Distant Worlds 2, the preview of an ultra hardcore 4X strategy

Distant Worlds 2, the preview of an ultra hardcore 4X strategy

Distant Worlds 2

Space has always fascinated the human being, at least since, looking at the sky at night, he was not crushed by the immensity of that dark vault full of luminous dots that filled his eyes and mind. After all, we still know very little about it and we only know a paltry fragment of what lies beyond the visible, so it is natural to hypothesize, discover and dream, transforming it into a super object with indefinite boundaries. Video games have often tried to make this fascination, both by reading it from a more philosophical point of view (see Exo One), and by trying to imagine a future in which man will actually be able to push himself beyond the solar system, colonizing other planets and making the knowledge of other species, more or less intelligent.

The 4X genre is one of those that has always offered the most fascinating interpretations of spatial expansion, because it observes them from a systemic point of view, that is, trying to relate the various aspects of matter to each other so as to propose a possible model of civilization, which embraces all its aspects: economic, military, scientific, cultural and others. Paradox Interactive's Stellaris has worked really well in this regard, becoming a reference point for the genre. But looking further, what convinced the most was a much smaller and less known title, called Distant Worlds, which behind a very crude appearance hid some truly incredible ideas. For this we were very curious to finally see Distant Worlds 2 in action to write a new preview.

A deep game

The spaceships are ultra customizable We got to see a demonstration of the game about an hour long, in which the development team showed us some of the many features of the game. game. Having to sum it all up in a single adjective we would say that it is a potentially "profound" title, which we would add at least two other adjectives: "complex" and "vast". For someone who has played a lot of strategy games, seeing so many menus alternating on the screen, aimed at offering an immense range of choices, gives an almost physical pleasure. Of course, we need to verify their concrete effects on gameplay, but this is true for all games, certainly not only for Distant Worlds 2.

We also know that for many players an excess of options represents an insurmountable barrier, but what do you want to do with it? We are romantics and seeing that someone still tries to exploit the videogame medium to represent as accurately as possible the macro systems necessary for a strategic 4X set in space to work, inevitably affects us. Yes, because the title of Code Force is one of those that really tries, thanks to a highly acclaimed first chapter, so much so that it is considered one of the best 4X in circulation, while remaining the prerogative of a small niche of players, and strong in the great passion of the development team, which deeply loves the material of which its games are made. Honestly it's hard to make the sheer amount of options available in one humble article, but we'll try to give you a sense of what we've seen.


There are tens of thousands of planets in the Distant game Worlds 2 displaces and fascinates since the galactic map. The developers showed us a game already in progress, therefore in the medium game, in which the various factions were already well defined in terms of resources and structures. The universe then appeared to us as an immense field full of icons and connections, whose nature was initially indecipherable. Little by little it was explained to us that each colony has its own production, its function and, thanks to a very complete micro-management system, it can be addressed as you wish, intervening at an economic and political level. Many of those links were simply a graphical representation of the choices made in the micromanagement phase.

Consider that in total the game will contain more than two thousand star systems for tens of thousands of planets, so the possibilities for expansion are truly enormous. It should also be added that it is a living universe, in the sense that, in addition to the factions, there are galactic creatures, space pirates, neutral traders and independent colonies, all to be discovered. The game interface is very complex, made up of dozens of items. The goal of the developers is to give the player as much control over the game as possible, which he must feel like he really is.

We are not talking about a fictitious customization made of skins and caps, but precisely about a specific care of the agency, which aims to make the player's choices central to the development of the game, making the latter effectively his . Let's say that, in general, you can follow the line of development you want, aiming at satisfying the four different victory conditions.

This translates into a much wider range of possibilities than seen in any other title of the genre (at least at first glance, then we will be able to say again when we actually play it), with more articulated scientific trees and a much deeper system of relations between the colonies, based on the exchange of raw materials, on general political and social conditions, on the presence of fleets and so on. Diplomacy with opposing factions also seems to offer many options, with the ability to forge alliances, declare war, intervene in other people's conflicts and so on.

New 3D engine

There is so much to read in Distant Worlds 2 It is precisely the management of the fleets that gives a perfect idea of ​​the level of detail reached by the simulation of Distant Worlds 2. In the meantime, it must be said that the various ships are completely customizable, i.e. the player can decide practically everything, the positioning of the various tools (weapons and more). If desired, it is also possible to shorten the operations by relying on ready-made projects, but honestly we are very curious to try the editor to see how far we can go in the creation. Be that as it may, once a fleet is assembled, it can be assigned a role, which determines its function and behavior in combat.

So, according to the most pressing needs, you can set out to conquer a colony, on an exploratory mission, you can gather more fleets for defense or offense, you can go hunting for monsters and so on. It should be noted that, compared to the first chapter, the developers have greatly improved the graphics engine. Do not expect miracles, since we are talking about a medium-small production anyway, but at least now all the main objects of the game are in 3D and there are several cameras to frame the action, which is no longer flat, visually speaking, like that of Distant. Worlds. At this stage the only doubts concern the appearance of the menus and some summary screens, perhaps a little rudimentary (even if we imagine it is not easy to make so much text visually satisfying). However we will be able to say more in the review phase.

Distant Worlds 2 not only seems the worthy successor of Distant Worlds, but also one of the most complex and articulated space 4Xs that have ever been created, at least from what we have could see. It is certainly a title that all fans of the genre should look forward to, because it could prove to be a new classic.


Deep mechanics Many possible choices Customization system DOUBTS The menus are not beautiful to look at Have you noticed any errors?

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