, 2012
    8
    Launch:
    I didn't buy this game when it first came out, so I cannot comment on the launch situation which seems overwhelmingly negative. Stability:
    The game is in good shape. Minus a few minor annoyances (some of which have been fixed in the latest "enhanced edition" and expansion), the game is very stable and plays well.
    UI:
    The UI leaves a bit to be desired. Mostly, there's a lot of guesswork and not a lot of helpful tooltips. Even reading over the wiki, the forums, and the manuals there are still things I do not quite comprehend. The tech tree does not do a very good job of saying what is a prerequisite of what unless it's a direct upgrade. (IE - To build a leviathan ship, you need to have several techs that are in various tech lines. Nowhere clearly lists the exact path of all the techs you need to reach leviathans.) Some of this on the forums was explained as a deliberate obfuscation, but that does not help people like me who like their information very accessible. I cannot for the life of me understand why there is no bulk management screen for anything. Sure, there's a fleet management - but you can't modify admirals or issue commands to the fleets from it. You literally can't do anything with the fleets from the fleet summary screen other than look at your fleets. Being able to issue orders to your fleets from here would be a 100% decrease in annoying micromanagement. The planet manager is slightly more useful in that you can adjust your construction --> trade balance, overharvest, biosphere, and infrastructure/terraforming sliders - but lacks a huge feature in that you cannot issue construction orders to build ships. You also cannot issue colonize orders to planets that are uninhabited from this management screen. The station manager does what it says, allows you to manage your stations, modules, and even issue station upgrade orders - but does not let you build new stations from the screen. For all of these things that are "missing" above, you have to either scroll to the fleet and issue an order to do it, or scroll to the destination (spot you are attacking, colonizing, building a station, etc.) and issue a fleet to come do it. It's clunky and tedious when you have a bunch of fleets or things you want to do. Accessibility/Gameplay:
    It has a bit of a learning curve, especially coming from SOTS 1. There are several things done differently, but in my opinion the game adds more depth while retaining the charm of the original. Read the manual and study the forums and wiki, there are several game concepts I wasn't even aware of (like provinces giving additional trade cash bonuses, biosphere affecting psionic points, and keeping the treasury 500,000+ giving a morale bonus) until I dug around on the forums and got a better understanding of what exactly the purpose was. The shining star of this game is the unique qualities given to each race. It's not just a simple "This race gets +10 to weapon damage", but there is a fundamental and drastically different travel system for each race which completely changes the gameplay strategy of each race. The randomized tech tree is great in that you can't always bulldoze to your tech of choice, there's a chance it won't be available and you will have to adapt on the go. It keeps things interesting and the gameplay dynamic. Graphics:

    The quality is good overall, with the exception of some of the text and weapons graphics. Zooming in, some of the text becomes pixellated/blurry like it's not designed to scale (vectorized vs. rasterized) - I am specifically referring to the star system names. The same situation exists with some of the laser beam style graphics in real time combat (you see it on the opening background video with the "lightning" type weapon and green lasers). Fully zoomed in, it seems like there is a fair amount of sharp edges and a lack of smoothing. That being said, the ship textures are amazing and the fact that you can target specific points on a ship and whittle away at weak points is excellent game design. Overall:

    The game is a very fun game, though trying at times with what seems like tedious fleet management.
    Expand
  8. Dec 1, 2012
    2
    With the new patches and extension, the game is working much more stable. But it still feels very unfinished. there are still bugs that should be there, many things are totally unexplained and you need to read them up in forums or somewhere in the internet. It feels strange to play it. I still get headache because I just dont understand most of the game. I mostly fight agains the game and User interface itself then agains the Other races or players in the game. I'm a great fan of sots 1 from the first day, and I would highly recommend Sots 1 for anyone who like these games. But in my opinion, sots 2 is just a shadow of sots 1 with better graphic. This game is good for hardcore fans or people who just want to support Kerberos. But its not a game for people who just heard about Sword of the Stars or want a finished game to enjoy. Expand
  9. Dec 1, 2012
    9
    While this game had a rocky start unlike any major company kerberos stood by its product and repaired its mistake. What went from a terrible release to the best space 4x strategy game ever. This game is not perfect yet, hence the 9 not 10 score. But its worth every penny, for it's replay alone. Its blindingly addictive, 6 hrs can pass and you didn't even realize. With its latest enhanced edition kerberos gives the new expansion, End of Flesh with the new version of the game. this adds yet another race. now 7 races totally different experience with each race, super in depth gameplay and an awesome random tech tree/Forest that changes the game every time you play. This is a game you could play again and again and it would change so much you would learn something new each and every time. The GFX are great and kerberos continues to stand by its product and set an example everyone in the industry should learn ////cough/// blizzard. ITs nice to see a game with what i would have agreed with 44 metascore coming to fruit, and in desperate need of a change. A far far better game than endless space. Dont let old reviews scare you away this is a brand new game worth every bit of time and money you spend on it. Expand
  10. Nov 30, 2012
    9
    As of today December 1st 2012 the game has received an "enhanced edition" free makeover so it seemed a good time to put up a quick review. One of the worst launches in game history has turned into a fully functional 4x space sim, ignore the vast amount of launch reviews here if you're a fan of the genre games like sins of a solar empire or even the civilization series you'll enjoy this.
  11. Nov 25, 2012
    10
    While the game came out in bad shape. Those times are now long gone. Today The game Is pretty Amazing now. Sure there a some bugs here and there,and a few "missing" features. But compared to how it was at the start, its nothing that disturbs the game play at all. I love playing this game now.
  12. Nov 22, 2012
    9
    I will say first, That this game WAS horribly broken at the release of it. Kerberos has as they have in the past shown that they are willing to fix their mistakes. The Game is very much playable and enjoyable in it's current state. (Nov 22nd, 2012). The game is deep and not a copy cat upgraded graphics game. It has new mechanics and new types of ships. New tech. New Weapons. And more. If you like 4x games. Please, do yourself a favor and buy this game. Expand
  13. Nov 22, 2012
    10
    Nov. 22. 2012.
    While the game still has a small number of bugs and missing features, it is the greatest sci-fi 4x game I have encountered so far. It does well in comparison with Sins of a Solar Empire, Endless Space, Masters of Orion etc, but is a totally different game. One comparison would be a Total War game in space, but that doesn't do SotS II justice at all. Sword of the Stars II
    has great lore, beautiful and fun tactical battles, and great strategic gameplay, and the different aspects of the game ties together really well, creating a sum larger than its parts.
    The game does have a great deal of complexity though, and the game differs from it's peers in several aspects, which might scare away newcomers to the game and to the genre.
    Players that are able and willing to do just a little reading in the beginners guide, the manual, the wiki or the forums won't have any trouble.
    Give the game a few hours, and you'll never regret your decision!
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  14. Nov 17, 2012
    10
    To say I was disappointed by this game on release is an understatement. They should have kept it off the shelves so to speak and released when it was ready. Which is pretty much now 1 year later. For those who are interested in buying this game now, go for it. Its good value at $29.99 and seems to go on sale often. I am very happy with the support from kerberos-productions. I expected this game to get dropped and possibly take them with it. They are clearly passionate about their game. Thanks for the four free ship skin DLC's that the initial purchases have already been given and the promised free, to existing owners "End of Flesh" expansion. Thanks again for the continued support. Expand
  15. Nov 17, 2012
    8
    November 17, 2012 - I registered to metacritic just to write this review. I do seriously enjoy this game and while is USED to have its fair share of glitches and whatnot, Kerberos has turned this ship around. It speaks a lot when a company stands by their product for over a year - constantly making upgrades and patches to make it what it should have been. Yes, it is arguable why it was released in such a poor state in the first place but that is in the past. Hats off to all the developers for the extreme amount of hard work it took to overcome the pile this used to be.This game is fantastic if you are looking for a very complex and deep 4x strategy game - I mean each race has their own means of traveling between stars! I love the fact that the tech tree is randomly generated - meaning one game you might be able to get the super-ginormous-fusion cannon and the next game, you can only get basic lasers. It adds a unique factor to the game and forces you to modify your strategy. As an added bonus - Kerberos has just announced a FREE expansion which includes another race as well as some other bonuses! So why just the 8? Truthfully, last time I played with a bud (before the "All clear"), there were some minor glitches and fixes still needing to be done. I have yet to confirm if these have been fixed but have no doubt they will be in due time. Off to play! Expand
  16. Nov 5, 2012
    9
    I bought and started playing this Game shortly after its release over a year ago and like many others was very disappointed. I saw a lot of potential in the game even back at the start and will give Kerberos serious credit for not giving up and putting in the time to make this game shine. A quick look at the reviews by date of submission will tell you all you need to know about how far this game has come and what state it is in now.
    The game has 6 distinct races that vary widely enough in there mechanics that it feels like you are playing a brand new game with each one, a randomized tech tree that guarantees a think on your feet approach to playing (no perfect path to victory every time here), In depth ship design with a nice array of weapon types to choose from and absolutely stunning RTS Space combat. The game really does remind me of Shogun 2 in space.
    Having said that The UI can be clunky at times and directing your ships in RT combat can require some intense micro because of it. The game is very complex and there is a very steep learning curve but fortunately the Kerberos forum community is very active and helpful and most questions are answered within minutes of posting. The AI is decent for newcomers to the genre but most people will quickly figure out its weaknesses and shouldn't have too much trouble taking it down. For veterans of the genre there is a fairly active multiplayer community on steam that will step up the challenge if that's what you are looking for. The developers have been listening very closely to the community and have stated they plan on continuing to update both the UI and AI shortcomings. If they put in even a small fraction of the effort they have applied over the last year I have no doubts this game will make the step from great to outstanding.
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  17. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    Bought SotS2 without playing the first games, also got it right when it came out... complete mind you. Wanted a game that was like a more advanced model of Masters of Orions and pretty much I have it now with Sword of the Stars 2, the game has evolved so well in the past year since its early conception. Much of the game is geared towards a strategy / simulation genre in a turn-based 4X Strategy universe. Very complex, very hard to get into when you first start playing, but very well designed. Complete ship designing from the command - role - engine systems, and design of the weapons and what goes into it. Gives a whole new spin on Development and Deployment game mechanics where no one can predict what you will roll out next. The multiplayer is outstanding, long... but outstanding, its never the same game twice when playing with another person and gets persistantly better everytime you play it. Again its long, even with small 1 on 1 maps.
    Only downside is its still relateively incomplete, but for what its content is at the moment, its worth a 10... now I just need a 10 + 1 for that little extra credit for when its complete.
    Expand
  18. Nov 1, 2012
    9
    Sword of the Stars 2 was an unfinished product - full of bugs to the core. But I have never seen in my gaming history a game with more patches and support than SOTS2. Currently (Nov 2012) the game is like a phoenix risen from the ashes of a bug apocalypse. Its possible to play the game with micro management like ship customisation or to stay at global strategy level. To keep this short - its hard to find a game more 4x than SOTS2. At patched state a clear "must buy"! Expand
  19. Nov 1, 2012
    10
    I've been playing this game off and on since around April 2012. It was rough, the turn times were long, the delay between menus were absurd... but I still saw some great stuff in the game. Fast forward to October 2012, and the All Clear. Now, the roughness has a good bit of polish, turn times are much improved, and the menu delays cut down massively. They're still present somewhat, but what were once 10-12 second delays are now 1-4 second delays. Still breaks the flow a bit, but not so much that it makes you want to rage quit. The game is exceptional. It's Total War in Space. If your thing is diplomacy or commerce, you'll probably find SotS2 too combat oriented (It's 'sword' of the stars, after all, not 'merchant' of the stars). If you like good strategic and tactical warfare, however, this game should be right up your alley. It's not very friendly to get into, just because of the massive depth, but none of that depth could be called fluff. Each bit is important, and the more you understand the games systems, the more you can improve your game. Kerberos has created something special here, which is the only reason I'm writing a review. It's a great game if you can get past the massive depth, and lack of in-game tutorial (there is a manual, and you should probably read it if you want to play). As epically bad as the launch of this game was, the game itself has turned into something epically good, and any fan of good space 4x would be doing themselves a disservice by not giving the all clear version a play. There are still a few technical problems that I'd say would give this game a 8/10. If those were cleared up, I'd easily say it's a 9/10, just from the excellent design. I give it a 10/10 to raise it's score, because it's ridiculously low for a game so good. With an xpack or two and the aforementioned technical problems fixed, I think this would be worth a 10/10. I haven't had a game that feels so damn good once you get into it since MoO2. Expand
  20. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    The devs stated that the game reached release state a few days ago so i thought i'd play it a bit. and for 3 days i couldn't stop it's that good(im at turn 563).

    So most of the bugs/crashes were fixed, they added new features like retrofitting, diplomacy works now, most of the technologies work now, and they're making ui improvements every time.

    As for the bad reviews, they are no
    longer valid.
    For those who are complaining about a lack of manual, you are just lazy as hell, because if you've actually spent any time looking for the manual of the game you'd have noticed that it was released digitally AT RELEASE. Not to mention sots2 wiki has answers for EVERYTHING, so stop being lazy and use google it's your friend.

    The starmap part of the game has become much better and more polished than it was, and the added view options make the game much easier to manage.

    The battles are great and immersive, you can aim at sections/subsections of a ship by clicking on parts of the ship, like weapons, forth mid and aft sections engines and such, not to mention you can turn and roll your ships into different positions and with this you can minimise damage to your ships and if you are at a disadvantage this can turn the tide giving the combat immersion.

    The research is also good, the feasibility is there for a reason: the reason being if you dont have the pre-requisites there might still be a chance of researching the tech albeit low. Also the devs staid that they'll probably add revisit feasibility option.

    Retrofitting: you can retrofit old and outdated ships with new and shiny tech, so you dont have to destroy your ships all the time to upgrade.

    Yes there are still bugs although in the past days of playing the game i have seen none, yes the turn end times can be long when playing against 5 ais, and the ui is still crappy, but you should still try this game now, it's playable, its fun, and in this state it can beat other 4x games.

    Also there's the dedication of the dev team, after release for months they released weekly 4-5 patches and even now they release monthly 2-4 patches i mean come on what other game gets support like this?
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  21. Oct 11, 2012
    9
    At the beginning, it was a hardly bugged game, but
    now, after the patching, its a really great game
    The dev's did a really great bug hunt.
    To keep it short: I like it !
  22. Oct 11, 2012
    9
    Just checked the game out again, not played it since a few weeks after launch...

    IT WORKS! IT ACTUALLY WORKS!!!
    Its pretty fun too :) Weapons and defences seem rather balanced, The AI seems to know what it's doing (to an extent) the menu and UI makes sense and I have not had a single glitch or crash in the last 10 hours playing.
  23. Oct 10, 2012
    10
    This game definitely deserves to be reviewed again. Despite the fact the all-clear has not been given by the team, the game is already playable and very enjoyable.

    In the last couple of months I have collected 265 steam hours. Next best on my steam library is sitting at around 100 hours. To be honest, I never considered myself a fan SOTS but more a fan of the genre, which I have played
    extensively, and this game is really all I could wish for. Expand
  24. ASC
    Aug 31, 2012
    9
    Now after a long wait for repairs, the (main) strategy side of this game is possibly the best space based game- beating Legends of Pegasus, Endless, Gal Civ. It is a shame that the formerly justified low ratings are putting people off. Feasibility study before research, and prototypes before mass production, limited upgrades to existing ships or total redesign and replacement to use completely different technologies, and just when you start wishing there were Q ships available to deal with pirates they pop up as available to research. The huge differences in strategy between the core racial technologies mirror the original. Logistics via tankers and star-bases gives an extra dimension. Would be nice if planetary characteristics were less abstracted, and could be linked to technologies & races. Expand
  25. Aug 20, 2012
    9
    This game has finally been patched to a suitable release state. And what a game. Sword of the stars 2 is perhaps the most expansive and full featured 4x strategy game available today. Ship design excels with an expansive research tree and excellent macro management design for your empire. Whilst the occasional crash is still an issue, the autosave more than compensates for this. The time has come that the negative reviews can now be largely ignored and the game easily picked up at a bargain price. Give it a try, if you enjoyed the original, or any 4x strategy game you'll find something to love here. Expand
  26. Aug 13, 2012
    10
    This game was a train-wreck at launch but the dedication of the devs is showing. The game is now stable, has all the features it was intended to launch with and the devs hav thrown in some extra goodies as well. What's more, its a comples 4x/strategy game which is fun to play. Right now I'd only put it at 8 or 9 out of 10 buts its clear that even more is in the works - and after that we can expect 2.5 expanions as well. This game is clearly heading in the direction of 10 out of 10 evenif it hasn't quite reached it yet. Expand
  27. Aug 8, 2012
    10
    So first of I would have to say that Sword of the Stars 2 had a horrible launch. When the game launched it was unplayable. To this day there are still a few issues, however anyone who played Sword of the Stars 1 from the beginning can tell you that even the first game was not perfect when it came out however it is one of the best 4x games that is out right now. With Sword of the Stars 2 it is moving in the same direction as the first one. There are very few major bugs in the game as of now. You can actually play the game, and while it is different in so many ways than Sots 1, I personally feel that the game is better than the first. Now if they can get rid of all the remaining bugs that crash the game and get is completed. I will say that if you do purchase the game now you are helping fund the completion of the game and personally I see nothing wrong with that. Yes it would have been nice to know this from the beginning, but really get over it people when the game is finished it will be amazing based on what has been fixed so far. I am glad that I bought this game when I did and I have no issues with the waiting(I did the same with Minecraft and that turned out wonderful too). However for those who are not wanting the game till its finished Kerberos has said that they would let the world know when the game is finished. I can tell you that if you pay attention you can pick the game up really cheap and then save some money now. I ended up only paying 7 dollars for Sots 2 and I got way more than 7 dollars of entertainment from the game and know that I will continue to do so. The game is improving at every patch. The bad For me there are really only 2 things that are worth putting in this spot from my last play through.

    1) There is a Pure virtual function call that happens in combat some times that crashes the game.

    2) The Zuul (Suul'ka Horde) do seem to be unfinished with there tooltips. Also had a wierd bug where the game said that a node that wasn't actually there had collapsed and then it gave me a free ship that had a very long trip at sublight back to the closest station.

    The Good
    1) The new mission system which while different from sots 1 in my opinion is way better and more realistic

    2) In sots 1 I never messed with my budget after the initial placement of 50 percent savings and 50 percent research and that worked great for me. In Sots 2 There are many reasons to actually mess with your budget and there are actual options for things to adjust instead of one slider.

    3)The hiver are awesome and even more so than in sots 1

    4) I love the new feasibility study option over the not having the tech show up at all. And even if right now you get a low result you can study other things related to the subject and come back and try again and get a better score.

    5) The graphics are much improved.

    6) The retrofit system to let you upgrade your weapons on your current ships.

    7) In sots 1 when you used a colonization ship you lost it and had to build a new one. In Sots 2 you no longer lose the colonization ship. This is also more realistic.

    8) You can control the Lords of Winter in the game which is awesome as there way bigger than any thing else on the board(You are limited to a max of 7 I believe)

    I could go on and on about improvements over sots 1. The thing really is that change is good and waiting for this game to be complete will be worth it. Yes there are issues still, but where sots 1 felt like a 4x lite game sots 2 takes the series into hardcore 4x.
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  28. Jul 30, 2012
    10
    The game gets better and better every month and every update.
    At the end i think it can sell well on Steam.
    But first many more people must test the new version of the game.
    every month came very big bug fixing and balancing patches and the game is now one of the best scifi space games on steam ^_^
  29. Jul 22, 2012
    8
    I think i bought this game after it was fixed because I havent had a single issue. My friends and i played the original alot and this is and improvement in every aspect. The best way i could describe this game to someone is Civilization in space. The spaceship customisation is great although i would prefer more choice, but i can see for simplicity's sake why its the way it is. Getting the hang of the game isnt the easiest of tasks and i think the game doesnt really cater for new players very well. That being said once ou into it, it can be very addictive and better with friends ! Expand
  30. Jul 22, 2012
    3
    Finally bought this game because some reviewers suggested that many bugs had been fixed. Unfortunately many remain and the game frequently crashes. It is also a pity that the developers have produced a sequel with longer lags and less visual appeal than the original.
  31. 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
    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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  32. Jul 16, 2012
    9
    An interesting pattern can be seen by viewing user reviews by date. The dedication of Kerberos to fix this game, rather than sweep it under the rug of 'it's a feature' are the cause of this.
    When I bought the game back at release it was nigh unplayable. The improvement from release is so vast that all reviews on this game are completely outdated and have no reflection on the current game
  33. Jul 6, 2012
    2
    As for July 2012 this game is still bad. Yes, the most (all?) bugs have been fixed, game does not crash and looks good. But that is not enough to make it a good game. The UI is still horrble, its very hard to find out what is really going on in your empire, what possible threats are incomming (be that some space menaces attacking your planet or simple over-spending of your budget). On strategic level, game is very complicated, but that does not transfer to wide variety of strategic options, on the contrary, you get drawn into finding out some small details (like why the hell can't I send my ships to system X). Space combat is quite boring, plays by itself and if you have bigger fleet, you win, if smaller, you loose and nothing you can click can change it (well, maybe you can retreat if you are lucky to find out how, i wasnt). Research system is ok, although I personally do not like the randomized tree and time-wasting feasibility studies, but thats personal preference. To summarize: the devs fixed the crash bugs during last 8 months. Now they should spend at least the same time to make this game fun - but I'm not sure they are willing to. Expand
  34. Jul 4, 2012
    8
    Mrpepperkitty back here almost a year after that fateful release day, and I must say Kerberos has pulled through, defying all the skeptics out there (Myself initially included). Kerberos' efforts are beyond dedicated, and if you don't believe me you can go on their site and browse the thousands of fixes and additions that have been made to the game. Or don't believe that, and buy it. I just bought the game again, and at turn 30 am still going strong. I have to admit the UI is still a little clunky and it might be hard for beginners, but the game and all of its featurey goodness is there now. It has finally begun to capture the magic of the original, and hopefully soon with the stream of updates that has yet to cease, it will surpass its predecessor. I think the worst game of 2011 may soon be one of the best of 2012! Expand
  35. Jul 3, 2012
    10
    When I first bought this game I couldn't play more than 2 minutes without it crashing. It was a disastrous release. I've waited months and after continuous weekly patching, not only is SOTS 2 stable, but it is everything it was feted to be and MORE. Unlike SOTS1, you don't feel like you're grinding in this game (which got a bit annoying in the first iteration). Every feature: ship design, economics, politics, warfare, research; has been improved and made more interesting. This game is more realistic, more satisfying and everything SOTS 1 could never be. Truly a full experience. Pity they couldn't have waited 8 months to release it! Expand
  36. Jun 28, 2012
    8
    As time progressed the game became - and still becomes - more and more complete. From my point of view almost 95% of its features are now in place and many have been modified by the devs to serve customers requests. As one of the people who bought the game ahead of its release it was like seeing a game getting from Alpha to Beta and now nearing Gold-Status. It is now stable, running quite fast and bugs are diminishing by the hour. Some still remain, but I am in good hope that they will be dealt with. Mainly they are visual glitches, like problems with refraction or some moons appear completely black on the map or non-critical things like Sol-System (in the "canon"-map) having an additional planet between Earth and Mars. Crashes appear to be a thing of the past and if they appear, then mostly in multiplayer. Expand
  37. Jun 11, 2012
    2
    If you're considering to buy this game, please note that if you DO NOT know the game system/have not played SOTS original, this game is NOT for you. Is other commenters have said, this game is not totaly finish, and there are alot of problems with the gameplay. If you really want to play SOTS II due to the awesome grafhics, please note (again) you will ONLY buy it for the grafhics then. It is not an enjoyable experience (yet)! Though it you're smart, and like the 'make your own space battle ships and take over the intire universe' gameplay, play the first one. Its much more stable and alot easier for newcommers. Expand
  38. Jun 11, 2012
    10
    I read a lot of negative feedback before I decided to buy this title, since most of it was from a few months ago now. Playing since late May/early June and I have not found a single problem. No crashes, visual glitches or anything.

    One thing that is lacking however is a manual. What are the benefits of individual space stations? Effective patrolling, and a few other things. However I
    don't view this as a negative because I am very used to games like X3 which tell you even less about how to play them.

    If you are curious and like strategy games I highly recommend this one, it has a lot of depth and immense replay value.
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  39. Jun 8, 2012
    9
    Despite the troubled past, i gave it a try and got hooked right away.
    The game has still some kinks in the interface and needs a bit work on but the gameplay ist just awesome. After over 30 hours of gameplay i did not run into any crashes.
    There seem to be some unsquished bugs still but with the ongoing superfast patching this will hopefully sort out pretty soon.
    A big plus is the helpful
    community.
    Beside the clunky interface and the somewhat sparse documentation, i am fully satisfied.
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  40. 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.
  41. Jun 8, 2012
    9
    It took a good while, but the game is finally becoming what it was supposed to be. And it is great, more stable than many other games. It isn't the same as SotS Prime, but it has grown into something more, something different. There are aspects that might not immediately be interesting to everyone, but the gameplay overall should be highly desirable to all 4X players. I got burned like so many others when the game came out, but I decided to not take the refund option. At this time I'm no longer sorry and no longer angry, I'm quite glad.
    If we are to be mad about the launch, we must also give credit where it is due. More than 50 patches has been uploaded. That is dedication most big companies would never even think of.
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  42. Jun 7, 2012
    9
    This is a great game with a frustrating but incredibly rewarding learning curve. The game is beautiful and the backstory, while not represented with a single player campaign, per say, is in depth and engrossing. Randomized tech tree makes each play through unique. The six factions each offer a different play style. Furthermore, the addition of new technologies, ship classes, weapons, space stations, and a truly new and interesting fleet management system set it apart from Sword of the Stars 1 and its expansions. I purchased my copy on release, and waited somewhat impatiently for the developers to address all of the many bugs and technical issues which cropped up with the initial launch. It was definitely worth the wait. Expand
  43. Jun 2, 2012
    9
    June 3rd, 2012. The game is stable and i have 22 hours played and no crashes or freezes. The game has alot of features but is very complicated. The UI isnt bad its just there are so many menus you can get lost sometimes. Overall its the best 4x title i have ever played and its stunning graphics and mechanics is just awesome. The reason i take a point off is the fact there are a bit of things here and there that are EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING. Such as the fact you HAVE to assemble a fleet to protect ever single system you own. This is so frustrating its unreal. Plus combat gets annoying because you cant freely move the camera, you have to double click on your units and then the camera follows. So really the game just needs a few tweaks and it would be perfect. Expand
  44. 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 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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  45. May 27, 2012
    10
    The game has come a long way from launch. The amount of dedication to making the game better and fixing all of the issues is unheard of from most developers. Yes, it could have had a better launch - but at this point it's time to move on. The reality is they've patched and fixed the game to such a degree that it's fun and playable now.

    I've been following this game since it's launch,
    and clocked over 700 hours of play time over various versions of the game. It's the only offering to the 4X genre that really contains depth. Games these days have continued to shirk away from adding depth and complexity to their games for fear of alienating the casual demographic. Well... this game follows in the footsteps of Sword of the Stars 1 and it's expansions and continues to evolve both the strategic depth as well as the tactical combat detail. The weapons are unique and varied. The races continue to be diverse and interesting, and have actual gameplay differences between them. Every game is unique and different and will often challenge the player to use new strategies due to the random nature of the research system.

    The game has come a long way and continues to get better. Right now it's a fun and engaging experience and will only get better as they add more to the game with expansions down the road.
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  46. Apr 11, 2012
    8
    This thing launched horribly, but by now its very playable and actually quite fun. If you were a fan of Galactic Civilizations or are just into space empires in general, this is a great game to buy.
  47. Mar 17, 2012
    0
    5 months have gone by since Kerberose released this product and I optimistically held out that they would fix it in a timely manor and make my Steam Pre-order $40 worth it. I was incredibly wrong to have such optimism and not take the offered refund. The game is barely playable because of the amount of "crash to desktop" and End Turn cycles taking an obscene amount of time to run. It appears on a 3 player map after turn 100, end turn cycles can take 5 to 10 minutes to run. Some screen transitions, going from starmap to to research for example, can take around 30 seconds to load. CPU idles around 30% load and GPU seems to idle around 11%. Key features are still missing. The game is like ordering a new car and the dealership promises delivery. Instead they drop off a kit and a team of mechanics take up camp on your driveway. The mechanics have put the car together but it is still missing the accelerator, turn signals, brakes and for some reason has a 8track tape player. So you can only look at your car, and maybe drive it a little bit but you aren't going far with it.

    Some day it may run, but so far it is not looking. I suggest not buying this one. Kerberose Productions should be made example of what not to do to your fanbase and paying customers.
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  48. Mar 15, 2012
    0
    It's a broken incomplete mess. It never should have been release. Don't buy it on Steam or Gamers Gate regardless of how cheap it is when it's on sale. Don't support this developer or publisher.
  49. Feb 23, 2012
    0
    DO NOT BUY indeed. the current status is utter crap, unplayable and not likely to change anytime soon.

    Although the first installment of this game was possibly the best 4X I've ever played, the launch of SOTS2 is the worst launch in the history of utter crap. I have *never* been part of something this unprofessional in my life. Kerberos *should* go broke over this.

    At launch the game
    couldn't start. In a week's time there had been 5 patches and it didn't improve anything. Now, 5 months later, the game is still nowhere near complete. And there is no way to get your money back either, which is quite possibly the worst part.

    I feel violated.
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  50. Feb 7, 2012
    1
    FIVE months since this games release and this game is still unplayable, even if you manage to get the game running without crashing nearly all the the features are completely buggy (the ones that are there anyway, alot of them are still missing).

    I love the company that makes this game which is why I waited almost half a year before saying anything but as it stands right now this game is
    still in a very early beta stage, the release was nothing more than a buggy alpha which never should have been released nevermind sold to the public.

    I spent 5 months giving them the benefit of the doubt, but this in my opinion is unacceptable.
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  51. Feb 1, 2012
    0
    Don't buy this till you hear from at least 20 people they can play past turn 10! I preordered. we were told the wrong version got uploaded to Steam by the owner of Kerberos, who posts as Mecron on their forums. Well 3 months later no one has found the version that SHOULD have been uploaded so it's safe to assume there is no other version and the events lamented by Mecron were all complete CRAP. This wasn't even an Alpha build on release. It's not much better 3 months later, after the patch of a few days ago I crashed on turn 10. Wait till you get it in the Steam Christmas sale, Christmas 2014 though. Expand
  52. Jan 27, 2012
    0
    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?569607-Meta-Thread-Refunds%2Fpage11 follow the convo between castellion and capt badger. Castellion straight lies to him lol

    Originally Posted by Castellon View Post
    So I inquired about your situation and was informed that you have had many replies, but you just do not want to hear what they are telling you.
    What ? I do not want to hear
    what they are telling me ?! I can not believe you actually wrote this! Do you want me to post my whole correspondence with support so EVERYBODY can see that what you wrote is simply NOT TRUE ?

    Last reply I got is from December 2nd! That was TWO WEEKS AGO. And since that time the situation drastically changed. (Your support guys made a mistake by sending my info to Steam, which was not my retailer). After that I placed FOUR comments asking for further updates. And nobody replied my to #7981 ticket yet.

    I am with contact with one of your employees on facebook, but that is a totally different story (I'm interested in ticktets, since support is the official way).
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  53. Jan 27, 2012
    0
    There are no more refunds. They stopped 30th of november. No one knows why, because the game still is not done yet BUT sold. The game is STILL unfinished and now they are actively defrauding people by selling them an unfinished product as if it were finished.
  54. Jan 20, 2012
    1
    IN BRIEF: absolutely horrid. Spend your money elsewhere! IN DEPTH: I bought the Complete Collection of Sword of the Stars 1, and while I found it to be a very challenging game with a steeper learnign curve than I was accustomed to, it was also an _enjoyable_ game. Despite losing time and again, I kept going back for more, because with each loss, I _learned_ something new. And eventually, enough lessons let me start holding my own ... well, against the AI set in easy mode, anyway. I do not claim to be a great general, ha! Based on that, I then bought SotS2. And right now? I don't just want my money back, I want the TIME I spent trying to figure the game out, given back to me. Yes, it really is that bad. The game seems stable enough right now, but the interface makes it still unplayable. At least, to someone like me, who is not omniscient. I can't figure out how to start up Trade within my empire - despite researching the technology, and building a dozen or more freighters. I have yet to find a way to scrap old, obsolete ships - except throw them at the enemy, to be uselessly blown up in combat. I also very much dislike the fleet management setup; if I build a fleet to explore the galaxy, for GODS SAKE, I don't want it coming all the way back home after every system it surveys! I haven't yet found a way to relocate a fleet from one system to another, either. Which, in turn, leads to another problem: you can't build a fleet piecemeal at multiple stars. You have to build the WHOLE fleet at ONE system ... because there's no way to permanently reassign a ship built in system A, to a fleet based out of system B. Not that I've been able to find, anyway! All in all, I'm not really fighting the AI very much in this game; I'm fighting the arcane, counter-intuitive UI. And I'm not learning anything with each loss this time around, either - because I just can't tell what I've done wrong, or what I've neglected to do. The blasted game doesn't TELL ME enough about what's going on, for that! SotS1 was a great game, and I'll keep playing it for a long time to come. SotS2 is a stinker, and it's coming off my hard-drive just as soon as I'm done writing this review. Expand
  55. Jan 20, 2012
    0
    As the mods on the Paradox forums are constantly saying in every thread they dont lock/delete that asks how the updates are going "Remember the game is not complete yet, no matter how much we want it to be it's just not done/finished/1.0." A MONTH AFTER RELEASE and they arent even at 1.0 yet. Run screaming from this filth. And Im sorry, anyone who gave this game a green review is lying. Or a dev.
  56. Jan 11, 2012
    0
    Buggy, extremely complicated game,and unplayable...3 things that you should know about this game.First,why Options are buggy like disappearing text ? And why i can`t fullscreen? Developer should need to fix the bug before publishing it.Second,if i know how to play this game,i should be playing this game and i can`t find any of it until i see the encyclopedia....but that doesn`t help me to memorize it.Third.....unplayable.Bored and No fun on this game,and waste your money.Deserve a zero score. Expand
  57. Jan 9, 2012
    0
    I really hope that one of these days someone has the balls to take legal action against developers who knowingly release unfinished broken games .
    This wasn't even ready for beta stage.
    If I had the money I would call my lawyer and hold these thieves accountable.
  58. Jan 1, 2012
    1
    Just awful. One to avoid. Terrible control / UI. Wierd engine and for me at least, a refusal to scale properly to my screen. Its like an Alpha or a Beta except nothing seems to be improving over time.
  59. 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 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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  60. Dec 22, 2011
    0
    I'd think this was a joke, if it didn't cost money. Before you hit a game killing crash, repeating itself each time you try to load the game, you will probably witness: one of the most clunky, user-unfriendly interfaces ever seen in a game, placeholder technologies with no real effect, some weapons not dealing any damage, or dealing a different damage from what stated, or being incredibly inaccurate as to be almost useless. Your ingame tutorial: a few screenshots of the interface with brief explanations of a few functions. Ridiculous AI. But wait! The realtime battles look great! Design your ships and go PEW PEW while battling for the galaxy! Too bad your fleet will often spawn so far from the enemy that you may spend all the time available for the battle trying to get in fighting range. You make choose to add more time to the battles: now you just have to spend five minutes being frustrated before getting started. You may also organize your fleet in a formation! Too bad as soon as the battle starts all the ships are just standing in line, regardless of what you chose. Now, the list of missing features and bugs in the existing ones is longer, but this is way more than I need to give this heap of failure a zero. The devs are working on it, while the game is still sold with no mention of its current state, as if this was a complete, working game. This is why I'm reviewing it as such. If someone chose to show some respect for the players by simply selling it as a paying beta to support the project, it would just be a game with a decent chance of becoming actually good, before or later. My advice: wait a few months, and if you like what you see get it for cheap at the next steam sales. Dont buy it now: it may get good, but some annoying stuff like the clunky interface seems to be here to stay. Expand
  61. Dec 19, 2011
    10
    brilliant game, there alot of thing i dont like about i tho but there just minor ui tweaks. now that being said this game is buggy as hell its a pile of crap right now alot of people are bashing it and well due to its current state id agree, but just wait 2 more months and see if the dev can turn it around . This game is a gem but its currently a train wreak.
  62. Dec 8, 2011
    0
    Even after more than a month of half-hearted patches, this game is unplayable. Great parts of the game menu is still greyed out, and a grand total of NONE of the "features" on the box have been implemented.

    Having the audacity to charge people $40 for a pre-beta version of the game is insane. If, and I really mean if, this game ever get's into playable form it might be pretty cool, but
    if history teaches anything, it's that companies that are willing to screw customers this badly are emptying their bank accounts and buying tickets to the Caribbean. It's been compared to MOO III, but that comparison might actually be unkind to MOOIII. Expand
  63. Dec 5, 2011
    9
    I have been quite surprised by the level of negativity associated with this release. I understand the people who were upset at the time of release and they were issued refunds. Was the game ready for release? No, but I would rather it be released unfinished and get patched into the great game that it is becoming then have it to have died like so many of other due to lack of funds to continue development. Should the company have let people pre-order it and then have access to the beta like other games have done? Maybe that would have been better. But everyone who says the gameplay sucks hasn't spent enough time playing to know what they are talking about. I realize that might be from all the crashes that the game experienced at release. Was it really buggy? Yes. Was it complete? No. Does the game suck? Absolutely not. If you don't want to play it because it's unfinished wait until the company makes the announcement that it is in a releasable state, which they acknowledge it wasn't on Oct 28th. But one of the devs stated it was either release at that time or not release at all. I chose to support a team that obviously has passion for the game they have created rather than so many companies that stop supporting a game as soon as it is release. The game it is very complicated and visually stunning. The initial instability is gone. It is too bad how short-sited people are these days. Just thought I'd chime in my two cents. Love the game and I have spent too much time playing it already. :) Expand
  64. Nov 25, 2011
    0
    Well i do not think this game is good it sucks so much, the people that like this game must be weird.
    This game sucks, and its the worst. I can Give it a Zero!
  65. Nov 18, 2011
    2
    The only reason to buy the game in this state is to take part in a paid beta, but if you want to buy a game to enjoy and play with few problems than don't buy this game. It has many issues and is very unstable, not to mention that it has incomplete features. The current release is pretty much unacceptable for a "released" game.

    The fault for this lies with the developer, not the
    publisher. The developer is the one who comes up with the ideas and has to realise them and they have to do it within an agreed upon period, so given the game is so broken and incomplete the blame has to be squarely on the Kerberos. It's clear they aimed far too high for either their skill or manpower (or a combo) to meet within the development period. However, most disappointing was that they kept fans in the dark about the state of the game, which is made worse by the fact several of those who worked on the game were highly active with the community. You can also put some blame on the publisher for not saying anything either and while it is easy to say they should have given Kerberos more time, they can only be expected to sink so much money without a return into a project. All in all the release by both parties should have been better handled.

    The game is been patched with the aim of making it work, but it will take some time. Best plan would be to wait 6 - 12 months and have another look at the game unless as I said, you wanted to take part in a beta test. So far for me this game has not been worth its price. You can see the potential in the game, but I didn't buy the game to look at it and imagine the cool things it could do so I can't give it anything outside of the red zone.
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  66. Nov 14, 2011
    0
    Do not buy this game. It is an incomplete game and a complete mess. After releasing what they told us was an early build, they then updated it with a more broken build. Major game features are either missing, or included but obviously implemented incorrectly. The developers need to go back to Comp Sci 1 to learn how to test for bugs.

    I repeat, do not buy this game, you will be very
    disappointed. Come back in a year when they finally get into beta testing. Expand
  67. Nov 14, 2011
    0
    What a shame that some game developers and publishers take the easy route and take their fans and customers for granted. While Sword of the Stars 1 had the potential to take the Moo crown, Sword of the Stars 2 has proved that its predecessor might have been....just a one hit wonder.

    The game is completely broken. Not just a couple of patches broken, but un-compiled code, not yet coded,
    we're still project managing broken. Truth be told, if you bought a physical copy of the game, that DVD Rom is worth more as a beer coaster than the content contained therein.

    The Retail release is practically an Alpha Build...and from what I can gather...might even be an early Alpha. There is no way this game went through any Beta Testing or any form of quality assurance. Because if they did, they're all liers. The game doesn't start, if you even get to play it, you'll crash within 5 turns. You're lucky to get to turn 20 without crashing to desktop.

    I thought Empire Total War was bad, that game crashed if you stared at it hard enough. But SOTS 2 has taken that crown. Just by thinking about SOTS 2, some one is crashing this very minute.

    In the immortal words of Dr. McCoy. "It's dead Jim"
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  68. Nov 10, 2011
    0
    This is not a game, this is an epic blunder. As a professional software developer seeing what Kerberos have done with this release fills me with anger. Complete incompetence at every level. And the result is an unplayable mess that crashes every 10 minutes.

    What makes this worse is that they are still selling the game without notifying prospective buyers of the state the game is in. Then
    when we demanded refunds they came up with a series of what can only be gently described as insults to our intelligence excuses of why they are dragging their feet.

    The bottom line is that not only this pile of bugs and mess barely deserving to be called a game in unplayable and unenjoyable, you MUST NOT buy it because you will not get your money back once you realize what you've bought. It's a trap.

    Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!
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  69. Nov 10, 2011
    0
    Released as a non working piece of software. Developers are trying to patch it into something resembling a working game. Whether they will succeed is not clear. Check out the forums to see if this game has been fixed before buying.
  70. Nov 9, 2011
    0
    Unplayable, buggy... AI can't budget and continually runs a deficit and generally crashes its economy - drones don't work - defense satellites aren't in the game (but you can research the tech for them) - armor tech can be researched but no one can tell if armor upgrades are actually applied to ships - no way to scrap ships - the meteor swarm random creates a straight line of meteors traveling in formation. Speculation is that the meteors use ship/fleet AI. - You may or may not be able to upgrade science stations - Budget screen - the numbers may or may not be accurate, the sliders may or may not work as intended - NPCs sometimes bring stations with them in fleets - Diplomacy isn't in yet - The Defense Manager screen may or may not work. No one is quite sure how it works. - Attacking stations is iffy because the hit box prevents you from getting close enough for your short range weapons to work, - You cannot add/design weapons (combat) modules for your stations, - Ship refitting isn't implemented Tactical Combat, one of the Main Features of the game, is horrid. Ship AI (ship stances, pursuit, close, etc) sometimes works, it's really easy to time out the combat timer before finding the enemy, hell, I have yet to kill a ship despite having 7 CRs shooting at one hiver CR. The tactical combat interface is very clumsy and a huge step backwards compared to SotS 1. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of potential on SotS IIs combat, but it needs a *lot* of work. https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=320843#post320843 --- Undetermined Issues --- Zuul (AI section unavailable) Zuul (3rd and 2nd tier riders unavailable) Zuul (Dancer?) Hivers (Defense Boats unavailable) Tarka (Defense boats unavailable) Liir-Zuul Alliance [Zuul-side] (AI section unavailable) Mines (Not available save Fusion) --- Technology Tree Issues --- Shield Technology: Shield Mk. I - (Not working as intended) Shield Mk. II - (Not available) Shield Mk. III - (Not available) Shield Mk. IV - (Not available) Meson Shields - (Not available) Grav Shields - (Not available) Torpedoes Technology: Enveloping Anti-Matter Torpedo - (No image) Enveloping Fusion Torpedo - (No image) Warhead Technology: MW Warheads - (Not deploying as intended) Interceptors - (Not available) Blast Beams - (Not implemented) Blast Storm - (Not implemented) Heavy Ship Missiles - (Not implemented) Drive Technology: Grav Cannon - (Morrigi) - [No description, not available] Node Maw - (Zuul) - [No image, no description, not available] Node Maw - (Human) - [No image, no description, not available] Far Casting - (Hiver) - [Error in description] Casting - (Hiver) - [Error in description] Warp Pulse - (Tarka) - [Error in description, not available] Curvature Compensator - Liir) - [Unintentionally available, not working as intended] Ballistic Weapons: Grav Pulsar - (No image, not available) Tumbler - (No im Quote: Stationdesign for Naval Bases (Weaponhardpoints) Space Station Upgrades (Some are got to high requirements and cannot be fitted with req. module ammount, some are deactivated on purpose, like the level 5 Science Station that was deactivated in Patch 4th Nov. 2011 for Bugfixing.) Defense sattelites Morrigi Void Mastery Drive (you can research it, but not fit it in designer) Tarkan Warpdrive (Same as the Morrigi. You can research it, but not use it...) Drones, Assaultshuttles, Nodefighters, Battlecruiser and Battleships (All part of the Battlerider Technology tree) Starbase Hangar for Battleriders Cloaking Field Shield Technology of all kind Siege Driver Armorplate fitting in the Shipdesigner Traderoutes (at least you cannot assign any Tradeships to any kind of Traderoutes) Moral boosting systems COL-Launcher Asteroid Monitor construction Special project research Salvage and Reverse engeneering from salvage Gem and Forgeworlds (cause crash at the moment if you wanna choose a typ) Fusion/Antimatter/Leach/Cloak Mines Diplomacy (not all features activated yet, but at least you can declare war at the moment ^^) Delete of old shipdesigns (they are deleted in the designer, but stay in the list of the available productiondesigns for ships at the shipyard) Liir Leviathan "The Black" (its constructed out of modules with weaponhardpoints, it seems not to work propably at the moment) Random encounter slider (you can change it, but it seems to have no effect at the moment when you start a new game) Grand Menace slider (same as above, it seems the Systemkiller as a Grand Menace just appear or dont, random at the moment) MIRV Missile system (Missile shoots and explodes without creating new Missiles) Ship Module "Auxiliry Fission/Fusion" (It increases crew need by 2, but dont give you any bonuses, no speed, no energy, no support bonus at all) theres more, way more but it doesnt fit Expand
  71. 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 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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  72. Nov 7, 2011
    4
    It seems to be a trend for games to be released buggy and then the Developers release patches to fix some issues.
    However the problem with Sots 2 is not that there are bugs, the problem is that itâ
  73. Nov 7, 2011
    0
    The game is unfinished. Key game elements are either unimplemented, broken, disabled, or just buggy. There's no point in playing until Kerberos finishes the game.
  74. Nov 7, 2011
    0
    Very disappointed in this game. Was released on October 28th through Steam, but Paradox changed the release date to the 31st for physical copies and I can see why. The original released version was a Beta, wrong file uploaded to Steam, I understand mistakes happen, so another version was uploaded the following day. Well nothing really changed and the publisher admitted on their forums that they knew the product was bad they were going to release and patch it. Menus are grayed out so they cannot be selected, such as options, no scenarios maps but a tab, the encyclopedia which they tell you to use for information appears to be mostly empty. The manual was a draft copy that the published put on the forums, how do you not have a manual completed for release? The graphics are beautiful but without just clicking around its next to impossible to figure out how anything works. No tutorial, no intro missions, no manual, no encyclopedia. Horrible game, horrible release. Expand
  75. Nov 6, 2011
    0
    Do yourself a favor and skip this product. It's difficult to even use the word "game" to describe it; one day publishing and development houses will realize that pushing a product that requires months, or even years, to market is simply not a valid business practice. The product is lacking in tool tips, contains many bugs that result in a crash to windows, lacks memory optimization which results in horribly slow load times when changing UI options, the list goes on and on. From most studios this would barely qualify as an engine test.

    To add icing to the cake the developers made the choice to lie on release day and say they had simply uploaded their beta engine and that the real game would be forthcoming within 24 hours. Sadly this was simply a sales tactic. Like I said, skip this title and go spend your $40 at a casino, at least you might have accidental fun there.
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  76. Nov 5, 2011
    0
    Seriously, what is this piece of **** Half the game is missing and it is so buggy I can't even get a ship to the closest star. And I have tried many times, random crasches etc. And this is now, after a bunch of patches have been applied. Well thats capitalism for you. Never finish anything. There is an ongoing trend today to sell games that are not quite finished. This trend is going too far as it seems this game isn't even half finished. So when can I play the game I bought? Next year? And it's our own fault for letting them do it. But not anymore, I will **** never buy a game I haven't actually pirated and tried first anymore. **** snakeoil salesmen. >:-( Expand
  77. Nov 5, 2011
    8
    Game was released prematurely. I would recommend not buying it in its present state unless you would like to support the developers. If you just want to play the game, wait a couple weeks. THE GAME DOES NOT DESERVE THE TERRIBLE REVIEWS YOU SEE HERE. IT IS A GOOD GAME OFF TO A BAD START.

    THAT SAID, here is my review.

    This game represents the very niche 4X space genre. Like many
    space-themed games, it is very complex, with deep customization options, huge randomly populated tech trees, dozens of star systems per map with the possibility of multiple habitable planets in each system, diplomacy, random grand menace encounters, etc.

    Essentially, it plays like a much more complex version of the Total War series. You build and explore from the main turn-based strategic star map, and have actual battles in a real-time combat mode.

    Graphically, the game is beautiful, with some exceptions. Ships are rendered in unprecedented detail, and the modular construction of ships mean that each design can look very different from one in the same class. Explosions and weaponry is dazzling and intricate, with ship damage being represented down to individual turrets.

    The UI is one of the major downsides of the game. While it may be improved upon in the future, right now it is very intimidating and unintuitive. Something as simple as sending a ship to another system took me about 15 minutes to figure out.

    AI is also a bit strange. Diplomacy can be a chore, as other factions tend to act randomly/irrationally. Again, this may be improved in the coming weeks.

    Again, this game has many excellent features and will be worth buying in the coming weeks. Wait a bit, them give it a go! This may be one of the last decent space games we see in a long time, so fans of the genre should consider buying now to support the developers.
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  78. Nov 5, 2011
    1
    Someday it might be a good game. Right now it's unfinished. Get SOTS 1 Complete Collection, and wait until this one is finished. Or, buy this one, and you can email Kerberos to get a copy of SOTS1 for free. At this point, much of what is working in SOTS1 has yet to be implemented in SOTS2. The game has potential; there are some interesting new ideas in terms of reducing micro-management as well as new features such as named Admirals with traits, but right now you can't really play a game, too many features don't work and you don't know which ones those are :-) Expand
  79. Nov 4, 2011
    0
    This game is currently a broken and unplayable mess and seems likely to remain so for at least another 4 months, if the company that released it manages to stay in busness it may be in a playable state at that point. At this point, well after launch, it crashes constantly with most subsystems in an unfinished state.
  80. Nov 4, 2011
    0
    This title is currently unplayable due parts of the game outright missing as well as a large number of bugs. It is very far from being finished. Check back in February or so, by then the developer will probably have patched it up enough.
  81. Nov 4, 2011
    0
    I bought this game, because of the original Sword of the Stars game. I bought my version on Steam. Right after downloading I wondered why the options menu wasn´t accessible. Then in my first game I was just shocked. Bugs over bugs and crashes after crashes. I couldn´t believe that a company would really release a game in such an unfinished state. The I found out what happened. Acc. to the forums and posts from Paradox and Kerberos officials they knowingly released a version that was in a state that was more a beta-version as a finished product. They apologized for that and promised to fis it. But I can´t understand and assist a company with my money for such a fraud. My advice would be:
    Please, check the forums to get a complete view of this mess.
    And - DON´T BUY THIS GAME NOW - LET THEM FIX IT FIRST.
    LET THEM NOT BE SUCCESSFULL WITH SUCH A BAD WAY TO TREAT THEIR LOYAL CUSTOMERS.
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  82. 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
    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. Expand
  83. Nov 3, 2011
    0
    Few things to say...
    1) You cannot rate a game that does not work (IT DOESN'T)
    2) It should be a criminal offense to release a game that is as finished as frozen dog turd is a lunch
    3) Don't buy it play the original and forget they released the sequel for the next 5 months while they do a billion patches to "fix" the game, though you can't call it fixing since the game is not complete.

    4) NO JUST NO
    5) Why game spy? Why not just use the steam? A pointless decision in a stream of bad choices that will cost the game and the publishers and the programmers all their public value and this game won't sell well and if it does then there is something wrong! They don't deserve a penny for their efforts so far this is just plainly an insult in the face of the gamers. I mean imagine a game like ES V L Skyrim doing this kinda thing. People would be angry and they should this is an embarrassment to the gaming community and a lesson to be remembered ! Do not rush a game out! We want to play it not be frustrated out of buying any future titles you may or may not make
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  84. Nov 3, 2011
    1
    I played SINS, GalCiv2, Homeworld, and many other games, but THIS!!! This is a game that i could not even find out how to play! There is no tutorial, no tips, no descriptions of anything, wiki is useless, UI is hard to navigate, can't use arrows to navigate the map, etc. This game is purely user unfriendly! I was expecting at least the quality of SINS and dept of Gal Civ 2. This is peace of crap.


    P.S.
    I don't want to be a rocket scientist to know how to play this game. (I play both Hearts of Iron games and Supreme Ruler which are both very complex games)
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  85. Nov 2, 2011
    1
    DO NOT BUY until there is a general consensus that game development has been completed.

    As of 2011-11-2, this game is UNFINISHED and UNPLAYABLE, due to a large number of factors, including:
    = Instability. Often, the game will crash to desktop with no way to continue playing. Sometimes you can load an autosave and continue; sometimes that's it -- your game is over, and to play more you
    have to start anew.
    = Missing gameplay features. Parts of the game simply have not been implemented yet.
    = Missing documentation. Which is better: a warehouse or a hangar? Don't know? Well, neither does anyone else. But you should probably build one or else you may or may not lose the game 4 or 80 turns down the line.
    = Bugs, everywhere! Want your ships to fire on the enemy? They'd rather float there for a while instead. Retreat then. Oh, wait, now they're firing. And they refuse to move. Great.

    At this point, you'd be spending 40$ on an early beta build of the game.

    The developers have a record of fixing their games over time. On the other hand, as of this launch, they have a record of taking your money while intentionally misleading you about the goods you buying.

    The verdict? In the game's current state, you can't play it regardless of whether you've bought it or not. So until that's no longer the case (and until the price reflects the quality of the game), don't buy.
    IF, on the other hand, you're willing to send the dev team 40$ in the hope that it will help them survive and finish making the game -- by all means, feel free to do so, and you might even get a finished game in the future. Just don't pretend that 40$ bought you a game, and not a promise and access to the beta.
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  86. Nov 2, 2011
    0
    Do NOT buy this title at this point in time!
    This game was released prematurely. The initial release last Friday was the wrong version or so we were told. It had a buggy features like the options menu. The patch on Saturday merely fixed a few issues and disabled the options menu. Yes you heard me right, this title does not have an options menu upon release. Unlike the previous reviewer I
    have had several crashes, or should I say until I got sick of them. These crashes are mostly caused by missing parts of the game. What is also lacking is a decent tutorial and to top that a lot of tooltips are missing as well. This game should be considered to an early beta build at best.
    Whilst Kerberos and Paradox promise to improve this game and support it for years to come. Would you trust a company that released such an abomination on the market. I agree with many that there is a game underneath all the rubble. I however am not waiting for the rubble to be cleared and have requested a full refund.
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  87. 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 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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  88. Nov 10, 2011
    0
    This is not a game, this is an epic blunder. As a professional software developer seeing what Kerberos have done with this release fills me with anger. Complete incompetence at every level. And the result is an unplayable mess that crashes every 10 minutes.

    What makes this worse is that they are still selling the game without notifying prospective buyers of the state the game is in. Then
    when we demanded refunds they came up with a series of what can only be gently described as insults to our intelligence excuses of why they are dragging their feet.

    The bottom line is that not only this pile of bugs and mess barely deserving to be called a game in unplayable and unenjoyable, you MUST NOT buy it because you will not get your money back once you realize what you've bought. It's a trap.

    Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!
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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.