Almost nine years ago, the original AI War saw the light of day, and I dare say it was… glorious. So much in fact that a slew of expansions followed and heck, people still play it to this day! Oh, but most importantly, its popularity was so grand – much like the vast universe it contained – that a sequel had to be made. A sequel which quite soon will be on Steam (albeit in Early Access). Time to kick ass, take names and reclaim some galaxies, in AI War 2.
It has been some two years and change since AI War 2 was kickstarted (remember?), but that doesn’t mean Arcen Games have been sitting still until recently, in preparation of the game’s Early Access launch. Not even remotely, as not only has it been readily available to backers for quite some time now, but as you can tell from the long list of blog posts, updates have been frequent and plentiful too. Quite impressive effort, considering the game won’t be on Steam until the 15th this month; so that’s several years of hard work in… well, No Man’s Land, basically, Steam being an overwhelming industry giant and all.
As for what exactly AI War 2 is, well, short version: a grand strategy/RTS skirmish against an overwhelming AI. Step by step, little by little, you’ll be able to get closer and closer to having surmounted a force large enough to actually take on said AI. Just keep in mind that the more you conquer, the larger that bullseye on your back will be. So tread carefully and choose your allies with even greater caution, for each faction has its own… let’s call them ‘goals’. Trust no one, unless you absolutely have to.
You must steal as much technology as you can, take enough territory to fortify your bases and launch your attacks. But every conquest you make turns the attention of the AI ever more in your direction… so choose your targets with care.
That said, seeing how we’re dealing with an Early Access launch, another thing to keep in mind is that the game is nowhere near complete, however playable and impressive its current feature list, heading for a Q2 2019 release. AI War 2 is playable from start to finish right now though, art, music, sound etc. all implemented. UI on the other hand, is still a bit of a work-in-progress, going through several iterations; probably even as I write this very article, knowing the busy bees over at Arcen Games.
Note: while multiplayer isn’t listed on the Steam page right now, it is coming, and as the developer puts it, “similar to the first game in terms of direct connection to player-hosted lobbies; this time with NAT punchthrough technology to help”. Absolutely glorious stuff as a game like AI War 2 would most certainly benefit from player-versus-player battles, war waged across a multitude of planets, hundreds of ships flying across the vastness of outer space! Space ships! SPACE SHI– ahem. It will be groovy. Very groovy, and quite soon at that.
So how about giving the trailer below a proper glance, eh?