Massive space 4X Distant Worlds 2 is out now

The hugely ambitious space strategy game Distant Worlds 2 has finally emerged from hypersleep to industrialise your home system

A red Shakturi warp gate in Distant Worlds 2.

Before Stellaris muscled in and made itself the king of space-based grand strategy games, there was Distant Worlds. Released in 2010, it was a pioneering and vast game – and now its sequel has finally arrived. Distant Worlds 2 is available now on Steam, featuring a living galaxy, complex and dynamic economy, and more aliens than you can shake a space-stick at.

As in the first instalment, Distant Worlds 2 puts the emphasis on choices and customisability. You can automate any tasks you don’t want to worry about, and focus instead on pure exploration. The pausable real-time will be familiar to anyone who’s played a Paradox grand strategy game, but Distant Worlds 2 is full of its own ideas.

As strategy editor Joe Robinson noted in his first-look impressions of Distant Worlds 2, everything is rendered in a new 64-bit 3D engine, including the ship designer. The vastness of the galaxy, and how tiny your mighty ships are within it, really come through when you zoom in to look at a cruiser orbiting a far-flung planet where you’ve established a colony.

Here’s the release trailer:

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Each of the seven playable launch factions has its own story arc and unique missions, and developer Code Force assures us that no two games will ever be the same.

Distant Worlds 2 is available now on Steam, but check out the other best space games on PC if you’ve been feeling the urge to wander among the stars.

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