Start a new empire before the discovery of hyperspace travel and try to expand into the stars, or play as one of the legendary Pirate factions of the Age of Shadows, competing with new victory conditions to establish an alternate history where the pirates triumphed over the planetary civilizations. The pirate options alone include four completely new playstyles (ranging from Raiders to Smugglers) and new smuggling and mercenary missions. Also included are ship boarding actions and ship and base capture, new Ship Captain characters and pirate raids of planets and space stations.
New gameplay also includes expanded ground combat, with a full new ground combat tech tree, a ground combat resolution screen and multiple different troop types (infantry, armor, planetary defences and special forces). Ground combat is now animated and resolved from the descent of the first assault pods from orbit to the final battles for planetary control, with new bonuses for combined arms and the effects of the different troop types as well as local space superiority all considered in the outcome.
The expanded tech tree also includes Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams as well as additional planetary facilities that allow you more customization on character recruitment.
Distant Worlds: Shadows also includes an updated and improved graphical engine that allows for much better performance in the epic 1,000+ star galaxies that many Distant Worlds fans enjoy. The AI is also much improved, especially in terms of the economy and a new comprehensive difficulty setting should mean that even the most experienced Distant Worlds player will find a challenge in Distant Worlds: Shadows. As usual, modding support has been kept up to date with the new improvements.
- Play as an Empire or a Pirate in the Age of Shadows
- Start as a pre-Hyperspace Empire
- Start as a Raider, Pirate, Mercenary or Smuggler and play with an entirely space-based faction that can if successful become a planetary empire as well
- New Pirate Leader and Pirate Captain characters
- Assault pods and ship to ship or base boarding actions, including ship and base capture
- Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams
- New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen
- Infantry, Armor/Mech, Special Forces, Planetary Defense Units
- Resolution of the multiple stages of a planetary assault
- New Ground Combat technology tree
- Expanded and improved Area Weapons
- New planetary facilities
- Improved AI and new comprehensive difficulty settings
- New and Improved higher performance Graphics Engine
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