|Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion Beta|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games|
|Written by Tim Johnson - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 09 May 2012|
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Beta
Benchmark Reviews tests the Rebellion Beta video game expansion pack, which introduces the Titan
Manufacturer: Ironclad Games Corporation
Full Disclosure: The item reviewed in this article was self-supplied by the author with manufacturer support or endorsement.
Sins of a Solar Empire is one of those Real Time Strategy games that you won't be able to tear yourself away from easily. Sins is one of those addictive experiences that you start to gauge other games by. Very few space-based RTS games come close to perfection, and Sins is one of them. After playing Sins, you'll be daydreaming about it while trying to play other RTS titles. In this article, Benchmark Reviews offers our opinion of the Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion expansion pack.
Each expansion thus far has brought new pieces of the puzzle to the table, and Rebellion adds another piece to it. On the up side, if you've not bought Sins yet, you're in a for a treat- you get Sins, plus all three of her expansions for 40 dollars. Conversely, if you've already bought Sins, plus her two previous expansions, you'll find yourself a little hot headed over the fact that Stardock and Ironclad are forcing their customers to basically buy the original game and expansions in order to just pick up the Rebellion expansion (although existing Sins' owners can order direct for only $29.95 for a limited time from Stardock.com - unlimited time for Trinity/Diplomacy owners.) Either way you look at it, this is a relatively expensive investment for updates to a game released in 2008.
Rebellion adds a few new perks and researches for you to discover. How you play will determine which race, and now which faction, you'll want to choose. Rebellion - Beta currently has the TEC and Advent available to play. Don't fret, however, because the new expansion introduces factions, and Vasari will be added once beta is complete and the game releases. (according to Vasari will be released on the next update, ahead of the 6/12 street date)
After decades of constant warring, the races of the Solar Empires have become dissident and mistrustful of even themselves, breaking down into two separate factions. Loyalists and Rebels of each faction war for their own independence, and their survival.
The TEC Loyalists want isolation and peace, digging into their territories with strengthened defenses. TEC Rebels, however, wish to continue the war and finish it, allying themselves with the still independent worlds- and even the pirates. The Advent continue their long standing hatred of the TEC, even fielding bonuses versus TEC ships in the field. Advent Rebels find corruption in their own kind, their focus on cleansing and returning to the Unity.
Each faction gets their own unique Titan ship. Titans are incredibly expensive to build, requiring massive sinks of both time and resources. A Titan takes four steps of research to complete it. Although there are four research steps, once the first step is completed, construction can begin on the ship, although it will not progress past the most recently completed research step, 25% completion for each step.
The Titan is an impressively powerful ship- yet it's not game breaking, and comes off as well balanced. A Titan alone is a weak, soft target, able to be taken down with a small number of capital ships. Conversely, if a Titan is properly supported, it is a devastating force to be reckoned with. Each Titan provides defensive bonuses to the ships around it, and atop of that, has unique abilities tied to the faction that it comes from.
The TEC Loyalist Titan, the Ankylon, provides cool down bonus, has a self-repair ability, a group shield, and it's special; Inspire and Impair- which can make the Titan nearly impossible to kill without a massive amount of firepower pointed at it. The TEC Rebel Titan, the Ragnarov, provides a different set of abilities, focusing more on offensive power. Scattershot, a shotgun of damage in front of the ship and Snipe, which deals massive damage over a long range to a single ship. Overcharge increases the damage of all abilities for 90 seconds, used in combination with Scattershot and Snipe.
The Advent Titan, the Coronata, focuses not on combat- it focuses on passive bonuses and mind control. Subjugation puts psionic energy into the Coronata's weapons, allowing it a chance to permanently mind control enemy ships. Suppression Aura lowers enemy damage and movement speed while Unity Mass focuses the will of nearby ships into one powerful beam of hatred. (Yes, it's really hatred. Anger management, thy name is Advent?) Repossession takes instant control of an enemy planet.
The Titans add another layer of gameplay into an already deep game. Games can take an hour or two to complete; or up to several days, depending on how large of a universe you create for yourself. You can play alone against varying degrees of difficult AI, or together with up to 9 other friends via LAN or internet connection.
Sins is an incredibly deep, immersive game. Even in Beta with 2 out of 3 races, the replayability is enormous. Titans are well balanced and introduce more care into fleet management. New research abilities make each faction unique and interesting to play to even veteran players.
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion costs 40 dollars - even if you already bought all of the previous titles. A steep price for some, when Rebellion is an expansion, not a fully fleshed out game.
Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave feedback or share your experience with Sins of a Solar Empire below.