In recent years, the genre of 4x (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) has seen the release of many exponents of undeniable value. Being a kind of niche, not obsessed with running behind the latest market trends, development teams have competed to interpret it in the widest and most inspirational way possible, leveraging new distribution systems such as Early Access, To get feedback during the development so as to adjust the run in the race.
In the last two years, we have been able to play jewels such as Stellaris, Civilization VI, Galactic Civilization III (recently expanded by Crusade) and others, and just in the last few weeks have come out hybrids of value like Starpoint Gemini Warlords or Northgard . In such a rich picture of choices, Amplitude Studios with its Endlesss have played a special role, starting with the first Endless Space with which he developed the interface we've seen endless in Endless Legend and that we find, still improved, in Endless Space 2, the subject of this review. Navigating among the many menus with just a few clicks is essential not to overload the training phase, which is important in the 4x so as not to let the player escape. The learning curve of the various mechanics, especially those related to technological development, is in fact very steep and faced with a heavy and ingenious interface would aggravate even more the difficulty of entering Endless Space 2. In short, we are talking about an essential feature of the genre, a characteristic that Amplitude has carefully studied carotid and finishes title in title. Probably only the Firaxis interfaces are just as well elaborate, which is all about giving the pedigree of that development team.
Describing Endless Space 2 in its fundamental concept is not difficult because it shares it with all the other spatial strategics mentioned (and not): at the commands of one of the eight available races, you have to explore space and expand as much as possible by establishing colonies or Searching for antique artifacts made by the Endless race, now extinct.
Obviously we are not alone in the universe and we will have to face the competition of other civilizations, which have our own goal. Choosing our faction, we immediately find ourselves in the deep space. Initially we know only one planetary system, one where our mother planet is, and globally, our resources are very limited. As tradition wants, we are given a unit to begin exploring, and one of the colonists to establish an outpost in case we can find another habitable planet, less remote than what it seems. Drive management is similar to Endless Legend, apart from customization options, and allows you to quickly join fleets of spaceships in the same system, assigning it perhaps a hero drive to drive them. The exploration itself takes place on pre-defined routes connecting planetary systems: you select your destination and our fleet, or the single spaceship, depart for the trip. The planets offer very different environments. At first there will be few colonizable ones (say those similar to the mother planet), but with the development of new technologies, which is selected from the classic tree scheme, in this case divided into four macro categories, colonies can also be established in earlier environments inaccessible.
As we said, our galactic empire can develop along four directions, which change the approach to play a lot: for example, a strongly focused society on militarism will expand faster but will be constantly in war, while a focus on the economy will exploit the resources of the Various planets, but will be weaker and so on. Be careful because some races are intrinsically specialized and work best by following a certain kind of development (so we recommend getting started with humans, the most versatile race) Closely related to Endless Space 2 style is the political management of the empire. Every twenty shifts will have elections that will modify or confirm the previous institutional set-up, changing some balances. For example, an industrial society with a military government can generate some internal conflict, as well as a society centered on scientific research that would allow too much power to religious groups. In general, it is never necessary to have a senate in conflict with your own policies if you do not want to have negative social reactions. Always talking about politics is important to consider the role of colonies, inclined to rebel for each issue. If, for example, a distant colony was constantly attacked by the dragons and we did nothing to stop them, we would soon have a nice revolution.
You will have realized that in Endless Space 2 there are a lot of issues to be faced, not least the military ones, ranging from personalization of spaceships to combat management, which take place almost completely automatically and which are the worst part of the whole game, To the point that they often jump right to go back to the strategic map immediately: once they have started, we can not influence them in any way, so after seeing some, they become tedious when not annoying.
The discourse applies both to the clashes between the spaceships and the ground battles, those for the conquest of the colonies. We are aware that this is a compromise solution and that we could not expect to have complete control of the clashes (otherwise it would have been another game) but at this point we could opt for an even more agile representation given the uselessness Overall to look at a whole battle. Not that there is nothing to do in the military context, anything else: we can improve our ships by providing them with more and more powerful weapons sought or discovered by exploring the planets; We can build advanced ships and we can modify the human resources available to increase our defenses. Yes, in short, the management of our forces is satisfactory and works. Let's say we would like some more tactical option during battles or a solution, perhaps less spectacular, but more functional than Stellaris. Of course, it should also be said that a more complex system would not have made much sense, since the problems to be faced are so many and multiply in the advanced stages of play, when the universe is completely unveiled, it has expanded a lot and there There are a multitude of conflicts in place. Fighting for hours with dozens of outbreaks is likely to lose sight of the overall picture of the situation. From the technical point of view Endless Space 2 does its own and nothing more. Obviously no enthusiast of the kind will do us too much. We say that the menus are stylistically well-made and that many animations make life even cooler, fuller text screens. The battles are woody, although the spaceships are not bad, while the star map is there: functional, legible and agile, but certainly does not leave open. It does not matter: no one would ever buy a 4x looking for technical wonders, and from this point of view, Amplitude did more than he needed.
Endless Space 2 is a complex title and steep learning curve, but it can give you great satisfaction. From the strategic point of view, nurtured by the narrative, with Endless's mythology to outline the conquest of space, it slaps a bit in battles and a certain rigidity in the development of some races. However, considering that direct competitors gave the best of them after being expanded (we talk about Stellaris and above all, Galactic Civilization III), we say that the prospects for the Amplitude title are really great.
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