Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

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  • Summary: In Sword of the Stars 2, gamers will be reaquianted with the original six races from Swords of the Stars I and its expansions as well as reveal the dark secret of the original series, the Suul’ka - an ancient race that is responsible for tampering with the Liir, Zuul, and other races in the SotS universe! Not limited to another entire new race and their unique drive technology, SotS2 will be a major step forward in the SotS approach to 4X gameplay, taking the easy-to-learn-hard-to-master philosophy set out in SotS1 and following that path to a new standard in space strategy games. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 14
  2. Negative: 7 out of 14
  1. Feb 13, 2012
    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]
  2. Dec 19, 2011
    But if you're a person who doesn't want to wait around for patches and who likes a gaming experience you can glide into rather than struggle through, I sadly suggest either giving this one a pass or at least giving it time to get patched up in time for a steep Steam sale.
  3. Nov 27, 2011
    On the one hand, the bare bones of the game are there, the potential is there, and I wouldn't trust many devs outside of Kerberos to patch this to a decent state. On the other, regardless, it's going to take at least a few months to patch it to a state where it's not just "sort of playable", it's actually enjoyable. But if you feel like helping nurture a game to completion, by all means fork out. Those of you who are more cautious, hang back a few months, it should be cool by then.
  4. Dec 4, 2011
    A beautiful but baffling space strategy game. Bugs and bewildering menus make for a frustrating and very missable experience.
  5. Dec 23, 2011
    Sword of the Stars 2 is what happens when a space opera becomes a hostage of amateurish idealists.
  6. Feb 13, 2012
    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.
  7. Nov 10, 2011
    Sword of the Stars II is fundamentally broken, poorly programmed and a complete mess of a retail game.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 92
  2. Negative: 44 out of 92
  1. Nov 22, 2012
    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!
  2. Nov 1, 2012
    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
  3. Jun 8, 2012
    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.
  4. Jul 21, 2012
    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.
  5. Nov 5, 2011
    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
  6. Mar 17, 2012
    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.
  7. Nov 14, 2011
    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.

See all 92 User Reviews