A couple of weeks ago, I caught a demo of Endless Legend, an upcoming 4X strategy game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) for PC. The game is being developed by Amplitude Studio, the creators of Endless Space. Endless Legend takes place in the same universe as Endless Space, but is set during an earlier time period. As you’d expect from an experienced 4X strategy game developer like Amplitude Studio, Endless Legend is shaping up to be a deep, cerebral, and engrossing experience.
Versatility is one Endless Legend’s fortes. The game accommodates a wide variety of playing styles. The different clans offer various strengths suited to a particular style. Whether you prefer a militaristic offense, an airtight defense, or economic supremacy, Endless Legend offers complex gameplay that will tickle your fancy. Best of all, you can experience the game in different ways, depending on the play style and clan you choose.
Like other 4X strategy games, combat and exploration are heavily featured on the surface level, while intense resource management serves as the game’s underpinning. There are four basic resources in Endless Legend: food, industry, science, and dust. The last one is a resource that can be used for purchasing and maintenance, while one clan uses it in lieu of food. I was told that “influence” serves as a fifth resource of sorts, making it the Brian Epstein of Endless Legend resources (What? No Beatles fans?!?).
Speaking of clans, the developers gave me a quick rundown of some of the factions in Endless Legend. The Wild Walkers are the rough equivalent of elves featured in numerous fantasy games. The Broken Lords are knights and builders, that may or may not have a problem with dust-related vampirism. The Necrophages are evil, zombie-like insectoid beings that aren’t particularly nice. The Roving Clans are renowned for manipulating dust for profit. Lastly, the Vaulters are the science nerds of Endless Legend and their society revolves around ancient technology. The last one was slightly disappointing, as a strategy-game clan comprised of pole vaulters sounded all kinds of awesome. Lastly, I was told that there are up to 16 minor factions that can drastically alter gameplay.
The game’s main quest is divided into eight chapters, with each faction offering a unique experience. While side quests for minor factions are more generic, the developers told me that they aimed for variety with the main factions. In addition to battling, there will be quests that revolve around exploration and economy building. The player will sometimes be given broad goals, with multiple ways to achieve them. For example, the player can be tasked to get 10 of “resource X” and can do so through different means.
From what I was shown, Endless Legend looks like an intense game that will satisfy a very particular type of gamer. While 4X strategy doesn’t have the broadest appeal, gamers that are into it are super into it. Endless Legend looks like a home run for those kinds of gamers. At the same time, the game is surprisingly approachable. Yes, it’s very involved, but it’s also accessible to gamers that are curious about 4X strategy and have never delved into it. It certainly won’t appeal to balls-and-guns gamers, but there’s a chance that Endless Legend will create new 4X strategy fans while satisfying existing ones.
Endless Legend is currently in public beta and available through Steam.