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Within the last few days, I was introduced to a new 4X title by the name of Remnant. To be honest, I've never really found the genre to be all that compelling, as the depth and learning curve for many of the games is often too much for me to get into. I've always loved watching others play as epic wars and conquests unfold, and remained blissfully ignorant of exactly what was going on under the hood, so to speak. With the recent introduction to Remnant, I have found a 4X that is not only extremely compelling to me, but also features a great amount of depth that will please veterans of the genre.

Simply described as a "real-time 4X space strategy game", Remnant puts you in control of the ruler of a faction that is looking to make a name for itself. As the person in charge, you must oversee various operations and ensure the prosperity of your people through resource acquisition, domination and conquering, and also by assembling a well-balanced fleet.

Remnant features a full 3D battle system, which takes place in an open space without grids or tiles. This means that the movement is completely free and allows you to move in various directions. A very interesting mechanic allows moving in one direction while still allowing you to fire in another direction.

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The weaponry contained on each ship operates independently, meaning that each gun can technically fire on a different target if that is the desired strategy. Because of this, positioning and movement in combat is vital if you want to make the best use of the coverage and area of your weaponry while also managing to keep yourself safe from enemy fire. Each ship is vulnerable in different areas, so understanding and exploiting these weaknesses is key to winning combat encounters.

Fleets are made up of ships that fall into one of three main categories: corvettes, cruisers, or capital ships. Corvettes are the fastest, and are great at attacking larger capital ships and exploiting their weak spots. Cruisers are the mid-level ships, sort of fast with a respectable amount of firepower. Finally, the capital ships are extremely slow but possess insane amounts of firepower which can be used to clear out a path for the smaller ships to attack.

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Each ship in Remnant can be fully customized, from the weapons systems to the engines, to more cosmetic things such as color and emblems. Using this customization to ensure that your ships have a balanced attack and defense will ensure that you are successful in your combat encounters.

While combat is a large part of the game, exploration also plays a major role. Remnant takes place around a single star, and allows you to explore "an entire planetary system's worth of celestial bodies". Planets, moons, and asteroids are able to be colonized, and each and every one is generated randomly to ensure that each game is unique. Planets and moons are generated from seven types of terrain, such as volcanic, oceanic, or icy. Each type has its own benefits and risks, and understanding these will put you ahead of the game in terms of economy.

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Resources are a huge part of Remnant, and they fall into three categores: food, ore, and metal. These resources are local to each colony, which means that if you need metal for a project, you must either be producing it on that planet, or you must ship it from an area that does produce it. Doing so creates supply lines that can be intercepted by enemies, so it is always a risk. Colonization requires huge amounts of strategy and planning, as you must create a balance between a defensible society while still managing to colonize the planets that are resource-rich. Each colony can be upgraded with a variety of structures such as mines, farms, academies, and shield generators.

Finally, my favorite mechanic in Remnant is the espionage system. At the root of this system are agents, which are characters who are randomly generated and are occasionally recruited in an academy that is built on a colonized planet. Agents have points which are used to dictate their abilities, and these abilities increase in power over time or with training. Agents can act as governors, admirals, or spies, and each role features its own benefits. Enemy agents can easily capture or kill your agents, so keeping them as safe as possible is vital if you want to have a strong espionage system.

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Remnant is a 4X that features a fantastic amount of depth, and has really gotten me interested in diving back into the genre. The open-ended 3D battle system is very well done, and I found the battles I played to be extremely entertaining. If you enjoy the space 4X genre, I see no reason not to look into Remnant and see if it catches your attention.

Having already been Greenlit on Steam, Remnant is currently looking for funding through Kickstarter, and plans to release around the holiday season according to the dates posted on the Kickstarter page.