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Distant Worlds Legends Announced

By on September 27th, 2011 11:11 am

Matrix Games, Slitherine and Code Force have just announced Distant Worlds – Legends.

Distant Worlds Legends is the second expansion to the 4x real-time space strategy game, Distant Worlds.  The first expansion (very well received by gamers by the way) was Distant Worlds: Return of the Shakturi.

Distant Worlds: Legends is currently in final testing and expected to release by November 2011.

New features

  • New character system, including Leaders, Admirals, Generals, Ambassadors, Governors, Agents and Scientists, all with defined skills and traits and the opportunity to advance and improve
  • New modelling of borders and spheres of influence
  • New expanded gameplay with race-specific events and victory conditions, as well as a new hidden faction!
  • Expanded technology tree, including dedicated carriers, cutting lasers, rail guns, new planetary facilities and wonders
  • Improved AI and an updated Diplomacy system with refuelling and mining rights as well as immigration policies
  • Improved fleet management and automation, including fleet postures
  • Improved modding support, including full race and character modding

Note: Distant Worlds Legends requires ownership of the original full Distant Worlds game.

You can have a look at the Distant Worlds (vanilla) review I’ve made when the game was first released. The game had many problems by then (acknowledged by many) and so the score was a bit low. DW RotS expansion fixed many problems and improved gameplay experience drastically. You can check the DW: RotS review for details on what’s changed on the DW universe.

A contest was also announced (to spice up the release). Read the full press release below.


Distant Worlds – Legends Announced and we’re looking for a Space Creature!

A new expansion to the award-winning space strategy game is headed this way with a creature contest!
East Arlington , VT , September 27th, 2011 – Matrix Games (, Slitherine ( and Code Force ( are thrilled to announce Distant Worlds – Legends.  Currently in final testing and expected to release by November, Distant Worlds – Legends is the second expansion to the widely acclaimed space strategy game,Distant Worlds.  Distant Worlds – Legends is packed with exciting new features and improvements, including a brand new character system with skills, traits and advancements based on each character’s actions.  Gameplay has been greatly expanded for each race wiith new race-specific events and victory conditions, a new system for borders and spheres of influence, an expanded tech tree with new weapons, facilities and wonders, improved AI, improved diplomacy including mining and refueling rights, greatly improved fleet management, new main map overlays to show ship routes and fleet postures, improved mod support, and more!

Also announced today is the new creature contest for Distant Worlds – Legends.  As part of the release, a new space creature will be included in theDistant Worlds universe, joining the likes of the Kaltor, Ardilus and Sand Slug.  This time, we’re giving ­you a chance to add your signature to Distant Worlds by submitting your idea for a new space creature!  For full contest rules, please see this post in our forums.  You have two weeks before the winner is chosen, and the winner will receive a free copy of the entire Distant Worlds series and an in-game credit for their creature contribution!

Erik Rutins, Director of Product Development Matrix Games, said “Distant Worlds – Legends is a huge and highly anticipated step forward for the Distant Worldsseries. CodeForce has been listening to ideas and suggestions from Distant Worlds players, and Legends brings many of the most requested improvements to life, such as the much anticipated character system.  Now you can choose where to send your best Ambassador, assign your best Admiral to lead your main fleet in a key battle, let your General lead your next invasion from orbit, and make sure you have the right Colony Governor assigned to that new frontier world!  We’ll be releasing more information on Distant Worlds – Legends over the next few weeks as it approaches release, so check back often.”

Distant Worlds: Legends is the highly anticipated second expansion to the critically acclaimed 4X space strategy game Distant WorldsLegends is a huge step forward which brings the Distant Worlds universe to life.  A new character system includes Leaders, Admirals, Generals, Governors, Ambassadors, Scientists and Agents, each with defined abilities and traits and opportunities to advance and grow over time.  Expanded gameplay for all existing races includes new race-specific events, technologies and victory conditions which create a completely different game depending on your choices.  An expanded tech tree also awaits, with dedicated carriers, cutting lasers, rail guns, new planetary facilities and wonders, and much more (including a new hidden faction)!

Distant Worlds: Legends also includes a new model for borders and spheres of influence for each faction, as well as new fleet management and automation commands.  The interface has been improved with additional overlays for the main galaxy map, including route indicators for all ships and fleet posture indicators, all to make it easier to keep track of activity and strategy. A new setup option allows galaxies to also be larger in map size as well as number of stars.  Empire Policies have been expanded with new options and Diplomacy has been overhauled to be much more intelligent and to include mining and refueling rights.  Finally, the AI has been improved in all areas and modding support has been greatly expanded to allow modders to take full advantage of all the new features.

All of this together makes Distant Worlds: Legends an essential addition to the vast, living galaxy of Distant Worlds!

Please note: Distant Worlds – Legends REQUIRES ownership of the original full Distant Worlds game.

Get more information on Distant Worlds – Legends from its official product page.


Slitherine Ltd. and Matrix Games Ltd. are the world’s leading video games producers and publishers of historical and strategy titles. Since 2000, both brands have published literally hundreds of games with many award-winning titles in their portfolio spanning all digital and console platforms. Slitherine is also involved with book publishing, and board gaming and work with a wide array of key licensing partners such as HISTORY™, MILITARY HISTORY™, Horrible Histories™, Showtime, BBC, Osprey, Scholastic, Casemate Publishing and many others to deliver the best blend of historical accuracy in an exciting and entertaining way. The two companies merged in May 2010 and formed the world’s largest organization specializing in this niche but important market sector. Slitherine’s mission over the coming years is to lead the way in innovation and growth in this expanding industry sector.


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  1. aReclusiveMind says:

    Hope to see a review of this one and Sword of the Stars II. SOTS II is a definite purchase for me based on my enjoyment of the first one, but perhaps I can handle two space games. Matrix games is pretty restrictive with their pricing, sticking to old school (pre-download era discounts) pricing on even older titles, so it will take quite an impressive outing to win me over. I picked up the original SOTS, after playing the demo, with all expansions for around $10. For that reason, I am willing to pay full price for SOTS2.

    So far, Distant Worlds hasn’t given me much incentive to hand over my money. gave Distant Worlds – Return of the Shakturi a favorable review, while you certainly did not. Tough call. You both seem to counter each other. While you blast the UI as “daunting, inappropriate and incomplete”, the reviewer praises it as “an already elegant user interface”. That’s just one example of differing opinion. I’m not sure where my opinion would fall, but I know I’ve been disappointed by most of the 4x space games that weren’t SOTS.

    Nice blog btw, good to have another place to go this particular genre of game.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I’m also looking forward to SotS2, but I’m keeping my expectations low since I don’t see that much changes from the first title. Don’t get me wrong I like the original SotS, but I find it a bit too “light” for my taste.

      I didn’t review Return of the Shakturi. I reviewed the original vanilla version of Distant Worlds, when it first came out. At the time the game had serious problems (now substantially fixed). The UI is better now with navigation shortcuts for example, and the fueling system seems to be much better now. I will definitely review Distant Worlds Legends. It will be a nice opportunity to re-review Distant Worlds after 2 expansions. The game should be much better now.

      What I don’t understand is how some people gave Distant Worlds vanilla so high scores at the time it came out (remember, the original just-released version). The game had so many problems/annoyances by then that I simply don’t get it. And you can guess how favorable and supportive I can be to the genre. But reviews are reviews and although I sympathise greatly with the developers (and specially indie devs) my full loyalty goes to my readers. And when I see that a game is practically unplayable I’m puzzled to see how some people gave it a 8/8 or 100, no matter what the potential is.

      The trouble of reviewing indie (or several iteration) games is that more and more devs are putting almost unplayable games in the market to get feedback and then release a “gold” version 1.5 years later. Is this what we are heading into? We are not players but beta testers now? (see what happened with Civ 5? what a joke).

      I really tried hard to get into DW. The potential was there, the scale, the depth. However when you actually play, or try to (not fool around for 15 minutes, but play) you simply could not help but feel frustrated (at best).

      From my experience there are folks who love it and those who hate it. Distant Worlds is a case study for me.

      Have a look here:

    • Josh B says:

      I purchased DW vanilla the moment I saw a couple gameplay videos… then was VERY disappointed when I tried to play it. However, the developer has given it a lot of love, and it’s now easily one of my favorite games.

      The thing that makes DW so different is how heavily you can (should/must) lean on the AI for your own empire — this is the most complex thing to code, and was the part that needed the most work, which is why DW vanilla suffered so much. However, between a series of major updates to vanilla and the release of the first expansion, DW is now VERY playable, and amazingly enjoyable.

      As for the UI: I see two basic approaches to UI these days: streamlined and detailed. Streamlined UIs (SotS, SoaSE, many others) make the game “simple” to control. Detailed UIs (DW, Star Ruler, GalCiv[to an extent], many traditional 4X titles) give you all the info you need (and then some), and have many modes or windows that allow you to dive into different parts of the game.

      Each UI approach can be done poorly, and each can be done well. Furthermore, different players will like different UIs naturally based on the experience they appreciate most. In that way, finding reviewers that have differing opinions on subjective things like UI can be useful — you may find those you tend to agree with, or know to beware if two different reviewers both agree the UI is bad!

      • Adam Solo says:

        I use the following aspects as basis to analyse how good a UI is, taken from experience and literature (doesn’t matter if a game is complex and deep or not, or how many windows and amount of information it provides). And as bonus let’s take out the presentation aspect from this list. That’s nice to have but not that ultimately important.

        1. Do players feel in control of things? (The MOST important of all aspects)
        2. Does the interface let’s the players to what they want?
        3. Is the UI intuitive and easy to master?
        4. Do players feel they’re having a strong influence over the outcome of the game? Do they feel powerful?

        I’m afraid DW vanilla UI failed terribly in all these major aspects, especially for point 1. I know RotS solved some UI known issues though (9 months after DW vanilla has come out).

  2. dayrinni says:

    Adam pretty much summed up my feelings with DW. I felt it had really great potential but failed to execute. I don’t know anything about how they do their development over there but there were some things that seemed to be glaringly bad in my opinion (we all have). I tried my hardest to get past these aspects that I did not like but I just couldn’t. I got frustrated just like Adam did. Then I quit. I haven’t played the game since this past Spring. Maybe the expansion (or recent patches [I have no idea if they have released patches as I haven’t been following the game]) will fix the issues I had. I made a post about my issues with the game on the forums ( Regardless of its fault I gave it a pretty high personal score of 7 or an 8. But after thinking about it for a few months, I would have to say it has sunk to maybe in the 4-6 range.

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