This was Will Wright’s dream. He created dozens of successful simulation games that made millions. He wanted to combine every simulation game into one massive game.
The concept would be to follow an organism from cellular evolution to, galactic expansion and colonization. As the player you would get to experience all the things that made other MAXIS titles great in one game.
So does expectation meet reality? Kind of.
You start as a single cell and eat smaller organisms to grow and evolve. You emerge from the ocean on two legs. Then you have the choice to eat other animals or be a herbivore. You evolve again and form a primitive tribe. As a tribal culture you have the same option as before. Wage war on neighboring tribes or become friends and succeed together.
Your tribe founds a city and you focus on building, upgrading, and satisfying the needs of your citizens. This leads to your city growing into a nation.
As a Nation you must conquer the world through war, culture, or trade. This phase culminates after you subdue the last country on the planet and launch the first spacecraft.
The remainder of the game is spent in space exploring new planets, meeting aliens, and colonizing planets.
Now that all sounds like an epic masterpiece of a game. In reality it plays like six mediocre separate games. And the big lesson here is, if you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one.
You start this game by designing your custom alien race. Racial traits include industrious which grants a boost to production, fast breeders for a bonus to population growth rate, or venerable extending the lifespan of your leaders.
Next is choosing the society your species will be organizes into. Examples include materialist, egalitarian, xenophile, and pacifist. The ethics you chose will give modifiers and prevent actions. Like Egalitarians cannot enslave conquered enemies.
Last step in species creation is selecting the habitat you prefer. When you colonize new worlds they should be similar to the habitat of your home world.
Managing your colony is easy and plays like a tiled puzzle. Land is represented by tiles and they provide resources, buildings improve resource output. And there are tons of buildings that grant adjacency bonuses.
Research is performed by leaders aboard a science ship. Science can be produced at orbital stations or on your planets. Your research ships are also used to explore the galaxy, survey planets for colonization, and investigate anomalies.
There is a vast number of anomalies and associated events that you will have to discover. They can grant rewards or trigger dangerous events.
Combat is simple. Better technology, better weapons, and more ships will win any battle. Large fleet combat and waging wars should only be resorted to when the galaxy runs out of unclaimed space.
There is an in-depth diplomacy system, which I wont get into.
Sins Of A Solar Empire
This games strength is its simplicity. You colonize planets, research new weapons, and build fleets. The fleet combat is what makes all the colony management and research worth it.
Once a fleet is built, you send it to neighboring star systems looking for an enemy fleet to decimate. Once battle begins, you watch and laugh as the technologically backwards opponent sends wave after wave of cheap slow ships at you. Its a sight of pure beauty to watch your capital ship laser turrets vaporize the enemy at long range.
Lastly the game has a Star Wars mod that is defiantly work playing.