Monday, August 13, 2012

A.I. War: Ancient Shadows Expansion

The first time Arcen Games revealed the Ancient Shadows expansion it was accompanied by an inexplicably small amount of details, but now we have some solid ones and boy does it look interesting. A.I. War is one of my favorite strategy games for PC and it is all about building up massive fleets of ships in a huge randomly generated universe full of pirates and dangerous A.I. that must be destroyed. It is definitely one of the harder games I've ever played, especially when you have your enemies throwing hundreds of ships at you every ten minutes, but it has a lot of depth and multiplayer is a great deal of fun. The Ancient Shadows expansion is changing up the already complicated gameplay by adding a Champion role. The role can be given to one person and instead of having the normal starting ships, home base and everything, they will now have one massive ship. It starts as a very strong starship and grows throughout the game as it gains experience and learns new modules. This ship is also able to travel to places that no one else can get to in order to interact with splinter factions, like the Zenith or Humans. You can help these factions and earn rewards that will help your ship grow stronger, like getting a new hull type.

On top of the new Champion role the expansion will also be adding:
*A whole new kind of human player! A Champion player controls a single modular, upgradeable unit of one of the four races (only the human champions are implemented so far). Let your friends control these in multiplayer or add directly-controlled champions into the other player slots in your singleplayer game!

* Several new sub-races dwelling in the backwater parts of the galaxy for your champions to interact with (2 implemented so far).

* Modular fortresses!

* 9 new bonus ship classes (to be added soon; please be patient on these).

* 3 core AI guard posts and one new minor faction (both to be added in the coming months before release)

* New AI types.

* New Map types.

* A large amount of new music (to be released when the expansion fully launches).

The whole expansion is surprisingly cheap, $5, and if you pre-order it you can get it for $4 and you will get instant access to the beta. They also have a demo available here, it is the furthest demo down on the page. The expansion isn't standalone though, so you will need the base version of A.I. War which is pretty damn cheap and goes on sale very often. The game isn't for the faint of heart, especially with the huge amount of options there are when starting a game, but it is one of the best space strategy games that I've ever played. Ancient Shadows will be coming out in October. Thanks for checking it out. 
More info:

-Written by Sean Cargle


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