Emperor of the Fading Suns
Windows - 1996
Description of Emperor of the Fading Suns Windows
This game is fantastic, but good luck figuring out how to play without the manual-based tutorial. An awesome 4X that probably just confused too many people with its difficult to manage UI. The tech tree is a little confusing and it's tricky to figure out how to do well in the game. Some factions start with significantly better resource allocation on their home planet than others. Li Halon, for instance, starts on a desert planet with boatloads of fuel deposits, while others have almost no fuel deposits to speak of, making it very difficult to build and transport armies to other planets, which is an absolute necessity for expanding your empire.
The goal of becoming emperor can be accomplished in a number of ways, and you have various factions aside from the playable ones that will help or hinder your expansion. The Holy Church will randomly (or at the request of a well-liked faction with enough money) declare various technologies as heretical. Once that happens, you better avoid researching those techs or find yourself at the mercy of a fanatical (and gigantic) army of zealots, ready to purge the universe of your faction's lands and people. Other pieces of a fractured empire can be controlled through successful political maneuvering and even outright bribery, as every few years one faction is "elected" to a special seat of power that lets it assign control over other factions that remain from the decimation that followed the first great emperor's assassination. Each minor faction comes with a massive factory planet that can be used to build up forces, but beware of granting too much strength to these minor groups, because you may lose control of yours at the next election cycle.
Overall, this game is probably the deepest, most enjoyable strategy game I've played. There are many levels to the game, since each planet has an huge map with over 100x100 hexes of resources, fields, forests, seas, and other areas that can be developed and exploited to meet your goals. Then you get to space, where you have several dozen planets to colonize or conquer in an attempt to enforce your will upon everyone else.
Seriously, though, if you can figure this game's controls and get past the learning curve, you'll be rewarded with a gaming experience that that will see you staying up reciting "Just one more turn" for a really long time.
Review by Borismkv
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