After a strong Early Access launch, Stars in Shadow from Ashdar Games’ is getting its first big EA content push. Titled Stargate, this update introduces two new fully-playable factions: the Phidi Combine and Ashdar Imperials. It also includes the new Mercenary and Stargate mechanics, along with the usual tweaks and fixes one would expect during EA.
The Phidi Combine is the first of the two new playable factions. Their homeworld, Tendao, is poor in metals but rich in valuable Opil crystals. This enhances their currency and gives them bonuses in commerce, trade, and diplomacy. Rather than sully their hands with combat, they prefer to hire mercenaries to do their dirty work – these mercs will remain loyal to the Combine so long as the Phidi don’t let their influence or reputation slip.
The other new faction, the Ashdar Imperials, lives below the surface of their homeworld. Along with having housed an ancient, advanced species in aeons past, Ashdar Prime is also home to two Ashdar subspecies. But what really sets the Imperials apart from the other empires is the ancient Stargate that hangs in the planet’s orbit. Stargates are one-way conduits to any system within a fleet’s range. The ability to instantly move a ship or entire fleet is a major advantage, and starting with such an advantage could drastically alter the Ashdar early game.
Along with its distinctive comic-style art and quick, fast-paced gameplay, Stars in Shadow looks to feature:
- Epic Scope: Four eras of scientific advancement spanning from the dawn of interstellar travel to an exciting future filled with favorites like battlemechs and “Dread Stars”
- Varied Factions: Seven playable factions with different strengths and technology options
- High-level Strategy: Streamlined resource and planetary management keeps the game moving as your empire grows
Deep Turn-Based Combat: Build your ships around multiple systems and functions, and command them with ease using Stars in Shadow’s multi-ship commands
Sven Olsen, lead developer of Ashdar Games, expressed gratitude for the participants whose support and feedback have given SiS a successful EA debut. “The game has come a long way in the last few months,” he said in a press release, “and the Early Access community has been an important part of that progress.”
For more information on the update and the new factions, check out Ashdar’s official Stargate announcement, see eXplorminate’s Stars in Shadow coverage or the official Steam page, or have a look at Mark a.k.a. Army Pea’s Let’s Try series.