I know everyone here has been trawling through the websites looking for images, and some questions have been posted about the user interface and the strategic map in Sword of the Stars ][.
I can't speak about any details, or the surprises in store for everyone once they have installed the game and hit the play button. What I can give you is my feelings and general impressions.
The strategic, or star map, has changed, as you will have seen from the PAX demonstartion. What you wont experience until your sitting in front of it at home is just how the universe your looking at now seems so fluid and alive. As the original Sword of the Stars changed the look and feel of the turn by turn 4x game into an entirely new and fitting direction, SOTS ][ takes the developments and pushes them lightyears into the future.
The strategic map feels alive, its fluid and it reacts. Its a real evolution. Screenshots and any static images do not do it justice, and every time I look I'm noticing some little touch I haven't seen before, which shows that this is more than just another project for Kerberos, but rather a labour of love.
There's too many little touches to mention, and I suspect many more waiting for me to notice them. But all these little touches build up into a living picture, and the one word that seems to describe it is "immersive".
You really feel like you are the emperor/queen/director when your making decisions and weighing up options within the game, and on the strategic level this gives the game a feeling of epic grandure, both with a sense of stately progress and frantic weighing up of options.
I strongly suspect that his game could be responsible for quite a few wrecked marriages, its just so immersive, you don't want to step away from a game, or the universe the game is part of.