Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is the stand alone expansion to the real time strategy behemoth that debuted in early 2008. Rebellion brings an immense amount of content to the award winning game and is the perfect starting point for new players in the Sins universe since it contains everything from the Sins universe up until this point. Veterans of the original Sins of a Solar Empire will embrace the enhanced visuals, balance updates, and tweaked AI and the expansion comes at a reduced price if you own the original. After two expansions and the Trinity Collection, Ironclad Games have taken their time to refine their deep space strategy game into, surprisingly, an even better experience. Rebellion comes in at a perfect time to inject some life back into Sins and jettison pilots new and old into one of the best strategy games of its time.
For those new to the series, Sins of a Solar Empire is a real time 4X strategy game. You control an empire to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate across a galaxy, actually multiple galaxies in this case. Distilling this convoluted genre moniker down basically means that you are at war in space and must fight, negotiate, and convince your way in order to survive and control the nothingness of space. Think Starcraft, but slowed down so that normal people can see what is going on. It’s like watching paint dry, but really fun paint. The game is admittedly slow, but what Sins lacks in speed it makes up for in scope. Even at the smallest map size you are moving your fleet across dozens of planets and one game can last hours. Once you get into a game with multiple star systems, you’re looking at controlling an empire of significant magnitude across several days of gameplay. Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion retains this feeling and simply adds more to an already amazing game. If I had to use one word to describe a Sins game it would be absorbing.
New race factions, units, and research abilities make Rebellion the complete Sins package.
The theme of Rebellion comes from a universe that has been splintered after an eternal war. The three races: TEC, Advent, and Vasari have failed to find a diplomatic solution and this has resulted in separate Loyalist and Rebel factions of these races. The basic structures and units do not change between the two offshoots but the specialized units, research opportunities and strategies differ greatly for each of the six new ‘races’. For example, the human TEC loyalists adopt an isolationist doctrine that focuses on expanding slowly and keeping defenses up through turtling. The TEC Rebels on the other hand have become xenophobic and are very capable offensively, trying to eradicate everything that is different than them. The Advent and Vasari have similar variances between their Loyalist and Rebel factions as well. Although technically the races are not entirely new, the loyalist and rebel factions give another level of depth to the game. It is difficult to keep a strategy game balanced with the addition of a single race, so I was astonished when Rebellion was able to add this much variety to Sins.