A small desire for greatness? You find that Palpatine is an amateur? This game is made for you 😀
Title : Master of Orion 2 : Battle at Antares.
Genre : Strategy (4X).
Date : 1996.
Developpers : Simtex, Microprose.
Master of Orion 2 is a game of strategy in turn by turn of 4X type (for ” eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate”, a whole program 😉 ). Among the games of economic and technological development, he proposes a wealth and a very particular style, science fiction directed.
Master of Orion 2 places the player at the head of an empire which he is going to lead to the conquest of stars. The party begins after a great war between two advanced races: Orions and Antariens. The first ones having exiled the second in a parallel dimension, they are in their turn going to disappear and to make way so for the emergent races.
The party begins with the choice of the race. There we already find numerous pre-created races each resuming a different stereotype (warrior, scientist, spy, diplomat, etc.). We can again personalize her own race by means of a multitude of choices… From the racial feature to the political system.
After that, it remains to configure the party… Difficulty, size of the galaxy, the random events, the quantity of resources, number of empires…
The main screen represents the galaxy map. We can see the various stars, the fastest roads there between these, the black holes, the fleets in travel, etc.
And when we look in detail at a star, we can see the various planets, the gaseous giants and the belts of asteroids. For planets, there’s a big diversity: size, wealth, gravity, climate, etc.
To extend the empire, it is necessary to establish new colonies. It’s a delicate stage because a new colony is not autonomous. The food must be often forwarded since the rest of the empire (cargo boats), its maintenance depends on the climate (the more the climate is hostile, the more the maintenance cost is raised). Finally, certain political systems need in specific buildings…
Once developed, a colony can continue to build and to participate in the global effort (research, economy, polution cleanup, etc.), to produce vessels or spies, or simply to produce wealth.
The way towards stars is made as much by the economy as the research. Good technological choices are necessary to develop his empire because we cannot look for everything. At every technological level it is necessary to choose the only one in a given domain. The unknown technologies can be later acquired by other means…
From time to time, the news announces random events arising in one of the empires (treasure, resource, accident).
During his exploration, the player (or an other one) will discover Orion, the former capital of the eponym empire, and will face his guard. If he gains a victory, besides discovering a very rich planet, he will put the hand on advanced technologies.
The ship design to build different type of vessels of various sizes and various utilities. There is for all the tastes and the more we have of technologies, the more we have the choice… Of the small vessel of exploration to the Death Star 😀
Once produced, vessels are grouped in fleets. We can then move them from system to system, where the need is smelt.
The diplomatic relations are opened from the moment two races got closer enough geographically. The exchanges are then possible (provided that they are not restrained by a racial feature). Treated, pacts of non-aggression, technological exchanges, alliances, etc. There are many possibilities.
The spies are a counterpart of the diplomacy… Left in defense, they serve to counter the enemy spies. Moved in a nearby empire, it can sabotage installations or steal technologies…
Sometimes (often), it will be necessary to come to weapons there. Against a spatial monster or a nearby empire, to invade or self defense. We enter a local view where every vessel is used in turn by turn movements, shootings, missiles launching, torpedoes or shuttles, collisions…
When the invader win the battle in orbit around a colonized world, a ground combat took place (after a potential bombardment).
In this occasion, he can arrive that the soldiers capture a technology. Defy soldiers 😉
In the course of the game, it will be possible to recruit or to discover heroes, characters with special capacities, being able to be placed to the commands of a colony or a spaceship. It brings a small not insignificant advantage… Besides a small particular touch.
Antariens is always in aguêts… Regularly, they come to attack a colony at random… To stop them is often very complicated, even impossible in view of their technological advance… And until an advanced level of the game.
Nice graphs allow the player to compare his progress compared with the other empires, it is always good to know where we are there 😉
There are several manners to win a party: domination by elimination of the competitors, the eradication of the Antarienne threat or further to a vote of the council (diplomatic victory thus). Everything depends on the style of the player!
Another very detailed, very fascinating game, of a big depth and endowed with an enormous re-playability… The whole for a correct graphic quality in the time 😉 Of what to spend hours there only or several during multiplayers prties on the same computer (hot seat).
A game in the interplanetary scale which in spite of a certain complexity (mastered enough) can of “personal” aspects which put you in the skin of an emperor and not on the place of an abstract entity (heroes, ambassadors, interlocutors for various aspects of the management) 😀
The 90s were rich in cult games!
See you soon for new adventures!