View Full Version : What 4X games need.

09-29-2009, 11:53 AM
I'm specifically talking about SPACE 4X games. You can take your civilization and your Dominion 3 and just go and sit in the corner and feel bad cause you don't have space ships.


Now, 4X games recently have been kinda rare. Then again, they were always pretty damn rare. But...I think the only modern ones that have come out recently is Gal Civ 2 and...um...Space Empires V?

So one is funny but shallow and Space Empires V is bugged out of its mind.

But they all had a problem. They all lacked one thing, something lacked by EVERY SINGLE FOUR X GAME TO EVER COME OUT...as far as I know.

What is this thing?

In one word...


Yess! Majesty. Sweep. Scope. Scale. Breadth. GRANDEUR I tell you!

We're talking about Empires stretching across galaxies, colonizing planets, building massive fleets, warring with one another, politicking, spying, trading, and generally doing things on a massive massive scale, against the backdrop of interstellar space.

And yet, most of the games end up as a bunch of spreadsheets and tabs and windows and argh!

I have never once truly felt that I was the leader of a galactic Empire in any of these games. They're still fun, but they all seem to slam against a glass ceiling that's preventing them from becoming truly magnificent, in my opinion.

So, how do we fix this?

Simple! Its all a matter of presentation. Music, graphics, and interface, all must combine to create this feeling.

And yes, for once I am banging the graphical and audio drum more than the gameplay drum. Why? Cause, well, we all know what a 4X game's gameplay should be like. It might be hard to get it to play smoothly and bug free, but the basics have kind of been set in stone for a while, with only minor variations.

And that's fine, imo. 4X games achieved gameplay perfection with Alpha Centauri anyway.

And so, if I was making a 4X game, I would make sure to try and impart this sense of majesty and grandeur into the game. And not just in the feeling of commanding an Empire, but also in the simple beauty of space.

Space should have *depth* and *color* and glorious vistas that you can marvel at. Give us a backdrop that we can drool over!

But, Zoombie, how could you make these unreasonable demands!? I mean, no video game could possibly-


Yes, Homeworld, the forgotten classic of the 1990s, was the first game to move me to TEARS with its combination of amazing graphics, choice of music, and storyline. I was more invested in this game's story than in almost anything else released for quite quite quite a long time. And all the characters were space ships!

Okay, there were people IN the space ships, but you don't get to see them.

And yet, Homeworld was and still is so gorgeous and well done that I can forgive the absurdly unforgiving difficulty that throws waves after waves of fighters at you.

So what I want is a turn based 4X game with the gameplay depth and customization of the Masters of Orion and Alpha Centauri series, topped off the visual and aural prowess of Homeworld.



Weird Trivia: The Homeworld CD comes with a free trailer of the first Final Destination. Why did they make FOUR of those stupid movies!?

09-30-2009, 12:48 AM
I don't understand the commentary.

09-30-2009, 12:52 AM
I'm rambling.