Spaaaace. I love space. Spaceships are cool. Spaceships fighting spaceships is cooler.
I rarely hear Sins of a Solar Empire spoken about. It needs some recognition.
I should preface this by saying I've never played any other space rts games before Sins. I picked it up maybe two years ago after getting a craving to watch giant fleets of spaceships blow each other to pieces. I did a little research before hand trying to find what the best space rts was and I was surprised to see how few of them there actually were. The only games that popped out at me were Homeworld 2 and Sins of a Solar Empire. I watched gameplay videos of each and ultimately decided on Sins.
And man did Sins scratch that space warfare itch. You can field fleets of hundreds of ships led by powerful (although smaller than I would have liked) capital ships. Manage planets you conquer and build defenses to stave off invading enemies while your fleet is off bombarding new planets to conquer. There's unmatched exhilaration when sending your massive fleet to an enemy held planet only to find it defended by a fleet equally matched in size and fire power to yours and watching in wonder as the two collide. Destroying a capital ship results in an explosion the size of what seems like 100 nuclear bombs and you feel a sense of loss when that capital ship is your own.
It's a slow game unless you crank the speed up to 2x (still easy to manage your fleets and economy while not having to wait nearly as long for your ships to reach the edge of gravity wells). Depending on the number of systems and size of each system, matches can last anywhere from a few hours to days. If you don't have the patience for rts matches to last that long then this game isn't for you.
I just want to talk about all the cool things in this game! The expansions add quite a bit more depth to the experience with Entrenchment allowing you to build Star Bases, massive constructs half the size of a planet that can take on entire fleets when fully upgraded, and allowing you to upgrade your defensive structures (a big problem with the vanilla version of Sins was defensive structures being pretty useless. You were afraid to foray into enemy territory because it would leave your own planets effectively defenseless even if you did have 35 Beam Arrays "protecting" it). If you jumped to a planet guarded by a fully upgraded Star Base be ready to lose a lot of ships unless your own ships are fully upgraded as well. Star Bases just made you go, "Oh....shit."
The most recent expansion, Rebellion, splits the three major factions into 6 factions. Two new factions for each major faction (Rebels and Loyalist). Both the rebel and loyalist factions of a major faction share the same technologies but have a few differences when it comes to the skill trees and, probably the most exciting change in Rebellion, Titans. Titans are aptly named; these ships are larger than Star Bases (not necessarily as powerful though) and level up like your capital ships. Think of a titan as your capital capital ship. Your flagship. It feels like it too. Your titan feels powerful because it is. Most have around 5 or 6 different weapons at their disposal while most capital only have 3. Masses of missiles fly out of one titan, another fires a massive gauss cannon that drowns out any other weapons fire sound when said weapon is fired (the cannon basically is the ship. It looks like a giant flying cannon). Titans take a lot of resources and time to make. It makes sense why when you finally unleash it in battle for the first time. It feels like you're controlling a god.
I've only scratched the surface on the depth of this game. Mostly conveying the spectacle aspects. There's a lot to it besides that of course. Diplomacy plays a factor in matches if you want it to (you can switch diplomacy off if you're not into that kind of thing) and resource management is incredibly important. Setting up trade routes, upgrading your economy as well as your ships and weapons. This game is complicated but probably much easier to jump in to than other space sims. It helps that the tutorial isn't half bad either.
So if you were willing to read up to this point, share your thoughts on Sins of a Solar Empire! Did you love it, hate it? Or is it something you're interested in but haven't picked up yet? I want this game to get the recognition I feel it deserves.