Developer: Arcen Games. LLC
Publisher: Arcen Games
Platform: PC (Steam)
All the alien races in the galaxy are starting to have the ability to travel in space. As they start to being to interact with each other this melding storm could mean disaster for the galaxy or an everlasting federation. You are the one that change steer the galaxy to the right path.
The galaxy is still young filled with different species that can be influenced to unite and become a peaceful united federation. You have the power and the ability to unite the galaxy together before differences in culture and thinking start to clash and fill the galaxy with war and greed.
You are a member of the Hydral species that used to be the dominate force in the galaxy, but like all that try to rule with an ironfist you were eventually destroyed. By creating many enemies and underestimating them your home planet was destroyed.
You are one only survivor and want to correct the errors of your species. By using your advanced technology you will be able to create relations with all the different species and use your influence as a way to united the galaxy under one federation.
This is a strategy game of massive proportions. There are a ton of information and data that you can must comprehend to create a strategy that best fits your play style. Do you want the universe to be completely united or do you want the species that cause trouble to be wiped out to make the creation of a federation much easier?
As you can imagine interacting with eight other races all with different cultures and backgrounds will be quite difficult. With different needs and wants you will have to manage these complex relations. You can go about helping other races build up their own planet infrastructure, help research new technology, or you can help build their army.
There is so much information that I couldn’t possibly explain all the different choices you can make in this game. Not only are there different ways you can influence a race or build a stronger relationship with them but how you deal with each race differs. Some races won’t allow you to sneak spies into their government because their race is structured like a hive mind.
The problem with a game this size and options is that it can be quite overwhelming. They do a decent job of easing you into the game by unlocking more options and features as the game goes on. The game is built on learning strategy through a lot of trial by fire.
Like deciding which planet to first give spacefaring technology to when you don’t even know how the different races act until you actually give them space faring technology in the first place. This is a major decision that will drastically affect the rest of the game but you don’t know which one will best fit your strategy until after you have played the beginning part of the game multiple times.
You only control one spaceship but being the former most advanced species in the galaxy your ship is quite advance.. The spaceship you control will have no trouble beating other ships in combat at the beginning of the game. It can be upgraded as the game progresses and outfitted with new abilities.
Spacebattles in your spaceship is also strategic. It is turned based and you calculate speed, power, and your shields to best complete the objective you want which may be multiple depending on the situation. It is fun to dodge a barrage of enemy attacks and angle your ship in the right position to annihilate everything.
One of the most important things about the game is the user interface. Since this is strategy game most of the gameplay is revolved around making decisions. For the most part The Last Federation does a good job of giving you the information. Though it could be designed a little better, but since the games release I noticed it has improved tremendously.
The problem is not with how to gain access to the information you need, but understanding how mechanics truly affects your entire game. I still to this day do not know how much I am truly helping a race help build up their armada. I know that I speed it up, but how much am I speeding it up, is currently a better option, or what does that mean for their overall armada strength?
It is design choices like that which make the game more complicated than it needs be especially since this game is suppose to have a tremendous amount of depth. For that this game is appeal to hardcore strategist that will be more than willing to delve deeply into the complexity of the game to master the massive amount of choices you can make.
The hardcore strategist will have plenty to enjoy though with different modes and randomization which make each new game a new experience.
As usual from Arcen Games, The Last Federation contains great artwork to display the galaxy which you are determining the future for. Since this is a strategy game you won’t be seeing too many special effects or top of the line graphics. What you will see is background art that makes battles in space look special with each planet looking like something truly out of this world.
Since the games graphics are designed for strategy you will be doing a lot of reading of graphs and stats. While not the most entertaining things to look at they are easy to read and easy to understand. You will have access to easy to read data and more detailed information to fill the needs of any strategist wanting to be engrossed in this game.
As usual Arcen has great voice actors and a great soundtrack. Though there is not much voice acting in the game. You do have an AI companion that will occasionally will throw very humorous lines when major events happen such as a usually pacifist alien race actually conquering another planet.
While deciding your next move you will be benefited to a well tuned soundtrack that sets the mode that you are in space and a pace that reminds you that you can take time with your decisions. The music fit the tone and theme of the game which is a space strategy game.
Each of the different races have their own themes which matches their personalities. The peaceful Andors have a calm galactic beat that makes you feel relaxed, while the Thoraxians theme will remind you of Ridley Scott’s Alien.
The biggest problem I had with The Last Federation was the learning curve to even get a basic understanding of the game. Understandable that the problem would exist in such unique game. Imagine all the strategies of a Civilization game, but controlled through the actions of just a single unit.
While I had a great deal of fun playing this new style of game it was only after several attempts did I start understanding. The game does a great deal of effort to try to ease you into to learning how to play by slowly introducing features so you are not overwhelmed. The problem was not in understanding how to play the game but how the decision you made affected the entire game.
Sure I understood all the diplomatic tools I had and what the effects they could do, but I had no idea of how effective they were in the overall grand scheme of things. Was it really worth waiting this many months to help a species learn this tech, or was this really the fastest way of making these two races like each other?
Questions I had like these could only really be tested by trial and fire which lead to a lot of reloading of saved games. I wouldn’t have minded making a mistake and just continue playing for a more challenging gameplay, but it totally different when the mistakes you make are completely pointless if you just understand the basic mechanics of the game.
In fact I would say that I still don’t even have an understanding of the fundamental game mechanics even though I beat the game a couple of times. Though admittedly some of my victories was just backing my strong allies to victory as they ruled the galaxy which was quite fun since it felt like Game of Thrones on a galactic scale.
-Ton of strategic depth
– Interesting and unique game setting
– Great Artwork
– Soundtrack that fits the galaxy
– High learning curve
– User interface design a little complicated
There is so much in The Last Federation that a game review can not possibly be able to cover everything the game has to offer in terms of strategic choices. What can be said is that the game will be extremely fun to those that are willing to put the time and effort to understand the mechanics of this game. When they do it will mean that they will be in for a game that will offer days if not weeks of entertainment.
8.5 out of 10