Chaotic Wonders of Distant Realms 2 –

There is something very interesting Far worlds 2the sequel to the hit niche 4X games developed by Code Force and published by publisher Slitherine, 12 years after its first release.

But what exactly is it? It’s probably not that massive amount of notifications that, especially in times of war, will swipe alerts too quickly, as well as order requests, galaxy announcements, questions about your economy, etc.

Nor is it a strange, mysterious and labyrinthine interface at times. Or that graphic engine (and possibly statistical, mechanical, etc.) that often struggles to display thousands of ships, hundreds of space constructions, and some interstellar phenomena, all without making the game look as fast as an old inkjet printer.

What is the secret of this success then? What makes this journalist able to stay, for hours, glued to his screen, to follow the development of his empire, in danger of beating a sleepless night to ensure his civilization’s dominance? To everyone by eliminating that pesky neighbor who’s been a thorn in the side since the start of the game?

Perhaps this impression, fortunately renewed and more functional than it was in the first title of the series, of being really under the control of a star empire. There are many other surnames, including Stellarisbut Paradox almost acts as an amateur in front of a giant Far worlds 2. After all, the “normal” size of the galaxy, in this game, represents 500 stars … each of which can include several planets, asteroid belts … in fact, perhaps not for nothing in the normal mode, again, you have to Begin developing your own solar system (and research hypersonic propulsion) before setting out for the skies.

Another peculiarity, trade, both internal and external, consists in the private economy, which has its own cargo ships, ships that will actually travel between the various corners of your empire, as well as visit your distant neighbours. They will also have to invite the player to build a number of mining stations, which will not only provide materials for the manufacture of space stations and “government” ships, but will also fuel this private economy. In return, the latter will pay a part of its profits to the public treasury, which will then be able to finance its operations.

So close… and yet

In fact, the lesson learned from Far worlds 2 It is the impossibility of absorbing everything, understanding everything, controlling everything. Of course, it is quite possible to put all their war fleets in manual mode, to explicitly specify where the construction ships will build their stations, and to choose the stars that will be analyzed using exploration machines. But only nerds (and again, nerds with lots and lots of time) would dare to embark on such a process.

For casual gamers, the idea is to let the computer decide for itself. Fortunately, this usually goes smoothly, but this AI is certainly not omniscient. The choice of technologies to research, for example, often prompts the player to make their own decisions, only to unlock progress that is deemed necessary, particularly in relation to the function of the economy.

The same for other missions and decisions that this electronic consultant proposes: we can easily understand why we are offered to build an administrative center on one of our planets, for example, but why offer us to declare war on one of our neighbors, without giving any further explanation? Why is it suggested that within a few seconds we should send several fleets to deal with the same problem? Why should one, in the heat of war, send out much weaker ships to attack a much stronger target? An semblance of explanation would be particularly appreciated from this artificial intelligence, which could end up controlling nearly every function of an empire with dozens of planets and over a hundred billion people.

However … Far worlds 2 It is wonderful, interesting and amazing. Fixes would certainly be appreciated, and perhaps a better grip — at least, a grip that doesn’t involve throwing ourselves, somehow, into the interstellar void, hoping we understand enough of the basics to be able to get past it.

But other than that, the 4X, for all its flaws, is perhaps one of the best examples of its kind. To be discovered slowly but surely.

Far worlds 2

Developer: Codeforce

editor: slid

a program: Windows (Tested on Steam)

The game is not available in French

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