Shepherds of A Solar Empire

By Alec Meer on October 10th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

I tend to lose my sense of connection to science fictional narratives once they get into the realm of prophecies and pseudo-deities, so the idea of a return to the Mass Effect universe that’s only about the neat spaceshippy stuff and none of the Circle Of Destiny soapboxing appeals enormously. Frinstance, this unofficial mod for the TIGHT space strategy game Sins of a Solar Empire which plans to recreate the Normandy and its multi-species chums’ war against the Geth, Collectors and Reapers.

It’s not released yet, and hey, maybe it never will be, but I dig the hell out of the concept. The modders are even planning to do-over SOASE’s UI to be more Mass Effecty. Here’s a taste of what they’ve got planned:


UI Test – Mod DB


Gameplay Trailer 1 – Mod DB

They’re even planning on including the Crucible as a late-game superweapon, but promise it’ll have a practical purpose rather than a wibbly-wobbly mythological one.

More details and updates on Dawn of the Reapers’ progress over on Moddb. Via Kotaku.

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21 Comments »

  1. Brodo Swaggins says:

    It was always going to happen, but I’m glad to see that it’s underway.

  2. razgon says:

    Isn’t it a bit weird to start with showing a ton of cutscenes from another game? Albeit the one this is based on, but it feels like stealing.

    • Miltrivd says:

      Stealing? Fan based, unofficial, non-profit mod project. What best to complement a mod that tries to emulate Mass Effect than to use cinematics from it to enhance the connection. It’s just… I don’t get it… Stealing?

  3. Rich says:

    Is this going to be a Rebellion only thing or are they making it for the Trinity versions?
    Couldn’t find the answer in their FAQ one of those two images would suggest they’ve made at least some of it for the older versions.

  4. yurusei says:

    I was hoping they’d place a Mass relay near every planet’s gravity well, and your ships need to be near it to jump. But eh.

    A man can dream, eh?

    • westyfield says:

      Relays are only used in star systems in Mass Effect, they have on-board FTL drives for in-system travel. There are some maps in Sins that have multiple stars though, so they could use relays on those (instead of the wormholes that Sins uses).

      • tkioz says:

        The Mass Relays in the ME series are for long distance travel, like 500-1000 LYs, the ships themselves have their own FTL drives that let them travel at vastly reduced speeds (comparatively) between relatively nearby star systems.

        IIRC there is an inbuilt limit they designed as well, the longer the core is used the more static is generated, and after a while BOOOOM. In order to get rid of it they need to “ground” themselves in a gravity well.

  5. tkioz says:

    You are so very right. I’m sick to death of fantasy and other magic crap getting into my Sci-Fi. It’s okay if you need to skirt the laws of physics to make the game interesting, but keep destiny and prophesy and all that other metaphysical crap the hell out of my Sci-Fi

  6. MeestaNob says:

    Also destined to end in a way no one is satisfied with: Cease and Desist.

  7. Kyrius says:

    Will it allow people to complain about the “stupid ending” again? that would be fun!

    • Wooly says:

      But of COURSE! ANY mention of Mass Effect should be met with a wave of butthurt complaints about the ending, no matter how irrelevant to the discussion or topic at hand!

      • Devan says:

        Funny then that you’re the first (and thus far only) person to mention it. Are you complaining about off-topic complaints which haven’t been compiled yet?

  8. DK says:

    If only Sins wasn’t so tremendously *bad* at being a pretty spaceship blow up game (or one that has gameplay worth a damn). It’s engine has hardcoded upper limits that the devs tried to lift (and failed to) since release, from FX limits to the fact they *didn’t have the capability for animated turrets in a goddamn SPACE SHIP GAME ENGINE*.

    Is it really so hard to write a better engine than Homeworld 2′s? An engine Relic cobbled together out of bubble gum after scrapping all previous work on a tight Sierra budget, which, despite that, has pretty much no hardcoded ceiling and was so common sense made modders have managed to retrofit better directx and entirely new texture formats (bump mapping!) onto it?

  9. YourMessageHere says:

    I can totally respect wanting to use the Mass Effect universe for mods. I’m just surprised that they chose to do it in a spaceships game. I like the design ethos of most of it, and Reapers are quite interesting, but by and large the ships are somewhere between uninspired/pedestrian and downright ugly. I mean, I’ve not played ME3 (because Origin), but I’m assuming the Normandy suddenly becomes somehow good in that game, because it certainly wasn’t impressive in the last two.

  10. Devan says:

    This trailer makes me want to go back and play some SoaSE. I only have the original game, though, so I hope this mod won’t require an expansion.

  11. gritz says:

    I think I would have gotten more into the Mass Effect series if there had been more of an emphasis on the spaceship part of it. It seemed like such a waste to have the Normandy be a “press button to teleport to new area” instead of feeling like you’re actually exploring outer space.

    Dream game: Mass Effect’s guns and conversation (with better shooting and better writing) and soundtrack, with Privateer’s space-trader sandbox gameplay and maybe a little of FTL’s ship & crew management.

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