Ashes of the Singularity
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Ashes of the Singularity is a sci-fi large scale RTS game for the PC by Oxide Games and Stardock Entertainment, the same people behind Galactic Civilizations.
Unlike most sci-fi games of its type however, Ashes of the Singularity as the title suggests takes place in the future where The Singularity had already happened. Across various worlds throughout the stars, "Post-Humans" are fighting against each other and competing AI over a vital resource known as Turinium, which is just the tip of an ever-expanding iceberg.
The game could be best described as not only a Spiritual Successor to Supreme Commander or Total Annihilation, but also their large-scale elements taken Up to Eleven with thousands of units fighting various battles across a world at any given time. Being in development since 2014 and seeing incremental beta releases, it was finally released on 1 April 2016. A stand-alone expansion, Escalation, was released on 11 November 2016, introducing various new features and refinements.
The game's main website can be found here.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Haalee, the AI that helped the then-burgeoning Post-Human Coalition gain its bearings, initially presents itself as defying old science fiction expectations of this trope. It's revealed however that Haalee went rogue after all and now leads an AI faction known as the Substrate.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What's more or less required to become Post-Human. Indeed, they largely dwell in the "Metaverse," a highly evolved version of the cloud and Internet. They still interact with reality however through robotic "constructs" or even specially engineered biological human bodies.
- Beam Spam: Many units seem to make use of a lot of lasers, but simply going all out on them requires a lot of energy.
- Blue and Orange Morality: It's mentioned that Post Human notions of morality and ethics could be seen as alien to those of normal humanity.
- Brain Uploading: What made The Singularity possible.
- The Corruption: One of the reasons behind the game's main conflict is that something is corrupting Post Humans and reducing them into mindless automatons.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: A lot of these are going on at any given time on a single world.
- The Federation: The Post-Human Coalition was founded to more or less be this for Post Humans, while keeping the door open for anyone willing to join their ranks.
- A God Am I: Post-Humans are basically this.
- Robot War: How combat is generally shown. Also justified as Post-Humans tend to interact with the real world through robotic "constructs." While the Substrate meanwhile plays this trope entirely straight, being composed entirely of AI.
- The Singularity: Has since been achieved by the time the game takes place. It's also deconstructed however, particularly in how it hasn't been equal for everyone and how it hasn't put an end to bloodshed.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: In the lore, it's mentioned that only about 0.01% of all humanity are actually "Post Human" while the rest are mostly regular people stuck on Earth.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: The game starts off in AD 2178. But the advances and developments made possible by The Singularity have made even this relatively "near" future nigh unrecognisable.