By Alec Meer on September 3rd, 2009 at 5:09 pm.
Seems RPS’ noble attempts to stage a cross-continental conquest of the galaxy in the utterly splendid indie 4X game AI War is now threatened by more than our innate inability to organise ourselves. The lovely thing has just enjoyed a substantial new patch, which improves the game (and its graphics) in all kinds of ways, but likely means our savegames are now redundant. Back to the cosmic drawing board!
Here’s the key features:
– 16 new ships: 1 new energy reactor, 3 new starships, 8 new turrets, new mercenary space dock with 3 new mercenary ships.
– Major visual improvements — planets and backgrounds, some effects, parts of the HUD, and a few ship classes.
– Massively updated economy that is easier to manage and which scales better to very long games.
– New Energy model that provides more incentive for expansion while also fitting within the updated economy.
– Faster Starts: The repetitive activities from the first 5 or so minutes of a new campaign have now been automated to let players get right to the real game.
– Several major AI improvements: tactical retreats, better aggression against key targets, better tactical intelligence in a number of different scenarios.
– Revamped cross-planet attacks that are better balanced for players.
– A good number of performance improvements make giant battles perform better than ever.
– Network latency settings allow players to tune their game for high-latency networks.
– Improvements to the interface in general, most notably the planetary summary upgrades and the addition of the Threat Meter at the top of the screen.
– Drag-building of ships is now possible, and placement is even easier with Ctrl and Alt hotkeys while placing ships.
– Some updated battle sound effects.
– New “Energy Storm” music track replaces older “Thor” track.
– Many smaller balance tweaks, ship logic improvements, and other minor enhancements and bugfixes.
And there’s eight thousand words of release notes to devour if you’re really anal about this kind of thing. The three main things I’m taking from this, though, are a) prettier b) more accessible c) less grinding to a halt during enormo-battles.
You can snag the patch from the in-game updater, and if you’ve not tried the game yet the demo’s already been brought up to date with the 1.201 patch too.
Version 2.0 is due in a month or two apparently, but now still seems like a really good time to nose at one of the surprise wonders of the year.