A Sword of the Stars II Video For You

No, really, it’s for you, Steve. The rest you guys can watch it to, I suppose. In it developers Kerberos talk a bit about what they’re up to with Sword of the Stars II: a dark force returning to the universe, giant spacecraft raking each other with giant beam-weapons, a complex and story-driven 4X game, an empire-driven hierarchies and organisation, complex diplomacy, and so on. Interestingly, lead designer Martin Cirulis suggests that the game will essentially start you “mid-game”, in that you won’t be building up the races from scratch to fight the big bad, you’ll already be well developed, and taking it from there.


  1. RoteByrd says:

    Does this mean I will be able to play as the Starks of Winterfell?

    • Firkragg says:

      ^ This.
      + 10 points to you Sir.

    • Riaktion says:

      yes I believe you can, I think on the trailer there was a wolf…. not sure if it was grey on a white background though

  2. MrEvilGuy says:

    That box art seems awfully familiar…

    • yurusei says:

      It looks Massively Effective to the eye.

    • DerShcraa says:

      To me it looks more like some Trek movie poster.
      And i didn’t watch a single one, as I only like Ameritrash in games.
      You may start flaming now, fanboys.

  3. Baboonanza says:

    Sounds good, like they’re genuinely trying to do something different. I’ll be keen to see how they’ve applied what they’ve learnt from Sots 1.

    Definite purchase for me.

    • P7uen says:

      A PDA? Well, I never!

    • MadMatty says:

      Erm “true to the core of Sword of the Stars 1” he said.
      I often hear such uninteresting PR statements from people such as these, who are just about to release an HD release of an old Master of Orion clone. I´m cool with that, its just sounds like they will be adding nil to the gameplay.

  4. DerShcraa says:


  5. CrazyBaldhead says:

    I’m not buying anything made by Kerberos again because of that unfinished, buggy mess called “Fort Zombie”. What a waste of money that was.

    • Tycow says:

      Indeed… after Fort Zombie, I’ll be taking a wide berth to this one.

  6. mrjackspade says:

    I’m addicted to space strategy games. I still play Stars!, and Space Empires III, but loved GalCiv and Sins of a Solar Empire.

    This one just didn’t click for some reason. Can’t remember what it was…I think I hated the interface and the star map (were they cartoonish?) and the ship design was horribly simplistic for a 4X game.

    • karry says:

      If you loved GalCiv – you really are addicted, playing GalCiv is like sniffing toenails instead of your usual sweet cocaine.

    • Urael says:

      Oh look, here’s Karry again being negative on RPS. Ho ho – what’s he like, eh, readers?

      Couldn’t disagree more, mate. Galciv 2 – fully expanded – is quite simply the finest space-themed 4x game in existence, followed very closely by Sword of the Stars.

      @mrjackspade: SOTS does suffer from a slightly cartoonish feel, and the map takes a bit of getting used to. I struggled with the game at first but once it clicks, once you get used to the ship battles and see, in full 3D, how your tech and tactics start to affect the outcomes of battles, it’s actually amazingly compelling. I miss the detailed planetary development in SOTS but then it’s clearly not that type of game. It’s all about the fleets, and judging by the video they’re going for a much more serious tone this time – I’m already dribbling!

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Actually I have to side with the negative nancy here – GalCiv 3, for all its technical accomplishments, is an extraordinarily bland and sterile game (This is most likely a purely personal thing – Im more of a Dune/Aliens man than a Trekkie/Stargate fan). Not to mention the fact that it gets rather tedious toward late game.
      But yeah, SOTS is a vastly different game – a streamlined, combat centric 4x with a really interesting lore and exhilarating gameplay that seems shallow at first glance but is actually remarkably deep when entering mid-late game.
      So yes, like Urael I am drooling buckets for this.

    • Tokamak says:

      I could never get into the larger, more convoluted/excessive 4X games like Masters of Orion, but Stars! for me had a nice balance between simplicity and depth. Would really like an modern update of a game like such.

    • Urael says:

      Karry, your only path for redemption has now presented itself. You must rename yourself, permanently, to Negative Nancy. Giant fussy whingebag did so with pride: have you the courage to follow his sterling example?

  7. P7uen says:

    What kind of rapper name is Steve?

  8. Steven Hutton says:

    My name is Steve and this article freaked me out a little. Please don’t do that again, I found it quite unnerving for a moment.

    On the other hand I love 4x games and am thrilled to see SotS:2 looking so much fun.

    • Wulf says:

      I think it was intended to freak people out. I’ve had that happen to me – but on one site I actually had it specifically aimed at me because I was a friend of one of the reviewers on that site. I tweaked out badly – but it was hilarious for the person in question.

      This made me blink but I think that one event has just desensitised me to this sort of thing. With it being Sword of the Stars though and their adorably alien aliens (some of whom I’ve absolutely fallen in love with), I did arch an eyebrow for a moment in amusement since this might very well have been aimed at me anyway. What better game for someone who tires of xenophobia than one which features alien aliens? Hooray for Sword of the Stars.

      Now if only Toys for Bob would put together Star Control III. The real Star Control III. I will continue to obsess about this, but for now I’ll be quiet.

  9. Urael says:

    Having now watched the video with sound (damned work PCs), am pleased to report the following squeeee moments:

    – Those HUGE wedge-faced ships are likely the Lords of Winter!
    – DX10 Graphics. DO WANT!
    – Admirals!
    – Provinces!
    – Border Specific Treaties, that can set limits on fleet size and classes passing through your domains!
    – A move away from gross sub-section damage model of ship combat, to a more sophisticated model with armour plating and critical systems, which gives you…
    – Salvage options based on the damage you do to your enemies!
    – In-game Encyclopaedia!

    My most anticipated game of 2011? It just might be.

    • Commisar says:

      I know, i liked the first one(I got the Edition with all of the expansions bundled in) and I hear that in addition to all of the features mentioned in this video, you will actually fight in star systems and not just planetary orbit like in SoTS 1. Also, I hear that they are implementing a planetary invasion feature instead of just bombarding it from space

  10. Wulf says:

    More Liir, can’t argue with that.

    I’m actually glad of Sword of the Stars as it has some pretty neat aliens, as just the other day I was lamenting really how xenophobia generally seems to be on the rise and everything we see in a game has to be a human or human-simile in order for us to be able to deal with it. A truly alien culture? That’s rare. It’s also one of the reasons I’d love to one day see Toys for Bob independently develop Star Control III, since Star Control had some of the best aliens in anything, ever.

    I completely fell in love with Star Control II way back when – and when the Ur-Quan Masters came around, I found that I was still very much in love with that game. And I’m still trying to understand some of those aliens. I even had a soft spot for the bloody Ur-Quan, who seemed more terribly, painfully misguided than anything else. They were a truly grey villain, I could sympathise with them, empathise, understand, but I couldn’t stand aside to let them do what they wanted to do. Now that’s a great villain.

    I’ve segued here, I know. But I’m going somewhere with this.

    The Ur-Quan were all about their pain though – a kind of pain that one couldn’t imagine, and the amount of time they had to spend in their Excruciators to earn their freedom from the Dnyarri (squat little buggers that liked to mind-control, eventually ended up as ‘talking pets’, sentient translators for the Ur-Quan, which was terribly fitting and poetic). Star Control II had one really work their imagination, as there were not only alien races presented, but alien thoughts and situations. Things that most players couldn’t even begin to relate to, but that didn’t stop me trying.

    That made Star Control II a fun experience for me. And Sword of the Stars was like a faint echo of that, it had races like the Liir who were also decidedly alien – being sapient dolphin almost-pacifists who used dimensional jumpships (which jumped a very tiny distance over and over to get from place to place) to get around, and who favoured surgical strikes over bloody war, whose society was very different from our own. The Liir could’ve been right out of Star Control II.

    I could say the same thing about the Hivers and the Morrigi, too. It’s a distant echo of Star Control II, but it’s there, and I love it. I actually went to a lot of trouble to play the original Sword of the Stars due to my sight problems (something that can’t be fixed with a pair of glasses, as the issue rests with the optic nerves rather than my eyes) and I’m very thankful to the Win 7 magnifier and all the aid it presented me with in doing so. I suspect that I’ll endure similar for the second game, as it’ll probably be worth it.

    Right, that’s that then. Definitely looking forward to more Liir though. I hope they don’t change the Liir too much because I really, really loved the Liir.

    • Arathain says:

      The Liir have integrated a rather surprising new ally into their society. This, and the return of the Suul’Ka for real are, I suspect, going to make things a bit interesting for our aquatic friends.

      I would expect change, because although the Liir seem individually and societally stable, they are actually a culture facing a great deal of pressure from external forces. They haven’t been a space-faring culture for all that long, and that time has been very traumatic indeed. Heck, even the formation of the Black Swimmers to deal with space travel and warfare will have far reaching consequences, and Liir live so long consequences can really reach a long way.

      They’ll always be Liir, but I don’t think they can escape major change.

    • Wulf says:

      All true.

      I just hope they don’t change the core foundation of who and what the Liir are. There is so much they could alter without touching that, because if that was changed then they wouldn’t really be the Liir any more. And I won’t lie when I say that it was the Liir and those core elements of the Liir that drew me into the game.

      Also, I need to do some expansion pack catching up.

  11. Arathain says:

    I am very excited about this. Normally I would raise a skeptical eyebrow over the claims about narrative integration into a 4X (which are surely far more about crafting your own narrative) but having played SotS I know they can do something special. That game is remarkable in how subtle yet utterly pervasive the excellently written background is. It permeates every mechanic in the game to a remarkable degree.

    I also love designing spaceships with big sweepy-burny lasers. So, excited.

  12. realityflaw says:

    Is that 3d movement at 2:37?!?

  13. RegisteredUser says:

    Maybe this time around we could even get space battles that can be controlled sensibly!

    Planets that aren’t only 2 sliders!

    Research that isn’t utterly random and has no kind of sensible overview and comparability!

    Voice acting that doesn’t sound like a gay lover whispering in his boyfriend’s ear!

    Ship design that’s worth that name!

    Or maybe it will be another SOTS.