Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Distant Worlds: Space is the Place!




So, I had this really great research scientist show up at my homeworld.  13% bonus to energy research, 18% bonus to high tech research...wow, what a resume!  I immediately assigned him to the Buvu Yagin Major Research Facility where he could put his talents to work.  Everything was going great until a year or two later when one of my counterintelligence agents did some snooping into his background and discovered that he was, in fact, a foreign agent! 


Sometimes when things seem too good to be true they are just that.  What to do?  

I could fire him, but then my research would take a hit.  I could keep him around, but then I would be risking the security of all of my empire's research.  This was a conundrum.  Ultimately, I decided to shelve this decision for a bit while I tended to other pressing matters.  It turns out that I never did get a chance to make a decision on Mr. Jaksun's (if that is your real name!) fate because the free-for-all galaxy that is Distant Worlds: Universe made the decision for me:



My troublesome research scientist was no more:

Not so sure about that "great tragedy" comment
I cannot help but to find a bit of retributive justice in this event.  "Live by the sword, die by the sword," as they say.  No doubt a double-dealing guy like this had made many enemies over the course of his career, so it probably all just caught up with him.

So it goes in the realm of Distant Worlds....

What?  Haven't I blogged about this game before?  I didn't?!?  Yeah, about that....

Distant Worlds is a gaming oddity for me for the simple reason that even though I had instantly fallen in love with the promise and possibilities of Code Force's masterwork when it debuted in 2010, and my love for it increased with two meaty expansions (here and here), for some reason I just completely forgot about this excellent game as I awaited the release of 2013's Shadows, the third expansion to the series.   I mean just *poof!* out of sight, out of mind.  It was like the game never existed!  I just forgot about it and never looked back.  That is something that has never happened before.  Usually when I love a game, I obsess about it even when I am not playing it!  To have such an excellent game as Distant Worlds completely drop from my radar is just unprecedented for me.  And I am at a loss to explain why.

Well, maybe I actually do have a reason.  Distant Worlds is published by Matrix Games, a boutique publisher of, for the most part, die hard wargames that command not inconsiderate price tags.  Sadly, Distant Worlds was one of those pricier games, especially once you added in all the expansions (by Shadows, the complete Distant Worlds package exceeded $100 dollars).  Now, as you can probably tell by the links I posted above, I never paid a dime for the base game or the two subsequent expansions because Matrix was kind enough to send me a review code for each.  Sadly, in the intervening years, those review codes were lost to me (I don't even recall why or how), so I was cut off from this epic space game as I simple could not afford, nor justify, such a price tag for a single game, especially in this age of routine 50% to 75% off sales on Steam and elsewhere.  So I think I just formed a mental block when it came to this game.  Rather than weep over what I couldn't have, I just pretended like it didn't exist!  LOL!

Gladly, those days are now over!  As of this past May, Matrix and Code Force have decided to release the complete Distant Worlds package, entitled Distant Worlds: Universe, on Steam for the reasonable price of $59.99!  While that might be an unusually high price for what can be considered a niche, indy project, it really is no worse than the launch price for a AAA title.  After having experienced Distant Worlds for hours and hours over the last few years, I know it is worth every penny!  Hence, why you are now reading this!  


Even though I have only managed to get 3.9 hours into the game since yesterday's purchase, I am already feeling the magic of the series returning.  There really is nothing like Distant Worlds when it comes to immersing oneself into a living, breathing science fiction alternate reality.  In many ways, Distant Worlds' galaxy feels just as populated and alive as Eve Online's galaxy, which is saying quite a lot, actually.   And as with Crusader Kings 2,  you don't some much play a game of Distant Worlds as experience it as a sort of exercise in interactive storytelling.  Therein lies the magic, as demonstrated with my little tale that started this posting.

 So expect some Distant Worlds content to hit this blog soon.  As with CK2, it is a game just bursting with stories waiting to be told.  Here's hoping Distant Worlds presence on Steam helps a lot more gamers to tell a lot more stories from the far future.

Now if we just could get Scourge of War on Steam....

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