Stardock and Oxide’s Ashes of the Singularity did a lot of things right in its original April 2016 release. It was a decent traditional RTS experience at its core despite some niggling faults here and there. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation [official site] is a meaty standalone expansion that rectifies both technical and gameplay issues alike. It also bolsters the unit count and makes everything bigger. Insert double entendre here.For all its boons, Ashes of the Singularity did little to make itself stand out from the huge menagerie of sci-fi RTS games that came before it. This resulted in a bland experience which became more about rushing units than any sort of strategy. Escalation attempts to solve this by adding more units and raising the scale further.
The new maps in Escalation are twice as large as the largest in the base release of Ashes of the Singularity and the number of maximum players in multiplayer has been increased. There is also a new Strategic Zoom that works similarly to Sins of a Solar Empire’s UI. Now when you zoom all the way out the view turns to a more strategic overlay, like a map you’d see in a war room. It makes the task of moving thousands of units a lot easier, and now having multiple fronts to a war or utilizing flanking maneuvers isn’t quite the pain it used to be.
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is a standalone expansion, and is available for £29.99/39,99€/$39.99 on Steam and GOG. However, if you already own the base game, Escalation is only $20. Stardock say the base game’s early adopters are “also eligible to receive a free season pass to Escalation DLC.”