Indie developer Arcen Games released The Lost Technologies, the second expansion to The Last Federation on November 11th 2015. As always, this expansion comes with all the regular updates Arcen Games gives to all its games for free over the course of the year. This expansion is more of what I would call a “bolster DLC” which aims to add small bits of content to help improve the game further.
The expansion’s substance comes from two pieces of content: the new racial techs, with technologies that now give small bonuses in space combat, and the addition of a new game mode, called “Tech Race”. Overall, The Lost Technologies has less of an impact on the game than the previous expansion Betrayed Hope.
The new game mode doesn’t change the game as much as the addition of the two modes from the previous expansion. Furthermore the game is far more polished now, so additional minor features have a sort of a diminishing return effect. The new racial techs are nice and have an effect on the game but are not as obvious as one would think.
Arcen Games has also released a package that contains all the previous content along with the new expansion in a bundle, with the previous content being sold at a 50%, and the entire bundle combined gets a further discount. The specials end on November 18, 2015. Links for these can be found at the end of the article.
List of Features (from official site):
- 64 new racial techs create personality-specific developments to parallel the existing Thoraxian Evolutions. Thoraxians can’t have ALL the fun.
- New Tech Race game mode: win the science race before any of the main races do.
- Techs now have “side effects” that can be directly beneficial to you — or other races — in combat.
- Champions: enemies that show up in combat (more on harder difficulties) and use flagship abilities that were previously your exclusive domain.
- Gorgeous new Ring World planet type added, home to a very fragile ecosystem.
- More new stuff: 12 techs for everybody, 7 flagship abilities, 2 formidable turrets, and 1 new mission.
The expansion is more of a bolster DLC, as I mentioned earlier. Though the continued support for the game is appreciated and even welcomed, it doesn’t change the overall game experience. This expansion is the same, giving a nice dose of content but not really changing anything significantly in the game. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t improve the game, just that it won’t really change opinions that much.
The game is still more of a simulation where the player manages a lot of details with a gameplay system that is rooted in selecting options inside of menus. Though this isn’t different from many other strategy games, the game has limited visuals in this regard. The only true visual oomph comes from the space combat which is still as tactical “plan and execute” turn-based shoot-em-up, though the descriptor “bullet hell” can be added to the mix now. It’s an interesting combination that might not appeal to all.
The new racial techs help each race to become more unique but this is limited to the simulation aspect of the game. Though the techs now have bonuses that do influence combat, this is tied to the game somewhat strange combat system. The new game mode is merely a tech race. The game plays mostly like the default mode but instead of forming a Federation the player tries to unlock all the techs before anyone does.
This game mode shifts the game from being a Vorlon Simulator to a Shadow Simulator (a throw-back to my old Babylon 5 reference). You benefit in helping the races grow as it makes it easier for you to win, but you have to be careful no one overshoots you. So, you will need to get them to kill each other every so often so no one gains dominance (except for you). So your goal now is to sow discord while improving the races individually, instead of trying to create a new stable order. This adds replayability but it won’t change your opinion of the game.
The game also has some added art assets and objects in the combat system, which is always nice but nothing to write home about. The tactical shoot-em-up aspect got better, with more variety present to help making the battles less repetitive, but they still have the problem of getting repetitive in a single play through only. This is because the player can easily repeat the same type of mission often.
Overall, the expansion will be a nice treat for those who love the game, or for those who have a tendency to come back to it and were looking for a reason to do so. For those who didn’t like it, or are permanently disinterested in the game, the expansion will not change your mind. If you have never heard of the game and are curious about this strange beast, feel free to check our previous review of the core game and its first expansion, Betrayed Hope.
The Lost Technologies expansion to The Last Federation can be purchased on Steam, the Humble Store, GMG, and GOG for $6.29 USD. The collection can be purchased on Steam, the Humble Store, GMG, and GOG for $12.49 USD. Both specials (10% on the expansion and 50% on the previous content with the bundle bonus) end on November 18, 2015.Subscribe RSS
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