Yeah, the new race art does look pretty good. I also really like their descriptions, as they lend the various races some actual personality, which I think can go a long way towards improving a game's immersion.
Sheese now that there's a release date I'm rather suprised at the whining at the Matrix forum. Oh well.
Well part of the reason why people are "whining" is that -- thanks to how the Matrix staff phrased things when discussing the game's release two weeks ago -- a lot of folks (admittedly including myself) were under the definite impression that the game was going to be releaesed *this* week.
So naturally, a lot of us were disappointed and/or upset when we realized DW wasn't coming out til towards the end of the month. Chalk it up to a combination of poor communication from the publisher and the fans hearing what they wanted to hear....
I suspect the other main reason why there's been so much agitation from fans waiting for the game's release is that for whatever reason, Distant Worlds seems to have garnered a lot more interest than many of their previous titles. Subsequently, this has brought in a lot of new members to the Matrix forums the last couple months....many of whom are unfamiliar with how Matrix operates.
At least until recently, Matrix has/had been known mostly -- and for good reason -- as a publisher of more "hardcore" strategy/war games. As such, they're used to having a smaller but more rabid/loyal fanbase, most of whom are much more supportive than your average gamer when it comes to developers taking time with new games and not rushing them out the door. Consequentially, Matrix tends to spend a lot more time getting their games right before releasing them.
I suspect a lot of DW's fans -- many of whom are new to Matrix -- are unaware of this, and so clamor for the game's release, not realizing that nagging the publisher about it is going to be even less effective than elsewhere. I've no doubt they'll learn better soon enough, though.