Legends of Pegasus Preview
Legends of Pegasus’ title screams “fantasy,” but don’t be fooled – the game is actually a sci-fi strategy game in the classic “4X” mold, allowing players to eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate.
Pegasus publishers Kalypso media were the European distributors for Sins of a Solar Empire, an influential 2008 title still beloved by fans of the 4X genre. According to Kalypso rep Ted Brockwood, Pegasus offers a more accessible alternative to Sins’ dense gameplay, without sacrificing the core concepts that make space strategy so compelling.
Rookie developers NovaCore are keeping most of the story under wraps for fear of spoilers, but the rough outline will be familiar to fans of both Battlestar Galactica and Homeworld: after a devastating alien attack on Earth, a fleet of human starships are sucked through a wormhole into an unfamiliar galaxy, where they must regroup, rebuild and start to find a way back home.
Players starting a new game will have access to a wealth of customization options, including separate sliders for difficulty and AI behavior. In addition to the human faction, the game will feature two alien races: the X’or – creepy-looking biomechanical insects – and the Arthrox, Protoss-like antagonists. An “Expert Mode” also allows players to customize their chosen faction, using a point allocation system to choose tech specializations and traits that will boost diplomacy, commerce, and combat.
A realistic-looking galaxy map with spiraling arms provides an overview, though most of the game’s action will take place using a fully-3D engine that enables players to scroll seamlessly in and out, from a solar-system-spanning vantage to a planetary close-up.
As you might expect, there’s a lot of terraforming involved in colonizing a new galaxy, and Pegasus offers nifty visuals of planet surfaces gradually resolving into Earth-like fecundity. Colonial government works via a slot system – the bigger the planet, the more slots it will provide for a variety of sci-fi building projects.
Fans of the classic strategy franchise Master of Orion will be intrigued by Pegasus’ extensive, drag-and-drop ship customization system, which uses full 3D rendering to ensure that you can actually see those badass new gun turrets bristling on the final product. The game’s combat engine was still in the very early stages, but it will eventually provide fast-paced, Homeworld-style combat in the inky blackness of space.
Pegasus will provide campaign and skirmish modes to single players, and support up to eight players via LAN or online. Co-op is still a definite maybe, but the fact that the game will ship with full Modkit support is great news.
NovaCore have certainly picked a suite of popular features – now they just have to get the execution right. We’ll keep an eye on the game as it nears completion.