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Distant Worlds: Shadows – New Expansion Details

By on November 1st, 2012 6:28 am

Distant Worlds: Shadows | 3rd expansion to Distant Worlds

Matrix Games have just announced some details on their upcoming new expansion for Distant Worlds, called Distant Worlds: Shadows.

They didn’t advance a firm release date yet, however their target is still the same as when this new expansion was first announced back in April of this year, which is end of 2012.

With Shadows, the devs plan to offer new technologies, planetary buildings, ship abilities and what seems to be a somewhat major evolution to the ground combat system. But, perhaps what better defines this new expansion is this sentence:

What were previously “pirates” are now independent space-based factions that can pursue a variety of playstyles, ranging from trade, war and espionage to pure chaos and plunder. ~Matrix Games

The timing where this expansion takes place is called the Age of Shadows (therefore the name of the expansion). It is a time between the Age of Darkness, a time immediately after a great galactic war, and the Distant Worlds Universe timeline as we know it, with all the different empires you can play with.

Matrix said that you can decide to play in the normal Distant Worlds timeline or on the new pre-hyperspace era, the “Age of Shadows”.

Here is the preliminary set of features and highlights for this 3rd expansion:

- Play as an independent space-based faction, a very different play experience from the existing “Empire” gameplay.
– Choose from several playstyles, including Smuggler, Pirate and Mercenary.
– Compete in victory conditions against other space-based factions.
– New Pirate Leader and Pirate Captain characters
- Choose to play in the existing Distant Worlds timeline or the pre-hyperspace “Age of Shadows”
- Assault pods and ship to ship or base boarding actions, including ship and base capture
- Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams
- New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen
– Infantry, Armor/Mech, Special Forces, Planetary Defense Units (multi-layered)
– Resolution of the multiple stages of a planetary assault
– Expanded troop experience
– New Ground Combat technology tree
- Expanded and improved Area Weapons
- New planetary facilities
- Improved AI and new comprehensive difficulty settings

So, if you’re feeling a bit tired from playing the Emperor role, and you’re on the mood to try something else, like playing as a Master Trader, Warlord or Pirate, then this is what Distant Worlds: Shadows seems to be all about. But, apart from the new playstyles and new factions, this new expansion also brings with it new goodies, as Matrix and CodeForce already used us to. There will be, at least: new techs, planetary buildings, ship abilities and an improved ground combat system.

I’ll keep you informed as more information on Distant Worlds: Shadows becomes available. Expect a release still for this year, but, as Matrix said, their priority is to “make sure it’s as good as we all want it to be”, so there’s no guaranteed that it will indeed release this year. Stay tuned!

And, if you’re new to the brilliant Distant Worlds Universe have a look at my Distant Worlds: Legends review, the second and previous expansion for Distant Worlds, to find out the best space 4X gaming experience of the recent years.

Read Matrix Games’ full announcement here.

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30 Comments


  1. jingles says:

    Looks good, but will the price finally drop?
    It retails for £80+ (for the original game and the other two expansions) and that’s with so called discount .

    Their pricing strategy needs looking at. Do they think any new players are going to pay over £100 for a complete game?

    • Adam Solo says:

      Right, something needs to be done about the price. I’m sure they will do a big sale on the holiday period, as they usually do. So, one possibility is that people new to Distant Worlds will be able to pick up the all package (including Shadows) for probably the same price as it is now. People with Legends will probably need to pay $15-$20 more, perhaps. This is me saying.

    • killias2 says:

      As much as I am interested in these games, the price is way, way, way beyond what I’m willing to pay. I should be their primary target, but I’m passing. Sorry, but there’s just too many other games available for much more reasonable prices.

  2. jingles says:

    Edit:
    Valve have shown in the past that if you bring the price down the sales and profit increase exponentially.

  3. Cem says:

    Distant World is, best 4X game ever in the PC gaming history.

    They can sell the game for 150 $, I still buy it.

  4. Gary says:

    Thanks for the post, Adam. Glad I follow this site :) I’m not into the usual Matrix wargames, and Distant Worlds is the only Matrix game I own, so I don’t check their site much.

  5. Ermdog says:

    This just made my day! Thank you for the great news! Best thing is, it’s “supposed” to be released within 2 months. That makes a great Christmas present for myself.

    I’m curious to see the gameplay of the independent factions and how it will differ. I’m also excited to experience the new ground combat. All the other additions looks great as well and now just have to wait. I’m glad they keep adding to this great game.

  6. Jorus says:

    Thanks for the update, it sounds like it will be a worthwhile addition. Hope that they improve/simplify the ship/fleet management a bit. Ships seem to go on suicide missions at the drop of a hat, and the managment of wide-area weapons in a fleet is problematic (unless you don’t mind pulsing your own ships to smithereeens along with the enemy’s).

  7. Hawawaa says:

    Just to let people know, whenever new expansions come out there is an early bird deal ie preorder discount and it runs for a month after launch of the new expansion. The main game and older expansions will be on sale. Also from what I have heard since we have bugged them so much there will finally be a bundle deal too! Just to give people a heads up.

    You can wait to buy but remember this is Matrix Games and not Paradox Interactive so prices going down and sales take a while.

  8. Ethan says:

    Looking forward to this.. Distant Worlds is definitely the best 4x out there.

  9. Timbo says:

    This is very good news.
    A fantastic game with a new story to work thru.

  10. Adam F5ing says:

    love this game not quite what i wanted to see, i wanted more control over civilians, but im sure it will be ok

  11. Serge says:

    What about UI responsivness (multithreading) and faster graphics?

    • Njordin says:

      jep! is it normal that zooming out and in is not smooth ?

      there could work on the ui a lot. make it easier to find out which ressources your empire needs, a overhaul of the whole market / industry interfaces…
      other interfaces too.

      i agree with “distant world” is the best 4x – RTS game out so far… ( look out for >>StarDrive !<< ) but that is because there are not a lot complex 4x realtime games out there… there is much room for improvement of playability / multitasking.

      • Stupid Space Lizard says:

        Because it uses GDI it probably wont ever be smooth without switching to a new engine. It’s just a really outdated tech nowadays.

        Worth mentioning that AI War managed to switch from GDI to Unity with a really small team, but who knows if it would be as easy to do with Distant Worlds.

  12. Adam F5ing says:

    I would kill for SPAZ to go more in this direction, but its unlikely :*(

  13. lammaer says:

    Wish the troop mamagement will be much better (and have a chance since they touch that area). That was my biggest complaint – u couldnt load/unload specific amount of troops.

  14. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Finally, I waited for this announcement for quite awhile and all we got were some scraps of information at matrix board.

    In case I miss something, when is the release date for this one?

  15. Kyle says:

    Just popped in to see whats new, looking forward to this expansion…I was just thinking to myself that it would be cool to play as a pirate faction and look what’s in here ;)

  16. pbk says:

    The prices should definitely be lower.I really hope there is going to be a bundle deal as I have been waiting ages to get my hands on this game but the prices were criminal!

    • Ermdog says:

      The one downside to Matrix games is their pricing. They fail to lower prices on games that have been out for years. They have 7 year old games on their website that still go for top dollar. I bought the Original game with the Shakturi expansion in a bundle deal way back so it wasn’t TOO bad. After playing for a bit I didn’t have a problem shelling out for the Legends expansion. I’m sure once the expansion comes out they will have some kind of deal on the series and I recommend getting it at whatever discount they offer. Matrix doesn’t offer sales that often.

  17. Marc says:

    Ever since i read this topic i went and bought the distant worlds pack and can say ive been playing it like an addict ever since!

    • Ermdog says:

      Yes, since the news I decided to get back into DW action. It is a really fun game once you grasp all it has to offer. Just be patient and play the parts of the game that you want to play

  18. Adrian says:

    Being an avid 4x gameplayer since the MOO, I am salivating at this game, but the price for everything, base game plus expansions is 100 dollars!!!!! Come on! I just can’t. Though I pirate games, I refuse to pirate this because I respect it too much. I will wait for the price to drop and then I will jump on it.

  19. JohnR says:

    Wow! All the good reviews and positive comments I’ve read here and at GameSquad are making me want to pull out my debit card. I do hear, however, those of you who’ve voiced your concerns about the unreasonable pricing structure. It would be a disaster to fork out $80-100 for a game only to find that it’s not your cup of Saurian Brandy.

    Having said that, the game still looks really, really compelling, and I like the space opera (a la Star Wars and Star Trek) look of it.

    Also, not to step on anyone’s toes, but the game does seem oddly out of place in the uber-grognard world of Matrix Games. I can’t help but think it would do better if marketed by someone else, or if it was on Steam.

    • Adam Solo says:

      About selling the game on other channels Matrix have said to be open to that on the future, and even consider Steam as a possibility, although not for the short-term I think.

      Yes, it’s a very expensive game. If you’re unsure about the price maybe you could wait one more month because Matrix usually does sales at the end of the year, on the holiday season. Around 20-33% off at least. Maybe they do that again this year. And, maybe they bundle the Shadows expansion with the previous expansions. However, there’s no official word on that, at least that I’m aware of.

      • JohnR says:

        Yeah Adam, your admonishment about holding off purchasing the DW suite for the time being is very wise, and it’s advice that I may not follow. ;o)

        BTW, I really like what Ermdog said above: “It is a really fun game once you grasp all it has to offer. Just be patient and play the parts of the game that you want to play.”

        Does this mean that you can concentrate on micromanaging the aspects of your Empire that you enjoy, and leave everything else to the AI? If so this is very cool indeed. :o)

  20. DevildogFF says:

    Hate to necro this, but is anyone in the DW Shadows beta? Any new information?

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