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  1. #1
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    The Last Federation - Arcen do space again

    So I've had a couple of hours with this so far, and I'm liking it a lot. I'm a huge fan of Arcen's intentions, and tend to get pretty excited when they have a new game coming out. So far, it looks like it's up there with Bionic Dues, even though I haven't yet managed to get anywhere in depth with the diplomacy options and whatnot.

    The combat is pretty interesting - basically 2.5seconds a time turn based, and you give your orders. It's been pretty basic so far, but it looks like there's a lot of special abilities and such I haven't yet come across. The formula, where you are effectively a Deus Ex Machina, looks to be super interesting.

    Anyone else jumping on this? It's not up on Steam yet, but you can get it through GOG (which I think is a great move for them given their audience).

  2. #2
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    Arcen FTW. One of the most innovative developers out there. Looking forward to checking this out.

    I hope it has more replayability than Bionic Dues and is better balanced. I loved it, but I wasn't interested in playing too much after finishing it once and raising the difficulty level scaled some bots into huge bullet sponges.

  3. #3
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    So I've spent about an hour with it, naturally not enough to form any real insight into the game. So far the game feels like the natural evolution of AI War and Skyward Collapse. Like in AI War, you're constantly outgunned and have to rely on surgical strikes and diplomacy to stay in the game. But also like in AI War, what seems good at first, can backfire in a really nasty way. Like, let's say, you give one race an early edge yet don't keep their progress in check. In the hour I played I had already created a seemingly unbeatable behemoth of a race that's drunk on power.
    And this is where the Skyward Collapse part comes in, because you want to keep some form of balance and control. A balance of your own choosing, but a balance nonetheless. Oh and about the combat, I'm not entirely sold yet but that might come from a lack of experience. The enemies fire so goddamn many bullets that Danmaku Unlimited blushes in emberassment. I don't yet see how I'm supposed to get any structure into that, aside from spamming abilities to clear the board.

    But... it seems enjoyable. And the graphics don't burn out my eyes so far.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theForged View Post
    But... it seems enjoyable. And the graphics don't burn out my eyes so far.
    This may be a first for Arcen. Well, second, since AI War was okay.

    And saw it on GoG this morning, looks good and so far the impressions here intrigue me. I'll probably still wait for a TB video, but I am very very tempted.
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  5. #5
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    I liked the Skyward graphics. And Bionic Dues, except for the maps.

  6. #6
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    So, a couple more hours of this. Enough, in fact, that I was late to meet some friends tonight because I was REALLY enjoying it.

    There's a lot going on, and a huge amount of information to process. The game tries to stagger the amount you deal with at any given time, but even so there's a lot to handle. Most of it can be ignored, it seems, at least at first. I was never someone to track numbers that closely, but it seems there's plenty here for the theorycrafters. In my experience, it's Arcen's tendency to make as much available to the player as possible, so that is fair enough.

    Similarly, I'm not entirely sold on the combat, but the amount of special abilities I've gained makes few engagements last more than a couple of minutes. Really, seeing yourself as an intervening force rather than a force in itself seems to be the way forward, and it's an idea I'm really taken with. The huge amount of bullets flying around seems strange to me too, but there's a lot you can do to mitigate that - cloaking devices and fighters etc. - That make a lot of the combat missions quick affairs that you don't have too much reason to stay around for. Other than that, while nothing special, it's certainly serviceable.

    The strategic map has been the bulk of the experience, then, and while there is a lot going on, it's beginning to make sense to me. There's a really nice variation in mechanics between the different races, and I've already been convinced into allowing races to continue a war against a particularly hated race because I'd rather they didn't turn on each other, even though it would be fairly easy for me to stop the bashing. Not quite CK2 levels of emergent storytelling, but there's definitely a lot to say about the way the different races interact. It'll be interesting to see how their attitude changes toward each other without my involvement, as the first few hours have been fairly hands on on my part.

    Overall then, so far I've been having a great time. I can certainly see that it might be the game that Arcen can expand way beyond the intial premises. I've never finished a game of AI War, but have gotten far enough that I can really appreciate the breadth of choice that is involved in those games, and TLF might be the kind of arena that allows a similar development.

  7. #7
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    I quite fancy this but I saw the UK price on Steam and thought 'fucking what!?'

    RRP is $20 - Steam have made that 14.99 (yeah, right) and then removed the 25% first-week-discount (applies to all stores) and made it 11.24

    Humble, meanwhile, have it for 11.99 RRP and 8.99 on discount - that's more like it.

    Direct from the developer it's $15 to anyone (via a Humble widget) which might be better for some folks?

    GOG have it for $15 - but it's worth noting that Arcen rely on Steam as their only Linux update path. The game itself is DRM free (copy it out of your Steam folder to anywhere - it will work fine) so getting it from GOG will be limited - especially for current/future Linux players?

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    GOG have it for $15 - but it's worth noting that Arcen rely on Steam as their only Linux update path.
    That is no longer true, they've coded a new updater (not dependent on Steam) that works in Linux for this game. They're planning to port it back to Bionic Dues, as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    That is no longer true, they've coded a new updater (not dependent on Steam) that works in Linux for this game. They're planning to port it back to Bionic Dues, as well.
    Nice to know - tho I still think "Steam key and a DRM-free option" is better than "just DRM free" - and the usual theory of 'buy from the developer where possible' also applies I guess (tho it's a toss-up for UK buyers between the Humble widget and Store really)

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    I will always want to support Arcen in thanks for AI War, and TLF has at least raised my interest. The graphics are ok, but sadly they still employ the same unbearable musician.

    The alien races in TLF are called Acutians, Andors, Boarines, Burlusts, Evucks, Peltians, Thoraxians, and Skylaxians. I dearly wish I were kidding about that, but it's true.

    If anyone can make games that overcome their presentational limits and surprise me, it's likely to be Arcen, so here's hoping.

  11. #11
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    Spacefaring mandrill-owls? Hold my credit card...
    to wound the autumnal city.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I quite fancy this but I saw the UK price on Steam and thought 'fucking what!?'

    RRP is $20 - Steam have made that 14.99 (yeah, right) and then removed the 25% first-week-discount (applies to all stores) and made it 11.24

    Humble, meanwhile, have it for 11.99 RRP and 8.99 on discount - that's more like it.

    Direct from the developer it's $15 to anyone (via a Humble widget) which might be better for some folks?
    Oh ffs, can we please stop complaining about prices of indies? It will be bundled and sold for a dollah within a goddamn week.

    Also, you have less expensive alternatives, if you care. If someone cares about Steam that much, they deserve paying more.

  13. #13
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    I think the complaint is more of the inconsistent regional pricing.

    Steam USA - $14.99 down from $19.99
    Steam UK - 11.24 ($18.86 USD) down from 14.99 ($25.16 USD)

    Humble USA - $14.99 down from $19.99
    Humble UK - 8.99 ($15.09 USD) down from 11.99 ($20.12 USD)

    Humble is in line with USD pricing. Steam is not (nor really ever is).

  14. #14
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    Never took the time to get into AI War, but this down interest me. Might jump in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobtree View Post
    I will always want to support Arcen in thanks for AI War, and TLF has at least raised my interest. The graphics are ok, but sadly they still employ the same unbearable musician.
    But he is a feature!
    • Composer Pablo Vega's best soundtrack to date, featuring 54 minutes of music and the vocal finale "Lay Down Your Arms."

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    Never took the time to get into AI War, but this down interest me. Might jump in.



    But he is a feature!
    • Composer Pablo Vega's best soundtrack to date, featuring 54 minutes of music and the vocal finale "Lay Down Your Arms."
    To some of us he really is. I adore AI War's soundtrack.

  16. #16
    Skyward Collapse's soundtrack was really good too.

    The themes for the different races in The Last Federation are pretty good as well. The combat music is a rather questionable (too much of the same), but other than that most of TLF's soundtrack is pretty nice.

    I mean sure, not everything he makes is great. The AVWW and Bionic Dues (which recycled a lot from AVWW) soundtracks were rather iffy.

    Outside of those however, by and large most of his work has been just fine.
    Last edited by Professor Paul1290; Today at 08:15 AM.

  17. #17
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    The AI war music is perfect for the game. I haven't really noticed the music in any other Arcen game.

    Arcen do impress me a lot. Games both strong and innovative in a bunch of different genres are rare to see from a single developer (OK, I thought AVWW1 was bobbins, and didn't play AVWW2, but everything else they've done has impressed me in both imagination and quality).
    Last edited by NathanH; Today at 10:55 AM.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    I think the complaint is more of the inconsistent regional pricing.
    That's entirely different, old and hopeless. I know, I spent a year or two on steam forums railing against it.

    Also, Brits should stfu, because their prices are more often than not much better than the EU ones.
    Last edited by mouton; Today at 01:55 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouton View Post
    Oh ffs, can we please stop complaining about prices of indies? It will be bundled and sold for a dollah within a goddamn week.
    The purpose of my post was to say "there are cheaper ways to buy this" = it had public service value and all that jazz

    The purpose of your post was?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    The purpose of my post was to say "there are cheaper ways to buy this" = it had public service value and all that jazz

    The purpose of your post was?
    Pure hatred, obviously.

    I apologize, it seemed to me as if you were complaining about the price. Yeah, there are many venues to buy cheaper than on Steam, more often than not. isthereanydeal.com is a cool site if you want to track prices of games you are interested in.

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