• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Best 4x Space Game?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
79,101
11,990
126
GalCiv2 was pretty fun, but i found it lacking. It had the right feel, but some things wernt executed well. I never cared for the spreading of culture in that game.
You can disable it as a win condition but you cant disable it in game play.
Very easy to lose planets and whole systems just to culture.
 

BladeVenom

Lifer
Jun 2, 2005
13,540
16
0
I like the slider bar system of MOO
The big tactical battles of MOO2
Most of the other aspects of the game I prefer Gal CiV 2
 

mbeleni

Junior Member
Dec 26, 2006
21
0
0
Ascendancy is an old 4X galactic conquest game, playable under DOSBox, which was pretty good. It has since been updated (as of 2011) for IOS. But MOO2 is still the gold standard. Galactic Civilizations 2 is probably the best of the new ones which have come out in the last five or six years, though.
 

AyashiKaibutsu

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2004
9,306
3
81
Am I the only one that can't get into Gal Civ 1 or 2? I don't know; I start playing it and then quickly lose interest. Too much civilization... IN SPACE! for me.
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
4,488
152
106
Am I the only one that can't get into Gal Civ 1 or 2? I don't know; I start playing it and then quickly lose interest. Too much civilization... IN SPACE! for me.
The thing that makes Gal Civ such a good game to me is that the AI doesn't act so irrationally as most other 4X games. It actually does things you would expect it to if it were a person controlling the civilization. It isn't perfect by any means, but the largest budget in both time and money went into developing and updating the AI in both games.
 

HydroSqueegee

Golden Member
Oct 27, 2005
1,709
2
71
Stars! is still the best 4X that ive played. wish someone would take it and update it for modern times.

Endless Space has been real good so far. sunk 12 hours into it the last 2 days.
 
Oct 30, 2004
11,429
20
81
The thing that makes Gal Civ such a good game to me is that the AI doesn't act so irrationally as most other 4X games.
...And that is part of what's so great about Sins of a Solar Empire. You have many of the 4x aspects (the strategic elements minus the boring micromanagement), but online multiplayer games against real human players are actually possible and feasible.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,450
268
126
www.the-teh.com
We never did get an Alpha Centauri II.
It was a while ago but EA gave a glimpse of hope with the possibility of Sid's old franchise returning for round 2.

I picked up Endless Space but found it lacking. The interface doesn't lend itself to managing all your planets/systems. The tech tree is a mess. Haven't gotten very far into it to see the AI artwork.

Will try out some of the others mentioned here.
 
Last edited:

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
5
0
I believe MoO2 is the best title in this genre based on which one kept me addicted the longest

Space Empires V was an excellent game for my taste because I like the depth of the game. It's Achilles heel is its lack of a worthy AI.

Galactic Civ series games do not work for me. I just find them too simple in terms of gameplay. For example its boardgame like system of resources - cubes and triangles floating in space what??? I admit its AI is very strong and thats its enduring quality.

Endless Space I was very impressed with. The colony management is nice and the interface is nice. I like the resources in the game but the combat system appears to be a placeholder for a real combat system that never came. This card based phased combat just doesn't work for me.

Other titles I have tried but they didnt make much of an impression on me or didn't hold my attention long enough to provide any opinion. Titles such as Sins of a solar empire, Sword of the stars, others I cant even remember.

Note about Alpha Centauri - Loved this title immensely but I just dont group it with these other games. SMAC is more of a Colony Builder game while these other titles are like empire building games.
 

power_hour

Senior member
Oct 16, 2010
789
1
0
Are there any good 4X games where the AI doesn't suck ass? That has been my biggest gripe with these type of games. Fun for a while but then you realize the AI is dumber than a toaster. Mind you at 3am I am not much smarter heh
 

Martimus

Diamond Member
Apr 24, 2007
4,488
152
106
Are there any good 4X games where the AI doesn't suck ass? That has been my biggest gripe with these type of games. Fun for a while but then you realize the AI is dumber than a toaster. Mind you at 3am I am not much smarter heh
Gal Civ and Gal civ 2 have good AI. In both games, the AI plays with the same rules as the player up to challenging and they do it well, which no other 4X game does. Fallen Enchantress has pretty good AI too, but it isn't up to the level of Gal Civ 2. Really, any Stardock 4X game will have good AI, since they design the games around what they can make the AI do well, and not the other way around (designing the AI around the game mechanics).
 

Malfeas

Senior member
Apr 27, 2005
829
0
76
I preferred Sword of the Stars 1, even with all its flaws it was quite fun. However I can't endorse SOTS 2, it is was too cumbersome and complicated of a game.
 

BladeVenom

Lifer
Jun 2, 2005
13,540
16
0
Gal Civ and Gal civ 2 have good AI. In both games, the AI plays with the same rules as the player up to challenging and they do it well, which no other 4X game does. Fallen Enchantress has pretty good AI too, but it isn't up to the level of Gal Civ 2. Really, any Stardock 4X game will have good AI, since they design the games around what they can make the AI do well, and not the other way around (designing the AI around the game mechanics).
They also improved the AI after the game was released. Not just fixed bugs and exploits, but actually made serious improvements. Who else does that?
 
Oct 30, 2004
11,429
20
81
Are there any good 4X games where the AI doesn't suck ass? That has been my biggest gripe with these type of games. Fun for a while but then you realize the AI is dumber than a toaster.
Sadly, AI just doesn't compare to having a real, flesh-and-blood human opponent. AI probably becomes increasingly incompetent as the game's strategic considerations increases in complexity. That's a big problem for Turn-Based 4x games because they aren't very practical for online multiplayer.

The closest you might be able to get to a 4x game that's practical for online multiplayer against human opponents is Sins of a Solar Empire, which is really more of a slow RTS with many 4x elements.
 

Luckz

Junior Member
Oct 10, 2009
12
0
0
For me, the gold standard would still be the Master of Orion & Imperium Galactica series.
Space Empires, Spaceward Ho! and Ascendancy (as well as the best Civ game, Alpha Centauri) also were good/great games back in the day. The underrated MoO clone Star Trek Birth of the Federation could also be named here.
All of these unfortunately are rather ancient by today's standards.

AI War certainly is a jolly videogame, but it's not a 'proper' 4X game (nor is Egosoft's X³).
Distand Worlds may well be the closest thing to a good modern day attempt at the genre, very much with a macro instead of micromanagement POV, but it's super-incredibly-expensive (go look up what the base game + expansions cost on the official web shop...) and the graphics, performance and tech tree all don't impress. Sadly it also has no MP mode. The game slowed to a crawl for me after a while with a very small universe, so I'm not sure if a somewhat big one is playable at all.


SOTS 1 & 2 I didn't yet get to give a fair chance, but the former at least seems awfully simplified for fast MP games. Should I skip it and go straight to #2?
Aurora I'm still scared of much like I'm scared of Dwarf Fortress.
Star Ruler's 3D universe is frankly beyond what I can wrap my brain cells around; I have no idea what's going on in that game, how to make my ships go to the right place, and what place I even want them to go.


Sins of a Solar Empire is like a really boring remake of the fun Conquest Frontier Wars. GalCiv 2 suffers from some dumb game mechanics (like how population/invasions/economy/production go together), uninteresting weapons, and a terribly bland tech tree -- which all help to ruin the otherwise fabulous ship designer.
Endless Space is a shallow rock paper scissors card game.


I guess for me the most important things in a 4X game are enjoyable research & ship design, fun (interactive) combat, and good two player multiplayer. Very few if any games have been able to provide that lately.


P.S.: Further honourable mentions of games that don't (really, or at all) count as 4X would be Space Rangers 2, Space Pirates and Zombies, Hardwar, Privateer, all games developed by Paradox (but those aren't even set in space), Deadlock: Planetary Conquest, even FTL.
Fallen Enchantress strikes me as more of a HoMM game with a slice of Civ. Warlock Master of the Arcane seems good too.
The Warlords and Imperialism games were good 4X-y games as well.

P.P.S.: I had even preordered Legends of Pegasus :/
 
Last edited:

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
79,101
11,990
126
Ascendancy was good, but it got to be cumbersome manually navigating through the star systems, especially when your fleet got wiped out late game. You had to build a new one and then slowly navigate it from your empire to the far one (which was always the last to be wiped out).
 

power_hour

Senior member
Oct 16, 2010
789
1
0
StarDrive is on steam for pre-order and its the first I have heard of it. Ship design and combat engine seem to be its selling points. Anyone got the scoop on this one?
 

Elcs

Diamond Member
Apr 27, 2002
6,278
6
81
StarDrive is on steam for pre-order and its the first I have heard of it. Ship design and combat engine seem to be its selling points. Anyone got the scoop on this one?
If it is, it's not showing up for the UK.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY