From the Archive: Explore, expand, exploit, and EXTERMINATE!

By Marcello Perricone 25 Aug 2017 0

Welcome to another edition of From the Archive, where we talk about strategy games that existed prior to the birth of Strategy Gamer. Tied together by a core theme, we will be bringing you older content from our sister websites and beyond to allow you to rediscover old gems while we work on exciting, new content for you on the latest upcoming releases.

4X games provide an amazing amount of freedom, what with all their x-based verbs and myriad of gameplay mechanics. It's no surprise that franchises like Civilization became classics and are to this day among the top 10 most played titles on Steam. Today, we are checking out a couple of 4X that have been lost into the past, and hopefully providing you, dear readers, with some new favourite strategy titles. That "lost into the past" thing is the only Time-related part of this piece, unfortunately -- if you clicked the header in hope of a Doctor Who game, just be like me after RTD left and be disappointed; there ain't none.

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Pandora: First Contact (PC)

The first of our rescued games is a sci-fi 4X, released in 2013 long before Stellaris saw the light of day. Unlike Paradox's title, however, Pandora: First Contact is planet-based futuristic game. We gave it 4 stars out of 5, and the Game of Thrones named James Tanaleon said:

Enter Pandora: First Contact: a new sci-fi strategy game developed by Proxy Studios that gives the clarion call for the future space strategist to once more explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate on a fresh new world named Pandora. Set in the future where mankind has already used up the resources of Earth, different factions are traveling to a promising new world in order to lay their claim to this lush and wild planet. The setup is simple enough, and the whir of the opening graphics helps to place the player firmly in the seat of a highly futuristic but desperate struggle for supremacy not just over the other factions, but over the planet and its alien inhabitants itself.

You can read the rest of his 4-star review here. The game got a ‘Mixed’ rating on Steam (63%).

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Warlock 2: The Exiled (PC)

A fantasy-based 4X to round up our Civ-like coverage, Warlock 2: The Exiled is set in a unique world. As Nick Gaukroger put it:

The basic background of the game is that whilst the player was away doing whatever heroics [the previous game] required them to do, a rival cast some sort of uber spell to take control of the world which incidentally appears to have shattered reality leaving the world as a number of shards linked by magical portals. The aim of the game is to get back home, called Ardania, via these shards, whilst building up troops, spells and powers enough to defeat the big bad wizard. Not rocket science as far as scenario creation goes, perhaps, but the splintered world idea does create a nice difference from the vast majority (all?) of other 4X games. Whilst you work to get home and topple the usurper there will be other Great Mages working towards the same goal and, of course, neutrals to deal with.

You can read his full 4-star review here. Warlock 2 also has a 63% rating on Steam, but I do have to wonder how many people rate 4X's badly simply because they aren't Civ or Alpha Centauri.

This article covers a game developed and/or published by members of the Slitherine Group. For more information, please consult the About Us page.

That’s all for this week’s From the Archive. We’ll be doing another run of these in two weeks’ time. Current plan is to work through older content until we run out, then we’ll probably be changing up the format slightly! Enjoy your weekend!

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