Publisher: Lighthouse Interactive

Developer: Kerberos Productions

ESRB: E10+

Category: Strategy

Release Dates

Intl - 06/15/2007

N Amer - 06/15/2007

Digital Download - 06/06/2007

Official Game Website

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Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood Review

Last year’s Sword of the Stars presented a deep and intriguing turn-based strategy game in a space setting. The game catered to the hardcore space simulator set, and provided an engaging experience for fans of the genre. Now, the first expansion pack, Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood, is releasing and giving fans reason to get back into the fray. The expansion adds some great new features, including a brand new race for players to take on. However, the game is still very difficult and complex, meaning that people who didn’t like the original much won’t be won over by the expansion. Regardless, there’s a lot to love here if you’re a fan.

The biggest new addition to Born of Blood is the Zuul race. No, not the dog creature from Ghostbusters. The Zuul are nasty, overtly evil, and pack one helluva punch. Their spacecrafts are capable of taking in a lot of damage, and they can even steal ships and technology from their enemies, or even enslave their populations. Unfortunately, the downside is that they consume resources like they’re going out of style, and constantly have to suck planets dry in order to sustain themselves. The Zuul have a very unique dynamic to them, and change the game quite a bit.

Aside from the Zuul, there are more nice additions to the formula. The expansion adds a new trade system complete with trade routes. This adds great new possibilities, as you can not only trade with other species for technology and other assets, but you can even raid their convoys and take some of their cash.

You also have access to a host of brand new weaponry and ship parts that will let you build up your fleet quite nicely.

Unfortunately, while Born of Blood is a solid expansion pack, the game itself still has some problems. The complex approach might be very overwhelming to many, as can the high difficulty level. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s very easy to get creamed by your enemies. The game can be very difficult to grasp if you are only a passing fan to the genre, making it so the hardcore fans of the genre and of the original Sword of the Stars will be the ones to take something away from this experience.

Graphically, the expansion brings some new visual treats to the table. Born of Blood has some new special effects and explosions, and the design behind the Zuul is pretty impressive. By and large, however, the game isn’t far removed from the original Sword of the Stars.

The sound is another interesting area. While the music and sound effects are pretty sparse throughout, the new Zuul voice acting is great. The race speaks with a brooding and evil sense of conviction while issuing or receiving orders, and add a great sense of atmosphere when playing as them.

Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood is a nice expansion that should add a good amount of new content for fans of the original game. However, if you weren’t very into its predecessor, Born of Blood isn’t likely to change your mind.

Review Scoring Details for Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood

Gameplay: 7.5
Born of Blood adds some interesting few features as well as a brand new race, keeping things fresh for fans of the original game.

Graphics: 7.0
The graphics have received a couple updates, but the game looks largely the same as the original.

Sound: 8.0
The voice work is pretty impressive, but the music and effects are pretty sparse.

Difficulty: Hard

Multiplayer: 7.0
The expansion doesn’t add new elements in the way of online play.

Concept: 7.5
The evil Zuul race is a good addition to the formula, and makes for some great new situations for owners of the original.

Overall: 7.5
Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood adds a brand new (and fun to play) race that adds a great new dynamic to the gameplay, as well as some nice features to keep things fresh for fans of the original game. However, if you weren’t a fan to begin with, you probably won’t be won over with this expansion.

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GP Rating


Born of Blood adds some nice new elements to bring back fans of the original game.

Reviewer: Steven Hopper

Review Date: 07/06/2007

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