Lost Empire Demo

Lost Empire, the space 4X-type thing by Danish developers Pollux GameLabs, has a 600mb demo out. I’m not going to have time to play this one, so I’ll have to lazily leave the impressions open to any readers with some spare time and a taste for galactic conquest. It’s looking distinctly like one of those space strategy games the reviews for which read “nice try, but it’s no Homeworld,” but you never know when it might turn out to be another mildly entertaining excursion, such as Haegemonia, or Imperium Galactica. (Although helpful comments below report that it doesn’t feature tactical combat at all, and is a bit more GalCiv. You can see that if you check out the strategic star-system map screens down the page on this gallery.)

Speaking of tactical combat, I do wonder when Relic will get around to announcing another Homeworld game. I mean, after last year’s purchase of the IP by Relic-owners THQ, it’s surely only a matter of time. And I really would like to see some more Homeworld, perhaps with a bit more of a galaxy-eating metagame.

Lost Empire is out now in North America, apparently, and will appear in Europe on Friday.


  1. Colthor says:

    It’s apparently a turn-based 4X space game, “inspired” by MoO2, GalCiv, Space Empires etc., rather than an RTS.
    The combat isn’t tactical, like MoO2 or SoaSE, but you get 3D rendered replays of battles.

    Site: link to paradoxplaza.com

    Sounds interesting, downloading (furiously). Dunno when I’ll get to play it, but I want to.

  2. heartless_ says:

    Sorry, 600mb? I don’t understand anything on this website if it is not put into Peggles.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    I believe that’s “quite a few” Peggles. But not “too many”.

  4. Jack LeMaster says:

    There’s one review up on a heretofore unknown (to me) site called Game Chronicles.

    The reviewer slags the game, but he does so because he apparently does not enjoy strategy games. This is a bit like having a quadruplegic review your running shoes, it seems.

  5. Lou says:

    “nice try, but it’s no Homeworld”

    Heh- it’s true though, none of these games, apart from maybe the might EVE, is anyhwere near Homeworld in terms of style and artistic originality. Is it really so damn hard to make a space game not look like a million other space games? Obviously yes. It’s when you notice the absence of the elegance of games like Homeworld that you appreciate it all the more.

  6. Gylfi.Fenriz. says:

    What does the author mean with “galaxy-eating metagame” ?

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    I mean some kind of map-driven conquest mode, like Empire at War or Dark Crusade.

  8. Turin Turambar says:

    The demo isn’t for Lost Empire, but for the enhanced edition Lost Empire: Inmortals.

    Whatever is the difference.

  9. Gylfi.Fenriz. says:

    @ Jim Rossignol
    Oh. Interesting. Personally I loved homeworld not because of the tactics, howbeit they were great, but because i loved watching the harvester grabbing space spice while i panned the camera around.

  10. Stromko says:

    It’s actually absolutely nothing like Homeworld, it’s not a scenario-based RTS. The ships are also not nearly as detailed.. I think a single ‘jewelry’ module in GalCiv 2 has twice as many polygons as any ship in Lost Empire.

    I played the demo for a few hours. Some nice ideas, but bad presentation. For a 4X game the interface is pretty simple, lots of buttons but no nesting to speak of. There’s a lot of different research categories but just a few choices in each(more are unlocked as you progress) so it’s fairly easy to digest.

    You can design your own ships, though I felt it lacked sizzle. It’s no MoO 2. You just stack up components, kind of like Space Empires V but more stream-lined.

    I like that there’s a fair bit of lore reading to do, every technology has a flavor paragraph, as does every minor race. Optional ‘stories’ (accessible from the News screen) add a bit of flavor text, but so far the only thing that prompted a story was finding archeological sites.

    It was a bit difficult getting enough information to make informed decisions. For instance, prior to colonization each world would show how it stacked up in different ways pretty clearly through the use of different colored bars. Once colonized though, every bar became the same size making it rather hard to determine how it should be specialized.

    Specializing a colony is not optional so you can’t really avoid wasting some opportunities with every planet anyway. This might make sense if you’re controlling an empire of many many planets. Early game this seemed a bit bad though, the only choice was what type of colony it was, and its priority(how fast it would develop). This left me with nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs since all routes of exploration were cut off by my pacifist-yet-war-like minor race neighbors.

  11. Colthor says:

    Rambling ahoy…

    It seems pretty interesting (after about an hour and a half – really not long enough to form a proper opinion on a game like this), but, despite the tutorial pop-up for every window you feel a bit lost, and the game isn’t always helpful: I was happily playing away, building scouts and colony ships, when all of a sudden my planets stopped building ships. I had no idea why. I only had about half a dozen, plenty of resources in the pool, nothing suggested any kind of fleet or ship limit, and I’d received no message explaining it that I could see. I tried everything, looked in all the different screens, and had pretty much assumed that it must be a bug, when a scout got killed. Lo and behold, the next turn one (only one) of my colony ships started building again. So there must be a unit limit of some kind – but the game never told me what it was, or that I’d hit it. A minor thing, but very frustrating and verging on gamebreaking.

    Before that I was getting engrossed, though. It definitely reduces colony management in favour of empire scale, as Stromko said. Even the demo map has six hundred stars!

    I think, if you can keep at it long enough to understand how the game works, you could really get into it.

  12. Colthor says:

    Oh, apparently you need all the minerals for the ship before it’ll even start to build, but not to queue it in the first place. That’s unusual. Nice of it to tell me.

  13. Soren says:

    Development of this game was headed by two friends of mine – right up until the game was nearly finished, then they were royaly fucked over and kicked out of the company by the investors who then proceeded to get the game in distribution. My friends are now in debt because of this.

    I say; “Fuck the investors – download the game instead of buying it” :-(

  14. autogunner says:

    @ Soren – ouch, arnt there laws and contractss to stop that kind of thing? the sooner developers and programmers get a union together, the better.