Beware the past in our review of Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients

A true love has been rekindled, and Drox Operative is back in my life thanks to the expansion to the dynamic space action RPG! Invasion of the Ancients was released a few months before the holidays and adds new features, quests and races to the existing core game.

For those not in the know, Drox Operative is a level based action-RPG based around sectors of a galaxy, where no two are the same. Each sector is made up of a variety of races that will trade, colonise, terraform and carry out anything that you yourself would do in a complex 4X strategy game, these races aren't always peaceful to each other, and they'll even go so far as to actively declare war on their neighbour. These dynamic and evolving galaxies are without a doubt the most impressive and alluring qualities of Drox Operative, and what makes them even better in this simple RPG, is that whilst the world is changing and evolving around you, you have the option to pull the strings and influence each race vying for power by spreading vicious rumours or sabotaging colonies for slow and painful suffering.

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Of course the focus of Invasion of the Ancients is those pesky Ancients, much like all good space based games, there was a time before the Drox Operative, and the Drox themselves were once a great super race, and what do super races do? They destroy the ones that get out of hand, and one thing that Hollywood teaches us is that the bad guys always come back for one last chance, so you'll want to keep your ear to the ground for the appearance of these races, like the ruthless Hezog whose vices were their original downfall, they also hate the Drox, so don't be surprised if you get a few damaging rumours sent your way.

You won't always encounter the Ancients when playing through though, because each sector is randomly generated so you cannot be guaranteed which races will take up the little slice of a galaxy that you'll be travelling through. Of course depending on the size of the sector, you'll have a higher chance of meeting them if there are a large amount of races present.

Another big feature of the game is that the Drox Guild are rearing their head once more, and throughout play you'll be given specific tasks from them which can be anything from ensuring that one race declares war with another, that you take down a particular race or the way in which you succeed in the sector, personally I preferred to take my own lead in the way I shape galaxies, but they add a nice level of challenge as you bend to the will of your seniors, though if you aren't a fan of their intervention, you can simply turn them off when you create your sector.

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One of the more creative elements of Invasion of the Ancients is the new avenues of component design that has opened up with socketable chips, think of them like enchantments on a slotted weapon; so all of a sudden your power hungry lasers can use -10 power load thanks to the new chip you've installed. As with much of the loot and goods in the world of Drox Operative there's a feast of chips to fit snuggly into your components, you will just have to look hard enough and scout them out! They're a brilliant way to increase the efficiency of components all over your ship, and a much welcomed addition in the expansion.

Of course Invasion of the Ancients also comes with a host of new quests and components to lengthen beyond the core game, as well as some new monsters from the deadly Talon, Legion and Overlords who you'll be sure to find lurking around your systems, as if you didn't have enough trouble with the existing monsters before the expansion. Invasion of the Ancients also adds the new Scavenger race that like to pick up the pieces of derelict ships, and profit from the demise of others, they're a pretty dangerous threat, but one that you can get behind the helm of.

On paper its easy to presume that the Invasion of the Ancients expansion does not include much to add to the game, however with the deadly Ancients on your tail and the Drox Guild breathing down your neck, there's more than enough new content, features and mechanics for fans of the game to get lost in the vast expanse of space once more.

four stars

Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients is available now from the Soldak website for $9.99 with a 30-day money back guarantee. In order to play you will need the core game that can also be purchased for $19.99. Fingers crossed the expansion and its original reach Steam much like their previous fantasy RPG Din's Curse, because far more people need this game in their lives!



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