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Screenshot of Endless Space 2 System Management

What is Endless Space 2?

Endless Space 2 is a science-fiction turn-based strategy, sequel to Endless Space and developed by Amplitude Studios. The game builds on the popularity of its predecessor which was released in 2012 and is available on Steam. Since it hit the stores in 2016, it underwent several changes and it can be played on PCs powered by Windows operating systems. The game has a compelling narrative, with the emphasis on exploration and several civilizations, each with its story.

Key facts about Endless Space 2

  • Endless Space 2 is a complex turn-based strategy game, with a steep learning curve.
  • The videogame has a complex narrative and several civilizations with unique units and skills.
  • Endless Space 2 gameplay is difficult to master, due to the expansive tech tree.
  • Those who haven’t played Endless Space can have a hard time learning the game mechanics.
  • Endless Space 2 is a game of extraordinary magnitude, with great graphics and animations.

Gameplay of Endless Space 2

The gameplay of Endless Space 2 is even more complex than its predecessor. Players need to learn and use dozens of distinct units, each with its unique abilities. The troops have weaknesses and strengths that compel players to use different types in battle. Research is essential throughout the game, allowing players to unlock new structures and weapons. The complexity of the game is given by the different types of weapons, upgrades, abilities and modules.

When undertaking research, players can focus on one of the four categories such as technology, trade, science and military. Empire development is a distinct category and it is the equivalent of micromanagement in real-time strategy games. The Endless Space 2 gameplay is centered on a race between players trying to unlock new abilities while expanding their army. Every tree has four different levels which are unlocked gradually, so players advance one step at a time.

Another important aspect in the gameplay of Endless Space 2 is the role played by politics. With so many races and civilizations, players will need to establish contacts and negotiate with friends and foes. There is more than meets the eye about the interactions, as each race has different statuses, governments and goals. The game encourages players to negotiate whenever possible and war should be a solution of last resort.

Empire expansion is essential to prevail when playing this turn-based strategy game. The goal is to colonize the entire galaxy if possible, while dealing with the threats that inevitably arise. Even in the early stages of the single player campaign, players are pit against serious challenges. Empires collide frequently and in order to survive, players might have to join forces or sign alliances.

Screenshot of Endless Space 2 Templar

Plot of Endless Space 2

The game begins with players choosing from one of the races available. Customization is important in Endless Space 2 and there are plenty of options for those who want to personalize their characters. The next step is to conquer the adjacent systems, each with four planets and unique environments. As they expand from one planet to the other, they encounter anomalies which can be explored by using one of the explorer ships available.

In both single player and multiplayer, players need to research constantly to expand their abilities. This will make it possible for them to colonize the planets they conquer and assign specializations. There are plenty of things to consider, such as climate, population and resources, to maximize the return on investment. Throughout the campaign, players will learn the history of each civilization, their most remarkable leaders and their ambitions.

There is always more than one way to tackle a challenge and the path to victory differs for each civilizations. With different quests for each race, replayability is insured and players are provided with a great incentive to start from scratch. Players can better understand the Endless Space 2 plot by visiting the developer’s website and reading the lore section. This is where they will find information about each civilization and the things that drive them to conquest.

In addition to the major civilizations, there are also smaller ones that players interact with throughout the single player campaign. It is up to them to take a hard stance, negotiate or signed mutually beneficial alliances. Fighting against enemies requires both ground troops and airships, with the emphasis being on creating a balanced army. The largest military force usually wins, but the underdog can prevail with the right battle tactic.

Screenshot of Endless Space 2 Cosmic Fight

Development of Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2 development began soon after the release of the original videogame. It was announced in 2016 and made available for early access on steam in October. The full game was only released in May 2017 when all the civilizations were available. The magnitude of the game requires the developing team to come up with constant patches. Balance issues were highlighted by players and one by one they were addressed, to keep the game balance and competitive.

No new troops were added, but their abilities were adjusted, the bonuses changed and as a result optimal strategies changed as well. The team paid a lot of attention to details and this is self evident when taking even a short glance at the ship designs. Endless Space 2 is visually charming and those who have played the previous game will notice the differences. Units are more responsive and move smoothly even during space battles of epic proportions.

Where can I download Endless Space 2?

Amplitude Studios is the developer and on its website players can download both Endless Space 2 and the original. It makes perfect sense to play both games and they offer tempting deals for those who purchase the entire bundle. There are not many games out there belonging to the turn-based strategy genre whose action takes place in space. It is worth visiting the website even to read more about the civilizations available and to learn about their stories.

Endless Space 2 was published by Sega, so it is also possible to download the game from their website. This is one of the biggest publishers of video games in the world and has dozens of other games up for sale. Players who want to try something different and take a break from the complex and difficult turn-based strategy games genre will find plenty of worthy titles. Football Manager 2017, Total War Warhammer and Yakuza are some of their best creations. Those who prefer to stick to games whose action takes place in space should consider Dead Space 3, Mass Effect 3 and Halo Wars 2.

Screenshot of Endless Space 2 Celebrations

What are others saying about Endless Space 2?

The vast majority of those who write Endless Space 2 reviews are people who have played the original game. Fans of the 4X this genre and space simulators are pleasantly surprised by the magnitude and scope of this game. Most consider that Amplitude Studios did an excellent job at creating a game similar to Civilizations in space. There is consensus among players when it comes to the quality of the graphics and the depth of the narrative.

Not all players were happy with the sheer difficulty of this game and many criticized the developers for it. Everyone agrees that the learning curve is pretty steep, but some regard it as downright crushing. As for ship customization, the developer’s decision to allow so much freedom generated mixed reactions. On one hand, there are players who don’t mind spending a lot of time customizing ships. At the same time, others regard this and a chore and would’ve liked a more straightforward process.

My Rating of Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2 is definitely not the kind of summer game that you can pick up when you have a couple of days off. Players can still have a lot of fun playing it, but it will take them a while to fully understand and master the gameplay. The good news is that you can stick to single player and still have a lot of fun because the civilizations and characters are intriguing. There are plenty of things to consider and due to its sheer difficulty even small victories make players feel great.

As space simulators go, Endless Space 2 is quite an achievement and a game easy to recommend to friends. This video game definitely deserves a place among the top 3 titles in this genre and probably the best in 2017, at least so far. If you are not afraid of a serious challenge and are willing to spend a lot of time learning the game mechanics, this is a great choice. For casual players however, it’s a better idea to choose something less complicated. Amplitude Studios’ game fully deserves a review score of 8/10.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall
8
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