Sins Of A Solar Empire, A Trailer

I truly wish I had more spare time right now, because I really want to sink a few days of solitude in Sins Of A Solar Empire. Kieron and I have been blasting away at the beta and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. For me it gets the enormity of space battle just right – with the capital ships standing out as these vast, BattleStar-styled monoliths of space power. It’s the kind of thing that my other space-love, Eve Online, generally falls down on. For a taste of why I’m finding Sins so satisfying, take a look at this trailer:

GameTrailers, you’re our game trailering flagship.


  1. Tikey says:

    I can’t wait for this game. I been keeping an eye on it long before it even got a publisher.
    This is something I’ve been wanting to play ever since I finished Homeworld back in 1999.

    I also have been looking for a space game RTS where you control only one ship, with a lot of micromanagment. Something like Nexus: The Jupiter incident but more tactical and strategic depth. If anyone knows about a game like that please, let me know.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    Um, I don’t think that ‘enormity’ is the word you meant.

  3. Schtee says:

    greatness of size, scope, extent, or influence; immensity: The enormity of such an act of generosity is staggering.

    Probably is… :\\//

  4. Meat Circus says:

    Ah, no. That would be “enormousness”.

  5. Schtee says:

    Ahar Oxford would appear to uphold your complaint (while still having a definition matching Mr. R’s usage). Interesting.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    “Enormity” is the word I meant. Enormousness would imply that I was talking purely the size of the battles, or their relative scale.

  7. Meat Circus says:

    Ah, well, if you did actually mean enormity, then I’m not seeing it in these videos. It all looks like a rather clean and unimposing vision of space conflict. Significantly more sanitised than the cold, unfeeling EVEverse.

    But then, I haven’t played this. So, I unconditionally withdraw my pedantry forthwith.

  8. ezequiel says:

    you know, all these conversations about word meanings and their uses is the main reason why i return to this great blog all the time.

  9. Meat Circus says:

    You should go to Gamespot. There you can pay to have a word mean whatever you choose it to mean.

  10. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think enormity is applicable because while you have these ships bombarding planets, or slugging at each other with immense lasers, they also have this huge cost attached. When one goes down you’re cursing your stupidity and thinking of the massive loss to your fleet.

    Tangentially, capital ships in Eve are overly specialised, or overpowered in a specific situation, and don’t tend to have to be part of a widely hierarchical fleet in the traditional small-supports-large sense that you get in Sins. Eve lets you cover a couple of bases and be effective with that, which I’ve never been happy about.

  11. Kieron Gillen says:

    I think you’ll all find the word is Enormousosity.

    Or Mechanics.

    General rule to posters: If your comment relates to the words with which something is said rather than the content of that something, you really shouldn’t post it.


  12. marxeil says:

    Well this actually made me want to play a space sim. I never did finish X-wing alliance.

  13. martin says:

    my drool-o-meter is rising and rising

  14. Rodafowa says:

    Tangentially, capital ships in Eve are overly specialised, or overpowered in a specific situation, and don’t tend to have to be part of a widely hierarchical fleet in the traditional small-supports-large sense that you get in Sins.

    So fighters are actually useful, then? Pretty much my only niggle about GalCivII was that 1 bigger hull pretty much always beat the same cash-value of many smaller hulls – as soon as you got medium-size ships, anything smaller was more-or-less instantly obsolete.

  15. Grant Gould says:


  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    Roda: Fighters are very useful. Playing defensively with fighterbays can be awesome.


  17. Meat Circus says:

    I’m slightly baffled that Keiron, of all people, would think that the content of a post is somehow distinct from the words it comprises.

    In any case, I got the clarification from Rossignol, so squish.

    Can somebody explain to me how a gamer of a quarter of a century — for example, me — can never have heard the phrase ‘4X’ before reading this morning’s array of gameful truthiness?

    I feel as if some significant part of my being has suddenly been devalued by RPS.

  18. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think 4X gets used more by American folks that we British journalists. I don’t recall seeing it used much (if at all) in UK mags.

  19. Matt says:

    As the site is called Rock Paper Shotgun it is obviously about the solid structure of the English language, writing, and blasting anyone who tries to change it. So in future all discussions should be about the written word in gaming articles and destroying any errors or niche words that arise.

  20. Kieron Gillen says:

    Yeah: its an American neologism from a while back. But since developers are using it to describe the game, we have to roll with it. I talked about it a fair bit in the preview we did last week.

    Meat: If you basically know what it means, filling a thread with pedantry is… well, boring, and means we end up with a thread discussing the meaning of a word rather than the games. Which is a bit tedious, and tends to feed back on itself, so every thread is full of it. You’re a regular poster, Meat, and I appreciate it, but it doesn’t help. The FAQ points out that we tend to like mails for things which you think are mistakes for exactly that reason.


  21. Meat Circus says:

    Perhaps, but then I got lots of lovely information from Mr Rossignol about what he meant, and I feel all the more informed for it. As a new, but addicted EVEr, I wasn’t entirely certain what he meant and now I am, see.

    I’m not trying to cause upset. I MEAN NO HARM.

    In any case, the original posts have now solidificatified so I can’t change them to adoring gush anyway. Which otherwise I would.

  22. Hieremias says:

    I also have been looking for a space game RTS where you control only one ship, with a lot of micromanagment.

    Would this not be more like a space sim? X3 and Independence War 2 both let you pilot big ships with tons of micromanagement.

    For a more RTS angle, Star Trek: Bridge Commander is kind of a cross between space sim and RTS. In that you control one large ship with lots of micromanagement but you don’t have to take control of the helm yourself.

    Of course, you’d have to be able to stomach Star Trek for that to be an option.

  23. Zeh says:

    You know what I miss? X-Wing. :(

  24. FaceOmeter says:

    This game is exactly what I need right now

  25. dartt says:

    Dubble and I looked around and we can’t find it on any of the usual sites we normally shop on for games, does this mean that the game doesn’t have a UK publisher?

    We aren’t too worried as it’s available as a digital download for around £23 or so but it’s just suprising that such an obviously high quality title hasn’t got any distribution deals over here.

  26. twb says:

    Personally, I come for the GameTrailers, but stay for the pedantry.

  27. Kieron Gillen says:

    Dartt: You’re correct. It doesn’t have a UK Publisher at the moment, for some reason. Just sent off the questions to IronClad for an interview where I ask about it.


  28. ryan in exile says:

    is the flagship environmentally sound?

  29. DigitalSignalX says:

    Holy buckets it looks awesome. That’ll beat velociraptors with hats ANY day.

  30. Rich Powers says:

    Awesome. Gameplay aside, the game is just gorgeous. Anyone else notice how alive that star looked? Instead of being a bright sphere, it had texture, solar flares, and a fluid surface. Watching all those ships duke it out against that nebula backdrop was awesome too; colorful yet not overstated like some interstellar backgrounds.

  31. Piratepete says:

    Having recently discovered the joys of GalCiv2 I am quite looking forward to this. Oh that and the fact I am reading Iain M Banks new book ‘Matter’.

    Bring on the Space Opera baby

  32. Lh'owon says:

    Looking forward to this muchly.

    I also have been looking for a space game RTS where you control only one ship, with a lot of micromanagment.

    Hmm interesting, I’m not sure about the RTS part though… My vision is more a 3D Escape Velocity, thus an RPG of sorts. Although the point is you basically are the ship (whichever ship you are flying) as you have no real existence outside of flying, so it’s kinda the same.

  33. Tikey says:

    I was thinking about something like a cross between Star Trek: Starfleet commander and Homeworld.

    If I had any coding skills I try to do a Homeworld 2 mod, but my thing is art and design not coding.

  34. KingMob says:

    I like 4Xers but I’m still a little iffy about the RTS aspect… can the folks currently playing give us a report on whether you get caught up in microing your force and don’t have time to build and upgrade new ships, research, explore, etc etc?

  35. Ballisticsfood says:

    To anyone looking for a space game featuring one ship (or maybe four or five tops) You could do worse than look at NEXUS: The jupiter incident.

    I didnt like it that much, seeing as how I dislike micro’ (which was also the reason I didnt like Homeworld as much as I could have) but SoaSE’s macromanagement scheme makes my brain go WOO!

    To recap, NEXUS is micro, this looks awesome.

  36. darkmage0707077 says:


    I’d say Microing is mitigated here to a good degree through automation aspects the developers put in: the actual “grunts” that perform resource collecting/distributing/building/repairing/etc are all automatically built as resources/population levels permit, so all you really have to do is worry about what buildings and defenses you want around your planet. So once you build the actual resource buildings and upgrade your planet (all on one menu, see below), resource collection is all internal, so you can concentrate on building up planets.
    In terms of creating battle fleets, it tends to be easy. Each planet has an individual menu that you can use to select all aspect of building and/or upgrading. If it’s a building, you choose where to place it: units are qued up like typical RTS’ and sent to designated waypoints as they’re built. I do not recall having to select individual buildings in order to build that building’s specific units, only the planet itself.
    Controlling fleets: hit and miss. On the one hand, it’s possible to set capital ships to auto-use any of their special weapons, so you don’t have to micro manage them if you don’t want to. On the other hand, this can lead to them blowing through their “mana” (“antimatter” in the game) before they use the abillities you actually want them to, and there’s no way to set up macros or such to give them instructions. So if a particular ability you want them to use takes more antimatter, you have to deselect the individual ships’ other abilities or else it will probably never hit the big guns (probably because each ability has a cooldown timer, and sometimes smaller abilities take a while to cooldown, so the ship can possibly hit bigger abilities when the timing’s right).
    Upgrading ships: hit and miss. Hit because when a cap ship levels up (yes, actual leveling with XP and everything), if you here the (very distinctive) audio queue and are keeping track of incoming messages like you should, you can locate the ship and upgrade it rather quickly. Miss because, unfortunately, you have to individually select the ship you want to upgrade. If you have a battle fleet of 20 ships of the same type, this amounts to individually selecting each ship until you find the one you wanted (there are other small things that help you find it, but the fact remains that it can be a pain sometimes). Then again, since leveling auto-upgrades power/defense/hp/etc of the ship, and all you really choose is the special ability you want upgraded, if you have 20 cap ships, you can usually ignore the other ships upgrading and focus on your “flag ships” (each unique ship in the fleet with the highest level.
    Other aspects (technology tree, pirates, diplomacy, etc): Easy peasy. You click, you wait for the “ding”, you revel in the benefits, you click the next one. Repeat to your desire.
    Again, overall: micromanaging fleets before and after fighting can be mild to moderate, same as during fighting. Micromanaging planets can be near non-existant if they’re fully upgraded and built out, mild if they’re not and you want to keep developing them.

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