Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion for PC is a stand-alone extension of the space simulation Sins of a Solar Empire brought to us by scene group RELOADED. While many were hopeful that diplomacy would finally end the war, differing opinions on what should be done, along with the depleted power of the controlling factions, has led to a splintering of the groups involved.
The loyalist members of the Trader Emergency Coalition adopt a policy of isolation, focusing on enhanced defenses to ride out the rest of the war.
The divide created in the Vasari Empire is less pronounced, but just as severe to their people. New Titan Class Warships: Mighty titans enter the fray of the war to tip the scales of power. New and Updated Capital Ships: A new capital ship joins the fleet for each race to offer even more tactical options. New Corvette Class Ships: Small and maneuverable, each faction has developed a new light attack craft to harass enemy forces.
Graphics:The developer insists that the engine is significantly improved, but I can’t see it. Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down? This expansion to the real-time strategy game from 2008 that fuses galactic empire-building with impressive tactical spaceship battles is a fantastic reason to revisit one of the better recent franchises in PC gaming.
If you have any interest in RTS games and space combat like EVE etc (There is an EVE universe mod as well), check out this game. Sins of a Solar Empire remains one of the most well-balanced and intuitive strategy games of the past decade. On top of it all, Sins: Rebellion is still a masterful strategy game, bringing out the best in both the RTS and 4X genres.
TEC Loyalists are isolationists and favor defensive tactics, while TEC Rebels are a rag-tag bunch of mercs who like to pillage, just a step above full-blown pirates. Also new is a corvette class ship that serves as a much needed, middle ground option between the workhorse frigates and research-expensive cruisers. Veteran players of the original game will recall that these games can take on lives of their own and can sometimes only be completed in multiple sittings. Diplomacy, somewhat of an ancillary part of the original game, was greatly expanded with a DLC package (shockingly called Sins: Diplomacy), and is now open to all players to pursue, regardless of whether the previous DLC package was purchased or not. The scope and size of the game is incredibly massive, but can be unwieldy, especially for new players to the franchise. The size of the galaxy, however, leads to very long games, and extended periods of time where players find themselves simply playing housekeeper instead of militant aggressor.


The graphics engine has been given a major overhaul, as Sins: Rebellion is easier on the eyes than the original Sins. The biggest gameplay element that is still missing though is a campaign story, something that is hardly ever missing from true RTS games. The easy levels are very simple to master and it is advisable for new players to start here due to the incredibly steep learning curve of the game. Ultimately, the game is, and most likely always will be, a niche game; 4X Games never seem to garner the mass appeal that they desire (or deserve). Those who rebel against the coalition take on a purely militant view, coming to the opinion that the only way to bring peace is by ultimately crushing all who oppose them – especially xenos. The loyalists seek to continue their policy of revenge against the Traders, and to assimilate all others to the Unity’s influence. With the Vasari now practically frantic to move on to new space, the loyalist faction abandons cooperation and decides to take the resources they need by any means necessary. Each faction may field their own unique titan, drawing upon unique strengths and abilities on the battlefield.
Additionally, all existing capital ships have been upgraded to four levels for their abilities, allowing players to focus their ships along specific strengths. Different political mods etc but also Startrek, Star Wars, Halo, Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect etc etc. Does this stand-alone expansion continue to deliver the goods that the original brought players, or does it fall short of expectations? Decisions on what to build, when to build it, what ships to construct, etc, are all still present within the game, and every decision the player makes has an impact on the experience. Where other games would simply invent a new alien race, Rebellion took the three original races, the TEC (human), Advent (techno human), and Vasari (aliens), and split each one into two different factions: a loyalist faction and a rebellious faction.
Advent Loyalists favor mind control and will look to expand their cultural influence, while their counterparts, the Advent Rebels, are slightly insane zealots who love to fight but don’t rely on culture like their brethren.
In Sins: Rebellion, quests and missions are now present that allow the player to gain favor with other factions, perhaps giving pause to the human player who is used to nothing but eliminating all rivals from the galaxy. However, Ironclad Games does a tremendous job of allowing players to actually feel this scope and size with the ability to zoom into the hull of a ship, and just as quickly zoom out to see the entire playable universe, relegating that large ship to a mere ant, comparatively. The layout of the HUD is almost identical, but the interface has been cleaned of unnecessary clutter, vastly increasing playing field.
The artificial intelligence hasn’t been improved from the original game in any measure that a player would expect, especially considering the four years between launches (not including updates and DLC).
However, due to the hybrid nature of Rebellion, the 4X game style doesn’t always lend itself to great campaign play (though it would still be nice to see someone try).


On the flip side, the easier levels are almost too easy, as tactics go right out the window. RTS veterans who are not familiar with this franchise would be advised to go through the tutorials to understand the basics, if nothing else. The strategic elements of the game have always been around, so essentially, players are paying $40 to upgrade the graphics, get some new factions and a few new ships. The learning curve doesn’t help this in the slightest, as it is so steep that new entrants into the series may give up on it before giving the experience a proper amount of time to digest. However, others amongst the Advent suspect that a corrupting influence from within has diverted the Unity from its proper destiny. Having accepted the need to work together, the rebel faction feels that their best chance for survival is to work with the other races and bring them along to flee the approaching enemy. While not a pure base-building game like Command and Conquer or a nearly-pure tactical RTS like Company of Heroes, Sins: Rebellion is a masterfully woven tapestry of both, and it rarely ever short-changes the player on either front.
Vasari Loyalists are unique nomads that generate wealth through their ships, while Vasari Rebels are even more unique and play counter to other races by constructing large space stations that turn the other races’ powers against themselves.
It adds a new and fresh element to the game, forcing players to adopt new playing styles and strategies based on the opponent.
That being said, as with most games like this, war is inevitable, and typically more satisfying. On larger maps, players can build up their empires in relative ease, establishing whatever foothold is important for their style. Phase jumping between systems, which is like traveling in hyperspace in Star Wars, is an incredibly tedious task that can literally take entire fleets minutes (in real time) to simply jump two systems away.
For example, the buttons for the market resource counter have been made smaller and pushed even further up the screen, freeing up more of the field for players to view. Many years ago, Homeworld seemed to capture this element perfectly, but subsequent 4X games (Masters of Orion, Galactic Civilizations, and Sins series) never seemed to successfully (if at all) incorporate a campaign and story that well. That being said, the tutorials themselves are incredibly bland and do not teach players tactics (or common sense for that matter). Everything is sharper and clearer, as intricate details of ships and structures are easier to see without having to zoom in to uncomfortable levels. Because of this, it is highly advised that players create specialized fleets and continually give orders to those fleets in battle.



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Comments

  1. SenatoR
    Than to the dark-side??with us following reading.
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