Pax Nova, the upcoming space/terrestrial 4X hybrid from Grey Wolf Entertainment, is releasing on Steam Early Access soon. How soon you ask? Publisher Iceberg Interactive sends word that “soon” will be next Thursday, May 9th!
Pax Nova is described in the press release as follows:
“Pax Nova is a sci-fi turn-based 4X strategy game where you lead the fate of one of several factions divided between three races. Explore new worlds and new star systems filled with exciting secrets as well as new dangers. Build new cities, expand your influence and fight great battles on land and in space.”
I first heard about Pax Nova late last year, and I must admit that I was (and still am) excited. Grey Wolf Entertainment’s prior release, ful onl space 4X Dawn of Andromeda was, admittedly, a mixed bag. Andromeda was assembled with a number of clever and interesting ideas but it didn’t gel together into a compelling enough package, nor offer up any novel experiences, to help it stand out in the fiercely competitive field of other space 4X games. Hopefully that will change with Pax Nova.
So why the excitement? Pax Nova’s signature feature stitching together the galactic space conquest layer of a typical space 4X game to a fully-realized planetary surface layer. How can this be you ask?! Is this even possible? I can attest to it being possible because an oft-forgotten game, Emperor of the Fading Suns, did it decades ago. And fans of that game have long clamorous for a return to to form.
As for Pax Nova, a recent gameplay video and subsequent Q&A video helped illuminate the gameplay. Below are a few interesting tidbits relative to the scale of the game that I’ve gathered from the videos and other official postings:
- Each planet with a surface map is roughly equivalent to a “small civ” map, with about 3,000 hexes.
- Each star system will have 3-8 planets or other feature, but generally only a few of those will be fully explorable with a surface map.
- An average sized game will contain about 20 star systems.
- A typical game will end with an empire controlling about 10 cities spread across half a dozen planets or so.
All of the above gives me a glimmer of hope, because that’s roughly the scope and size of Emperor of the Fading Suns. Combined with modern UI features, city management tools, and a vassal system sound like they further support the taken approach. To add even more icing on the cake, the Steam page feature lists talks about faction-specific goals and victory conditions, which is something I’m always stoked about.
Despite all the excitement surrounding the feature list, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Those who are interested can get a taste next Thursday, May 9th, when Pax Nova launches into Steam Early Access. For our part, Explorminate will give Pax Nova a test drive soon and let you all know how it handles.