Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Image
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 52 Ratings

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  • Summary: A massive-scale real-time strategy game where you command entire armies on a dynamic battlefield. Conquer multiple worlds across several single-player campaigns; or play with your friends in multiplayer combat.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 10, 2016
    90
    Well beyond simple DLC, Escalation polishes every aspect of the base game. The campaign is excellent, and the expansion of defensive and upgradeable structures helps ease in new players. New technology amps the scale, but also provides tools to manage the larger world. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a fresh coat of paint for an already-revolutionary RTS.
  2. Nov 11, 2016
    85
    Between the new aircraft, cool new orbitals, and fantastic design of the Strategic Zoom function, there’s a lot here to love for any fan of the mass real-time strategy. It’s a shame that the story still can’t always keep up with the stellar additions to the gameplay and that some of the new ground units get swept up in the sheer way that the game is built, but Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is still one of the coolest, most smooth, and vast real-time strategies out there.
  3. Nov 10, 2016
    81
    Escalation succeeds at making Ashes of the Singularity a bigger, better, sleeker RTS that allows you to play its great new content alongside just about everything from the base game (including the lacklustre original campaign missions).
  4. Nov 18, 2016
    78
    While the staging and the characterization of the fractions still is sub-par, this is better than Ashes of the Singularity in every aspect, especially in terms of the large scale skirmishes that give you an optimal strategic viewpoint.
  5. Nov 16, 2016
    75
    Escalation manages to improve many aspects of the past Ashes of the Singularity, it brings two new campaigns that deserve to be played this time, many new units and the strategic zoom. Unfortunately there are still many problems with the path-finding, that cause a lot of frustration.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 22
  2. Negative: 6 out of 22
  1. Nov 12, 2016
    10
    I liked the first game, even though the game had a few flaws, but the added strategic view and new units completely change the game. To keepI liked the first game, even though the game had a few flaws, but the added strategic view and new units completely change the game. To keep it short the game addresses some of the problems that plagued the first game. If you love strategy games then this game is for you! Expand
  2. Sep 10, 2017
    10
    This is the best RTS on the market. Easy to learn but hard to master the constant balances patches make it better and better. It takes a whileThis is the best RTS on the market. Easy to learn but hard to master the constant balances patches make it better and better. It takes a while to get your first multiplayer win but you'll get there! Expand
  3. Sep 10, 2017
    10
    Such a good game! The new RTS is here and its amazing. Hope to see you online soon as thats where it really comes alive. Regular balanceSuch a good game! The new RTS is here and its amazing. Hope to see you online soon as thats where it really comes alive. Regular balance patches and upcoming new units keep making it better and better. Expand
  4. Apr 12, 2019
    8
    Not usually a big player of RTS games, but this was accessible and easy to learn with great options for learning and getting the hang of theNot usually a big player of RTS games, but this was accessible and easy to learn with great options for learning and getting the hang of the game. Has a solid campaign which teaches you along the way as well as great in depth game play for those more familiar with the genre. Worth the time. Expand
  5. Aug 13, 2020
    8
    I obtained Ashes of the Singularity as a free giveaway from the Humble Store, and was glad I did. I had my eye on it already as a fan of bothI obtained Ashes of the Singularity as a free giveaway from the Humble Store, and was glad I did. I had my eye on it already as a fan of both classic real-time strategy and of one of the developer's previous titles, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion.

    A word to the wise, Ashes has the potential to be extremely taxing on your system. I experience regular frame drops during heavy battles of 20 fps or more, though not to a unplayable degree. I have heard the game referred to as "Ashes of the Benchmark."

    Ashes may be more grounded then Sins, both literally and figuratively, but in its own way is no less grand in scale. Ashes is an old school, build your base and then roll over dudes with a big army kind of RTS, with the basic components taken to their logical extreme. There is seemingly no upper limit to your population size, and battles can comprise hundreds if not thousands of individual units. The smallest available units are classified as "frigates", and others range in size all the way up to powerful dreadnoughts and juggernauts that gain experience levels as the capital ships in Sins do. You can zoom the map out far enough to see a strategic view of its entirety, as in Supreme Commander, and can issue commands to potentially every unit on the map if you desire.

    Units have simplistic strengths and weaknesses, using the more "modern" model of tactical rock-paper-scissors. In practice, building a mixed force of all available unit types is suitable for any engagement in the campaign.

    Resource gathering occurs passively, requiring only that you build extractors and generators. Metal and Radioactives are used for units and structures, with the most basic of such requiring only metal, while Quanta is used to increase your population cap, use targeted support powers, and purchase passive upgrades for your entire force, with no need for dedicated research structures. Additionally, the PHC faction use Quanta to increase their available resource storage, the Substrate have no such requirement.

    As in most RTSs, the resources near your initial base are usually limited and you must acquire more. However, in Ashes, all resource deposits are tied to a network of generators that are protected by weak "creeps" and must first be captured by your forces before you can benefit from the nearby deposits. Additionally, if enemies are able to capture your generators, you lose the income from any that would be cut off from your core structure, the Nexus.

    In addition to the ability to loop production queues at your unit factories, Ashes possesses a unique army formation mechanic: Simply select a group of units and press V to have them form up on each other. No manual formation management is required, units will automatically sort themselves into an appropriate layout, with dreadnoughts front and center, and non combat vessels in the rear, with the expendable frigates screening the outer edge to take fire for the more valuable cruisers. Perhaps most importantly, you can reinforce your armies directly, queuing up new units while you have the army selected, and this will automatically task available factories to produce the units requested. Additionally, if you have specific cruiser as part of that army for the PHC or use a certain support power for the Substrate, new units can teleport directly from the factories to the army's vicinity and join their formation, enabling you to advance more aggressively then in other games.

    Ashes is easier to control then the scale of the battles might otherwise suggest, and the enemy AI is smarter then you might suspect, in particular making good use of radar intelligence and sending strike forces where it knows your armies aren't. It's a successful fusing of mechanics from various older games with not a lot missing, though I personally would have liked a "follow cam" button. If I could complain about anything, it would be the forgettable soundtrack and the somewhat disjointed nature of the narrative. More particularly, the hotkey system in Ashes is a tad odd, requiring that you cycle through production options with tab before hitting a corresponding letter key on the left side of the keyboard. In multiplayer I'm sure this could potentially be an issue for some, but in the campaign, any potential human error on your end can be assuaged somewhat by adjusting the game speed, and issuing orders while the game is paused.

    Overall however Ashes feels like a logical step forward in the evolution of the 90s RTS, a genre that has felt underutilized of late if you haven't known where to look. A solid title.
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  6. Jan 17, 2017
    6
    Note: I'm writing only from a single-player perspective.
    Technically, it might be an impressive game, but in my opinion simply putting a lot
    Note: I'm writing only from a single-player perspective.
    Technically, it might be an impressive game, but in my opinion simply putting a lot of objects on screen is not sufficient to create an enjoyable experience.
    The combat is slow enough that you might want to spend some time base buildings. However, that part of the game is not engaging. Then, you might want to return to combat and play with your set of toys, but that part isn't very engaging either.
    Even the dreadnoughts are not particularly fun to use, or look at. Weapons, in general, like a satisfying "oomph," so Instead of looking forward to them unleashing their terrible power - like the experimental units of Supreme Commander - I find myself passing the time until they finally reach their destination, and then hoping they won't fail to destroy an already beaten enemy, because then I'd have to wait again.
    Add some annoying issues, like unarmed medic units rushing to their doom at the head of your forces, and the game not responding to mouse clicks sometimes - which is somehow related to the common attack-move command - and I have to rate the entire experience as average.

    P.S all the anti-human sentiment in the new campaigns is very off-putting. Well, unless you're a xenocidal AI, I guess.
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  7. Jan 8, 2022
    0
    Terrible control to win 10. Does not respond, must be clicked multiple times. You can't skip the boring and annoying soundtrack. The size ofTerrible control to win 10. Does not respond, must be clicked multiple times. You can't skip the boring and annoying soundtrack. The size of the download game is awful. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews