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A List of Space/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Games You Can’t Miss in 2016

By on January 14th, 2016 3:20 pm

Another year, another list of interesting space-based, science fiction and fantasy-themed games to look for. Strategy has always the priority here, but you’ll also find other game types in this list, namely simulation, RPG and even a bit of action. There’s 4X games of all shapes and sizes this year, with much to offer in both real-time and turn-based fashion. There’s also a couple more classic-style RTS games to look for and a few sequels. As always in this type of article the release dates are only tentative, so it’s very likely that not all of the games present in this list will be officially released this year, but at least some form of early access is expected to be released in most cases. So, here you have it. Now, and in no particular order, the list that we here at SpaceSector think are the most interesting games which we believe you should have a look at in 2016. Enjoy!

Stellaris
Stellaris
Paradox Development Studio / Paradox Interactive
Release Date: 2016

Stellaris is Paradox’s venture into the space Grand Strategy genre, breaking away from their historical focus. The game will be 4X, especially in the early game, but the developers assure that by the mid to late game it will be more similar to their Grand Strategy style of games. Stellaris will let the player choose their FTL-type, do a complete customisation of species, AI factions will be randomised and population composition will be an important element of your empire. There will be internal politics and factions, events galore (including a late game crisis or menace), diplomacy and the possibility of forming a Federation; and a war system similar to other Paradox games. Though combat is hands-off, the player will get to customise their ships.

Stellaris is already shaping up to be shaking the established formula for the space 4X genre by bringing in elements from Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, and Victoria II into space, which onto itself is shaking up the Grand Strategy genre as it leaves the familiar setting of history. This alone makes this a highly anticipated and eagerly awaited title by anyone who is starting to grow tired of the established formula. A weekly (Monday) Dev Diary is available in the game’s official forums.

Master of Orion
Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars
NGD Studios / Wargaming.net
Release Date: 2016

Being developed by NGD Studios, with the collaboration and publishing of Wargaming.net, Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars tries to bring players back to the granddaddy of turn-based space 4X games. Though many details remain hidden as of this date; the game will feature espionage, tactical combat(*), diplomacy, and a high production value not seen in the genre outside of Firaxis’ games.

The game does seem to take several lessons from Civilization V and will have star-lanes between star systems (established routes you must travel through between systems). Though personally, star-lanes don’t bother me, it is a significant game element for many players. Hopefully, the other aspects of the game will make up for it. Either case, it’s a safe bet that many will be looking for this title with expectations set high by the name alone.

*\Update (February 4, 2016): A recent comment in the Steam forums by an official representative of the game said the combat will be real-time. This comes as a surprise because the screenshots shown earlier from several tech descriptions suited a turn-based model. The representative assures the combat will not require pro-RTS skills or high APM.

XCOM 2
XCOM 2
Firaxis Games / 2K Games
Release Date: Feb 5, 2016

XCOM 2 is the sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012), Firaxis’ remake of the classic X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown) sci-fi strategy game from the 90’s. This time around, the XCOM organization acts as an underground force fighting a resistance war against the aliens, who have taken over Earth in an alternate course of events. Among other features, we are expected to see procedurally-generated maps this time, a “deeper level” of modding support, five soldier classes, more soldier customization options, “more alien and enemy types”, melee weapons, enemies’ weaponry hacking, stealth as a main game element, corpses’ loot and secondary objectives.

Despite the bugs, the lack of map variety and the heavily scripted feeling (if you compare it with the original X-COM title from the 90’s), we loved XCOM: Enemy Unknown at SpaceSector. With more map variety, a more fleshed out strategic layer (we hope), while maintaining the aesthetics flair, XCOM 2 (currently available for pre-purchase for $59.99/49.99€/£34.99) is certainly one to have high hopes for. But, we’ll see.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Blackbird Interactive / Gearbox Software
Release Date: Jan 20, 2016

The next title in the Homeworld series (last being Homeworld 2 in 2003) will be released in January 20th of this year for the Windows PC. Originally called Hardware: Shipbreakers, in a time where Blackbird Interactive was developing the game privately, it is now called Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, after Gearbox has purchased the Homeworld IP in 2013. It’s a sci-fi real-time strategy game, like the original Homeworld games were, but now everything takes place in the ground, more specifically in a desert world and not in space as before.

Judging from the Steam’s store page description, there will be a campaign, presumably single-player, involving an expedition to investigate an anomaly on the deep desert. There’s “fleets of land and air vehicles”, “resource management” and “technology research”. Regarding other modes of play, “online solo or with friends” is mentioned, including “ranked play” in a “variety of game modes”. Now, how big the solo campaign is and what exactly these “variety of game modes” are, we don’t know yet. Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is currently available for pre-purchase on Steam for $49.99/45.99€/£29.99 and we’ll keep an eye on it and let you know more about it when/if it’s pertinent.

Total War: Warhammer
Total War: Warhammer
Creative Assembly / Sega
Release Date: April 28, 2016

Total War: Warhammer by Creative Assembly, and published by Sega, is the latest entry to the Total War franchise set in the Warhammer fantasy setting. The Total War franchise combines a turn-based strategy layer with an instanced real-time tactical combat system between armies. The game will feature a campaign for humans, dwarves, and orcs, along with a few others, and it will be more story-driven than its historical Total War predecessors. Generals and agents will have even more of an RPG progression in their skill trees than previous Total War games, with an additional focus on acquiring magical items as well.

With a release date for April 28 (currently available for pre-purchase), the only concern is Total War’s past experience of releasing buggy titles, with Total War: Rome 2 requiring one year of patches and a free expansion to bring it up to standard. Hopefully, this title will have the smoother release of Total War: Attila. Despite the shaky past of the developer, one can hope Total War: Warhammer will be given the just attention it deserves. This is definitely a title that Warhammer fans and Total War fans should keep a close eye on.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
Tindalos Interactive / Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: 2016

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a real-time space combat RTS developed by Tindalos Interactive set in the Warhammer 40K universe. The game will feature several factions (Imperium, Chaos, Orks, and Eldar) to play in skirmish (both single-player and multiplayer) and will also feature a single player campaign where you play as the Imperium of Man. The game focuses on managing your fleet of ships in combat engagements against the enemy, while vessels will have a slew of abilities and customisation options.

Tindalos is still unproven as a developer. Their last game, Etherium, fell short on meeting expectations, but it wasn’t a bad game. Hopefully, they will fare a better chance with this title. There seems to be no indication to write this title off, as such it’s worth following in case it turns out to be good. Something for 40K fans to keep an eye on for 2016.

Deep Space Settlement
Deep Space Settlement
Escape Velocity Studios
Release Date: Late 2016 (estimated/unconfirmed)

Deep Space Settlement is a space 4X RTS from Escape Velocity Studios, currently in pre-alpha/alpha stage and available for pre-purchase. The game will feature many of the elements expected from a space 4X game such as diplomacy, trade, and empire building by expanding and building up your infrastructure. It will play in real time with the player being able to customise their own ships and gain experience to unlock abilities to use during space battles in real-time tactical combat.

Though the game has been delayed, progress has been made and early backers of the project have now access to a playable early alpha build. This makes Deep Space Settlement a probable candidate for a 2016 release. The developer has taken diligent time in making sure the game is not rushed. Since there is always a need for a space RTS, one that is also a 4X at the same time, makes this a title worth watching out for.

Stars Beyond Reach
Stars Beyond Reach
Arcen Games
Release Date: Early 2016

Stars Beyond Reach is the latest game being developed by Arcen Games. It’s a sci-fi planet-based 4X game that tries to stay away from emulating the classical Civilization model by incorporating some of the elements found in city-builders and exploring original concepts, which the company is renowned for. One such concept is to do away with the micromanaging of individual units on the map and exploring ways to keep the late game tense as victory is never assured till the very end. Despite this, the game will still maintain a more traditional 4X play-style.

Stars Beyond Reach was slated for a 2015 release but it was delayed numerous times to ensure the project turned out right. Eventually the game was pushed to a 2016 release. An understandable delay as the sci-fi planet-based 4X is a less serviced sub-genre and the game needs to make a good first impression. Definitely a title to keep an eye on for any fan of the sci-fi 4X genre that is looking for a planet-based variant. Here’s an interview we did with the lead developer, if you want more details on what to expect.

Ashes of the Singularity
Ashes of the Singularity
Stardock Entertainment / Oxide Games
Release Date: 2016

Ashes of the Singularity is a massive scale RTS by Stardock Entertainment and Oxide Games currently in Steam’s Early Access. The game focuses on waging a war and not a battle, and using the newly minted 64-bit only Oxide engine. The game focuses on mass production of large swarms of units and fighting on a large map for control and ultimately victory. Despite the massive scale, the game incorporates a map control and point capture system that is similar to the more tactical driven RTS tittles. The game will feature an Ascendency War mode, which seems to be similar to a persistent campaign conquest mode.

Though there are no exact details on just what this Ascendency War mode will be like, it is already evident that Ashes of the Singularity is trying to capture at least some of the elements of titles like Total Annihilation (which the developers have listed as one of their sources of inspiration). With most RTS titles following in the Warcraft/StarCraft and C&C footsteps, or taking the more tactical path such as Company of Heroes, it is nice to see another RTS that is going back towards the massive scale approach. Here’s some impressions we wrote back in November of last year.

Predestination
Predestination
Brain and Nerd Ltd
Release Date: First Half of 2016

Predestination is a turn-based space 4X strategy game with turn-based tactical combat from the folks at Brain and Nerd Ltd currently in Steam’s Early Access. The game has a heavy focus on planetary management (with the early game being set on a single planet as you build back up) and will feature a fully customisable ship designer where the player can also design the look of their ships. The game will also have a 3D star field, with the option for a 2D star field for those who prefer it flat.

The game has appeared quite often on our “list of games not to miss”, but finally a release can be expected. The game has come a long way and many of the features are now in. After the last bits are added and a beta shakedown phase proceeds, the game will finally see a release for this year, or so we hope. Predestination seems to be billed for those who love the exploration phase and building up their planets portion of a 4X title, which this game delivers in spades.

Space Pirates and Zombies 2
Space Pirates and Zombies 2
MinMax Games
Release Date: 2016

MinMax Games original Space Pirates and Zombies, also affectionately known as SPAZ, has had a very positive reception since its release in 2011. Its sequel looks to advance the strategic depth of the series and is one we’ve been anticipating since its announcement a couple of years ago. It promises new advanced threats to deal with, a better attempt at storytelling, a more dynamic galaxy, additional parts for ship design, and an all new 3D fully destructible environment.

There is still no set release date. The December progress update notes say that they are now in the tuning and fixing stage rather than the implementation phase, so it looks like there is a glimmer of light shining in to the end of this tunnel.

Rimworld
Rimworld
Ludeon Studios
Release Date: 2016

While this may mark the third annual appearance of Rimworld on our list, we are confident this will finally be the year of this space colony sim’s official release. One could argue the game in its current state is “done”, and in fact lead developer Tynan Sylvester stated as far back as July that he felt he had accomplished what he set out to. In the past year, the game has added animal husbandry, ancient artifacts, traps, a joy/entertainment system, and brewing, just to name a few things.

While talk of a Steam release was in the air last summer, Tynan ultimately decided to postpone this until he returned from a six month extended vacation. This has been a source of some controversy, and some speculated the game may never actually “release”, but as recently as November, Tynan checked-in and stated that things were still on track and progress on the game was even being made during his absence. When he does return, sometime in “early 2016”, a new update with additional features is expected. A launch on Steam will likely follow shortly thereafter.

Polaris Sector
Polaris Sector
SoftWarWare / Slitherine
Release Date: 2016

Polaris Sector is an upcoming real-time space 4X strategy game with a pause option from Slitherine and developer SoftWarWare. While there are many space 4X games on the market, and in development, Polaris Sector is one of the few RTS with pause options. Time will tell if it can deliver on promised features like an “Innovative research system” and “Unique espionage system”, but it is certainly encouraging to see space 4X spreading out into new directions. As in our real life, space games, like space itself, are ripe for exploration. Let’s hope we like what we find once Polaris Sector reaches full release.

It is currently in closed beta. In fact, if you’re interested, it looks like the beta sign-up page is still accessible if you want to apply to take part.

That Which Sleeps
That Which Sleeps
King Dinosaur Games
Release Date: 2016

For some of us, putting Cthulu into our complex grand strategy games is like putting peanut butter into our chocolate. That Which Sleeps is the exact type of unique and risky design that only crowdfunding can make possible. It’s no doubt a daunting task to make such an intertwined world of complex factions and systems. While it does suffer from some of the radio silence (lack of updates) that often accompany a new studio, we believe the game is still moving forward behind the scenes at this point.

Word is that the game is very near beta state, although several features that are still being fixed may need to be temporarily disabled to make this possible. Whether or not it will fully release in 2016 is anyone’s guess at this point, but we do anticipate that we will see something playable at the very least. Here’s a brief preview we did back in November for a few more tidbits of information.

StarDrive 2: Sector Zero DLC
StarDrive 2: Sector Zero (Expansion/DLC)
Zero Sum Games
Release Date: 2016

While StarDrive 2 was overall a “good” game for SpaceSector, we hoped it would eventually improve with additional work. It certainly has received some improvements since release, including a change to the latest version of Unity, the addition of planetary governors, and numerous AI adjustments. Thankfully, Zero Sum Games is also looking to take care of a few of the larger issues, including items such as a lack of victory conditions and ground combat issues, with their upcoming Sector Zero DLC. We can also expect to see a hex/sector based galaxy management system, new technologies, new events, new quests, and new battlefields. Overall, it is shaping up to be a rather large DLC enhancement.

Originally scheduled for release “later this year” in 2015, Sector Zero has been pushed back to sometime in 2016. It was not originally going to include a ground combat revamp, but the latest Steam discussions indicate that the developer is actively engaged with the community regarding implementing a new system with the DLC. If you aren’t a fan of StarDrive 2’s ground combat and long for a more abstracted and traditional 4X system, it’d be worth checking out what’s going on in the discussion.

Sovereignty: Crown of Kings
Sovereignty: Crown of Kings
The Lordz Games Studio / Slitherine
Release Date: 2016

Sovereignty is a game we expected to see a full release of back in 2015, but to our surprise Slitherine opted to instead have only an Early Access launch back in April. It’s a unique title incorporating strategy, fantasy, and war-game mechanisms, so the fact that they chose to do an early access release is encouraging as it should help them strike the right balance in the long run. One of the biggest events in the past year has been a complete rewrite of the engine to utilize OpenGL in order to “streamline” and “improve performance”. This is set to be revealed for the first time, alongside some new features, in the 2.0 version of the game, that should be releasing in the near future.

The early access page indicates they plan to spend at least a year in early access, so it looks we can say that a full release is unlikely before at least Q2 2016.

Stars in Shadow
Stars in Shadow
Ashdar Games
Release Date: First half of 2016

Stars in Shadow is a turn-based space 4X strategy game that takes a lot of inspiration from Master of Orion. The game will feature diplomacy, ship customisation, tactical turn-based combat, and the classical free-form space movement. The game aims to reduce the micromanagement of managing several planets – that tends to become tedious in the late game for many other 4X titles. The game features a colour rich and comic book art style that is refreshing to see when compared to the monochromatic sleek look that other strategy games have taken recently.

The progress on the game has been slower than expected, but a 2016 release seems be on the horizon as the game was just recently Greenlit on the Steam platform (pre-orders are currently available granting closed-beta access). Though Stars in Shadow doesn’t seem to break any new grounds, it does experiment with planetary economy mechanics, a richly immersive setting, and offers players who have been longing for MOO 2’s style of space combat an option to look forward to.

The Mandate
The Mandate
Perihelion Interactive
Release Date: 2016

The Mandate is a sandbox military sci-fi RPG. If you’ve ever wanted to be the captain of a starship, develop your own fleet, and then do with it what you will, this may end up being just the game for you. While release date projections for The Mandate have been made several times at this point, thus far none of them have come to fruition. The Mandate has however had 55 Kickstarter updates since its campaign launched back in 2013, and all signs indicate that the game is still being actively developed.

Endless Space 2
Endless Space 2
Amplitude Studios
Release Date: 2016

Amplitude Studios are following up on their hit fantasy 4X strategy game, Endless Legend, with a follow-up to their 2012 release, Endless Space. It appears they are taking the lessons they learned as well as some of the criticisms of the original game into consideration according to the public development diaries available on their forum. Key features like a deeper, yet still cinematic, combat system, new political systems and influence takeovers, and a redesigned tech system are just a few things which have us excited yet again for an Amplitude Studios’ game.

With a few years of 4X development and 3 games now in their portfolio, Endless Space 2 seemingly has everything going for it. While we certainly can’t judge a book by its cover, it certainly has a beautiful one with some of the best artwork in not just 4X, but all of PC gaming.

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47 Comments


  1. bubicus says:

    How about StarSector? It is still in development, it’s basically fully playable, and its forums are still active.

    • SQW says:

      The game’s development has slowed down significantly in 2015 and given how much of the non-combat components of a living universe are still bare boned or doesn’t even exist, 2017 is the earliest we are likely to see its full release.

      I can’t help but feeling the dev isn’t quite as skilled in shaping a persistent game world as he was in crafting a really good space combat sim engine – he keeps polishing the combat to a mirror shine while the other half of the game remain untouched for well over a year.

      • Keith Turner says:

        It’s a game we’ve been interested in for several years, and one I’ve owned for just as long. However, as SQW mentions, development on it has been very slow. Last time I checked, the dev was reporting that he had earned a lot through direct sales and that he was committed to working on the project for as long as it takes before official release. It is of course moving forward, but it may take several more years.

  2. Smeghead says:

    Shockingly enough, Limit Theory hasn’t made the list. What’s it at now – two years late?

  3. TimmY says:

    Finally!

    I want Stellaris and Endless Space 2 and maybe Orion. :)

  4. ACEofHeart says:

    Looking forward mostly to the turn-based games coming up.. real time strategy, even when done well, still involves into a rush and lots of clicks, not really for my taste.. and what the heck, a game called Homeworld that’s not in Space !! LOL Talk about taking advantage of a name…
    Anyway, should be an interesting year for us gamers…

    • sithalo says:

      this game is not really taking advantage of a name. the game is a prequel to homeworld 2. it was originally a game called shipbreakers being developed by the people who made homeworld and had little to do with the homeworld series but over time it turned into a prequel to homeworld 2.

      thats like saying mirrors edge catalyst or infamous second son are just taking advantage of a name lol

  5. SQW says:

    Good line up this year. And unlike the previous 2 years, the majority of this list might actually make it to final release.

    Oh, since the list kinda covers any genre that’s turn based, I want to throw in my recommendation for Battle Brothers; it’s a bit like 2D, mercenary version of Mount and Blade with turn based combat.

    The dev posts update very Fri and seems like really active and transparent about their progress. Although the full release time frame is project at the end of the year, what they have already is quite enjoyable already.

    Finally, any news on that Battletech KS?

  6. Jodet says:

    Stars in Shadow took a lot of kickstarter money and is now, what, two years late? Not good. And it will be the last time I will ever give up front money on a game.

    • Unless I misfired the Particle Accelerator in my basement and crossed into another dimension, I am pretty sure you are mistaken.

      Stars in Shadow never had a Kickstarter, they considered it but in the end they didn’t do one. Also, they initially anticipated a late 2015 release, so they are at best half-a-year late only.

      They only crowdsourcing they did (if you can even call it that) was have pre-orders up on their website. Those went up in March of last year, so less than one year ago.

      I think you have it mistaken for another game.

      • RedArgo says:

        Predestination and M.O.R.E. both had kickstarters and are way overdue, if you ever believed their original release estimate. Maybe it’s one of those.

        • Jeff P says:

          I bit on the Kickstarter for both of those titles. Predestination is making slow but steady progress, and is in late alpha as I write. I’m a little concerned that it will be a micromanagement hell (each planet has a fairly intricate colonization mechanism, and you can have scores of planets in a game) but at least there are frequent updates and the game is currently playable. M.O.R.E. on the other hand is a poster child for caveat emptor with Kickstarter; I seriously doubt we will ever see a playable M.O.R.E. game.

      • SQW says:

        M.O.R.E…lol

        According to their forum, they’ve just coded in worm hole. Makes you wonder what state the game was in during their 2nd KS.

        Seriously, read their progress thread – the things they are working on now in 2016 (two years behind their initial delivery estimate) are things most 4X crowdfund projects bring to the KS as promotional demo on day 1.

  7. DrManhatten says:

    Well sign me up for XCOM-2, Homeworld and Stelaris. On everything else I rather do a wait and see.

    Well ok I already was a Kickstarter backer for Predestination and Mandate. But haven’t checked on either of them for a long long time. Kind of forgot I backed them many many moons ago.

    Is it just me or does it seem there are far less Fantasy titles this time round. Maybe we are finally passed the fantasy peak.

  8. Colwolf77 says:

    Stellaris is the big one for me, so far it seems to be everything I want in a grand 4x Space Strategy. I’ve been following their developer diaries closely and have to say it looks incredibly promising! great that the devs excellent sense of humour comes through in the diaries as well.

    • SQW says:

      Me too. 4x designers have been piling in more and more features and mechanics over the years for the benefit of human players but the AI just couldn’t handle the complexity anymore.

      The RISK board in Medieval: Total War was very functional but the second they switched to a ‘realistic’ free form pathfinding of Empire and all other subsequent iterations, the AI struggles. Want a game with complicated star system and planetary management mechanics? Great, because now you get to play with a brain dead AI that needs huge buffs not to go bankrupt.

      The abstract and broad stroke approach from Paradox might actually give us a game that’s not only mechanically interesting but also FUN to play against. At the same time, I hold little hope for Total Warhammer; every feature and looting mechanics that was mentioned in that Orc video simply made me cringe – yeah, like the Total War AI will know how to use any of that. lol

  9. Vendor-Lazarus says:

    I’m not interested in RTS’s, TBT’s or SBT’s so I’m skipping directly to the 4X ones.
    I would be interested in Space Trading and Combat Simulators 2D/3D à la Escape Velocity Nova or Freelancer.
    Even if it’s only to learn that they will be online only or cockpit only so I can know to avoid them.
    Still looking for a good substitute to Freelancer after all these years.

    I’m hoping that Stellaris, MoO:CtS, Prededestination, Polaris Sector, Stars in Shadow and Endless Space 2 will be able to satisfy my increasing need for a good 4X game.
    Too many disappointments in the previous batch.

    I don’t care much for ES2 or MoO:CtS’s Exclusive parts because I don’t want to feel punished by not buying a pig in a poke so I’ll keep those on the backend.
    Couldn’t find out much about their various DRM’s or lack thereof from their homepages but that info will be a major deciding factor.
    Even if it’s “only steam” I won’t buy it.

    Hmm..I may seem a bit cynical and demanding in my post but I know what I like and want and I’ve been burned before and am painfully aware that we are living in the time of the lost games.
    Good luck verifying that your purchase is authentic when the company and their server are gone.
    Which WILL happen, maybe even before you know it.

  10. salvo says:

    I think there are 2 games missing on your list, both of them will probably be released sometime in 2016

    Lord of Rigel

    http://www.lordofrigel.com/

    Imperia

    https://imperiagame.wordpress.com/

    btw … the game I’m most eagerly awaiting in 2016 though is Mount and Blade Bannerlord, a unique blend of strategy, action and rpg

  11. jerowen says:

    Very nice list guys, was waiting for this one! :)

    Also, for the paradox lovers: Hearts of Iron IV should see a release this year as well.

  12. t1it says:

    Predestination, Endless Space 2 and Stellaris are my hopes in the list.

    TW Warhammer will be like all other total wars, same shit, retarded BAI, no real depth.

    MoO whatever will probably worse than Stardrive 2 LOL!!! Both are pretty ‘meh’ anyways. Stellaris, Predestination, endless space; all shaping the genre into something else albeit slowly. But the two aforementioned games actually believe a 20 year old game with a graphic facelift is enough because some nostalgiacs can’t stop mentioning MoO2 in every single 4x board.

    Tested sovereignty, is pretty good but nothing that’ll hook me in.

    Ashes of singularity I haven’t tested and I think I never will as it seems the game has no soul.

    • Mark says:

      I have to agree, at the moment, Stardrive 2 looks like a much better and more faithful MOO sequel than MOO 4 with its horrible forced starlanes.

      Seems like they’ve been getting way too much game design “advice” from former MOO 3 devs (whom they’ve apparently employed as consultants). Looks like we might have to end up waiting yet another 15 years for a decent MOO sequel, an official one at least.

    • tiny_big says:

      To be fair that’s because Moo2 is still eminently playable and holds up to everything today (GalCiv3, Endless Space, etc.). I have the same problem with Civ too, I own all of them but still go back to 3/ignore 4 and 5 because I find 3’s gameplay far more my style. I like what I’m seeing from Stellaris though.

  13. Gary Vandegrift says:

    I’ve been playing the Predestination alpha, and so far I like what I see.

    I hope to see something playable from M.O.R.E. this year, but I don’t expect a full release of it this year.

    I’m looking forward to Stellaris and Stars In Shadow.

  14. thrangar says:

    Stellaris, Predestination, Endless space 2 are my watch targets for this year,
    I was hoping for something from M.O.R.E. and LT.

    I would be surprised if we got a beta from LT this year and real surprised if we got anything from M.O.R.E.

    I have SD2 so will pick up the DLC, and the rumour about the ground combat is good to hear.

    Oh and a big thanks to Salvo and SQW for those links , all look interesting!

  15. salvo says:

    Lord of Rigel’s devs have released the tactical combat demo btw ….

    http://www.lordofrigel.com/news/tactical-ship-combat-demo-released/

  16. One of the people at Wargaming.net left this comment in the Steam Forums:

    http://steamcommunity.com/app/298050/discussions/0/492379439675097045/#c412446250040266192

    I personally don’t mind this but I understand MOO has legacy. If there goal was to recreate MOO1/MOO2 than it would wiser to keep some of its staples and tropes intact. You got to keep your traditions intact (unless they suck, change them, but MOO1/2 was definitely a good one).

    They could have always done their own IP.

    As I said, I don’t object. Game might still be fun. That said, I understand why this may upset some of the classical fans*. When you use a brand name of a cult classic as a reboot, people will have expectations.

    *Before anyone misinterprets my point, I played MOO1 and MOO2 when they both first came out on those floppy disks too. So I am a classical fan too. :P

  17. Gary Vandegrift says:

    This list of games is from the article. I’ve updated each game title with it’s Steam Review (e.g. Mostly Positive) and/or Steam Release Date. EA = Early access.

    Stellaris (May 9)
    Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars (EA) (Mostly Positive)
    XCOM 2 (Mostly Positive)
    Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (Very Positive)
    Total War: Warhammer (May 24)
    Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (Apr 21)
    Deep Space Settlement (website says early 2017)
    Stars Beyond Reach (June 2016)
    Ashes of the Singularity (Mostly Positive)
    Predestination (EA) (Positive)
    Space Pirates and Zombies 2 (2016)
    Rimworld (greenlit) (working on Alpha 13)
    Polaris Sector (Mixed)
    That Which Sleeps (greenlit) (website says working on Steam EA release)
    StarDrive 2: Sector Zero (Very Positive)
    Sovereignty: Crown of Kings (EA) (Mostly Positive) (Apr 9)
    Stars in Shadow (greenlit) (website says in closed beta testing)
    The Mandate (greenlit) (no release date)
    Endless Space 2 (2016)

  18. Gary Vandegrift says:

    Games in development not in the list, that might make it to official release in 2016.

    http://remnantsoftheprecursors.com/ Remnants of the Precursors (previously known as Java-MOO) (looking for alpha testers)
    http://dominusgalaxia.com/ Dominus Galaxia (playable pre-alpha)
    http://www.lordofrigel.com/ Lord of Rigel (available Q4 2016, don’t know if EA or release)
    https://imperiagame.wordpress.com/ Imperia 5X (free playable beta available)
    http://www.dawnofandromeda.com/ Dawn of Andromeda (EA starts in April)
    http://www.slitherine.com/games/lastdays_of_oldearth_pc Last Days of Old Earth (EA) (Positive)

    • Gary Vandegrift says:

      According to the dev’s roadmap, Remnants of the Precursors definitely won’t be released until 2017.

    • Gary Vandegrift says:

      May 23, 2016: The “Lord of Rigel” Steam page says ‘Available: Q1 2017’

      • Adam Solo says:

        Thanks for the updates Gary!

        • Gary Vandegrift says:

          NP! Love your web site, btw :) I’m looking forward to reading Edward’s review of Stellaris. I’ve got 114 hours in the game, so far :)

        • SQW says:

          I highly recommend ZBeautiful Battle mod along with the one that adds engagement range modifier (one version is made specifically to be ZBB compatible).

          Basically these two mods fix the battle portion of the game that’s suppose to be addressed in the next two official patch (ZBB is so good Paradox is taking hints in their upcoming patch to their vanilla combat mechanic).

          Diplomacy, AI, mid/late game questing etc wouldn’t be addressed till the third official patch and unfortunately, these content isn’t something a modder can whip up on his/her own. So another 2.5 months before Stellaris is worth playing again?

          Hey Adam, will Total War: Warhammer be gracing this site since AOW 3 got a review? =P

        • Keith Turner says:

          Hi SQW, I’m hoping to write a Total War: Warhammer review later in June for the site. For the first time in quite a few years, I’m upgrading my PC in June. While my current system can run the game, it isn’t ideal. I fully expect the game to have long legs though, so I am hopeful a delayed review will still be of use to everyone.

  19. GreLee says:

    Um…how does No Man’s Sky not make this list?

    • Vivisector 9999 says:

      Probably because it’s not a strategy or space sim game, which are the genres this site focuses on.

      • Keith Turner says:

        Yes, that’s the correct answer. While we’d love to cover every space related game out there, it’s just not feasible with the staff and expertise that we have.

        I will however offer my thoughts and they are that I am on the fence about No Man’s Sky. I think it has a ton of potential, but I am very leery about it in the same way I was very leery about Star Citizen. I think it is going to promise far more than it can deliver, but if I am wrong, I will gladly purchase it.

  20. Keith Turner says:

    At this point I am fairly confident that “That Which Sleeps” will never wake up to see the light of day. Kickstarter comments indicate that the programmer is in over his head and the developer is incapable of taking charge of the project. No doubt the minimal sum they raised ($85,000 – KS fees) back in 2014 is long gone.

    I’ve tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I can’t foresee this one ever coming out. It seems to be little more than a cool idea that they had no idea how to actually create. Perhaps someone will use the concept to actually a develop an actual game someday.

    • Vivisector 9999 says:

      I went to look at those Kickstart comments… ouch.

      And more’s the pity, as That Which Sleeps was an amazing idea for a game, and I would have bought a finished version in a heartbeat. (I rarely support crowd-funded or Early Access games, and this project here is but another object lesson why.)

      I share your faint hope that perhaps someday, someone will take this great concept and make it into the game it (and we) deserve.

    • Mark says:

      Yes its very sad, and also just our luck that one of the coolest and most original game concepts in years ended up in the not-so-capable hands of a pair of clueless incompetents who’s antics would make the three stooges envious.

      As you say, at least the idea is actually out in the open now where someone a little (or a lot) more capable might possibly be able to make a good game out of it. Eventually.


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