Honest Gamers - 90%

» My copy of SunAge arrived in the mail on the 21st of last month. It is quite possibly the best Christmas present I received this year.«

»… SunAge is far from the cutting edge of graphics, but with that said, it is visually one of the most impressive games I have ever seen. Each sprite, each tile, every environment and unit in SunAge is magnificent; everything from the barren deserts of Earth to the struggling Dome cities to the lush jungles of Elysium boasts is wonderful to look at, with a level of detail you don´t often see even with 3D graphics.«

»… I like being forced to improvise and compromise, instead of just building a Super Rock to counter my opponent´s masses of Doom Scissors. I also like that every single one of these units has an alternate weapon mode unlocked through research. Confed infantry can switch their MGs into sniper rifles, or rocket launchers for grenade launchers, Centurion walkers swap their gatling guns for plasma cannons, and Cougar tanks trade in their dual guns for vastly improved radar range. And the best part is, they can all be toggled on the fly and in the heat of battle, adding considerable tactical depth to any engagement. Even the BMR, the basic construction unit, can act as a temporary power transmitter in emergencies.«

»… I like it when a game tries something different, and I like it even more when it gets it right. SunAge´s singleplayer is challenging, in a way I haven´t been challenged by an RTS since I first played StarCraft. Speaking of StarCraft, SunAge too has its share of bugs and glitches upon release, but a look at the official forums tells me that the developers are still coding away at patches and fixes - one of the most active threads is one that asks players what the biggest … bugs are so that they can be fixed ASAP, and as of v1.06 nearly all of them have been. This makes Will a happy gamer, because if there´s one thing that makes or breaks a game it´s post-retail customer support

Gaming Console Network - 85%

» The dawn of a new Sci-fi inspired RTS is here… «

» SunAge takes the RTS back to where it belongs. You do not have to have a keyboard FAQ in front of you to figure out what the hell to press to build things and pull off attacks and skirmishes. Basically all you need is the mouse and you're pretty much set. «

» The single player mode of SunAge is very fun to play. … The three different classes in SunAge are the federal race, the Raak-zun race and the Sentinel race. Each race has it's own advantages and disadvantages. The single-player mode has a pretty good story as well. «

» Multi-player mode can be played with up to four people on-line or over LAN. You can also set the opposite players in multi-player mode to A.I. … The overall multi-player experience is really fun. I have to warn you though, if you choose to go up against the A.I. be ready because they form armies very fast and they will hunt you down and destroy you. If you are thinking of starting out and harvesting material to build things for the first 20 minutes you better think twice. Make sure you get a nice little army built up first because the A.I. will track you down and try to destroy you before you even have a chance to the other materials you need. … Multi-player mode is very solid and satisfying. «

» SunAge takes RTS back to the times when they ruled the PC world. Beautifully drawn maps and 2D Sprites set the tone while also look modern. I actually like the whole look of the game. SunAge has a very unique Sci-fi look and feel to it. I love the little details. One example is for one of the races you select, there are these robotic slaves ('floating ants' as I call them) that will fly around and build things for you. When they are building these small rainbow-like rays shoot out. It reminds me something out of a HG Wells movie (War of the World... the old movie, not the crappy Tom Cruise remake). The developers must have had a love for old 1940's-1950's sci-fi movies when building SunAge. «

» The music of SunAge is actually the first thing that stood out to me when I booted up the game. And that is a very good thing. This is yet another solid department for SunAge. The music is very much to my liking. It is very dark with a mixture of ambient and trance. When you play countless console games like I do you really grow tired of the cookie-cutter music that starts to fill every games soundtrack. Todays games have become much like soundtracks to Hollywood movies, using someone else's music. That becomes very annoying at times though (since when did I want to hear a rap song or metal while I play games like baseball). SunAge's soundtrack is fresh and unique. Again it has that early Black and White movie age of Sci-fi feel and sound and it fits the graphics. As far as music goes for a game like this, very dark and moody is what the game needed and Vertex4 delivered in every way. «

» In-game sounds … You will hear some very cool ambient sounds during play. … My favorite sound in the game are those 'floating ants' as they shoot out that beam to build. It reminds me of the sounds the giant ants made in the classic 'THEM'. «

» The Bottom Line: … So basically from my point of view SunAge is actually a very fun game that takes you back to the old-school days of RTS while having a somewhat modern look. «

» If you are a fan of early Sci-fi black and white flicks (THEM, War of the World, etc) and you like old-school RTS then SunAge is your cup of tea. The game has nice old-school graphics while still looking modern day, a great soundtrack and best of all... its fun to play. «

I've also put Vertex4 on my gaming radar for future releases. I also look into the fact that Vertex4 is a small company. This was not Electronic Arts or Microsoft developing SunAge. This was not a game backed by millions and millions of dollars. Vertex4 did a great job with what they had at hand. And unlike most un-named companies out there who just leave you hanging once you buy a game, Vertex4's worked to fix what was wrong with new patch updates and they kept the SunAge community informed in their forums. I am a very firm believer in small companies trying to make an impact in the gaming community. That goes for PC developers as well as console developers. And when the end result is very good they should be rewarded. Job well done, Vertex4. «

Sarcastic Gamer

» SunAge … features 2D graphics, an incredibly small development team (only 3 people and later 9), cool Sci-Fi setting and three unique races. I know what your thinking, '2D? WTH?!' Trust me when I say that 2D is definitely not a negative for this low-budget rebel. «

»… I was blown away. 2D or not, the game looks gorgeous; from Earths barren deserts to its Dome Cities to the jungles of Elysium, what Vertex 4 has done with 2D is beautiful. «

»… three races; the Federals, Raak-Zun and the Sentinels are not only a blast to play, but also amazingly unique. They don´t have a special unit for every single situation, rather each race gets a good dozen race specific units that have very different strengths and weaknesses that require actual strategy and forethought to use effectively. … Rather than race X having a heavy tank which has an equivalent race Y heavy tank to match it, SunAge´s design means that your chosen race may match that tank with a small party of smaller units rather than the standard tit-for-tat we see in all the newer, big money RTS titles today. «

»… you actually need to think (a word unknown to pop culture, cookie cutter developers everywhere) and use your chosen races specific strengths to combat situations where the match up is not ideal. «

»… On the large scale the races are incredibly balanced, they just require much more forethought when it comes to attacking and countering your opponent. «

»… you also have the dual functionality of every unit in the game. Every unit gets a secondary weapon or ability that you can unlock that can totally change your path to victory. «

»… The base building in the game is setup upon a grid, and requires careful planning of your power lines. Buildings must be connected to power in order to function, meaning that you need to connect every building to your core power source, be they far flung outposts or resource locations. OMG! A valid reason for raid tactics! I think I´m in heaven! If you have not guessed already, this game is a challenge. … rather in an addictive 'I know I can beat them THIS time' kind of way.«

»… Anyone who has ACTUALLY played this game knows that it is awesome, and subsequent patches have fixed damn near all of the glitches. Vertex 4 shows no sign of stopping their tweaking of this ten year in the making labor of love. «

Gaming Shogun - 80%

» SunAge is an enjoyable RTS with a visual style similar to the 2D offerings of the 90's. It has a great formations system and gives the player a feeling of issuing orders to their units, not micromanaging them. «

»… The units are very well detailed 2D sprites and they animate smoothly to boot. «

»… Controlling your units is … a smooth experience. Once you click on a controllable group of units, a blue circle encompasses your mouse cursor. This denotes the currently selected group's weapons range (a very handy feature). … By right-clicking an enemy, you tell your group to make that type of target their highest priority. They will still attack other targets as needed, however, to survive. This really gives you the feeling of giving orders to your troops. «

»… in SunAge, the developers wanted to create something where strategy was … the utmost important. … We feel they succeeded in their efforts. «

»… upon closer inspection you will find a very fun game that holds strategic thinking in the highest regard and offers a large amount of flexibility in its base building and unit usage. «

» It is the kind of small release that the 'big' companies out there ought to take note of and learn from. «

GameShark - 75%

» SunAge is a new strategy title with a bit of a classy, old-school twist to it. «

»… the game forsakes the expected bloom-addled, DX10-enabled rendering engines of today in favor of a 2D graphical design that harkens back to the days of Starcraft. «

» What's left of humankind has scrambled for a series of 'Domes', gigantic constructs which shelter them from the wasteland… and those left behind end up joining the rioting, diseased, mutant hordes. Adding further to the chaos is a robotic alien race from another world called 'The Sentinel', who has taken an unexplained interest in Earth and its inhabitants. «

» The game has three campaigns (each focused around a major character from all three factions) and uses still-image, voice-acted cutscenes to advance the plot, comic book-style. These do a great job of keeping the story moving and add a certain layer of depth and intrigue to the campaign… there's a kind of mythical quality to the overall plot that makes it desirable to see it all the way through. «

» Meanwhile, the game has taken an interesting approach to the usual 'Rock-paper-scissors' style of play that most real-time strategy titles adhere to. Each unit does have its own specialty in terms of weapons and combat options, but the backbone of your army actually comes from upgrades and special weapons. «

» Each and every unit in the game has an alternate mode it can switch to for a different function; the basic human soldiers for example can deploy a long-range anti-infantry sniper rifle (which makes them very vulnerable to vehicles and close-range attacks), or the fighter aircraft built by the Sentinel race can be ordered to leech from an enemy's power grid and shut down a given building. «

»… base construction is oriented around laying down special towers to expand your power grid; all buildings must be connected to one of these towers (or your central HQ), or they won't work. This gives some very specific tactical targets to aim for when an attack is under way …«

» What I like the most about SunAge is the approach to unit combat it uses. I've started to hate the trend a lot of RTS titles have… I prefer games that are a bit slower paced and more tactical. SunAge addresses this by a squad-based control system. «

» Grouped units stay in formation (which can be customized to a limited degree) and will focus fire on any specific target you designate… Because grouping units together and using their abilities is the main way to make them effective, this helps adds an interesting pacing to the game. «

» The game also comes with a set of multiplayer modes and maps. It's easy to get drawn in the competitive multiplayer modes, as a lot of fun can be had experimenting with the different races and strategies available while competing for essential resources on a given map. «


» When considering the prior decade’s dark horses in the real-time strategy genre, Auran’s Dark Reign and Beam Software’s KKND series are understandable suggestions. These two franchises feel like compelling precursors to SunAge, with their similar themes and comparative aesthetics coupled with equally entertaining game play. Dark Reign and SunAge appear to be kindred spirits in game play options and levels of difficulty at times, similarly KKND with aesthetic tenets of both being a post-apocalyptic tale and featuring triple-sided combat. However, being compared to titles many years its senior is not indicative of SunAge existing as sentimentality for sentimentality’s sake. SunAge takes much of what gamers loved about the genre during the heyday and updates the experience for today. This new dark horse warrants closer examination from anyone who enjoyed any of the titles from the classic era of real-time strategy games.… «

» SunAge has been an long labour of love, its initial concept and development having begun in the late Nineties. Independent Austrian studio Vertex4’s dream became a reality in 2007 and, while something should not be solely judged on the effort placed into its production without balancing it on merit of the final outcome, there is a certain feeling of triumph and glee of knowing this when playing SunAge

» Like Blizzard’s Starcraft, the ubiquitous reigning champion of the genre for the past decade, SunAge has provided a much deeper set of units and their abilities than simply mirroring unit types for each side, ala SSI’s Dark Colony.«

» Much like any good game of its ilk, SunAge offers an exhilarating sense of accomplishment when players find the right unit combination and side best suited to their playing style.«

» Returning to the units themselves, SunAge possesses a broad range of vehicles and troops from each faction, bolstered by some great upgrades via scientific research. The simple Sentinel drone trooper is quite a tough opponent when operating in a group, but with a simple scientific upgrade, they can deploy portable shields at the press of a button. Each unit has an alternative attack or defensive mode, all capable of being used ingeniously during the game. The light troops of the Federacy can be taken to higher ground at a choke-point and be ordered to switch over to sniper mode. The troops then have unstoppable anti-infantry capabilities at the expense of speed. Strategies such as driving forward a line of Federacy artillery guns against an enemy base, with a row of tracked anti-air batteries set in alternate-fire mode behind them – the AA alternate-fire being medium to heavy vehicular repair beams – are a joy to uncover and refine, especially when using the brilliant unit control method

» Circular icons, representative of each unit within the squad during this relocation procedure, appear on the ground to gauge troop location, making pre-positioning a breeze. Troops can also be moved in a static formation; clicking a new location with the CTRL key held down enables units to move in the formation they were selected at. This is effective for mobilising ranked units towards or away from a particular area in step while maintaining formation-dependent offensive or defensive capabilities.«

» The visual style of SunAge evokes the hand-crafted bitmaps and sprites of the late Nineties strategy titles; each structure, every piece of flora, the highly-detailed units – while all rendered in 2D, SunAge features a wonderful high resolution contrast. Engine glow, explosions and weapons fire are impressive; reserved by their very nature of being 2D but by no means lacking in being spectacular.«

» With the finely-tuned mechanics of control and differentiated and wide selection of units and abilities, there is something irrepressibly wonderful about SunAge.«

» SunAge is a smooth, seductive homage to the past glory of the genre and, at the same time, a stunning game not just relative to the size of the creator studio and its post-production support, but a stunning game where it counts – with enjoyable gameplay and sumptuous graphics.«

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