Master of Orion Preview - Back to the Future

Master of Orion Preview - Back to the Future

I went into my Master of Orion appointment with a healthy bit of skepticism, but left with a follow-up appointment to play more.

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No Elerians? No sale.

Curse on my own obsessions I feel like I should preorder this because I like looking at The Mrrshan.

....

On the other hand I don't see much excitement in getting the Terran. They kind of remind me of why I ignored that space FPS game that had 4 different versions of human. I think it was tied to Eve Online or whatever it was.

Somehow, looking at those screenshots, it doesn't look like this will be a worthy sequel, and we shall be disappointed, yet again.
Also, movement only through wormholes? The two Orions that did not suck allowed ships to move towards any star system within range.

It looks like it went back to a tech tree style of technology advancement, that is a little sad. Also, I can't help but feel the game looks very sterile and soulless. This is a problem of a lot of newer 4X games.

Clive Howlitzer:
Also, I can't help but feel the game looks very sterile and soulless. This is a problem of a lot of newer 4X games.

I agree that newer 4x games are missing a feeling of life and depth. But from what we played of MOO, I can't help but assure you that it is far from sterile and soulless. Every race has a plethora of custom animations and voice-overs, making them jump from the screen with life. The news segments were hysterical and even the filler cut-scenes for when you do things like colonize a planet were beautiful and engaging.

s0osleepie:

Clive Howlitzer:
Also, I can't help but feel the game looks very sterile and soulless. This is a problem of a lot of newer 4X games.

I agree that newer 4x games are missing a feeling of life and depth. But from what we played of MOO, I can't help but assure you that it is far from sterile and soulless. Every race has a plethora of custom animations and voice-overs, making them jump from the screen with life. The news segments were hysterical and even the filler cut-scenes for when you do things like colonize a planet were beautiful and engaging.

Yeah, it is hard to tell from the screens. Trust me, I'd love for the game to be awesome. However, it has a very high bar to try and reach with Master of Orion 2. Also, I assume the game moves away from the interesting turn based combat of MoO 2 to the more generic rock paper scissors combat of other 4X games. Which is sad.

I don't know how I feel about the CE giving you access to another race that the other does not... but that being said... I DO love the shit out of MOO.

I currently scratch that itch by playing Sins of the Solar Empire with the MOO2 soundtrack playing on my music player.

AndreiCC:
No Elerians? No sale.

As much as I loved the races added in Moo2, it was Moo the first that stole my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I want all the races from the classic and the sequel in the game, but just seeing a handful and change of the originals so well rendered and everything else looking right...

I'm excited.
Genuinely excited.

If any race doesn't get in the initial release, I'll be there clamoring for them to be added immediately though.
Even the gnolam.

Clive Howlitzer:

Yeah, it is hard to tell from the screens. Trust me, I'd love for the game to be awesome. However, it has a very high bar to try and reach with Master of Orion 2. Also, I assume the game moves away from the interesting turn based combat of MoO 2 to the more generic rock paper scissors combat of other 4X games. Which is sad.

The game mostly draws from MoO 2 actually. It was a pleasant surprise.

Hmmm, never played the original MOO's, but judging from the screenshots and description this sounds a LOT like a game from back in the day that I really enjoyed: Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain.

Oh maaan, kitty people :D

Honestly, if this is just a bug free and updated MOO2, I will buy it. They don't even have to add too much for me to get interested, the updated graphics have already done that for me.

AndreiCC:
No Elerians? No sale.

The Elerians were kind of garbage. Saying that, I used them all the time because of this. Once you got really good at MOO2 half the fun was using the crap picks and trying strange tactics to win. I'll actually miss the Gnolems more from a character design point of view.

Hopefully they'll have it set up like Galactic Civilizations III where you can add custom races to the AI player list.

Playable kitty people?! PLAYABLE KITTY PEOPLE!

My first experience with the series was MoO3 when I was a teen.

It was neat conceptually, and I really liked the races/idea behind it...but the gameplay was crap.

So, a good version of that? Color me interested. Also, cat people.

I'm down for cat people.

LostGryphon:
My first experience with the series was MoO3 when I was a teen.

It was neat conceptually, and I really liked the races/idea behind it...but the gameplay was crap.

So, a good version of that? Color me interested. Also, cat people.

I'm down for cat people.

MoO3 was complete and utter dog shit compared to MoO2.
It pretty much pissed over everything that made the previous games good..

The whole focus on "macro" management, ruined a lot of the things that where fun to do..

Starlanes and the Mrrshan ambassador using terms like "Cat on a hot tin roof" and comparing themselves to cats... NO. Just no. This is like if we were comparing ourselves to some alien monkey on another planet. Sure, there may be similarities there and the other races may refer to us as monkeys in a derogatory manner, The Mrrshan always struck me as a noble/honor based race that would be very offended and disrespected by being referred to as a human cat.

These types of decisions do not look well for the series - but I'm hopeful that they're just trying to make the diplomacy look more cartoonish in order to relate it more to the civilization series.

I could go on for a few paragraphs about why starlanes are a bad idea for the series.

Well, my excitement upon starting this article quickly died when I realized how empty and unfocused it was. Even for a preview article, this was extremely heavy on the filler and light on any real details! Nearly half the article, is dedicated to background info, personal anecdotes, and such. Mr. Vanderwall, if "there's entirely too much to go into detail with every one of the game's systems and mechanics," why would the areas you really focus on be worker placement production queue UI and management? Especially as what you've described is, essentially, the same mechanics as MOO2 with a few modernizing refinements. Why not focus on some of the changes or truly new additions?

I really hope the new MOO turns out well, but man, the sloppiness of this article is forcing me to look elsewhere for information.

chiatt:
Well, my excitement upon starting this article quickly died when I realized how empty and unfocused it was. Even for a preview article, this was extremely heavy on the filler and light on any real details!

It's one of THOSE kinds of previews; HEY look how awesome this game could be! Yeah...

WTF is this even:

Your production queue can hold up to five total projects, including the one currently in production.

That's less than you could stack up in Moo2. Late game when you colonize a world there were a TON of things to build. It was helpful to queue up a lot of things to get the foundations of industry and farming going and then set the auto governor to take over. Yet another thing that this game can't do as well as Moo2.

chiatt:
Well, my excitement upon starting this article quickly died when I realized how empty and unfocused it was. Even for a preview article, this was extremely heavy on the filler and light on any real details! Nearly half the article, is dedicated to background info, personal anecdotes, and such. Mr. Vanderwall, if "there's entirely too much to go into detail with every one of the game's systems and mechanics," why would the areas you really focus on be worker placement production queue UI and management? Especially as what you've described is, essentially, the same mechanics as MOO2 with a few modernizing refinements. Why not focus on some of the changes or truly new additions?

I really hope the new MOO turns out well, but man, the sloppiness of this article is forcing me to look elsewhere for information.

I apologize if the content didn't jive with your expectations, but previews on The Escapist are typically more about our experience with the game than a bullet point list of the game's mechanics. I included a ton of information where it was relevant to the hands-on experience, but detailing every system in the game would have doubled the length of the article. I try to provide background so readers are immediately aware of my mindset and inherent bias on the subject. The anecdotes were largely to differentiate this demo from typical guided press demos, which is of great significance my actual takeaway, as well as the enthusiasm of the team for the game and franchise, which I think is critical to creating a genuinely good reboot.

To be sure, I was told the dev team more or less started with MOO2 code as a foundation, and built it out from there. I wanted to give newcomers a bit of info on important details, but didn't want to bog down veterans with information that is no different from the MOO2 experience. There aren't that many changes. That's one of the things I liked most about what I saw. The biggest changes were the interface/UI, graphics updates, and wormhole pathways, each of which I made a point to cover.

SmugFrog:

It's one of THOSE kinds of previews; HEY look how awesome this game could be! Yeah...

WTF is this even:

Your production queue can hold up to five total projects, including the one currently in production.

That's less than you could stack up in Moo2. Late game when you colonize a world there were a TON of things to build. It was helpful to queue up a lot of things to get the foundations of industry and farming going and then set the auto governor to take over. Yet another thing that this game can't do as well as Moo2.

This is absolutely one of those articles. I made a point to make my love of the franchise apparent at the outset to avoid any deference to my opinion without a critical eye. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, and expressing our enthusiasm for what we love is a big part of what we set out to do here.

I mentioned that accessibility was important to the team with the reboot, and I don't personally see any issue with a 5-item production queue. I mentioned it so you could form the opinion stated here, and so others could come to their own conclusion. Sorry if you didn't enjoy the read, but this comment indicates that I was successful in not just conveying my experience, but offering information so critical gamers like you can decide for themselves!

In any case, I do appreciate the feedback on both accounts. We'll have more information-focused articles and news as we see and hear more about the game, which I hope you'll find more helpful!

Encaen:
Sorry if you didn't enjoy the read, but this comment indicates that I was successful in not just conveying my experience, but offering information so critical gamers like you can decide for themselves!

Firstly, I want to say thank you for coming back to reply! It means a lot to me as a reader of various articles when the author comes back to participate in the discussion about the article. I hate when an author posts something and disappears leaving the questions (or angry feedback) lingering and never resolved.

It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the article. I'm actually quite happy with it as written. It was your feedback from getting a taste of the game; and from the intro it sounds like you are a Master of Orion fan too. My comment about it being "one of those previews" is based upon it being a short taste of the game. Here's some things you can do in it and how it operates, but not much beyond that. Perhaps chiatt was looking for more of a review type look at it; and who wouldn't want to see that, really? However I can't think of a game that was a disaster on release that while it was in a preview article was bashed by the author. Usually you guys are thankful for getting to preview a game, and if you get the reputation as someone who writes high criticism, you're not likely to be invited back. I understand that, and I think you presented it in a well written manner.

My problem stems not from your writing, or presentation, but in the direction they're proceeding with this game and I just don't like it. From the awful writing and dialogue the ambassadors use, to the starlanes (worm holes between planets) forcing paths of movement, to the 5 item production queue - these are steps BACKWARDS from the series, not progression. This is sounding like Master of Orion LITE so the casual audience can have a 4X game. In dreaming of the things that Master of Orion III could've been (or what IV could be), I had higher hopes. They're taking a game that's popular, Civilization, and trying to shoehorn in elements of that. Will it work? Possibly. I just fear that it won't end up scratching that itch I have for the ultimate space empire game. I have no intention of preordering until I see the reviews for this thing.

Perhaps my skepticism is brought on by years of being disappointed by so many 4X games that, while wonderful in their own way, just couldn't match some of the things that Master of Orion II had introduced in 1996. I love Galactic Civilizations ship building. Endless Space has beautiful graphics and music. Sins of a Solar Empire (yeah, RTS, not fair really) has beautiful and well done combat. When playing each of those games though, I always want to do things that aren't programmed into the game - and it's a shame that this old game has actions that trump the newer games. Unique tech trees, espionage and sabotage, blockades, ground invasions, manual combat, rampant customization of ships (with miniaturization; a reason to keep researching to make components in your ships smaller). Each 4X game since has drawn on bits and pieces but none in my opinion have been able to bake that perfect pie with all of the right ingredients.

My WTF about the 5 item queue is just a frustration akin to "well that's one more thing removed - what else has been removed?" Did you never play a late game huge galaxy with all of the techs and queue up 20-30 items for each new colonization? It was very tedious and time consuming. Perhaps the auto governor will do a better job, but I don't see how cutting back on things serves the game better.

Honestly, I remain hopeful for this game. I want it to succeed and bring back the magic. With every article/video/preview that's posted that angers the old fanbase, it just seems like one more nail in the coffin. What keeps me hopeful is that the developers are actually working on making the gameplay fun. There are times when a developer makes changes to the formula that causes an outcry of anger from the fanbase, but the changes actually make the game more fun. I really hope that is the case.

One last thing - I can't get to what I wrote on Steam about the dialogue (from a work computer) - but this from another source sums it up. A lot of us feel like whoever is doing the writing didn't really think out the interactions and dialogue:

Mikko_M:
Personally I find it to be quite lazy and unimaginative writing to just search every cat, bird, bear, lizard, ant, Roswell alien, robot joke and phrase in the English language and cram them all into the in-game dialogue. In my opinion the right way to come up with the things that the aliens would say is to first take a look at the culture that you have created for them and their intended physical appearance and then start to think about what kind of language this particular alien species might use.

And since this is a game about galactic domination and probably its target audience isn`t 5 to 10 year-olds at least I would appreciate if the ambassadors weren`t highlighting the fact that they are for example cats all the time (like the Mrsshan representative seemed to be doing in the video). Most of us players can already see that the Mrrshans for example are cat based aliens so they don`t have to keep bringing that up all the time, and they can focus on more important in-game matters when they speak.

SmugFrog:
Firstly, I want to say thank you for coming back to reply! It means a lot to me as a reader of various articles when the author comes back to participate in the discussion about the article; and I think it makes for a better journalist as well as you want to see what you can improve on or answer questions. I hate when an author posts something and disappears leaving the questions (or angry feedback) lingering and never resolved.

It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the article. I'm actually quite happy with it as written. It was your feedback from getting a taste of the game; and from the intro it sounds like you are a Master of Orion fan too. My comment about it being "one of those previews" is based upon it being a short taste of the game. Here's some things you can do in it and how it operates, but not much beyond that. Perhaps chiatt was looking for more of a review type look at it; and who wouldn't want to see that, really? However I can't think of a game that was a disaster on release that while it was in a preview article was bashed by the author. Usually you guys are thankful for getting to preview a game, and if you get the reputation as someone who writes high criticism, you're not likely to be invited back. I understand that, and I think you presented it in a well written manner.

My problem stems not from your writing, or presentation, but in the direction they're proceeding with this game and I just don't like it. From the awful writing and dialogue the ambassadors use, to the starlanes (worm holes between planets) forcing paths of movement, to the 5 item production queue - these are steps BACKWARDS from the series, not progression. This is sounding like Master of Orion LITE so the casual audience can have a 4X game. In dreaming of the things that Master of Orion III could've been (or what IV could be), I had higher hopes. They're taking a game that's popular, Civilization, and trying to shoehorn in elements of that. Will it work? Possibly. I just fear that it won't end up scratching that itch I have for the ultimate space empire game. I have no intention of preordering until I see the reviews for this thing.

Perhaps my skepticism is brought on by years of being disappointed by so many 4X games that, while wonderful in their own way, just couldn't match some of the things that Master of Orion II had introduced in 1996. I love Galactic Civilizations ship building. Endless Space has beautiful graphics and music. Sins of a Solar Empire (yeah, RTS, not fair really) has beautiful and well done combat. When playing each of those games though, I always want to do things that aren't programmed into the game - and it's a shame that this old game has actions that trump the newer games. Unique tech trees, espionage and sabotage, blockades, ground invasions, manual combat, rampant customization of ships (with miniaturization; a reason to keep researching to make components in your ships smaller). Each 4X game since has drawn on bits and pieces but none in my opinion have been able to bake that perfect pie with all of the right ingredients.

My WTF about the 5 item queue is just a frustration akin to "well that's one more thing removed - what else has been removed?" Did you never play a late game with all of the techs and queue up 20-30 items (Maybe memory hasn't served me well and it was only 10-20, but still). I don't see how cutting back on things serves the game better.

[snip]

Thanks, SmugFrog! I was trying to trim your response, but almost everything you mentioned seemed relevant, so I apologize for the imminent scrolling!

First, while I don't always have a chance to participate in the forum discussions, it's been something I've enjoyed since my community days years and years ago. I'm just glad when I get the opportunity. Happy I was able to join in the discussion here, and I apologize for all the times I simply can't do so.

Your assessment of most press demos is spot on. Typically, it's highly restricted, with a heavy hand from PR or a PR-trained developer. That's one of the things that set my experience with MOO apart. I got something like three hours of playtime over the course of the show, and at no point did anybody tell me I had to do this or couldn't do that. They offered map-specific recommendations, since they knew the map from their other demos, and the space pirates apparently caused some trouble during other demos.

It was largely feature complete, and I try to avoid talking about systems/features that weren't available, since it'd be pure speculation, but at the least I'll be happy to outline what wasn't available, so everybody is aware of the restrictions of the demo build:

*Manual Ship Combat - This was not yet available in the build. All fleet battles were auto-completed. It forced me to focus on overwhelming with power, instead of being able to utilize tactics.
*Ground Invasions - I wasn't able to build marines to invade another colony, so I just blew them all up. The person sitting in with me seemed surprised that Marines weren't available, so I'm guessing their internal build has it, but I can't speak to the system personally.
*Custom Races - I did mention this, but worth noting here as well. While I do love the Psilon, I'm inclined to customize them to suit my intention for that game. Didn't get to explore this at all.

I think that was it, at least for the systems I had opportunity to use in my sessions. In case I think of anything else that was missing, I'll update here.

Finally, thanks for the clarification. I took your comment to be critical of my mentioning it, rather than its implementation in the game. Sorry for the misunderstanding there! While I generally side with you on the whole "steps backward" thing, but I've spent a good bit of time pondering the common approaches to reboots (this week's podcast is actually all about that topic) and there is something to be said for making them as accessible as possible. If they only ever capture the diehard franchise fans, they'll never make back the development costs, and people will stop bringing back all my favorite childhood games!

What would be *reallllly* amazing, though, is a toggle in the options that offers a straight-up true-to-the-original version of the game. I'd still like the pretty graphics and modernized, clean UI (at least where the functionality is identical to the source game) but it would be nice to be able to just play a couple games of a dolled-up MOO2!

All that said, and regardless of my article or comments here, don't give up that skepticism. I'm more or less convinced, but that doesn't mean you should be. Keep an eye on the updates, and make an informed decision when you've got the facts you want. It's difficult sometimes to convey that I'm not fawning over MOO to get people excited for it. I'm only sharing my experience, which is 100% laden with inherent biases from nostalgia and a love of the genre as a whole. Nobody is ever free of bias, whatever we may want to think, so I prefer to embrace that and fawn a little when my experience justifies it. I usually offer the context of my prejudice, and rely on readers to keep that in mind.

Thanks for the chat, and feel free to PM me in case you've got specific questions I might be able to answer about MOO or whatever else you might be interested in!

Draconalis:
I don't know how I feel about the CE giving you access to another race that the other does not... but that being said... I DO love the shit out of MOO.

I currently scratch that itch by playing Sins of the Solar Empire with the MOO2 soundtrack playing on my music player.

I haven't confirmed this, so it's speculative, but I do know they are going to have custom races available. If there are Khanate specific traits, you might not be able to build them yourself, but it's very possible the CE race is primarily aesthetic, and may be buildable in the customization system!

SmugFrog:
Starlanes and the Mrrshan ambassador using terms like "Cat on a hot tin roof" and comparing themselves to cats... NO. Just no. This is like if we were comparing ourselves to some alien monkey on another planet. Sure, there may be similarities there and the other races may refer to us as monkeys in a derogatory manner, The Mrrshan always struck me as a noble/honor based race that would be very offended and disrespected by being referred to as a human cat.

These types of decisions do not look well for the series - but I'm hopeful that they're just trying to make the diplomacy look more cartoonish in order to relate it more to the civilization series.

I could go on for a few paragraphs about why starlanes are a bad idea for the series.

We shouldn't compare Humans to Saiyans.... Humans are apes; not monkeys. Its probably better if the race owns the word. It'll probably even be interesting if they get offended by other races using those words. You know, like that N word which shall not be named.

Though I think some people are going to make a fuss about what these races believe.

Mrrshan
The Mrrshan as a whole value freedom from religious, creative, political, and personal oppression.

The Mrrshan might get some form of hate if their entire race is Atheist.

Sakkra
The Sakkra believe that the Mother-God and Father-God bore the first generation of Sakkra many millions of years ago. These first children formed the oldest tribes which Sakkra still claim as ancestors, yet the Mother and Father were so controlling that the first tribes united under a Hierarch to battle them for control. It is said that the battle lasted three days and when it was over, the gods were dead the Sakkra had united victoriously under their first Hierarch.

The Sakkra might be defined as Anti-Theist & Anti-Parents from this story.

Alkari
The Alkari refer to themselves as "one family under the guidance of Gods", referring to the pantheon of gods that Alkari society worships.

So one out of three so far are religious. But now I wonder if the phrase "Leave It To The Birds" was used.

Bulrathi
A small band of Bulrathi scientists devoted their lives to developing rare machines that could breathe life back onto the damaged planet - bringing about one of the earliest known terraforming events in the modern universe. The process was a success and Ursa was successfully terraformed into a sustainable planet once more, but the technology was lost to the Bulrathi over many generations that made a mockery of "weak" scientists.

They don't wanna talk to those scientists. They think they're lying, and getting them pissed. (Miracles by ICP) Which is a shame since "Science didn't fail their world". (Science by SOAD minus the word didn't)
(Insert more puns here of musicians who don't comprehend Science here.)

Encaen:

I haven't confirmed this, so it's speculative

It's pretty confirmed. It says right on their site, The first Race you see are the Terran Khanate with "Only in in Collector's Edition" right next to them. After clicking the more info, takes you to the standard and CE's where it states "Additional race: the Terran Khanate" for the CE."

I think I've be MORE disappointed if the race was just aesthetic though. I mean... I can make ALL the races (and typically do) Aesthetic by clicking Custom.

Edit:

RatGouf:

Sakkra

The Sakkra believe that the Mother-God and Father-God bore the first generation of Sakkra many millions of years ago. These first children formed the oldest tribes which Sakkra still claim as ancestors, yet the Mother and Father were so controlling that the first tribes united under a Hierarch to battle them for control. It is said that the battle lasted three days and when it was over, the gods were dead the Sakkra had united victoriously under their first Hierarch.

The Sakkra might be defined as Anti-Theist & Anti-Parents from this story.

I do EVER so love how the Sakkra killed their Gods, rather than ceased to believe in them.

Furry cat people cleavage that is seen, cannot be unseen.

Draconalis:

Encaen:

I haven't confirmed this, so it's speculative

It's pretty confirmed. It says right on their site, The first Race you see are the Terran Khanate with "Only in in Collector's Edition" right next to them. After clicking the more info, takes you to the standard and CE's where it states "Additional race: the Terran Khanate" for the CE."

I think I've be MORE disappointed if the race was just aesthetic though. I mean... I can make ALL the races (and typically do) Aesthetic by clicking Custom.

Apologies if I misspoke or was ambiguous, I'm still really tired from PAX. All I meant was that I don't think we have the specific Traits the Khanate will have, or what Traits will be options in the Custom Race creation. If the Khanate have exclusive Traits, then they're definitely CE-only. If the Khanate only pulls from the Custom Race available traits, though, you can at least create a race with identical traits, making the CE Khanate race mostly a visual benefit, rather than practical in-game benefit.

I could be completely off base, but figure it's still a possibility given the available information. (Unless I just missed an info announcement recently, which is entirely possible!)

Paradoxrifts:
Furry cat people cleavage that is seen, cannot be unseen.

I'm okay with this.

Captcha: "cat got your tongue"
I'm hardily the first person to notice this, but I think the captcha is developing sentience.

Are those meant to be the Alkari, Psilons, Mrrshans and Darloks? Not digging the new art style at all. Still, as long as it owes more to MoO2 than MoO3 we'll still be in for a good (if needlessly over-stylized) game.

It looks pretty, but I don't think that Master of Orion is going to fare well with a re-boot. Everything that it brought to strategy gaming has been seized by other developers and expounded upon. So...what are they gonna do that differentiates themselves from Sins of a Solar Empire? Or Distant Worlds? Or Endless Space? Or how many 4x games there are out there? It's the same problem that Halo and Modern Warfare have.

When you create the Genre and utterly define it, you can't really innovate in it too well if you try to make a triumphant return.

Besides, when Paradox decides to get into your part of the Strategy Game pool, just give up, you can't out 'Grand Strategy Game' them.

FFHAuthor:
It looks pretty, but I don't think that Master of Orion is going to fare well with a re-boot. Everything that it brought to strategy gaming has been seized by other developers and expounded upon. So...what are they gonna do that differentiates themselves from Sins of a Solar Empire? Or Distant Worlds? Or Endless Space? Or how many 4x games there are out there?

Sure, they've all taken bits and pieces from the formula that Master of Orion II had, but none of them have ever taken the complete package. Did you ever play Master of Orion II? Each game you listed has wonderful ideas, but they're each missing a part of a whole. Master of Orion doesn't need to differentiate itself as much as it needs to just be itself and expand on the groundwork that is already there. Graphics, music, ship designs, leaders - more of everything. Sins of a Solar Empire is the only game of those that has kept me hooked and that is because it's more like a space based Supreme Commander. Not really a turn-based game in the spirit of the old 4X games, but an RTS that takes elements from those. Still, Sins is unplayable to me without the mod that adds something around 16 new planet types and a ton of new planetary bonuses to be found.

SmugFrog:

Sure, they've all taken bits and pieces from the formula that Master of Orion II had, but none of them have ever taken the complete package. Did you ever play Master of Orion II? Each game you listed has wonderful ideas, but they're each missing a part of a whole. Master of Orion doesn't need to differentiate itself as much as it needs to just be itself and expand on the groundwork that is already there. Graphics, music, ship designs, leaders - more of everything.

...well, okay, first time I've ever had to say this...my first 4x game was Master of Orion.

Just Master of Orion. I loved the first, the second, and as much as it may be considered a sin among fans, I love the third.

I just have to ask, what is Master of Orion being itself?
Is it Master of Orion 1? The clunky and newly interesting creation that's closer to Heroes of Might and Magic in combat?

Or Master of Orion 2? The game widely considered 'best of the three' by many?

Or Master of Orion 3? A game that I personally consider to be the closest to scratching my 'ship & fleet design' itch?

Each game is it's own creation and it's own experience, each one had differing mechanics and interactions and let's face it, when people talk about Master of Orion, they're talking about Moo2. Honestly, the divergence between the trilogy so far is as diverse as those games I've listed. There has been so much 'new and interesting' in the past, 12 years since Master of Orion 3, and the past 19 years since Master of Orion 2, even the 22 years since Master of Orion 1...we're talking about a series whose first to third incarnation took less time than the lag between third game and Re-boot.

All I get out of the article is Psilons, Mrrshan, mechanics from other games already done...so, nostalgia skins and 'somebody did this better'. I really don't see anything that makes me go 'oooo, I wanna learn more about it'. It instead makes me go 'Oh, somebody finally bought the rights to that...huh. Okay, lemmie see if there's more info on Stellaris out yet.'

I overlooked this before, but I can say now after zooming in with the new galleries: this has a stunningly beautiful art style. I don't know how good the game is going to be, but it's sure got that going for it.

 

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