Endless Space is a tribute to intelligent design and meticulous polish, offering endless hours of micro management goodness on all fronts. Whether you are duking it out against an accomplished AI in the games single player or vying for cultural dominance online, this 4X turn based wonder accommodates all levels of experience and play styles, providing countless sessions of entertainment for newbies and pros alike.
All whats wrong with Civilization is fixed here! You really have to think what to build next, some improvements can have even negative effects if you build them in poor star system. You create your own ships! Combat is better than in any civilization game, but there could be at least pause option. It has some of these frustrating things, but what doesnt. AI just so much better than last civilization. Overall no idea why this game is under 8 here.
Ultimately, Endless Space can be a fun experience, even though I disliked the superficial combat mechanics and the skinny tech-tree. Yet the game's biggest problem is the low replay value, with each game being eerily similar to the previous one, which is not a very bright point for a 4x strategy.
Do you like composing your own unique race, building vast empires, playing the complex game of politics, and waging war with obscenely customizable fleets of ships? I know I do, and Endless Space pushes all those buttons just right.
There are so many options that the game can seem intimidating at first, but the UI is incredibly user-friendly and easy to navigate while the game comes in varied difficulty from granny mode to juggernaut levels of play. You're not going to understand the whole game at a glance, so if you're looking for something no more mentally challenging than an FPS, this is not the game for you. However, once you do grasp it, it provides you with the tools to play the game in new and creative ways every single time.
Since its original creation this game has been updated and expanded(mostly free of charge) into something far superior to the original product. Critics rightly pointed out the flawed combat, semi-bland universe, and wildly unbalanced starting situations in multiplayer. However, every single one of these problems has been thoroughly handled by the devs at Amplitude. The universe is still not top of the line in terms of interesting story-telling, but the combat has been fleshed out to an absurd level and the unfair luck of the early game has been almost entirely eliminated.
In short, if you like 4X strategy games, get this one. It's currently the most solid one on the market due to the horribly botched coding of Civ 5. If you don't like them, don't bother, this game is 4X to the core with nothing particularly unusual to offer a player who doesn't care for the genre.
Fun 4x game with a great fantasy to sell but ultimately falls short feels limited. Cinematic battles are cool but ultimately finnicky and hard to get a grip on. planet development is good but feels... limited for an interstellar civilization
Bad out-of-digital-box experience with too many options and aspects of the game presented with no campaign storyline and a ton of instuctions to get started. No mini tutorial campaign that teaches the ropes in a fun way to provide basic guidance on how to leverage advantages from skill and build combos. Some techs are absolutely useless (IE, researching tier 3 siege only to find out maxing out tier 2 siege is better). Extremely exploitable strategy where you can stack a few space fleets on a system for "offensive attack" where your enemy has a large amount of their ships stacked, and then run away from battle every time so that the enemy can never fly their ships elsewhere while you're blockading the system. Even if the defender has faster space ships. This makes no sense: if they run from battle, you shouldn't still be blocked from leaving the system.
Combat isn't very interactive, tech trees are really not fun to dig around, and there's no explanation of precisely how influence works, anywhere in the game or online.
Off to find a better 4k.
Unfortunately ES isn't a very good 4x strategy game, playing it more only reveals all the major flaws of the game, however one major aspect of any 4x game is decently programmed AI, and that is something Endless Space doesn't have at all, since the AI is poorly programmed and starts with more or less infinite bonuses and the ability to do things the player can't - the outcome of the game almost always leans in favor of the A.I winning no matter the difficulty setting, unless the player has enough experience to know all the aspects of the game, knows the skill tree and how to get important research done first and of course, the player gets an almost legendary start.
Even on the easiest of difficulty settings, the A.I can still easily beat a skilled human player because of the boosted AI stats. Not to mention, throwing almost endless high powered fleets of ships if war is declared against the player and to add further insult, knowing almost intimate information about the players empire so it can attack your weakest points at any time, like many 4x games - basically the AI is programmed to cheat since thats the easiest way to program an AI to give a human player a challenge, even on the newbie difficulty A.I difficulty makes me want to face palm. I'd like to know how its possible for an A.I player with a couple of planets to have nearly double the score I have sometimes when I have nearly triple the star systems, wonders and a large fleet of ships?
Some would say its a "Smart A.I" but there is a difference between a proper smart A.I and one that has been programmed with cheap bonuses that more or less gives it a clear winning edge against the player. Also, I think the galaxy map isn't big enough, the so called "Huge" map feels quite small by comparison to other 4x space strategy games with maybe less than a 100 star systems without mods. Many of the good mods unfortunately break the game completely as they haven't been updated, these mods we're perhaps the saving grace of the game but now its more or less been abandoned.
Like someone commented, this game seems to be better played co-op against A.I players. Single player just isn't worth your time, especially if your a 4x fan - ES seems to be more like a zerg rush than empire building, which weakens the gameplay considerably - so the title really should be changed to Endless Zerg or Endless Fleets.
I think the premise of the game is fairly good, the graphics, sound - all that is fine. The problem really lies with the execution of the gameplay, thats where it falls down. I think a sequel that fixes all the major problems the original has would be a good contender for the top 4x space strategy title, but they need to fix a lot of problems and make sure they don't make the same mistakes.
4x space strategy is about expansion, empire building - in a nutshell turtling out your empire, building fleets - defending choke points - exploring the galaxy. ES does this, but in such a way it all takes the back burner, the galaxy without 'working' mods is way too small - The AI cheats too much to make the game fun or interesting, so a sequel needs better programmed AI without infinite bonuses or other stupid stuff.
Endless Space isn't 'terrible' per say, but AI does heavily let the game down. GalCiv remains the king of 4x space strategy games. I'm glad I got this from the Humble Bundle sale, I would never pay full price for this. I would like to see a sequel to see if they can improve the game.
SummaryThis galaxy is ancient, and its first intelligent life was the civilization we call the Endless. Long before our eyes gazed upon the stars they flew between them, though all that remains of this people is what we call Dust. A substance found scattered or in forgotten temples, it once gave powers to admirals and galactic governors.