"Sins of a Solar Empire", the PC 4X real-time strategy space sim, just got a little "Halo" in it as the "Sins of the Prophets" beta was released Friday. Those that have wanted to play a game that features space battles in the "Halo" universe just had their wish fulfilled.
"Sins of the Prophets" is a total conversion mod for "Sins of a Solar Empire" with ship models based on "Halo" lore, a refreshed user interface, new technology research trees, custom maps, new musical score and voice overs. The gameplay has been tweaked as well to make battles more fast-paced along with the size of planetary gravity wells.
The initial beta release only features UNSC ships but the all-volunteer team behind "Sins of the Prophets" is currently working to add the Covenant as well. The Flood are included in the beta release though as the alien parasite takes the place of the pirate faction. Eventually, a Forerunner faction will be added as well.
The mod is set in the time frame of the Human-Covenant war prior to "Halo: Combat Evolved" and will feature Covenant ships that are more powerful than their human counterparts. However, the human faction will be able to build ships faster and cheaper to balance out the gameplay. We've got more details about the mod in a recent interview conducted with two of the mod leads.
You can download the mod directly from the "Sins of the Prophets" site on ModDb.com. Note that this is a beta so don't be surprised if you run into any crashes or bugs. In fact, you can help the team behind the mod by posting issues to the forums at SinsOfTheProphets.com if you do run across bugs.
Update: There were some serious errors found with the beta release and the "Sins of the Prophets" team has pulled the download. Their current plan is to get things fixed over the weekend and re-release the beta next week.
"Sins of the Prophets" requires a copy of "Sins of a Solar Empire" with the "Entrenchment" expansion. The best bet is to probably buy "Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion" from Steam as "Prophets" will eventually upgrade towards it and it contains the game plus all previous expansions.