Top Critic Average
Dawn of Andromeda is a thinking man's space simulator, with a complex network of systems that give you control over your expanding galactic empire. Though the level of control and and minutiae might be a turnoff for some, once you understand the systems it becomes a satisfying foray into space bureaucracy.
With smooth gameplay, a well constructed narrative, and AI that is sufficiently intelligent; Dawn of Andromeda offers enough to overcome its learning curve and keep replays fresh. There will be a learning curve because much of the nitty-gritty of managing settlements never really grace the tutorial or hints, but after a few matches, likely leading to a few annihilations, much of the game management, must-do's, and politics fall into place. It errs a little heavy on the necessity for a strong early military, but I guess that's just the proof that it exists in the space of a hostile galaxy.
Dawn of Andromeda, however, makes you play the long game: enemies are virtually unable to rush you in combat as they are hindered by the same tech tree you are and this means the biggest rewards come later in the game.
The game has plenty of potential, but the beautiful exterior hides a lacking, simple foundation cobbled together from other, superior games. One or two unique systems don't make up for pale echoes of so many others.
I don’t really see Dawn of Andromeda having much in the way of longevity. They’re late to the market, don’t offer enough true innovation to stand out in any way, and happen to be releasing while several other really good options in the same genre are being actively updated. About the only people that I would expect to see picking it up would be those few like me that play pretty much every 4X, but I’d still have to advise my fellow strategists to give this one a pass.