Take A Chance on Me
I could spend all night writing about this game but I'm itching to get back to playing it again!
I'm so pleased that Distant Worlds has finally made it's way over to Steam and will now get the audience it deserves.
If you have any interest in 4x games, you need this. Simple as that!
I really hope if you've read this far that you'll buy the game and more importantly that you'll enjoy it as much as I have over the years.
Now if the developer could just make a prettier sequel......
A Few of my Favorite Things
These are just a few things, there is so much I could type about.
Ground based combat, troop recruitment, Espionage, Characters (Ship captains, fleet admirals, generals etc.) , minor races that can develop into full space fairing empires if left unchecked. Story events, re-name-able ships, characters etc.
(Want to rename all your spies after the characters in Reservoir Dogs, you can! Mr Black, Mr Pink etc.)
Unlike most other 4x games, Distant Worlds has a fully featured Civilian economy which works independently to you.
You can influence it with your actions but you can't control it directly.
Deep and Steep
The scope and depth of this game is amazing. It always feels like you're playing in a "real" universe.
Of course this depth comes with a learning curve which can be punishing at first.
This is a game you're going to want to watch a lets play or two on before you take the plunge
(or just automate everything and watch a while to get the jist of what the AI is doing).
Beauty is only skin deep
Don't let the graphics put you off, whilst far from good looking, the graphics are functional.
Different ship hulls are fairly easy to distinguish between and the planets and moons can be quite pretty in their own flat, 2D way.
You can design civilian ships, freighters, passenger shuttles etc. and then the civilian economy will buy them from you and use them to move goods around to complete the building contracts or colony requirements within your empire.
This happens automatically, and you can actually see every single civilian ship flying around, check it's cargo, see what it's carrying and where it's carrying to.
Do You Like to Watch?
Before I talk about the scope of this game, keep in mind that the number of automation options you can set up from the start menu are almost limitless.
You can automate almost anything.
Don't like designing your own ships? just automate it and the AI will handle that aspect for you. Don't want to fiddle around with the false smiles and bribes that pass for diplomacy, then don't. Automate it and the AI will start paying off the other Empires for you.
Hell you could automate the whole game if you wanted and just sit back and watch it unfold like a TV Space Opera.
There's a huge tech tree to unlock, resulting in new planetary facilities to build, better components to install to your ship hulls, larger ship hulls to fit all your new tech inside, various orbital facilities etc.
Place a large military ship build order at a space port and watch all the little civilian ships scuttle around sourcing the resources for the project and ferrying them to the construction site.
Of course the civilian ships can be easy prey for pirates, so you might want to protect them with a military escort. This can be automated too!
There are A LOT of different resources in this game. Each planet, moon, asteroid, gas cloud is a potential source of "stuff" you're going to need.
At first you're civilian sector is going to be buying a lot of the resources in to build the components you'll need for your ships and stations, but before long, you'll have a fleet of civilian ships (all AI controlled) flying around mining asteroids for minerals and mining Gas Giants for the much needed fuel you're going to need to expand further.
You get what you pay for!
Let me start by stating that Distant Worlds is, at the time of writing, ONE OF THE BEST 4X GAMES THAT MONEY CAN BUY!
Whilst new to Steam with the release of the latest expansion (Universe) Distant Worlds has been available elsewhere for good while and has received several large expansions during its life. (All of which had to be purchased separately prior to this full release on Steam).
Compared to the cost of buying all the expansions separately direct from Matrix, the steam price for the Universe bundle is actually cheap by comparison. (Although pricey compared to most 4x Titles, you get what you pay for!
Deep, So Deep
All the standard 4x bits and pieces are there.