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Sid Meier´s Starships Review

Sid Meier's Starships Trainer
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 
 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Sid Meier's Starships. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

Slapping the Sid Meier name on something is usually a sure fire way to make sure that I buy something but the latest game from the esteemed creator, Sid Meier's Starships feels more like a misstep than anything else. While it's got some interesting ideas, it lacks the depth that made previous titles so much fun to waste time on but isn't nearly accessible enough to make it inviting for new strategy players. You'll have fun with Starships, but not nearly on the same level as you've had with Meier's previous games.

 
...there's not much story to speak of.
Sid Meier's Starships Review Screenshot
 

That's not to say that you'll want to avoid Starships, in fact far from it - you'll just want to know what you're getting into first. Technically Starships fits in as an extension of the recently released Civilization: Beyond Earth. There's nothing here that will stop those who haven't played Beyond Earth from understanding what's going on though since there's not much story to speak of. You investigate a signal from somewhere out in deep space to see what or who it is and that's pretty much it. Granted the Civilization games have never really been known for an official story and instead rely on the player to create their own story but Starships often feels like it was rife for an over arching tale and this was nothing but a missed opportunity.

What Starships does do well though is it's sense of exploration, especially in it's new(it) setting. You choose you allegiance and your commander, which offers you different starting perks and you're off to the cosmos. Each time you play Starships, the galaxy is randomly generated and I had a lot of fun exploring when starting a new game. You won't get to see the surfaces of these planets like you would in a game like Starbound but there's a definite charm to how the classic Civilization formula mixes with creating these environments. You'll start out at your home base, which allows you to research technologies, new weapons and other Civilization-y things. I had a lot of fun and spent a lot of time upgrading my ship with different parts and weapons, which is really what drove me to try out new research methods and expand from the way I've always played.

Don't let the budget price fool you, there's really a lot to do in Starships, and while it may not be as bulky on content as some of the previous games from Meier but there's enough here if you're looking to seek it out. That's all great and all but it leads to one of Starship's biggest dilemas; it's lack of a true identity. You can't help but get the feeling that this was meant as a lighter more accessible version of one of the most in-depth strategy formulas of all time but it doesn't so a great job introducing it's mechanics to it's potential newer players. That being said though the game makes it undeniably easier to win games than "proper" Civilization games. I was going through AI controlled opponents on harder difficulty settings before I truly understood some of the game's new mechanics and while human players will of course be a bit more of a challenge I found myself becoming bored with Starships far sooner than I should have.

 
...lacked the depth that I expected from the series.
Sid Meier's Starships Review Screenshot
 

When I first started playing Starships I was impressed with the variety of missions the game had me going on. In typical Civilization fashion you'll be trying to curry favor and gain relationships with foreign planets but here you're doing it more by performing missions for them. In one you might be carrying cargo for them and in another you'll be taking out enemy ships or protecting their fleet from a larger enemy. It isn't long however before you realize that the vast majority of Starship's missions are repetitive and more often than not just have you doing battle with other ships over resources. It's not really a terrible thing since the combat is really fun, with the torpedos being my favorite weapon I've used so far but Starships lacked the depth that I expected from the series.

Fair warning, Starships is not a particularly good looking game. It was simultaneously developed for PC and iPAD but it's clear that most of the attention went to the mobile version since the PC version has some pretty rough looking textures. There's a pretty cool action camera that shows weapons being shot but it somehow manages to get great shots of the game's worst moments. Busy moments like plotting through an asteroid field seem to be the worst since the problem areas are all around you but this is not a game like Civ V that does the best with what it has, it often feels like this is a game with little effort put into the PC version.

Sid Meier's Starships feels like a bit sized portion of a larger meal but that meal is also so full of fat that it's not a great representation of the entree anyway. If this is your first time playing the Civilization series there's enough here to get you started but be prepared to feel a bit lost with the deeper mechanics. There's truly a lot to love with the series second foray into space, it's just easier to find if you don't focus on what came before it.

 
Overall:  6/10 Presentation: 7 Gameplay: 6 
Lasting Appeal: 6 CHEATfactor: 7 
 
 
CHEATfactor
 
CHEATS USED: Unlimited Movement, Super Ship, Heal Ship, more
 
With the trainer for Sid Meier's Starships you get pretty much what you'd expect from a trainer for the franchise. Key to the trainer is the unlimited movement cheat which of course gives you the freedom to rule your enemies and the galaxy by not even giving your opponents a chance. You can also choose to change a ship's behavior by making it super or weak or even heal it completely.
 
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