Over the years AMPLITUDE Studios has become one of my favorite developers. Games like Endless Space and Endless Legend have a place into my heart and I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the little development adventure that was Dungeon of the Endless. So, when I heard that AMPLITUDE was going to become a subsidiary of SEGA, I was quite worried. It’s not like the studio hasn’t already gone the road of multiple DLCs releases, a practice rather common for 4X and Grand Strategy, but being subsidiary of a big publisher has all kinds of strings attached. Therefore, I was anxiously waiting for that moment when Endless Space 2 Early Access was released to check out how much things have changed.
I got my hands on Endless Space 2 a day before its release, but due to a tight schedule I couldn’t play much until recently. I dived into the unknown space at the helm of Vodyani, a new race almost drove to extinction by over-industrialization. Saved by the ancient Endless technology, the Vodyani have turned to religion becoming an overzealous race venerating the technology that saved them. Now, they move across the stars consuming worlds of life to feed their existence (cool, right?). This is a quite atypical race, providing a unique experience through a gimmicky gameplay that combines the old fashion civilization development with a nomad way of life.
Endless Space 2 still follows the same recipe as its predecessor, combining a brilliantly designed minimalistic interface, a fascinating lore, a lovely art style, good graphics, soothing music and a strategically gameplay above all else, but does it at another level. What’s impressive is that despite using the same recipe, the game feels fresh. The addition of politics spices things quite a bit and the races play so differently that the replay value goes through the roof. It also helps that every good feature from Endless Legend was transferred here, so expect quests and minor factions that will add more depth to an already complex gameplay and expand the lore of this unique universe. Even the combat has been revamped, it’s still focused on strategy rather than tactics, but it got rid of the annoying cards system and embraced a more cinematic presentation.
The list of new or improved features is big, so I won’t go through all of them. There are still a ton of features and mechanics missing, including four races, three victory types, two research trees and much more. But as it stands now, the Endless Space 2 Early Access is a solid base for a game that has its fair chance at strategical greatness.
|My race is set on consuming this!|