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Endless Space: 2nd Free Add-on And Steam Free Weekend

By on November 28th, 2012 10:30 am

Amplitude Studios releases their second free add-on for Endless Space today,  later on the day on Steam.

This second free add-on, named Echos of the Endless, is part of Amplitude’s update plan for Endless Space, which comprises three free add-ons added to the their space 4X game Endless Space till the end of 2012. The first add-on, Rise of the Automatons, brought a new custom faction, a new trade route panel, improved AI and upgraded diplomacy.

Echoes of the Endless will be about injecting “Ambience” and “Life”. Amplitude is now also mentioning adding more “Personality” and “Feedback”. Here’s a list of this new add-on’s most profound changes:

  • Random Interactive Events: Multiple choice interactive random events;
  • Ambience Galaxy Map+: Give more life to the galaxy with the addition of comets, black holes, anomalies, etc;
  • Exploration Rewards: There will be rewards on some systems that can only be earned by the 1st players to reach them;
  • Wonders: Adds wonders rewarding players’ exploration with temporary boosts;
  • Diplomacy: Added diplomatic answers when the player trades with an AI and when an AI is offering a proposal;
  • Heroes: Added a new Pilgrim hero and 4 other heroes of other factions;
  • Multiplayer: All the multiplayer sessions of a given version are now displayed. You can join a game only if you have the same files/mod as the session’s host;
  • AI: Removed growth and fleet upkeep bonus for the AI; lowered normal pirates difficulty and AI for newbie is less aggressive and less militarized;
  • Music: 5 new tracks;
  • Others: Battle timer now optional; Added auto-cycle button to review fleets without orders; Added sentry mode to the fleets actions.

Have a look here for the complete release note.

Steam Free Weekend and 50% off

Along with the new free add-on Iceberg and Amplitude are having a Steam free weekend for Endless Space, which means that anyone can download and play the game between November 29th and December 3rd. They will also have rewards that get unlocked as more people play the game and apparently the game will be at 50% off during that time according to Iceberg Interactive.

Well, there’s a lot going on in the Endless Space universe that’s for sure. Two new add-ons have been released with one to come out still this year, all this before they start working on the announced Endless Space expansion. There seems to be a lot to expect from Amplitude Studios regarding their turn-based space 4X game. Let’s now see how all this materializes in the real important issue at hand, the game experience.

Here’s our review. We’ll probably have a re-review of Endless Space after all the add-ons have been released, or some first impressions before that as time allows. So, stay tuned!

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57 Comments


  1. Loyal_Viggo says:

    Good for you Amplified Studios!

    I own this game, and I applaud this continuation of providing content for purchasers of the game, this is a very sensible attitude and one that is sadly lacking in the PC gaming industry.

    It’s also one contrary to the insidious cash-for-mediocre-and-junk-DLC trend that seems to be growing amongst PC users like a plague of money-gouging-death-by-a-thousand-cuts (to my wallet).

    DLC for free inspires loyalty to a brand. It should be free.

    Fascist accountants and cretinous studio-bosses bending the consumer over and sticking a $50 in their mouths for junk DLC does not.

    I refuse to purchase DLC and the sky has not fallen… at least not yet.

    • Adam Solo says:

      It’s funny. You know what, I haven’t bought a single DLC to date but I did so a couple of days ago. I bought three new civilizations for Civ5: the Koreans, the Vikings (Denmark) and the Babylon.

      Like you said, the sky wouldn’t have fallen if I didn’t buy them, but my thought process was like this. I played Civ5:G&K a lot already (with the latest patches it’s very, very good) and felt like expanding the experience a bit more for a couple of bucks (even because they were at 50% sale now). I feel that I’m having a good return for my investment.

      So, I’m ok with DLCs, as long as they are not required to get a good experience. The core game must always be enough to give you all the value you paid for. DLCs are, well, for people that take a game very seriously and want a bit more for a little extra. After all, you can’t be waiting forever for the devs to introduce all the content that they may think of. Releasing the core and then a few DLCs with optional stuff for fans doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me.

      But again, I’m new to this DLC business, and it probably depends a lot on the type of game you’re talking about and the companies behind it.

      • Njordin says:

        Crusader Kings II “Addons” are examples for O.K. DLCs.

        • JohnR says:

          Yeah, it does seem like Paradox has gone of the deep end with all their Crusader Kings DLC add-on’s with minimal content. How many are they up to now? 15-20?

        • Towerbooks3192 says:

          I don’t mind the “expansions” like Sword of Islam or Legacy of Rome but those portraits/dynasty shields or their sprite packs for other games are so annoying!! They should have bundled all of those.

          I am crossing my fingers they would release an expansion that doesn’t feel like a mini DLC when EU IV comes

      • JohnR says:

        Adam, speaking of Denmark in Civ5, the Doomsday Book/Norman Invasion scenario that comes with that DLC is great fun. Highly recommended.

        • Adam Solo says:

          Ha, yes, there’s a new scenario in that DLC. I’m not a scenario guy but I’ll probably give it a go. Thanks for the tip.

        • JohnR says:

          Adam, the Fall of Rome scenario in Gods and Kings is really good as well. I especially enjoyed playing the Byzantines. I did think though that the Middle Ages and Steampunk scenarios in Gods and Kings were missed opportunities.

    • JohnR says:

      I agree with you all the way about the fascist accountants, but I’m sorry to say that I can’t say the same about Endless Space. It was my biggest gaming disappointment of the year. It doesn’t hold a candle to the rich and deep living galaxy of Distant Worlds, despite the fact that it’s a bit prettier. To be fair, I do applaud the free DLC’s, and it’s possible that they might improve the ES experience, but I have my doubts.

      • Loyal_Viggo says:

        JohnR, I agree with your diagnosis of Endless Space the actual game. Although competition for worst disappointment of the year is stiff – Endless Space, Xcom butchering, Legends of Pegasus and Fallen Enchantress – it is in this select group of four.

        To date I only logged 5 hours on ES then uninstalled, and won’t be reinstalling even with free dlc.

        Distant Worlds, is, like you said, superior and much more engaging. Shame the DW expansions (like the main game) cost an arm and a leg even in a sale…

        • csebal says:

          Seriously.. get your expectations down to the ground, because if in your book the above mentioned four titles all qualify for the worst disappointment title, then – my friend – you have unrealistically high expectations and would probably not recognize a good game even if it would hit you right on the head.

          As for distant worlds..
          In the land of the blind, the man with the one eye is the king.

          To avoid going into a full fledged rant of all the many things wrong with that one, I will simply settle for the above statement.

        • Adam Solo says:

          @csebal
          I don’t disagree with your observations on the need to have realistic expectations. But, I’m curious. What would be the “man with two eyes” in terms of 4X games of late in your view?

        • Loyal_Viggo says:

          @csebal – Thank you for your aphorism, most… detailed. With such a unusual rebuttal I’m unsure if you’ve actually played any of the titles mentioned…

          Obviously taste is subjective and I’m glad you respect my opinion, but I don’t think my expectations regarding those titles are unreasonable:

          Endless Space – Style over substance. Letdown in terms of misrepresentation and unfulfilled potential.

          Fallen Enchantress – Better than its predecessor yet not as intuitive or engaging as Warlock Master of the Arcane (yet cost four times as much). I think I can classify this as ‘Worst Impulse Purchase’.

          Legends of Pegasus – Unreasonable to assume a product would work or that the studio would be around for longer than five months after release? This should come off the list as steam refunded me.

          XCOM – Unreasonable to assume it would compare to the 1994 original? So bug-ridden and emasculated by lack of depth or strategic options it was uninstalled in less than a week. Of all these titles this is the one I feel most deceived over and would gladly have my $50 back if I could.

          Csebal, any more insights into just how low my expectations should be?

        • Ermdog says:

          @CSEBAL

          I totally agree with what you said. I will agree with Legends of Pegasus because of its fail launch, but the other 3 games are actually good and have good reviews. Sure they are not the Best games but they are solid ones.

        • csebal says:

          @Adam:
          The biggest issue with Distant Worlds was its overcomplicated resource system and the fact that you had to rely on an inadequate AI to make it work. I think the last “two eyed” 4X I could name was sots prime. It had its focus straight and had quality to it too. Everything since then was just a flop one way or the other.

          @Loyal_Viggo:
          Endless Space, Legends of Pegasus.. even those are not the same caliber as far as quality goes.. I do not like Endless Space myself, but comparing it to Legends of Pegasus is like comparing a mass murderer (of genres) to a teenager who steals candy from the store. The first should just be put down, the second should just have his priorities set straight.

          Fallen Enchantress: that you compare it to Warlock is funny, because I never liked Warlock myself.. played it for a few hours, but for me it is just too bland / boring. It tries to pass as some sort of master of magic clone, but is missing all the features that made master of magic great. Fallen Enchantress has all of those, are more. Even if you do not like the way Fallen Enchantress does things, it’s launch and reception were kinda good compared to that of LoP.

          Same goes pretty much for XCOM. Yes.. it is unreasonable to assume it would compare to the original from ’94, because guess what.. close to 20 years have passed. See that is what I do not get. Why do some people expect carbon copies of games they already have? If you want to play the original, fire up dos box and there you go. Also.. XCOM was probably one of the most exposed games of the year as far as its pre-release coverage goes. Hell.. I’ve watched close to 10-15 hours of gameplay videos BEFORE the game was even released and they even had a demo up, so I just do not see how you could feel deceived over what you bought there considering all the info that was available. In my book, XCOM is one of the better AAA released of the year, so yea.. there is that.

          Bottomline: The four titles you mentioned are on totally different parts of the quality scale from worst to near flawless and you call them all contenders for the “worst disappointment of the year”, which is why I was suggesting to get your expectations down to the ground.

        • Adam Solo says:

          @csebal

          As always, tastes can’t really be discussed. You loved Sword of the Stars (I suppose with all the expansions) and you think Distant Worlds: Legends is a flop. I disagree completely on the second but I’m not here to convince you of anything. You have the reviews out there, not only mine, and you can judge by your own head.

          Considering Sins: Rebellion a flop is also quite … personal. Sure I don’t like the fact that they’ve wrapped Sins Trinity with Titans and sold it for $40, but if you never played Sins, then Sins Rebellion is a great 4X game that is totally worth the price.

          Civ5: G&K with all the recent patches is an as-good-as-it-gets Civ game. So, I wouldn’t call that one a flop either.

          LoP, SotS2:LoW are, evidently, flops.

          Endless Space is … a good game, but not particularly great and very far from excellent. I concur with Ashbery76 when he says that 4X games always need expansions, or at least a few heavy patches I would add, to make them polished and ultimately fun and quality products. In fact, it’s not really an oppinian, it’s a fact! It happens with all Civ iterations, GalCiv games also required a lot of balancing and expansions, Distant Worlds, Armada, Star Ruler, and probably the same will happen with Endless Space. I hope so at least.

          This isn’t an excuse to put unfinished 4X products on the market though. If they come out bad, then they will have what they deserve (Distant Worlds at release time, SotS2:LoW and LoP examples). But, always remember that 4X games, like wine, need to age and mature. We’ll see if that will be the case with ES or not.

        • csebal says:

          @Adam:
          I never said that Distant Worlds was a flop. It was an okay game. I would not consider it awesome though as it had its fair share of troubling issues.

          As for the rest you mentioned.. mostly agree, but never said any of them were bad, except for the two that obviously were, so not quite sure where you are trying to get with that list o’ yours. Especially curious about rebellion, as I never once mentioned SoaSE in this thread, so no idea why you would assume that I consider it a flop, when quite the contrary, I consider it to be a very good game.

          Maybe you came to this conclusion because I did not name that game as an example of games that have “both eyes”. While the reason for that is a lot simplier.. SoaSE is not a 4X game in my eyes.. But we already had this discussion, so let’s not even go there.

          Also I rate my games on a rather wide spectrum and as such have categories other than horrible and awesome. Just because a game does not fall into either category does not automatically mean that I consider them to be a part of the other.

          Hope that clears up any confusion related to my comment.

        • Adam Solo says:

          @csebal
          Because you said this:

          “As for distant worlds.. In the land of the blind, the man with the one eye is the king.”

          Meaning, you’re stating that Distant Worlds is great because all other 4X games are bad or mediocre.

          And this:

          “I think the last “two eyed” 4X I could name was sots prime. It had its focus straight and had quality to it too. Everything since then was just a flop one way or the other.”

          Everything since then I interpreted: every 4X game since then, was “a flop one way or the other.”.

          Sorry if I misunderstood your comments, but I interpreted that you were putting all 4X games in the same “flop” bag when you said the above, which I completely disagree and had to write something about it :)

        • csebal says:

          “…I interpreted that you were putting all 4X games in the same “flop” bag when you said the above…”

          It was exactly that kind of one dimensional binary thinking that I spoke up against, so it would really be careless of me if I would then fall into the same pit and do the same mistake myself.

          Anyway, I explained it in the post above, so let’s just move on and talk about the actual blog post here :)

        • Adam Solo says:

          It was not me who said: “Everything since then was just a flop one way or the other.” and “In the land of the blind, the man with the one eye is the king.”. So, I don’t really understand who’s having a “one dimensional binary thinking” here.

          But I agree with you, let’s move on :)

  2. Ashbery76 says:

    EndlessSpace was style over substance and it worked pretty well for them in the media.I am glad they are adding some immersion to counter the bland design.

    I still think an expansionp pack or two of added depth will make the game pretty good in the future.

    • JohnR says:

      Agreed Ash. In fact I won’t 100% count it out and may try it again at some point after they’ve added more content and patches, though by that time I expect StarDrive will be out. ;o)

      • Loyal_Viggo says:

        JohnR – not sure if this is on your radar, but check out a game called ‘Starfarer’.

        Currently in development but with most of the features working, and even in this state the game is outstanding and worth $10.

        I logged so much time on it already my wife already dislikes it as much as World of Tanks (another time-drain).

        Anyway, give it a look, really alot of fun.

        • Wodzu says:

          @Loyal_Viggo thanks for the tip with Starfarer :)

          @Adam, maybe you could check that game (Starfarer) ? It seems to be simmilar to the FTL:) I’ve watched out one movie on their site but I could not understand what is going on there ;)

        • Loyal_Viggo says:

          @Wodzu – No problem!

          @Adam – website is http://fractalsoftworks.com/

          Direct from the site:
          “Starfarer is an in-development open-world single-player space-combat, roleplaying, exploration and economic game. The player is a space captain who can seek out fortune and glory however they choose.”

          Basically you start with one rubbish ship, then build up from there. Alot of fun.

        • Adam Solo says:

          I tried Starfarer already. I even wrote a preview back in March. The tactical part of the game was already quite solid but the campaign (RPG part) was still making its first strides. I had fun playing and would be something I’m interested in playing when it’s complete.

        • Loyal_Viggo says:

          @Adam – Oh yes, apologies for not seeing that.

          0.54a build is out now, still not much by the way of the campaign proper but the RPG crew skills iare 3/4 done Combat/Leadership/Engineering (nothing for Industry yet).

          Still, absorbing game. Will be superb when finished.

          Already got some great fan-made mods and additions out and the creator is really engaging with the community.

        • Adam Solo says:

          @Loyal_Viggo
          No need to apologise. It is I that need to think in a better way to organize the articles and the games page, so that people don’t miss them :)

        • Wodzu says:

          I’ve probably missed Adam’s review cause I’ve been on holidyas that time. But it won’t happend again, I am addicted to this site;)

        • Adam Solo says:

          @Wodzu
          That’s great to hear man :)

  3. eleazar says:

    I haven’t played ES, but will probably get it soon.

    In spite of all the Kickstarter promises, a 4X space game is IMHO a huge undertaking. And it is the balancing of all the features that makes it sing– or not. I think Amplitude was wise in narrowing their focus, and trying to do fewer things, but do them well. That’s a better base to expand from then trying to do everything, doing some of it poorly, and then trying to fix the mess.

    Anybody notice the intriguing reference to “minor factions” in the release notes?

    “Added 4 heroes of new factions (Sheredyn and minor factions).”

  4. DevildogFF says:

    Meh, not enough to bring me back in. I tried. However, the second I met the Cravers in a new game and all I saw was an icon….let’s just say I immediately lost interest again. Give me SOMETHING IN THE WAY OF DIPLOMACY. MY GOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD! lol

    Too bad, because some of the game is pretty well done.

    • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

      There is full 4x diplomacy, but the diplo screen only comes up when you initiate it, not when the other empire contacts you. Also, the Cravers have no diplomacy. That’s their thing–they eat everybody else, literally. You can’t negotiate with them at all, aside from a very basic choice between full war and cold war with them. So yeah, of course you met the Cravers and found no diplomatic options, because that one race (and that one race only) has none.

  5. Chris McMahon says:

    So is the Steam free weekend for the whole game, or just the multiplayer?

  6. JohnR says:

    Endless Space is the worst case of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ I’ve ever seen in a game. ;o)

  7. salvo says:

    just wondering, has anyone here tried the current version of free orion? There is a new gameplay video available, though the early build, the game seems rather playable and stable

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joYNitvqw9M

    • Eleazzaar says:

      If you try it, skip the v0.4.1 stable version and go for a recent binary. We have a Dev focused on AI now, so the game is more fun.

    • Mark says:

      Unfortunately the “star lanes” in free orion are a deal breaker for me. I simply cannot suspend my disbelief with “roads in space”.

      If they got rid of the roads I would probably try it – even though the recent crop of 4x games coming out now make it pale in comparison – but they wont, so I’m going to steer clear.

      • eleazar says:

        The known laws of physics don’t give us *any* practical ways to build FTL fleets, or to building communications for a galactic empire. I don’t see why your suspension of disbelief should be so particular which made-up loophole a game uses to get around the light speed barrier.

        But you have the right to enjoy, or not enjoy whatever you wish.

        FreeOrion may not be a good fit for you anyway. Our goal is very clear: we’re making a space-themed game, not a realistic galaxy simulator. If the known laws of physics get in the way of fun gameplay, we go with gameplay, intending to patch up the hole with imagined discoveries of future science.

  8. Towerbooks3192 says:

    How are things going with the 2 free add-ons so far? Is it still 4x lite?

  9. slyostinato says:

    @Tower – yeah, still very much a lite 4x game. All they really have done is gussied up this pig with some more lipstick – lots of new eye-candy, basically. They’ve addressed very few critical issues that players of this game have been clamoring for on their G2G forums. I’ll have to agree with the sentiments of John, Devil and Ash – meehhh. Alot of hype and bluster were generated by their PR department at pre-release, but now 2 patches later, and…well…not much has changed from their initial release in July. Oh sure, they’ve added some new blackholes and exploding novas in the background graphics to watch; and a screen to watch your trade routes, but nothing monumental has been done to fix this game and move it into that realm of “Oh, I just can’t stop playing this game”. It doesn’t have that type of appeal or “Wow” factor other deeply developed games have. Once they move it to the $5 bin, perhaps it would be worth buying. But with them asking a premium price of $40 for a retail box – NOT WORTH IT!

    • Towerbooks3192 says:

      Wow, that is a bit disappointing. I had high hopes for this game. I mean I pre-ordered it back then and played a little bit but it is too light for my taste. I mean I won’t mind if it is something like Master of Orion 2 or Civ V (which are lighter compared to something like Distant Worlds or Paradox games such as Crusader kings 2) where there is depth but not too deep that it takes awhile to learn the game and there is enough to lure me in.

      Anyway lets see what they could come up with in future expansions and hopefully in their future games.

      • slyostinato says:

        And therein lies the problem. By the time they come out with an expansion, a large chunk of previously interested players will have written this game off and moved on. Plus, there is the problem of trying to monetize this game so early in it’s development. An expansion pack less than a year after its initial release?? Basically unheard of in the established gaming market; and people are seeing through this ploy as nothing but a money-grab act. Oh well…The gaming industry, in regards to consumers, can be a VERY fickle creature. With so much competition and so many indie studios popping up, there is a small window of opportunity to capture the attention of potential buyers. If you fail to deliver right out of the gate, you’ve lost those buyers; and then in turn, they tell their friends to pass on such-n-such a game because of X, Y and Z. It’s tough out there. Really tough.

        • Towerbooks3192 says:

          I have to say that expansions or DLCs that come out too soon are common nowadays. I prefer devs who released DLCs at a reasonable period of time (not too soon and not too late) and the time spent waiting for the DLC/expansion is worth it.

          I am happy that a site like space sector exist in order for me to atleast know some of the possible hidden gem in the indie market that I might be interested in because there are heaps of indie games coming out.

          I have to be honest, I really wished this game would be the next master of orion or something or at least have that “one more turn” feeling that Civ has. I must say that despite the lack of depth in gameplay that this game is beautiful IMHO. Its just disappointing that there is no depth that backs up all the beauty that you could see in this game.

  10. Ermdog says:

    I think the new additions are nice, I like the random events and perks but wish it was more a mystery on finding those rare planets with bonus. They just flat out tell you which ones are rare, eh takes some fun out of it i guess.

    But I agree with most, its got nice features but there are still a lot of things that needs to be done like Diplomacy and Combat.

  11. Ashbery76 says:

    I think modern 4X games need an expansion pack or two to become fully fleshed out.DistantWorlds was a good concept but not a very good game at release.Armada2526 became a decent game with the expansion and SOTS2 is finally starting to look very a good game after a years release and a free upcoming expansion.

    I think ES will become a good game so I would not write it off yet.

    • Adam Solo says:

      I agree. I would add “expansions or few heavy patches”. But, definitely all recent 4X games required something more after release to become fully enjoyable products. Distant Worlds, Armada 2526 as you said, but also Star Ruler, GalCiv games (yes, they required lots of balancing and expansions), all Civ iterations, Elemental: War of Magic. And even SotS2 seems to be headed on the right direction.

      But, as I said in a comment above, this is not an excuse to release unfinished and faulty 4X products on the market. If they came out bad they will get what they deserve. Many of us, as 4X lovers, need to realize this: unfinished, unpolished and unplayable is one thing, needing balancing or a bit more content, is another completely different. And usually 4X games always need that. Because although easier to develop than other games, like lets say, RPGs or FPS (because of the art), they are ultimately complicated games to make from a gameplay point of view, and they need lots of testing, balancing, and in many cases user feedback to make them great products.

      But, of course, the launching price is also a factor. In the end it’s all about the value you get from the price you paid, mixed in with your expectations, and this is where usually lies the complication. And, that’s where reviews come in, to help you make the best choices. Sometimes it’s preferable to wait before entering in a game and let it age and mature, and then jump in if it gets a better expansion re-review.

  12. vorkosigan says:

    Really, what Ashbery76 just said. DW at release – and that was 3 years ago – was a total BORE, although the concept completely blowed my mind when I first read about it. It didn’t really gather momentum until Legends, and still, I find that it’s is a nice, extremely detailed sandbox, yet a very lonely one. And guys, the AI in DW isn’t really something that impresses me greatly.

    I come from a perhaps different tradition in 4X games: those which are designed with multiplayer from the get go (the minority), and prefer the ‘design for effect’ philosophy, that the ‘high-fidelity engineering’. I appreciate sandboxes like DW, but for me, the best value for money in terms of long term replayability, comes from the contest of wits with other humans. For whatever it’s worth, I spent years playing VGA Planets 3. And there was very little substance there, and no style at all (especially when compared with MOO2, which came out more or less at the same time).

    Armada 2526: Supernova was a great promise. However, it failed at a number of levels for me. I didn’t find it engaging at all. Finding opponents was difficult. The UI was simply terrible. Total War game mechanics in space don’t really work very well (and I am one of those that think that TW game mechanics have *never* worked so well, being just window dressing for the tactical battles). There’s no ship design, and the means to influence outcomes of battles amount to deciding the hull mix (and most of the hull types are shared by all the races). I think RT Smith didn’t get it right with the initial release (no multi-player) and it took him too long to push the game forward and failed to create a ‘critical mass’ for a healthily sized multiplayer community to exist.

    In Endless Space I find that I have to make a lot of decisions, which matter a lot. I see that Amplitude has taken some of the things that made SOTS great – as in streamlining the things that weren’t really necessary – yet borrowed a few pages from DW with respect to detail and believability, collated through the experience of Civilization IV. It has a boardgamey flair to me that I much appreciate. I appreciate the interlocking and interaction between the improvements one builds – system level improvements and per-planet specialization is just a brilliant concept – they make sense, in a strategic sense. The research game is similar to that of Civilization IV, yet deeper, as one needs to thing in terms of ‘goals’ to achieve, rather than just generic empire-wide bonuses.

    And the multi player just feels like that of Civ IV. And I love the battle resolution system, with the battle action cards. It’s just perfect for MP, yet not that engaging for SP. But one has to make choices when it comes to design: I find troubling that there’s still people that believe that somebody, somewhere, will be able to implement all the features they liked in past games and somehow, in a strike of genius, to combine them to work together flawlessly to provide a coherent, consistent and well-balanced game. That’s just not going to happen, ever.

    MOO2 tactical style battles weren’t that fun, and if one is into that thing, Gratuitous Space Battles gets it absolutely right, without the ‘slog’ of empire building. While DW ‘allows’ in principle to manage battles, when you get a huge war – across several star systems – then you can forget about it. And I am that kind of player who hates feeling like a fireman.

  13. slyostinato says:

    Has anyone else come to the objective conclusion that sales of Endless Space are tanking? Why else would they give a free-to-play weekend followed by a 50% discount (which isn’t enough, BTW) to entice customers.

    • Ben says:

      Happy to see i’m not the only person jumping to this conclusion. 50% discount, Free weekend, this “close” after release…

      • eleazar says:

        Possibly, but desperation isn’t the only cause of software sales.

        The obvious conclusion you can draw is that they feel the need to expand their base and make more people aware of the game– thus the free-to-play, and sale.

        And as the humble indie bundle has dramatically demonstrated, sometimes you can make a ton more profits by offering software at a lower price.

    • catwhowalksbyhimself says:

      Tanking? The game has been out a while now, so sales are not supposed to be all that high anyway. The majority of a games sales are upon release so they are supposed to be “tanking” at this point.

      There are more likely explanations though. First of all, they keep releasing more new stuff without getting paid for it. This is expensive, so they are probably looking for more sales to finance this ahead of the expansion.

      The expansion is another reason. While it’s not around the corner, it is coming up next year. Civ V also had a free weekend a month or so ahead of it’s expansion, and it was hardly selling poorly.

      The mostly obvious reason is of course to promote the game again ahead of it latest major update, which just happened a few days ago.

  14. Chris Biot says:

    I am satisfied with my purchase. It is well worth the money due to the sale.

    I agree that some parts are lackluster, like the exploration and diplomacy. But I really like the menus and smoothness of the gameplay. Besides the game tells you every single bit of information when hovering above an icon, which is without a doubt one of the most useful features ever in a 4X game. I am often frustrated due to the lack of information in such games, because they have some many complex features and elements.

    Although I must admit that I was not hyped at all, I simply bought it after watching several videos and reviews. I like the game so far and the expansions made it even better. The astethics are superb and so is the soundtrack. It capures a certain feeling.

    If I seek a more complex experience, I can simply go back to GalCiv or MoO2.

  15. fafrin says:

    I must be the odd one out here,I like the game and I’ve played it constantly since it came out and I’m still enjoying the experience.

  16. eleazar says:

    I went ahead and bought it. I think it is well-worth the $15.

    My biggest complaint so far is the battles, not that they are simple — a 4X that doesn’t focus on the fight is fine with me– but that you either have to rely on the often stupid auto-resolve, or else spend several minutes controlling battle yourself. Horribly outclassed scouts will always fight to the death with auto-resolve, and i’ve had fleets with a decent advantage loose badly.

    • Adam Solo says:

      Yes, the problem is not that tactical battles are mandatory, they really aren’t in 4X games as you say. The problem is that the auto-resolve doesn’t (or didn’t) feel satisfying enough, or competent enough. And, that was (is?) a problem. Imagine playing Civ and having 2 longswords losing to 2 warriors everytime, or half the times. There’s no way you would accept that.

      In my view, Amplitude needs to get the auto-resolve right, so that we find it competent and trust it, or, develop a better combat system.

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