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I think this game will live up to its promise. It’s big, clever, detailed and exciting. It also looks great (when it works), glossy and impressive. Give it a couple of months, perhaps, but don’t ignore this one, it is a worthy successor to its (currently cheap and easier to play) original. Once everything works as it should, this will have excellent gameplay and replayability scores, but they let it down at the moment while it’s still being mended. Keep an eye on it, though, this is going places.
»Während Sword of the Stars 2 zum Release noch im frühen Alpha-Stadium war, entspricht die Enhanced Edition nun einer späten Beta-Fassung«, schreibt ein Fan im offiziellen Forum. Treffender könnte ich es kaum ausdrücken. Viele Elemente funktionieren endlich so, wie man es als zahlender Kunde erwarten darf. Für seine Patch-Ausdauer gebührt Kerberos durchaus Respekt. Und in seinen besten Momenten entwickelt Sword of the Stars 2 auch tatsächlich eine angenehme Spieltiefe (Logistik, Flottenmanagement, Verwaltung), die beispielsweise das weniger komplexe Endless Space locker übertrifft. Trotzdem bleiben noch zu viele Baustellen und Unzulänglichkeiten. Von den weiterhin vorhandenen (aber längst nicht mehr so gravierenden) Bugs mal abgesehen sind Bedienung, KI, Diplomatie, Balance und das Echtzeit-Kampfsystem noch deutlich steigerungsfähig.
[Enhanced Edition] There’s a lot of loyal love on the forums for the game, and I can definitely see why. That love comes from a fairly specific subset of gamers, I suspect. This isn’t a mass appeal game, and it certainly has plenty of flaws that should put most strategy gamers off. If you’re looking for a long term challenge, though, and enjoy complex tactical thinking, this could work for you. I like it despite the broken bits, masochist that I am, and the gameplay values below reflect that, but I stress that this is my personal taste. I strongly doubt many people would share it, and I don’t exactly recommend the game widely as a result, but please prove me wrong! I’m a masochist, I like the warm glow of self-destruction.
PC Gameplay (Benelux)
Sword of the Stars II heeft het potentieel om een heel leuke 4X game te worden, maar is op dit ogenblik gewoon nog niet voldoende afgewerkt. Afwachten dus hoe het patchen verloopt.
History tells us that, eventually, Sword of the Stars II is going to be great - possibly even amazing. Play the original game now and you'll find it a wonderful sci-fi strategy romp... but back when that was first launched it was in a similar state to what SOTS2 is now. At the moment, SOTS2 is playable, but not really enjoyable - some tech-trees aren't fully implemented, features are incomplete or turned off (we don't anything is out-right missing but... at the moment, it's really hard to tell) and it's just a little bit boring right now. If you want to show Paradox and Kerberos your support, then by all means go buy it, but regardless of whether you pick it up now or not, it'll probably take a couple of months of patches to be the game it was meant to be. In the mean time, we have to wonder why lessons weren't learned the first time around...
Bleibt die bange Frage: Kann Sword of the Stars 2 überhaupt jemals ein spaßiges Spiel werden? Das lässt sich derzeit schwer beantworten. Noch immer ist das flüssige Durchspielen einer Kampagne unmöglich, neue Patches zerschießen gerne mal die mühevoll erarbeiteten Spielstände. Und für meinen Geschmack bin ich wie schon im Vorgänger zu viel mit Flottenmanagement und zu wenig mit Aufbau beschäftigt. Präsentation, Interface, Kampfdarstellung sowie Feedback könnten ebenfalls um Klassen besser sein. Ehrlich gesagt: Ich habe wieder mit Master of Orion 2 angefangen.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
We’ll probably never know what happened with the release of SOTS II, but it wasn’t worth the purchase price on release day and people who pre-ordered it were right to be angry. And as of now, it still isn’t worth buying because it still appears to have all kinds of problems.
Game Informer Magazine
That’s a good session with Sword of the Stars II; most of them end far sooner with me physically angry at the ubiquitous interface lag, nearly useless manual, a random event that blows up one of my colonies with no warning, or some other frustration. I love the ideas at play here, but the horrific implementation adds complexity and obfuscation with little commensurate gain in strategic depth. I hope Kerberos’ constant patching (the week-plus since launch has already seen several updates) will eventually turn this into the game it could be. Right now, it’s a mess that everyone should avoid.
Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter should never have been released in this condition. It's a shame that more than a month and a half since its debut, Sword of the Stars II is still in an unstable, difficult-to-play state. The greatest shame, however, is that while Sword of the Stars II isn't that much fun to play, it possesses the spark that could have ignited something great.
Sword of the Stars II is in love with its own history and story, to the point where its encyclopedia favors dozens of background entries over any sort of gameplay information. It may be just as well, because seven patches later, the game is still broken in so many places that it will be tough to find any consistency. There are many other 4X games on the market that do basically everything SotS2 intended, but better and without the bugs.
Ten Ton Hammer
I want to like this game, but it’s simply impossible to. Sword of the Stars II is fundamentally broken, poorly programmed (null pointer errors? Divide by Zero crashes? Really!?) and a complete mess of a retail game. Come back in a year, and if Kerberos sticks with the game as long as they did the first one, we’ll eventually have a great game on our hands. There are simply too many great games in the holiday season to buy this one, which essentially amounts to investing $40 in an early beta test.