Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Review (Windows PC)

Posted by Pat Gibbons (RedCoatGunman), Jun 26, 2012 20:14

As much as I already enjoy Real Time Strategy games, I am an absolute sucker for space RTS games. For some reason, seeing enormous, futuristic battleships blow the ever-loving Sins of a Solar Empire Rebelliondaylights out of each other stimulates the Neanderthal portions of my brain. It’s the part of me that enjoys action, big explosions, and is somehow able to tolerate Michael Bay movies. Of late, the Sins of a Solar Empire PC series has been among the most prevalent of these games. It is a 4X RTS title, in which players compete to explore, colonize, and eventually conquer the galaxy.

The story premise behind Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is that humanity is thrown into a state of constant warfare when two immense forces assault their worlds. These hostiles are the Vasari, the remnants of an alien empire fleeing some unknown horror, and the Advent, the decedents of human outcasts bent on revenge. In response, the human Trade Order reforms into the Trader Emergency Coalition (TEC) to repel the invaders. In Solar Empire: Rebellion, the latest installment of SoSE, the long decades of fighting have caused a split within each of the three races. As a result, players can choose between six different factions, giving them more gameplay options than ever before.


Old Dog, Few New Tricks

If you’re a fan of the Solar Empire series, you should know that very little has changed in Solar Empire: Rebellion. Sure, there are plenty of new features, and the graphics have been some visuals from Sins of a solar empire rebellionupgraded a bit, but it’s still the same old stuff. Essentially, Solar Empire: Rebellion is a stand-alone expansion. It is an updated version of the base game that doesn’t require the player to actually own the base game. The sad thing is that very little has been added to the game. The original Solar Empire was already lacking in variety. Each race had very unique looking ships, but they all did roughly the same thing.

The only new units that Rebellion has brought, other than the Titans, are one new frigate and one new capitol ship for each race. The capitol ships do have different abilities, thankfully, but the frigates, called the Corvette class, are virtually identical to one another. It is my understanding that this lack of unit variety is quite typical in the 4X genre. I have the same problem with the Civilization franchise, but I still manage to enjoy it. There is still some flavor to be had in terms of tech trees and individual play styles, but I’ll address that later. All I can say is that I have always been a bit bored by the units in SoSE, and Solar Empire: Rebellion has done little to alleviate that.

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Our Rating for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Review (Windows PC)
6.5 Replay
The new victory conditions have added a new layer of depth in terms of strategy. There are dozens of maps to try, and even a map editor if those get boring. The game also features Steam achievements and support for mods.
7.0 Graphics
Improved particle and shadow effects puts Rebellion a step above its predecessors. Since there isn’t a whole lot to animate, the game runs perfectly during all but the largest space battles.
6.5 Sound
The way music and sound effects change when you zoom in and out of a battle is impressive. The effects are great, but the soundtrack is rather limited.
6.5 Gameplay
The new Loyalist/Rebel factions bring some much needed variety to the game. The Titans are fun, and the new tactics cater to a multitude of play styles. Matches are paced too slowly for me to enjoy casual play
7.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
Finding friends to play with is made easy through Steam. Cloud saves allow players to participate in large matches over multiple sessions.
6.5 Overall
Rebellion adds a great deal to the Sins franchise, though not much is in the fore ground. Fans of the series, or the 4X and space genres, will want to get this game. Others may not be as interested due to lack of unit variety and slow pacing.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 1

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