Emperor of the Fading Suns does something that is getting increasingly hard to accomplish: It breathes life into the stagnating and repetitive genre of space-conquest games. The game seemingly came out of nowhere - burdened with a cumbersome name, a publisher with no reputation for this sort of game, the worst ad campaign in recent memory (two ducklings and a cat sleeping in a basket... you figure it out), modest graphics, and a belated entry into an already over-crowded field. That it has emerged as a strong contender speaks volumes for its fundamental gaming quality.
EFS wasn't produced in a vacuum. The creators are Holistic Design, who as Holistic Dudes created some good computer games: Merchant Prince and Machiavelli (the same basic game), Battles of Destiny, and Hammer of the Gods. As paper game developers, they were central in creating White Wolf's major properties: Vampire and Werewolf games, as well as a good collectable card game, Jyhad. Holistic also designed an RPG world and system called Emperor of the Fading Suns, and it is in this rich universe that EFS (the computer game) is set.
The world of EFS is a medieval science-fiction realm in the tradition of Warhammer 40K and Dune: noble houses, warring factions, an avaricious mercantile caste, and a fearsome inquisition. As a setting, it's already a cliche, but EFS spins it magically and makes it work. At the start of the game, the emperor has mysteriously died, leaving a power vacuum that must be filled by one of the major players. The goal is to use force, wealth, and diplomacy to get the other leaders to elect you regent, and from there secure the throne as Emperor.
Unlike similar Civilization-style conquest games, EFS does not start on a blank map and force dozens of game turns of exploration, expansion, and military build-up before you have an empire. Instead, you begin with a small empire, a military force, wealth, and a general knowledge of the game universe. Some of the maps of these planets have been lost, leaving you with only a vague sense of their geography, while others are known to you.
Gameplay is broken down along familiar lines. There is research to be conducted in order to build new units and get certain advantages. As with other traditional elements in EFS, however, there is a twist: Technology proscribed by the inquisition may be researched, but could result in your excommunication. These are deadly, often psi-based techs, and the ability to delve into the darker areas of research is a great touch.
Source : Gamespot.com