Reunion comes with one of the longest and most epic introductions I've seen in PC gaming history. This is a good thing, because when you start the game, you know exactly where you are, what is going on, and what your tasks are. The game takes place in the middle of the 22nd century. Earth has entered its most prosperous period ever, and all ecological, war, and humanitarian issues have been resolved. Because of this utopian era, scientific research has reached an unseen level, and interstellar travel was made possible for the first time in the history of mankind.
However, regardless of the fact that everything is seemingly perfect on Earth, a rebel faction that opposes the government of Earth has been gaining a lot of influence. At the same time, the first 3 interstellar ships are being made in a space shipyard. Just as the rebel faction started taking over on Earth, the spaceships were completed and immediately dispatched. Two of the ships were destroyed by the rebels while trying to escape, while yours is the only one that succeeded. After months of travel, you stumbled upon a planet that was capable of sustaining life. As the captain of the ship, you are given the task of creating a prosperous world that will become the new home for mankind.
In order to run everything smoothly, you will require some kind of provisional government. Your base camp will consist of a scientist, a pilot, a fighter, and a builder. For each of these positions, three individuals will be offered. Each has their own skill level and monthly price that depends upon it. You can start off by hiring cheaper ones, and then educate them as you go along. They will be in charge of the four aspects of the game you need to oversee. This game has a linear storyline, which means that certain events are triggered as time progresses, so there is no time to lose. You should certainly read the manual PRIOR to playing the game, or you will certainly end up starting over a few times.
The first thing you will need to concentrate on is developing your planet, building new buildings, and researching techology that you will need for exploring neighboring solar systems. Once you get accustomed to flying around your solar system, colonizing planets, and transfering goods between them, a completely new aspect of the game kicks in. This takes place about halfway through the game. By this time, you will probably start getting annoyed and bored of all the planet micromanagement, repetitive tasks, and relatively uninteresting storyline, but trust me, it's worth the wait.
The second half of the game really picks up the pace, because you finally get to meet aliens! And we all love aliens, don't we? There will be quite a few races, some of which will be traders, some scientists, some warriors, etc. You will be able to form alliances, buy artifacts and technology, and wage wars. By this time, you should have built a pretty strong empire along a few solar systems that will make you the strongest presence. After you have made contact with all the alien races, the final objective of the game will be to reunite with Earth (hence the name Reunion). I will not reveal anything else at this point, because I don't want to spoil the whole story.
So, lets get on with the showdown. The gameplay is pretty good, but as I've mentioned above, the story picks up only in the second half of the game, so have some patience. The navigation can be a bit cumbersome at the beginning, but you will get used to it. Again, I repeat, read the manual before playing. Secondly, the graphics are more than satisfactory, really nice on the eyes, and fun to look at. As for the music and sounds, they don't fall back much (try to ignore the cheesy narrator with a Hungarian accent during the introduction). Overall, this is a must-have for every strategy game lover out there. Those of you that tend to be impatient should perhaps avoid this game
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