The concept of space travel has tantalized the masses for as long as time can remember. The idea of living in space is a fleeting dream for many, seeming far out of reach from reality. The indie entertainment studio Grey Wolf Entertainment partnered with Iceberg Interactive are bringing the stars to you. Introducing the newest space-age 4X title, Dawn of Andromeda! Be the emperor of your own space empire, colonize new planets, barter with interstellar lifeforms, and ultimately, take over the entire galaxy. Now having officially launched on 4 May 2017 for $29.99 on Steam, can Dawn of Andromeda stand out from the competition in the ever-growing 4X genre?
Upon starting up the game, you are greeted with a great looking, streamlined menu. All basic options are available to adjust to your liking. By default, the autosave feature is set to save every in-game year. Personally, I highly recommend changing that to every month, as once throughout 10 hours of play, the game crashed and too much time was lost. Once you have everything set up to your preference, you are ready to take the reigns as a space emperor! At this point, you can select to either play through one or all of the preset “eras,” or create your own custom scenarios. For players less experienced with the 4X genre, I recommend starting small with the first preset era.
A major complaint associated with the 4X genre is the feeling that players are just thrown to the wolves with nearly no information on how the game works. Although the “tutorial” included isn’t perfect, Dawn of Andromeda does a good job giving players an opportunity to figure out the basics before sending them into a large scale war. The first era has a very simple objective: survive for two years. At first glance, it sounds like a boring undertaking, but in reality, it provides a perfect avenue to allow hands-on learning. Use this time to figure out each mechanic and learn how to properly employ them. These skills will prove themselves invaluable when war inevitably breaks out.
Another common issue associated with the genre is that many players seem overwhelmed with unnecessary complexity. Dawn of Andromeda does a good job at eliminating a lot of convoluted mechanics without losing depth. You, as the emperor have a ton of control over your empire. Everything ranging from technology research to government structure, even ship designs, the player has control of everything! All tools are easily accessible with a well-designed, sleek UI giving players easy access to everything they need to take over the universe.
With hopes of setting itself apart from other indie 4Xs, Dawn of Andromeda put a lot of effort into simply looking good. Everything from the smallest planet, to the map of the entire galaxy, is very well animated. Given their massive scale, it is very easy to overlook aesthetics in 4X games, but Grey Wolf Entertainment showcased their attention to detail, creating a dazzling environment. Don’t spend too long admiring the universe around you, you have an empire to run!
Everything said Dawn of Andromeda is the perfect gateway into the 4X genre. It has the depth that fans of the genre have come to love while maintaining an understandability which allows everyone to enjoy it. Dawn of Andromeda is well worth its $29.99 price tag to any avid 4X fan. The ability to customize your own game modes ensures countless hours of meaningful gameplay and almost limitless replayability. Of course, like many 4X games, it would be better with online capability. Organizing trade agreement just isn’t the same when you are dealing with predictable AI. Outside of the lack of online capability, there aren’t many bad things to say. Dawn of Andromeda is an exceptional indie title and a staple for any 4X fan.