THE ADVENT CALENDER – 9TH DECEMBER
Stardrive Putting the ‘X’ back into 4X games
It’s funny, as I sit here and type words to you, my mind recalls many years spent playing games as an Emperor, a marauding war pirate and also a friendly diplomatic leader. All differing roles within the game but all in essence the same game.
RTS games or (real time strategy) games are usually top down, battlefield led games where you have an economy, a production tree, research and ultimately, a war.
The first instances of games like this I recall were the critically acclaimed Dune 2 – a game that simply kick started the genre without question. Dune 2 was a game that changed significantly from its predecessor Dune, which was a point and click adventure game and in no way a RTS game.
With balls of steel, Westwood Studios defined a genre all without knowing it and made a game that would go on to create quite a stir.
Stardrive is in my opinion the peak of the RTS 4x game type and there are so many reasons as to why.
1 – The shipyard is one of the most compelling ideas I have ever seen. Like Eve Online with its modules, making the game a very customised place, Stardrive made the building of a ship a very interesting thing
2 – The RTS side – obvious one here but so many games just don’t do the RTS very well at all. Endless Space was a huge sprawling management game that forgot that people want to build 30 battleships and throw them at another fleet.
3 – Simplicity, So many games try to build in utter complexity when there is no need. People like to pick up games and play to the max as soon as possible.
4 – X games are an odd genre as they do take so many shapes and forms, avoiding the bad ones is always quite hard but the good ones are well worth a total immersion of your soul!