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Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:56 am
by Sly Boots
There's a chance I may be the only one interested in this, but seeing as how I loved the first one - and the fantasy prequel Endless Legend - sod it, I'm making a thread :x

Anyway, it's out today, and RPS liked it rather a lot:

Amplitude have crafted a game that oozes character and charm out of every pore. With its faction-specific soundtrack, lavish art and light RPG-like quests, it’s hard not to fall for it. Character doesn’t just mean flavour, either. Sure, Endless Space 2 is full of that, but what’s most compelling is the way in which it intersects with the mechanics, elevating them both. ... -2-review/

A slightly pricey £35 on Steam, though has it for a much more reasonable £21: ... eam-cd-key

Think I shall be picking it up for that, though a few launch bugs makes me think I'll holding off playing for another update.

Re: Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:40 pm
by Wrathbone
How does the first one compare to Stellaris? Could be interested but I've got so many games on the backlog I'd feel bad for buying yet another one right now. :oops:

Re: Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:48 pm
by Sly Boots
I've actually not played Stellaris, I'm afraid!

I think this one is so different to that, though, that comparisons are probably not that meaningful.

I did buy this. Once I'm playing I'll post up some thoughts. :)

Re: Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:18 pm
by Raid
Why is it every new space 4X game that comes out has extremely limited combat? I picked up Stellaris last week and the combat seems to be "Build fleet. Send fleet to same system as enemy fleet. Click to engage. Most powerful fleet wins." There's no strategy to it, it's entirely based on tank rushing. Sounds like this is equally limited. Why can't we have a proper RTS system in these things?

Re: Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:19 pm
by Mantis
They tend to be more grand strategy than micro based. The combat is simple but if you set the game up to be quite challenging then the strategy comes in on the higher level where you're plotting who to war with and how best to manipulate other races etc. I quite like the combat on Stellaris because it's relaxing to just watch once you've put all the pieces in place so to speak.

Trying to code in detailed RTS combat with a grand strategy game would probably be tough to get right given how many resources you'd have to devote to both elements. I think a 4x game where the combat took place on a separate system could be really interesting and unique though, say a bit like Total War where you're largely spending all your time on the grand overview of your empire screen, then the combat loads a separate battle where you can zoom in and directly control everything.

Re: Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:02 pm
by Raid
I think the problem is that Master of Orion 2 was one of my favourite games when I was a kid, and not a single 4X space game has stood up to it. That had proper turn based combat with shield arcs and things.

Re: Endless Space 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:14 am
by Sly Boots
So, I've played one campaign of this now, and started on a second.

It's good. If you played and enjoyed ES1 I would recommend it without question... it's broadly similar so you'd be confident enough diving in and not feeling all lost at sea initially, while there are some gameplay tweaks so there's still some systems to learn as you go.

I won't go into details explaining the gameplay as I'm sure by now most people can understand the basics of what a 4X game means, but in a nutshell you start off in one system of a galaxy populated by various other races, and look to colonise other worlds and systems, unlocking a technology tree that allows you to colonise different kinds of world, system and fleet improvements, terraforming options, etc etc etc.

There are numerous paths to victory - the obvious military conquest one, dominance (owning a certain number of systems), economy (having a certain amount of cash), science, building wonders and one or two others.

In my last campaign I won a science victory, researching most of each of eight tech trees. It took about 12 hours - the value here is replay I would say, rather than bingeing on one epic 50-hour campaign - and I think in that time I maybe took part in about 10 space battles, and most of those were when pirates entered a system where my fleet was parked. Whenever I encountered another race I'd go the diplomacy route, and none felt the need to wage war on me (was playing on normal difficulty, expect it's harder to be diplomatic on higher settings).

Space battles are meh, but you can auto-resolve them. It isn't just a question of greater numbers, as you can fit-out your ships for short, medium or long-range attacks, with a choice of energy or projectile weapons (each of which requires a different module to defend against as well), which combines with different pre-set strategies... so in effect if your enemy is a squadron of short-range fighters you might want to take them on with long-range specialists and bring them down before they can reach you, and so on. It's quite customisable, although as the battles themselves play out as a cutscene you'll likely still want to skip the actual action. It's not the best, but it's not really the focus so hey.

Where I think it shines is the difference in playstyle between the, I think, 9 different races, all of which can be fully customised if you want to make your own unique one.

For my first campaign I was a race of sentient tree-people. Most races colonise systems by first setting up an outpost that take around 20 turns to turn into a colony (at which point you can then start developing them). The tree-people send out special scout ships that hover around a system for 10 turns, seeding them with this weird space-vine stuff that then forms a network between all your worlds. When the vines reach the target system you can colonise immediately to your heart's content. As a result, you can expand extremely quickly.

In the second campaign I've just started I'm a predominantly mercantile race, who don't use colony ships to set up outposts, instead they buy out systems instantly to set up an outpost, so quick expansion is possible if you have the cash. When they meet minor races (who own a single system but aren't part of the main opposing empires), they can start bribing them so that after a certain number of turns you can they buy out their system.

Each race seems to have its unique foibles and characteristics, so it's going to be fun trying them all out.

As I said, recommended.

Also worth noting that there's been a few patches now and I didn't encounter a single bug so far.