Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars Review – Too be honest, I am not acquainted with the original game. Thus, this would be my first time to try the Master of Orion franchise. When I first heard about the reboot by NGD Studios and WG Labs, I was sceptical. I have played games in the genre before, such as Sid Meier’s Civilization series and Sins of Solar Empire and was not really impressed.
Show me a game trailer and they probably lie, but not for Master of Orion. The graphics are impressive. Zoom on a planet in a star system and you can see the space-crafts orbiting it. The characters representing each of the races are well animated, to the point that you almost feel that they are alive by looking on their fluid facial expression and movements.
Master of Orion does not attempt to hide their strong cast of voice actor and actresses. In fact, the game was advertised by highlighting the cast. The famous Mark Hamill (Star Wars Saga) in addition to Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Michael Dorn (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Kat Cressida (Haunted Mansion), John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), John Kassir (Tales from the Crypt), Dwight Schultz (Babylon 5), Nolan North (Uncharted series), and Troy Baker (The Last of Us) are all responsible for the awesome voice acting in the game!
And boy, they do not disappoint. I can sense the aggression from Johann as I “request an audience” with the leader of the human race due to me harassing their ships.
Master of Orion is an epitome of turn based 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate) Game. In the first turn, players spawn in a single star system, and slowly explores the surrounding star systems via wormholes. What I think makes this game different from the games I have played is that there are often multiple planets within a single star system.
Whoever invented the advisor system was a genius. Basically, this advisor helps players run their empire. Should the player run low on credits (BC), the system automatically scraps ships until their income is no longer negative. The only irksome aspect is the auto-explore feature. I could not explain why my non-combat Scout ships (combat ability of 0) has the tendency to approach unexplored planets guarded by a space monster with a combat ability of 2.5K.
Having trouble trusting the computer to handle combat? Well, players have the option to handle it themselves. I admit, there is satisfaction in ordering ships to move behind asteroids to avoid enemy fire and engage them from behind. Or if it is too much trouble, just click “simulate” whenever your Cruiser happen to engage that Scout sent by your neighbour.
The game allows players to customize their fleets. Every time a new weaponry or armour discovered, players have the option to add them to their ship blueprints. Players are given the option to create new ship models to add to their fleet. However, unlike Endless Space, you are not punished for not bothering too much with this feature. You can just let the game update your ship blueprints automatically every single time without manually customizing them. Clearly the developers recognize that there are players like me who just want to build ships without too much micromanagement.
Unlike Civilization: Beyond Earth, Master of Orion did not try to mess with the technology tree. The technology tree was typical for a 4X game. Players are required to unlock a specific technology before certain technologies may be researched.
Master of Orion Conquer the Stars Review Conclusion
In conclusion, the trailers don’t lie. If you are impressed, go ahead and try Master of Orion. I doubt you will be disappointed. And while you’re at it, I will start a new game and vanquish the human race all over again.
Disclosure: Review license was supplied for reviewing but all opinions are mine and not paid