Distant Worlds 2: Factions - Quameno and Gizureans - DLC Review

Distant Worlds 2: Factions - Quameno and Gizureans by developer CodeForce and publisher Slitherine Ltd.PC Steam review written by Robert with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Distant Worlds franchise, developed by CodeForce and published by Slitherine, Ltd., returns with another Factions update containing two new species. Distant Worlds has long been a favored franchise of mine, with Distant Worlds Universe being one of the seminole "it" franchises for galaxy-spanning strategic gameplay. Adding to the existing 7 races (9, if you include the Ikkuro and Dhayut Factions, available here), the Gizureans are an insectoid-like plague on the galaxy. With more in common with locusts, they are an entirely organic species- while I wouldn't go so far as to call them "Zerg-like," but their primary modus operandii is not unlike the blitzkrieging that the Gizureans thrive by. In stark contrast to the Gizureans are the reclusive and introverted Quameno; an aquatic race that, for all of their love of science and research, have culturally grown into a race whose society is modeled after a modern-day military economy. With that, I'd like to spend a few minutes talking about my time with these two races.

I initially felt that I would struggle with the Gizureans as I tend to lean into more defensive gameplay in strategy titles like Distant Worlds; color me shocked when I found that the Gizureans were an absolute hoot to play. I never really liked playing the Zerg in StarCraft and I still hold that the Flood from Halo is right up there next to Dead Space's necromorph as "scariest space-faring organic blobs of hatred" that we've seen in gaming. The Gizureans are like that, but fun. As you're guiding your tidal wave of organic expansion, you'll be hard pressed to keep your insatiably-hungry and ever-expanding empire. CodeForce says, "The Gizureans are legion..." and there haven't been truer words said about the Gizureans. Well ... except that they are actually pretty dumb, so dumb that even they don't know their past. While I'm sure the claim that they have a "mysterious past" has a grander story to tell, but my headcanon is not that they have a mysterious past. It's that they hove focused on breeding and feeding rather than retaining knowledge. 

While the Gizureans do have some diplomacy options, their lack of a diplomat means the rest of the galaxy will hate you, which is just fine for the Gizureans. When one of the options for a planet is, "devour," you know you're in for a good time! As you encroach upon a world, if you come across intelligent beings, you can choose the aforementioned "devour" option, or you can instead choose to "study" ... which just means you'll stare at them a bit before you eat them. Moral of the story is that you have a choice to eat anything you come across, including other Gizureans, or you're going to take the time to put on a bib, then you'll devour them. TLDR, lots of eating are in your future if you're playing the Gizureans.

Where the Gizureans were a complete opposite to what I typically play, I'd have thought I'd have more fun with the Quameno than I did. It's not that they are bad, but I think me playing the Gizureans first sort of spoiled the fun of Quameno for me. As a highly introverted guy myself, I thought that I might enjoy playing a highly introverted species. Focusing more on introspection, research, and solving the puzzles of the universe, the Quameno aren't much for military might. In contrast to the Gizureans, the slower, more methodical and plodding nature of the Quameno is a much-appreciated counter to the downright evil nature of the Gizureans. 

With it's focus on self-improvement and research, the Quameno leave much to be desired by way of its military. This proved to be a bigger issue for me than I would've initially thought, as it seems that most of the galaxy wants to punch me in the face. I can't help but think that my playstyle (ergo, me) may be the issue here. While on paper the Quamenoan species seems like it'd work well for me but I just couldn't become invested in the playthrough. I personally find that I was constantly being badgered / at war with due to the fact that the Quameno military has the same structural fortitude as mashed potatoes.

Though I favored the Gizureans, I was challenged more as a player by playing as the Quameno and I think that is a huge accomplishment; not once did I feel that my looses as the Quameno as a failure due to balance or bugs, but mostly because I just suck; not so much with the Gizureans. Though the subsequent updates to Distant Worlds 2 have made it far more accessible, I think that the Gizureans may actually be the easiest species to play as with the only caveat being, "don't slow down." If you don't maintain your forward momentum in the early game, the end game will be absolutely brutal. Push, and push hard with Gizureans; if you're looking for a slower, but more hands-on playthrough, the Quameno are right up your alley. Any which way you spread it, the point is the same in that ... you should absolutely go buy Distant Worlds 2: Factions - Quameno and Gizureans (after picking up the main game, of course).

TLDR, Distant Worlds 2: Factions - Quamen and Gizureans is an easy 8 out of 10.

Score: 8/10