Endless Space Review: From Star Trek to Star Wars
From Star Trek to Star Wars, history has been filled with fantastical tales of space exploration. In the new 4x strategy game, Endless Space, people have a new way to explore their love of space and strategy games at the same time. While not a perfect game, Endless Space has a charming and addicting quality once you get the hang of it.
Endless Space involves traveling to and from different star systems, colonizing them, and advancing your civilization through a series of research evolutionary trees. It all sounds simple enough, but it gets messy fast. The title of the game itself is very telling in the usage of the word “Endless.” The research trees, for example, are huge. Sometimes, particularly for a person unaccustomed to playing 4x strategy games, the descriptions for the purpose of the research only serve to confuse and jumble things up more.
The trees serve a huge purpose in the game however. Performing research allows a civilization to expand and build a stronger empire. For example, early research developments can raise the defensive capacities of your ships, or allow you to colonize planets with extreme conditions. There are four distinct trees, each that help grow a different division of your intergalactic strengths.
The menu system in Endless Space, is huge. Surprisingly, most of the things in the game are easily organized and recent constructions and current occurrences in the galaxy are continuously updated on a turn-by-turn basis, and most of the planets and fleets are listed on specific pages, making micromanagement of fleets and different star systems much easier.
Much like in a game like Civilization, there also is the inevitable situation where you come into contact with another expanding society competing for space and resources. Players can form peace treaties with other groups or declare war upon them. During battles with other groups, players will find that the combat system in Endless Space is basic at best. You can choose to have your squadron of ships
automatically battle out the enemy squad, or operate the battle manually. The battle has three stages in manual mode: long range, medium range, and close range. Players pick cards that will decide the operation of their fleet during battle, and then watch the bullets fly as the ships float past one another.
Usually, there isn’t much of a point to picking a manual battle, because the battle results seem decided from the moment a battle is declared.
There is an oddly satisfying feeling when playing Endless Space that comes with the constant evolution of your entire civilization and fleet. The intricacies of the game, however perplexing a few of them may be at first, truly expand the depth and tactics involved in playing. Discovering new star systems, upgrading and managing your planets, and aiming to reach and control the peripheries of the game world are all oddly addicting.
If you’re willing to spend the time playing, you’ll find Endless Space to be a rewarding foray into 4x strategy games. Just don’t expect a riveting galactic tale filled with drama and life, because, besides the lack of a deep combat system, what the game lacks most is an actual story. This is no Mass Effect, guys.
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