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SummaryA wonderful game, a classic
The GoodThere is much to like about Ascendency. Although it is a relatively deep space 4x strategy game, it does not take itself too seriously. The aliens are clever, with interesting drawings for their portraits and creative ship designs. The planet graphics are as well pleasing to the eye, although they don't hold up well to today's textures in games. The music is a joy to listen to, wonderfully put together. Above all else, Ascendency is just plain fun to play. It is easy to get the hang of, and yet difficult to master (with a patch that updates the AI above the intelligence of a rock). The sheer numbers of technologies to play with throughout the game will keep you busy for hours. How can you hate game that lets you enlarge the sun in a solar system and thus slingshotting your enemies ship way out into deep space? Its one of the those games that makes you say "just one more turn". The interface is so intuitive that you'll find yourself flying back and forth between menus with easy, making the time just fly by. Creating fleets and moving them around the universe is simple, as is colonizing and attacking. Battles are fought in the same game system and interface as the rest of the game, so there is no second learning curce. Sound effects are pretty standard, some of the weapons sounds are pretty cool though.
The BadI gues there are a few things wrong with Ascendency, but its hard to hold them against it. For one, there is really no difference between aliens besides one special power unique to each race. All technology and buildings look the same. Now you may think this is a terrible flaw, but it really isn't. Each special power comes in handy often, and every game plays out differently. There is little in the way of ship modification. You select a size, then fill it with stuff, then its off, not much to it. As I mentioned earlier, you need to download the "Antagonizer Patch" for the game to update the AI. It shipped with dumb as nails AI, but this patch fixes that up quite nicely.