I pre-ordered Sins last week, and it’s definitely shaping up to be a solid 4x. They added another race, the Vasari, in Beta 4, so it’s not all TEC (the trader faction) vs TEC battles anymore if anyone has tried the other Betas.
A lot of things are still getting hammered out, and it’s still pretty rough in some areas. They seem to be selectively incorporating user feedback into their updates, which is a good thing. Gameplay is smooth, though, and you can’t really go wrong with massive fleet battles and laser beams, autocannon shells, and missiles flying everywhere.
The Capital Ship experience mechanic is interesting, they’re sort of your “heroes” in Sins. There are a bunch of different Capital Ship types, and they each have a few different upgrade paths available as they gain experience. At first you’ll only have one or two Cap Ships, but eventually you’ll have multiple fleets of four or five duking it out and raining holy terror on unsuspecting plebeians. You’ll have frigates and cruisers as well, but they only can only match capital ships in large numbers.
Ships aren’t customizable apart from Capital Ship upgrades, but they have a lot of different ship types to research and build, so I’m not really missing it. The smaller ships are pretty minor players in the grand scheme of things.
If you’re a fan of 4x games, it’s worth keeping an eye on as they move closer to reslease.