master-of-orion-2
Metacritic: 84/100
Release: Oct 1996
Reviewed on: PC

Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares

Site Score
7.5
Good: Huge amount of new strategy – New races – Plot
Bad: Too complex for new players (start with the first game instead)
User Score
8.2
(11 votes)
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Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares is the second game in the series of space turn based strategy games. The game continues where the original left off with the same core gameplay with some improvements. Master of Orion II released in 1996, 3 years after the original.

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The game is much more complex than the original and also features a more detailed plot to give the game world some context. In Master of Orion II players will have to deal with the Antarans who were the opposing powerful race to the Orions. These Antarans had been imprisoned in their own dimension but have recently escaped and are threatening to destroy all of your colonies.

This added story means that not only will you have to conquer the Orion star system but also assault the Antaran home world if you wish to win by military means.

Master of Orion II is definitely a game for players who have played the original Master of Orion as the complexity of the game really requires players to have some experience in the Master of Orion universe before. Master of Orion II features 3 new races and even allows players to design their own races. One of the most notable changes is the addition of multiplanet star systems which drastically increases the number of planets in the game. Combat has also been enhanced with the ability to completely annihilate planets and even board enemy ships in battle.

Planet variety has also received a lot of attention with unique plants with natives (great at growing food), splinter colonies (which are absorbed into your empire and you gain their racial traits) and even space monsters which protect the most desirable planets

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In addition to the industry management of the original players must now carefully manage their food supply to ensure that their colonies don’t stave adding more micromanagement to the Master of Orion experience.

The second game in the Master of Orion grows the level of strategy significantly but still retains the core elements of the original making it perfect for fans. However, newcomers to the series are better off starting with the first game for an easier learning curve.

Summary:

  • A perfect sequel to a great game.
  • 3 new races and the ability to create your own.
  • Multiplanet systems increase the universe size dramatically.
  • Lots of new planet variety and space monsters.
  • Available on Windows and Mac.

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Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, 8.2 out of 10 based on 11 ratings
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