StarDrive: First impressions

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series StarDrive
StarDrive main map
The main map of StarDrive. You’ll spend a lot of time on this screen.

 

I’m five hours (per Steam) and three abortive practice games into StarDrive, a new PC space strategy title from one-man studio Zer0 Sum Games. So far, I can perhaps best describe this by reference to two games: one that’s obvious, space 4X stalwart Distant Worlds, and one you perhaps may not expect, fantasy TBS Warlock: Master of the Arcane.

 

Just as Warlock looks very much like Civilization V, StarDrive’s vast galaxy and pausable real-time gameplay appear to resemble Distant Worlds; but for both these games, appearances are deceptive. I get the impression that StarDrive’s design goals are very different to Distant Worlds’ – where DW aspired to be a living universe simulator, complete with a bustling ecosystem of NPC civilian spaceships, AI advisors, and derelict armadas, StarDrive strikes me as a far more warfare-centric game. Let’s break down what I’ve seen of StarDrive, X by X.

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