But everyone knows that strategy games are all about the gameplay, not the presentation, and gameplay is where Imperium Galactica II: Alliances
really shines. If youíre a fan of the Masters of Orion
series (everyone? right? right?), youíre going to feel right at home in IG2
. But in reality, IG2
is so much more. It is basically SimSpace
-- from the colony management to the landside battles to the space battles, IG2
is an epic whole.
The game offers multiple modes of play. You can do a Campaign, where you choose one of three races -- the Shinari, who specialize in subterfuge, the Kraíhen, who are basically the universal ass-kickers, and the Solarians (a.k.a. humans), who are the mid-range players. Each race has its own CD (!), making IG2 one of the largest strategy games in terms of discs that Iíve seen. And each time you play a Campaign game, the game is different. There are little mini-quests that the game presents to you, and they change each time you play, giving the game a good replay ability factor.
There are also Scenarios, which pit you against some mission, be it destroy the universe or save some friends. In this, you even get to play some races that you canít in Campaign mode, although itís generally in the higher difficulty level scenarios. There are already a few additional scenarios available for download at the gameís official website as well.
The game itself is really an amalgam of many different games. There is the overlord, Masters of Orion-style starmap, where your order fleets around to explore the universe. There is the colony management screen, where you build structures to keep everything going and to give room for your citizens to live, a la SimCity. And when battle breaks out, either on the surface of a planet or in space, you find yourself in the middle of a quite delicious battle sim. None of these mini-games are dull or lifeless, and some of them (my personal favorite is land-based combat, perhaps because of some internal longing for the cool stylings of Dune II and the gameís reflections of that) are almost passable as separate games in and of themselves. Rolled all together, a grand experience is to be had. With the configurability of everything in the game, you are not going to be running out of replay ability for a long, long time.
And to make things even better, a highly informative tutorial, broken up into multiple parts, is available inside of the game, and the instruction book is nice, thick, and a great reference guide.