Beyond Sol is a Space combat/ grand strategy empire building game developed by Praxia Entertainment. It’s a game where you control an individual ship, which can be upgraded and changed to fit your play style and become more powerful. You can also build extra ships, and give them basic orders to follow you and fight with you, or to stay back and defend your territory.
At first glance, Beyond Sol looks like a big game. When you begin a new game, you can alter the map size, making it a tiny system or a huge galaxy of planets. You can also pick the number of AI players, as well as the challenge that they pose, as well as the size of the territory that they control to begin with. This all allows you to set up the game in whatever way you choose. You could go for a Star Wars-esque map, with one huge and powerful opponent against you, or have a lot of smaller AI players. It’s up to you.
Player choice is a recurring idea in the game. As mentioned before, you can upgrade your ship, or select a different one. You can create alliances with others, or you can declare war. It’s down to you.
This may all sound a little bit daunting, but the reality is that, while these are all nice options to have, in practice, it all feels a little bit lightweight. The diplomacy screen, for instance, is just a screen that has a list of the different groups in your galaxy, a one word description, such as Peaceful or Militaristic, and a few options, most of which are unavailable until you have a particular level of relationship with that player. The different ships you can have are limited to just a couple of extra’s, which basically alter how quick and maneuverable, or well shielded and powerful your ship will be. Will you play using the ship with weapons which basically work as a shotgun? Or do you prefer to do your damage from a distance? That’s the constant question your being asked by this game. It works, to an extent, as well. It’s refreshing to see a game that doesn’t try to overwhelm you with choices and options, although a bit more variation than “this one’s quick and weak, this one’s slow and strong” might have been nice.
The combats very basic, but this works in the games favour. All you have to do is to click on a target, and then press one of the offensive ability buttons, and then just repeat until either you or your enemy is dead. It can be a little bit frustrating, as the game world is constantly moving, meaning that enemies could just randomly attack you, having from a nearby area.
The way the game works is that, in addition to needing money to upgrade your city or ship, you also need a certain amount of resources, such as Titanium or Palladium, to build that nice new Commercial Center you’ve had your eye on. It’s not really difficult to gather these resources, with a few different icons popping up almost constantly on the map to let you know things such as “resources are here” or “there’s a battle here”, but again, there’s not really enough of these, so it quite quickly gets to the point where you’re a bit tired of the same 4 or 5 icons.
Generally, Beyond Sol is a decent game. I wouldn’t really describe it as a particularly ‘good’ game in terms of it’s design or anything, which is probably just average, but it’s a really, really fun game and a really good time killer. There’s a lot of space for improvements, and Praxia seems to be doing a pretty good job of adding extra events and things like that to the game periodically, which should definitely help to keep the game from getting too stale. There’s a fair bit of room to improve, and that probably was the best way for this game to go. With the ability to continue upgrading and improving the game, Praxia have left themselves a lot of space (no pun intended) to change things up and to continue to keep an entertaining game, one where you are in charge of your own story, simply by merit of there being no story, from becoming a game that you spend a few quid on and then never really bother with again. If your one of those people who wants clean, clinical controls, and a hugely exciting game, this probably isn’t for you. But if your one of those people who wants to see just how far you can go, just how much you can do, and wants to build their own intergalactic empire, along with all the challenges that come with that, then Beyond Sol might just be your cup of tea.
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