Sins Of A Solar Empire: Rebellion Hits Final Beta Phase

Stardock and Ironclad Games send word that the final phase of their Sins Of A Solar Empire: Rebellion beta is now underway, and have immortalised that event with a YouTube’d trailer, which you can see below, along with the main trailer. The pre-orders for the new version of the game get you access to the beta, of course, and you get $10 off if you own the original game. I have to say I am quite excited about Rebellion, which arrives June 12th, because even though it is essentially a standalone expansion, it’s as close as we’re going to get to a sequel to the original RTS, which consumed a huge chunk of my time when it hit four years ago. Rebellion, with a huge suite of options derived from the previous mini-expansions, and new visuals, is certainly going to get my attention.


  1. Tom Walker says:

    I tried to buy this a couple of weeks ago, but since Gamestop bought Impulse it won’t accept my Visa card.

    Also, attempting to use it causes my bank to phone me up every three hours for the next week panicking about credit card fraud.

    So I might spend the money on Endless Space instead.

    • Tom Walker says:

      Oh wait, it’s standalone and available on Steam.

      Well, I’m an idiot. Carry on.

      • eks says:

        If it makes you feel better, you used to only be able to get it on Impulse. When Gamestop took over there was no obvious reason to keep it impulse only since they no longer own it, so it started appearing all over the place.

      • Tom Walker says:

        Bought it, installed it, played it for a couple of hours.

        It’s good, but it was always good; it’s not really good in any new ways.

        Other than the new stuff listed here:

        link to

        … it’s pretty much the same game.

  2. brooklyn67 says:

    I’ve been playing a bit of this (as well as Endless Space). It is fun and polished and if you liked Sins, I’d say get it. They had an additional discount available on their site for folks who already owned a Sins game, and I’d definitely recommend getting that if they are still running it, because the only drawback to the game is the fact it really does seem like more an expansion than a full game, at least so far. There are a couple new ships, a couple new techs for each race.
    If you can only buy one, and already own Sins of a Solar Empire, I’d recommend Endless Space, as it is a different play style/experience. ES is at a much rougher, but playable stage of development.

    • mentor07825 says:

      What does Endless Space offer that SIns does not? That’s what I’m interested in. It doesn’t help though that my friends have Sins.

      • Vinraith says:


        Sins is a lovely little RTS, but people (most notably the people that do its PR) really need to stop pretending that it’s a 4X game. Sins has far more in common with SupCom 2 than it does with SotS, ES, Distant Worlds, or Gal Civ.

      • caddyB says:


      • Joshua Northey says:

        SoaSE is fun, but it is an RTS. You spend a lot of time just mas producing stuff. Endless Space is more a thinking mans game. Not that real-time decision making isn’t thinking, but it is a very different feel from a proper 4x.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Depth (although that’s a work in progress… needs more diplomacy)


        Also a very polished graphic design for the UI. I know us hardcore strategy gamers aren’t supposed to care much about that, but if I’m going to stare at a small number of screens that don’t change that much for hours on end (and that basically describes every good 4X strategy game), then I need the interface not to hurt my eyes. The UI for Endless Space is lovely to look at. They hired an actual artist (or two), so it doesn’t look like one of the programmers did it. Or the programmer’s cousin.

        In terms of game design, they’re basically taking most of the core ideas from GalCiv2, and throwing in a few things from Civ like strategic resources. The current Alpha is fun to play, and it’s already more stable than many released games I’ve bought in the last year,

      • Gasmask Hero says:



        Hugely inflated system specs.

        That fancy UI apparently boosts the recommended stats to an I5/I7, with a half gig requirement for a video card. Since I know that Sins runs on my trusty little I3 craptop, I know where my money is going.

        Oh also, and it’s Sins.

    • Severian says:

      I’ve been most intrigued about the combat resolution in ES. I’m not a huge fan of RTS battles, even in space, so that kind of turns me off from Sins. What do you think about the combat system they’re implementing in ES?

      • brooklyn67 says:

        I like it, because I don’t have to do it. One day I might want to learn it (it’s a card-style system where you “lay down” buffs for your side or counters to the other guy’s buffs) but for now I can just hit “Auto resolve” and keep moving. On their forums it seems to be something folks love or hate. I think they are doing a good job of having optional depth. For example, you can fiddle with ship designs and research in that direction, but as someone who doesn’t get too into that, I rarely do it. Again, just “Auto upgrade” and get back to it.
        Also there is mellow space music and pretty colors..

        • Tacroy says:

          Does Endless Space have a demo or an early-access beta or something? I was looking around and didn’t find anything like that, though admittedly I didn’t get much further than the Steam page.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            You can buy the alpha. That is what is on sale. It is an extremely polished alpha, but an alpha supposedly.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          I love the combat system. Combat systems ruin so many strategy games because the AI is horrible at combat and so it makes the game a complete pushover without bonuses (Civ series, Total War Series).

          I even play many games with auto combat if possible. The card system is brilliant because it still allows you to watch pretty battles if that is your thing, but it is simple enough and discrete enough that you can actually make a competent AI for it.

      • Jimbo says:

        The combat in Endless Space is underwhelming at the moment, but with another couple layers of depth it could be pretty good.

        Basically, your fleet (which is capped by command points, which are determined by your research) faces off against an enemy fleet, and you hope that you equipped your ships with the right type of defences to defeat the enemy weapons (anti-missile if they’re using missiles, etc.), and hope the enemy doesn’t have the right defences for your weapons. Then you watch your fleets line up alongside each other and trade blows for three rounds and whoever is left standing at the end wins. (For following battles you will likely have a better idea what weapon & defence types the enemy are likely to have, so you can plan accordingly).

        For each round, each fleet can play a card which will give them some kind of bonus for that round (‘40% extra weapon damage’ or whatever), but if the opposing fleet plays a type of card which defeats your type of card (rock, paper, scissors stylee) then your card gets nullified. In my game, the tech advantage one way or the other was usually enough to render the card system irrelevant.

        My problem with the battles is that they don’t really scale. Your first battle is going to feel a lot like your last. This is largely because the ship classes don’t feel unique enough yet – they’re effectively just bigger or smaller versions of each other. It would help a lot if the ship classes had a lil bit of their own rock, paper, scissors going on, so that you had a reason to have a mixed fleet. Also they need to add fighters, because who wants to watch space battles without fighters buzzing around?

      • Zenicetus says:

        There will always be a contingent of gamers who will scream if there isn’t full tactical combat control, but I think they’ve hit a good balance here.

        It’s a little more in-depth than GalCiv 2, which was basically just a hands-off cinematic of the numbers being compared at the start of combat. In ES the battles are divided into three phases with a card system for moves and counter-moves in each phase. You have a little input on how things go, but you don’t micro-manage the battles. And there is always auto-resolve if you want to go completely hands-off.

  3. Hensler says:

    Is this the Sins expansion with a campaign that was promised when the first game came out? I liked the original game, but the AI was pretty easy to fool and I never had any luck getting my friends into multiplayer. A massive space opera campaign would definitely be enough to get me to purchase it again, though.

    • Vinraith says:

      When the game first came out, the press explicitly stated that there was not, and was not going to be, a story-driven campaign. I remember because I considered that a selling point, as it implied the game had enough depth that tacking on a bunch of cut-scenes and mission restrictions would just get in the way. In short, it wasn’t going to have a linear story campaign for the same reason Civ doesn’t.

      When it turned out to be a fairly typical RTS on a large scale, with typical RTS depth (and as you say, a weak AI), I was pretty surprised. Supposedly the AI’s a lot better these days, though.

      • Jimbo says:

        They did say they intended to get around to making a SP campaign for it, but that was years ago now.

      • Archonsod says:

        It is. It now actually uses the stuff from the Diplomacy expansion.

    • Hensler says:

      Vinraith: “When the game first came out, the press explicitly stated that there was not, and was not going to be, a story-driven campaign.”

      link to – Here’s the story I was thinking of. Brad Wardell said not too long after Sins launched that an expansion with new factions and a “full-on campaign” was coming up.

      Disappointed to hear that there is still no campaign, but I’ll check it out since you guys say the AI is better now.

      • Vinraith says:

        Interesting. I’m remembering some of the pre-release press on Stardock’s own site, so presumably after launch they changed their tune. Suffice it to say I was so put-off by the game at launch that I stopped following news about it, which is why I missed that. Thanks for going to the trouble to dig up a link!

        Also, I’ll note that “the AI is better” is something I’ve heard, but I can’t personally vouch for it as I don’t own the expansions and haven’t played the game in years.

  4. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I really need to start playing this. I’ve had the beta and the original for quite a while and have never quite managed to get to a point with it where it clicks for me. I love the idea (and the mods!), it’s just tough getting over that first hump.

    That said, I was having similar issues with Civilization, and since playing Warlock MOTA for a few hours it now makes a lot more sense to me.

    I think the issue is you tend to get overloaded with stats and stuff when you first start playing and it’s hard to just zero in on the main bits.

  5. MythArcana says:

    I’m ready for just about any classic game franchise that doesn’t suck. Bring it on!

  6. brokentyro says:

    This comes out the same day as the Civ 5 expansion… looks like I’m taking a few days off of work.

  7. Fierce says:

    The alt-text for the headline picture should’ve been “Overcompensating much TEC?”

  8. Iskariot says:

    I got the first SIn.
    After 8 hours of trying to get into it I gave up and I am a RTS veteran of decades. I don’t know what it was that put me off exactly. Part of it was the spaceship design and the tasteless battles. I love the extraordinary Homeworld spaceships and Sins design looked like crap to me.

    ‘Looked’ is the keyword here.
    From what I have seen lately I think Sins has improved quite a lot.
    And I am very tempted to buy this and have a go at it again.
    Perhaps this time it can steal my heart.
    If only Homeworld 3…… oh forget it… I am daydreaming.

  9. Solidstate89 says:

    I am absolutely giddy with excitement over the release of this game. I sunk so much time into the first game and its mini-expansion packs. Adding in the Space Stations was the greatest thing ever as I love turtling in strategy games and it just fit my playing style so much better.

    I do wish they would have worked on the 2GB RAM limit. I’ve had to end games early because the game would just stutter uncontrollably during large fleet battles (we’re talking well over 800 ships) because it couldn’t access enough RAM.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      2GB RAM limit is the limit for 32-bit processes on Windows. It’s possible to increase to 4 GB on 64-bit Windows using the IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE flag but this requires a modified binary.

  10. shadow9d9 says:

    Sins was DRM free. This will be all DRM all the time. No thanks.

    • Vinraith says:

      Sins was tied to Impulse. Couldn’t be installed without it, couldn’t be updated without it. That’s not “DRM free.”

      That said I’ve heard nothing about the DRM on Rebellion, so what have you heard?

      • shadow9d9 says:

        Must be logged into steam to play. No way around it.

        You are right about the original. I forgot. Luckily, I got the game for free. I’ll stick with AI War for non DRM coop games of this genre for now I guess.

        • Zakski says:

          If you unistalled impluse it still worked though, and you could copy its directory across to othe pcs and it will run fine irc

  11. cw8 says:

    So have they mentioned what is chasing the Vasari?

    • Archonsod says:

      Nope, but they’ve done some interesting things with them. Loyalists can now shift their entire economy onto their capital ships (and consume planets), rebels get some useful buffs and bonuses for working with the other races.

  12. rektide says:

    I’d thought we needed to own expansion packs to get the $10 off, but not so. Ok, fine, I’ll pre-order. :)

    Not like I don’t have enough time to burn now that I’ve got a new MOO Endless Space.