Dawn of Andromeda takes players on a journey across the starts. The game is a real-time space strategy title that provides an immersive experience where you grow your colony, manage your world and become the biggest powerhouse in the galaxy. I had the opportunity to sit and play Dawn of Andromeda at PAX South with Niels Kooijman, Head of Marketing at Iceberg Interactive, let’s take a closer look at the game.

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Explore

So what is “4X” exactly? This means explore, expand, exploit and exterminate, all essential parts of this game. Kooijman said, “first you explore, find new planets, and sometimes you find a planet that is habitable so you can colonize it.” Colonization allows you to gather and exploit resources on that planet and will allow you to expand into other planets. However, taking over planets is no walk in the park. As you explore, you will run into major and minor factions of aliens you must exterminate in order to colonize. This type of asymmetrical enemy tactic is unique to Dawn of Andromeda. Once a planet is habitable however, maintaining the pace is important as rival factions can be created if a particular planet is unhappy and revolts. Micromanaging each world and it’s citizens then becomes it’s own challenge in order to keep control of your assets and prevent additional warfare. Exploring and expanding can be done via diplomacy and agreements, but keep in mind that in the end, there can be only one master of the universe. Kooijman quite bluntly states that the core philosophy of every player must be,“either join us, or prepare for total war.” 

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Expand

As excited as I was to play, I had forgotten how intimidating it is to learn a mass of new mechanics in 4X games, and Dawn of Andromeda is no different. The game, however, is easy to pick up as it includes a detailed tutorial that will introduce players to the intricacies needed to rule the galaxy. While getting my bearings, a minor faction’s scouting ship passed through my area reminding me we aren’t alone in the universe. Within 10 minutes I was able to create a customized sheep and fleet, explored nearby planetary systems, found the source of the enemy scout, and exterminated their small base claiming their home world as my own. As with any 4X game, there will always be a learning curve, and will take a couple of runs through to get a full feel for the game. However, with this base knowledge on how to expand your reign, you can quickly learn how to adapt to facing enemies and inhabiting a new planet.

Exploit

Exploration and exploitation can’t happen without research. As I was learning about the management portion of the game, Kooijman informed me that, “multiple different research trees [are available] as the time goes on and is self explanatory. [These are] available for war, politics, and science based research.” In order to complete the research, a bit more management comes into play as taxes must be raised to pay for it all. As you research and grow your assets, you can add more equipment to your various ships, buildings, and exploration tools. When it came to building my ship, there were several options to me right off the bat. However, there were multiple classes of ships, from a small scout to a much larger ship for colonization. As I was attempting to completely deck out my scout ship with all the weapons, shields, and various items available, I quickly learned that each module had a weight attribute. I could add 4 weapon systems, but then I’d have no shield. Each piece was a challenge to get it just right.

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Exterminate

Overall, Dawn of Andromeda looks to be a very exciting upcoming 4X game. With immense challenge coming from managing planets as well as the sheer scale of the world, it promises to have quite a bit of replayability. With customization of names, hundreds of different build configurations, as well as dozens of play styles available to you, it’s definitely open and non-linear. If you are interested in getting in the early access period, it is available for purchase now. As for an official release date, there isn’t a solid date yet but I was informed that they are actively listening to feedback, and depending on how things go, it is expected in the next two to three months.

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.