I’m going to admit that I’m not exactly an expert on this genre of game. I’ve tried a few times to play games like Civilization and Total War. All of which I really loved the concept of. However, there was always some aspect of the game that I just couldn’t get behind. If I tried to take out that certain aspect of the game, it just felt like you ruined the experience. Kind of like you were missing out on half of the game, which technically you were. Somehow the people over at Amplitude Studios created Endless Legends in such a way that the feeling never surfaced.
Endless Legend is a 4X Stategy game. Learning that 4X meant to “explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate” was an eye opener. I’ve known the genre, but not apparently what it was called. I just called them strategy. There is so much more to it than that.
At the beginning of every game you’ll be picking which faction you want to play. Each race has a specific reason for wanting to expand. Whether it is to find a new home, to dominate for funzies, or to find a cure for a curse, the road will not be a short one.
Endless Legend doesn’t have a single player campaign in the traditional level progression with story-telling sense, but does something more akin to Titanfall where the stories are put into the multiplayer. It’s not something that just ends though. It expands through the whole match as you interact with different factions both major and minor. Will you just walk over everyone else or will you decide to try a more diplomatic approach? It’s up to you and I’m not going to lie since most of my readers know me. I’m more of a “talk with a sword” guy.
Every new game starts with a small city. You grow and expand as you see fit only to be limited by the research you’ve done which is limited by the era you’re in as the clock rolls on. The world is like a living board game which is just too cool looking. You can zoom in to see your heroes bound around the map or zoom way out and see the world divided by different colored regions that you’ve explored. There are numerous locals to visit, ruins to explore and other interesting people to kill… err meet. Exploring everything is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes you’ll have to spill innocent blood to answer for your wanderings to every single nook and cranny. Is it worth it? Well, for someone who always plays the good guy… the money’s good. Not that that overrides it, but since most of the innocents that attack you for wandering too far give no warning or ability to be reasoned with. I’d call them crazy… and crazy gets quashed.
Let me just quote Amplitude Studios site to give you the rundown on things to be done in this game. No, this isn’t my style. No, this isn’t to just fill out this review. This is necessary because this game defeats me mentally. I told you, I’m more of a nuke guy than a strategic strike kind of player (with some exceptions made for maxed defense and solo Colonel Burton in Command & Conquer). Let’s just get it over with shall we?
1. “Lead one of eight civilizations each with a unique gameplay style and storyline.” (More coming with further development of the game.)
2. “Survive through cold dark seasons that drive Auriga to its end. Will it also be yours?” (Seasons… well just two, but winter’s such a pain and trust me that that’s enough.)
3. “Experience an endless replayability with randomly generated worlds and quests.”
4. “Set the size, shape, topography and more… to create your own world to discover.” (Large, always large. That way there’s more things to beat up.)
5. “Conquer, build and develop villages into feared fortresses or wonderful cities.” (I’m still figuring out how to build up a city other than just taking other people’s big cities.)
6. “Assimilate powerful minor factions and use their special traits and units wisely.” (Only a few at a time limited by your finished research, but a sweet way of getting some units not available from the eight major factions.)
7. “Hire, equip and train your heroes to become army leaders or city governors.” (Seriously freak’n cool stuff here.)
8. “Raise your civilization by finding mysterious artifacts and forgotten technologies.” (It should be noted that you unlock the blueprints on how to make them when you finish a quest. It’s not your normal “complete X, get Y”.)
9. “Evolve your civilization through the discovery of new advanced technologies.”
10. “Collect Dust, luxuries and strategic resources tradable on the marketplace.”
11. “Keep one step ahead of other civilizations through trade and subtle diplomacy.” (Or not… do you not have swords in this scenario?)
12. “Choose from different victory conditions and adapt your strategy on the fly.”
13. “Experience an innovative dynamic simultaneous turn-based battle system.” (This is one of those things that is cool for some, but I feel I’m kind of terrible at tactics unless it’s a Final Fantasy type setup. This game requires cavalry versus archers versus infantry type distinctions.)
14. “Use unit equipment, abilities and the terrain to overcome your opponents.” (Get your archers on the high ground and the infantry has to run around the mountain to a workable path. It’s fun when you’re not on the receiving end.)
15. “Zoom out of a battle and rule the other aspects of your empire seamlessly.”
16. “Define your custom civilizations and confront those created by your friends.”