Endless Space 2

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Endless Space 2
Endless Space 2 cover.png
Developer(s)Amplitude Studios
Publisher(s)Sega
Series
  • Endless Edit this on Wikidata
EngineUnity
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
macOS
ReleaseMay 18, 2017
Genre(s)Turn-based strategy, 4X
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Endless Space 2 is a turn-based strategy, science fiction 4X game developed by Amplitude Studios. It is the sequel to Endless Space, which was released in 2012. The game had been made available through Steam's early access program since October 2016.[1] It was released on May 18, 2017.

Overview[edit]

Endless Space 2 is set in the universe that was long ago dominated by a powerful race called the Endless. Inquisitive and dedicated, the Endless were able to make great advances in the fields of science, which culminated in them achieving virtualization, allowing them to upload their minds into machines and giving them eternal life. This created a great schism in their society, splitting it into two opposing factions, the Virtuals, who embraced electronic immortality, and the Concretes, who viewed it as an abomination. The quarrels quickly grew into an open war, called the Dust Wars, which essentially destroyed their society, leaving but a few splintered surviving individuals. Tens of thousands of years after the demise of the Endless, the galaxy is yet again thriving with life capable of interstellar travel. The player takes control of one of the 12 major factions, "each with their own asymmetrical gameplay, storyline, homeworlds, spaceships, heroes and technologies".[2]

  • The Sophons are a peaceful and curious race which resembles grey aliens. They pursue scientific advance to the point of recklessness and have once accidentally blown up their moon. For Sophons, the universe and life are something to be looked with awe and to be studied and understood. The Sophons have a unique ability to gain a research bonus to the technology that they are researching proportional to the number of factions that haven't yet researched the chosen technology.[3]
  • The Cravers are an aggressive hive-like half-machine half-insect race created by the virtual Endless who used them as a weapon against the Concrete Endless. The Cravers are always in war with other factions and are incapable of signing peace unless the Militaristic party has no representation in their senate. The Cravers gain 150% bonus to FIDS resources (Food, Industry, Dust and Science), but slowly deplete the planets that they inhabit, turning them unproductive and reducing their FIDS output to 50% after a certain time. They are also able to enslave other populations, increasing their FIDS output, but reducing their Approval (happiness).[4]
  • The Lumeris are an amphibian race that focuses on peaceful trading and dust acquisition (dust is the collection of nanobots and nano-computers created by the Endless used as the currency by today's factions who lack the ability to understand it and manipulate it). The Lumeris are able to colonize new systems using dust (instead of with colonizing ships) and gain bonuses to trade companies as well as reduction to dust inflation, which allows them to more efficiently buy out system improvements and spaceships with dust.[5]
  • The Vodyani developed on a poor planet called Tchinomy. Due to overexploitation of their homeplanet's resources they almost went extinct, but were saved by stumbling upon the technology of the Virtual Endless, causing them to worship them as gods. The Vodyani society is based on a religious hierarchy and they seek to convert other civilizations into Vodyani, drawing their lifeforce (by a unique resource called essence) and helping them ascend past their physical forms into virtuals. The Vodyani don't inhabit planets but instead live on their arks and exploit all the planets that their arks orbit around, allowing them to easily move to a new system that is richer in resources.[6]
  • The United Empire is an expansionist multiethnic faction ruled by an emperor. Their gameplay is focused on industrial output, which generates influence, which can be used to buy out system improvements, technologies and resources. The Imperials have a very flexible endgame, since they are later able to change their culture into Sheredyn (who have militaristic bonuses) or Mezari (who possess scientific bonus), making them well-suited for several victory types.[7]
  • The Horatio were founded by an eccentric Mezari magnate who got hold of ancient cloning labs used by the Endless, exploiting them to create a massive army of clones, replicating the most beautiful being in the galaxy – himself. The Horatio society views other races as inferior and primitive, and seeks to 'beautify' the galaxy, making it contain nothing but copies of Horatio. The faction possesses a unique ability to harvest other populations’ traits, splicing their genes and adding them to their own, constantly improving FIDSI output of the Horatio population.[8]
  • The Riftborn, odd-looking white floating beings from an alternate dimension were driven from their original universe called Coroz into the Endless universe when a dust artifact onboard a Hissho vessel exploded, causing a rift between the two universes. The different and incompatible physical laws of the two universes caused the rift to grow and to consume Coroz and its inhabitants and forced the Riftborn out of their own world. The Riftborn prefer sterile planets instead of fertile ones and do not increase their numbers by food (the Riftborn population must be constructed with industry). They are also able to place powerful singularities (time manipulations) on systems which can modify both friendly and enemy system FIDSI output.[9]
  • The Unfallen are a peaceful race of sentient trees that developed on a forest world of Koyasil. They are one of the oldest races in the universe and they possess the ability to discover and awake Guardians on planets, a special type of population which provides defensive bonuses to the planet it inhabits. The Unfallen colonize and claim other systems using celestial vines (which are special links between systems) and do not rely on spreading influence, like other empires. Additionally, they gain approval bonuses during peacetime and per factions they are allied to.[10]
  • The Vaulters (added in the Vaulters DLC) are the descendants of a Mezari penal ship which crashed on the world of Auriga, where they set up a colony (during the events of the Endless Legend game). After a cataclysmic atmospheric event, they were forced to flee the planet and have since wandered the galaxy in search for a new home. The Vaulters don't start on a home system. They instead start the game with a single colony ship called the Argosy which is not consumed after a colonization and which colonizes planets instantaneously (instead of creating an outpost which slowly grows and turns into a full settlement, like the other empires). They are also able to build portals which allow them to instantaneously travel to other system which also possess portals, as well as to disguise their ships as pirates and attack other empires (even allied ones).[11]
  • The Hissho (added in the Supremacy DLC) are an avian race augmented by the Concrete Endless on the world of Sykagoja for the purpose of gladiator fighting. The Concretes selectively bred them to be warriors until the Virtuals devastated the planet, leaving the Hissho to thread their own path. The Hissho are an aggressive race meant for tall play. They receive penalties to FIDSI output for each system above the limit and use a unique Keii resource instead of approval. Keii (which represents honor) is escalatingly consumed when colonizing star systems and when retreating in battles and is accumulated by exploring new star systems, invading planets and by sacrificing population during religious observances (periodic holy rituals). Hissho also start with an economic Behemoth around their home planet, a powerful spaceship which increases Keii rewards when nearby.
  • The Umbral Choir (added in the Penumbra DLC) is a mysterious immaterial energy being located in a special hidden node and which operates via hacking other empires. The Umbral Choir is able to create hidden sanctuaries on uninhabited planets as well as on enemy planets if they possess sleepers on them (sleepers are 'hacked' units of population which act as spies but the Umbral Choir is also able to abduct them and bring them to their home system as enhanced population). Sanctuaries are cloaked and transfer FIDSI resources back to the Umbral Choir home system. The fleets of the umbral choir possess cloaking from the start of the game, even without the cloaking modules.
  • The Nakalim (added in the Awakening DLC) are a religious race that worships the Lost, ancient beings made of dust which were nearly eradicated by the Endless who harvested them during the Dust Wars. They start with the first two tiers of technology already unlocked, but their planets do not generate science. Instead, they are able to collect a special resource called relics. The unassigned relics generate science while assigned ones improve heroes or provide economic bonuses. They are also able to build a unique planetary specialization Temple to the Lost, which allows them to cede systems to the Academy (a neutral faction where heroes are recruited led by a Vodyani rebel called Isyander) in exchange for relics.

Gameplay[edit]

At the beginning of the game, the player can choose from one of the 12 predesigned races, as well as to create their own custom race. They are then given control of a fledgling empire, which they must expand by conquering systems. Each system has up to 5 planets, with their own environments, climates, stats (i.e. production, food, etc.), and sometimes anomalies. Anomalies can be explored using an explorer ship, and give buffs or debuffs to the entire system. Planet stats decide how effective planets are at what, while environments decide whether a planet is colonizable or not. The ability to colonize different environments is unlocked through research. Each planet can also be given a specialization, which give buffs, with additional buffs being granted based on climate. Finally, the player can construct different structures, which give system-wide buffs and can be built an unlimited number of times, with a few exceptions. To reach different systems, players must follow established star lines, unless they have special technologies researched.

Research is key to progressing through the game. It unlocks new constructions, ship hulls, weapons, modules, upgrades, tactics, abilities and other useful things. The game has currently 10 factions (including the downloadable content). There are four different categories of research trees: military, science and technology, business and trade, and empire development. Each tree has four levels, which are only unlockable by researching different subjects in the level before. Politics are also important for different reasons. Each race has different parties, such as industrialists and scientists, which can have different statuses, such as entrenched and established. There are also different types of government. There are also a certain number of law slots, where the player can pass bills associated with a certain party that give buffs. However, bills require the party to have reached a certain status, and parties can pass "forced bills" without player interaction. Increasing party status/representative counts can be achieved by reaching certain technologies, constructing different buildings, and performing certain actions (one example is how declaring war, building bunkers, and researching weapons increases militarists count).

In order to expand their empire, the player must colonize systems throughout their galaxy. They are also competing with various other empires, who are also attempting to win the game. The player can interact with them, by declaring war, sending tributes, or forming alliances. Each empire has their own territory, and different relationships with the player (i.e. Cold War, War, Wary, etc.). There are also minor civilizations, who players can improve their relationships with to get them to send resources, or declare war on. They can also be assimilated into the player's empire if their relationship is good enough. However, enemy empires can interact with these civilizations as well.

To fight against other empires, players require ships and ground troops. Players can engage in ship battles against enemy fleets, with the outcome being entirely random, although greater fleet strength increases chance of victory. Different battle tactics can be used, which give bonuses and change the range of engagement. Players can also retreat from battle, saving their ships at the cost of taking some damage. Players can also invade by sending their ground troops to fight against defenders for a system. The player's ground troops can be upgraded, and the player can decide what percentages of the army they make up. Replenishing ground troops requires manpower, a special resource, and each ship can only carry so many soldiers. Players can also weaken an enemy system's defenders by waiting by the system for several turns, which decreases the number of enemy troops. The player can also use certain battle tactics as well, which give certain bonuses but also certain negatives.

The player can design ship designs. There are three classes of ship hulls: small, medium, and large, with small and medium hulls having multiple types. Larger hulls have more health, manpower capacity, and module slots, but lack the mobility of smaller ships, require more resources and time to build, and take up more space in a fleet. Each ship has support and weapon modules, where player can equip certain weapons and buff-granting support modules. Each weapon has different stats and ranges. There are three ranges: short, medium, and long. Each weapon has a certain effectiveness at certain ranges, with lower effectiveness reducing weapon damage and accuracy. Certain weapons have special properties; for example, kinetic weapons, while ineffective at long range, can attack incoming missiles, fighters, and bombers. Beam weapons, on the other hand, have generally low damage output but are unaffected by range.

Development[edit]

The game was made available through Steam's early access program on 6 October 2016. The full game was released on the 19 May 2017.[12]

The game received its third major update on 23 March 2018. It added the Vaulter civilization, pirate bases, and an Early Access version of multiplayer mode along with several new visual elements.[13]

Downloadable content[edit]

Since the release of the game, many DLCs have been added. Six updates, made available via a DLC format, were given to all players for free.

  • Stories
  • Vaulters (Faction pack)
  • Lost Symphony
  • Untold tales
  • Supremacy (one new Faction and gameplay changes)
  • Penumbra (one new Faction and new game features, in addition the ability to hack others)
  • Awakening (one new Faction and the Academy as an NPC faction)

Reception[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 Golden Joystick Awards PC Game of the Year Nominated [14]
Ping Awards Best PC Game Nominated [15]
Best Graphics Nominated
Best Soundtrack Nominated
2018 D.I.C.E. Awards Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year Nominated [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chalk, Andy (September 27, 2016). "Endless Space 2 is coming to Early Access in early October". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.endless-space.com/
  3. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  4. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  5. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  6. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  7. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  8. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  9. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  10. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  11. ^ "Wiki Endless Space 2".
  12. ^ Scott-Jones, Richard (April 13, 2017). "Endless Space 2 leaves early access on May 19, get the original on Steam for £1 until Monday". PCGamesN. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  13. ^ O'Connor, Alice (March 23, 2017). "Endless Space 2 adds multiplayer, Riftborn faction". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  14. ^ Gaito, Eri (November 13, 2017). "Golden Joystick Awards 2017 Nominees". Best in Slot. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Nommés aux Ping Awards 2018". Ping Awards (in French). 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  16. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 14, 2018). "Game Of The Year Nominees Announced For DICE Awards". GameSpot. Retrieved January 20, 2018.

External links[edit]