Stardock's gorgeous-but-very-plain RTS Ashes of the Singularity [official site] is getting its first standalone expansion with on November 3rd. Yes, the name sounds very much like it could be a new mode or expansion in nearly any other game, but that's the name they went with.
Ashes of the Singularity, as you may recall, is a Total Annihilation-ish RTS affair that finds humans fighting for survival against the pesky Substrate with a bunch of smarty-pants semi-sentient ships. The goal is to take back some of the worlds that have been stolen away and reclaim them for humanity. Or some such.
The game debuted last spring, utilizing Stardock's Oxide engine, and while it looked absolutely gorgeous one of its biggest issues was that it, unfortunately, was a bit shallow. It was certainly a looker, but could it make you laugh or really understand your Extreme Cheapskates obsession? Er, in this case, did it really have much depth at all?
Stardock say these are the main complaints they're addressing with Escalation:
- The technology was impressive but the presentation was sometimes bland and uninspired
- The story-driven campaign felt tacked on (mainly because the campaign was tacked on)
- Without strategic zoom, the screen ended up filling with thousands of hard to differentiate units.
So the say that the campaign will tap into lore more, they've added a "strategic zoom" like Sins of a Solar Empire, and Escalation will almost double the number of units and buildings to add more options.
If this sounds like a heaping helping of awesome to you (and it should, one of the new units is called a Masochist) you can look forward to the new standalone expansion in November. It'll run you £29.99/$39.99 if you're going into the game blind, but it'll be half-price if you own the original Ashes of the Singularity.