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Endless Space 2 Announced

By on July 31st, 2015 1:28 pm

endless_space_2_announced

Released in July 4th 2012, Endless Space was not a spectacular entry into the space 4X genre but still an important one. Since then, Amplitude Studios has developed two other games: Dungeon of the Endless (a rogue-like tower defense title) and Endless Legend (a great fantasy 4X game), all of them set in the same universe. The publisher, Iceberg Interactive, has stated that all games combined have sold more than 1.2 million copies.

Now, Amplitude Studios announces Endless Space 2, and with it a couple of teaser trailers were released on the official website and promise for more information to come out during the Gamescom event to be held in Germany between the 6th and 9th of August.

The first teaser trailer.

With the trailer comes the description (from the youtube page):

The sequel to the two-time Unity-award winning Endless Space! Endless Space 2 is turn-based, 4X space-strategy that launches players into the space colonization age of different civilizations within the Endless universe. -Endless Space youtube channel

Now the second teaser (a second version of the first actually).

As I said above, Endless Space was an important entry into the space 4X genre, because it came in a time where there were very few (if any) recent turn-based space 4X games in the market. Also turn-based, Sword of the Stars 2 was a big disappointment and before that we had only Armada 2526 (a very decent space 4X if you ask me), and Sword of the Stars 1.

With beautiful graphics, a very slick and intuitive UI, a very interesting colony management system, and a very “finished” alpha, Endless Space made an excellent first impression. However, it was only with time that one could realize that the game was flawed in many ways. Although approachable and enjoyable at the beginning, an unexciting combat system allied with a largely lifeless galaxy combined with a confusing tech tree made the game feel quite bland, repetitive and uninteresting in the long run. At least in single player. There was one major expansion released, Disharmony, but it ultimately failed at addressing these and other points.

With a lot more experience under their belt on what makes a great 4X game (Endless Legend), it’s expected that Amplitude can only do better with Endless Space 2. If they can inject more life into that Endless universe and come up with a more interesting combat system the thing might quite work very well.

With Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars and Endless Space 2 on the works, probably both to be released on 2016-ish (to be confirmed), there’s certainly a lot to hope for in the realm of turn-based space 4X gaming.

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52 Comments


  1. Gary Vandegrift says:

    Still waiting for a good 4x TBS space game since Space Empires IV.

  2. vmxa says:

    I can agree with you. I cannot come up with any 4x tbs space game I really liked, after SE4. I did not care for SE5. SoTS I was ok, II was not good. I am getting some fun out of Stardrive 2, but it is not very deep.

    • Gary Vandegrift says:

      Oh, I liked SE V, but once I upgraded to Windows Vista, I couldn’t play due to the mouse cursor moving so slowwwwwwwww. The problem didn’t go away with Windows 7, either.

      • alienjd says:

        I really miss SE V. I’ve tried so many things to get it to work under Windows 7 and no matter what the frame rate is just too low to play.

        • Gary Vandegrift says:

          I wish Malfador Machinations would release the source code so the community could find a fix for that, if they won’t fix it themselves.

      • SugeBearX says:

        When I first grabbed SE V on Steam I had the same cursor and FPS problems. After a few suggested tweaks I got the game running at 30 FPS with no cursor lag. Now, inexplicably, it is running at 60 FPS. Try the following and give it a shot. (If you haven’t already) Hope it works for ya…Cheers!

        Press F1 and search Clear Type Fonts and turn them off

        In SEV/Data/settings.txt turn Multithreading Support to true and DX 10 fix to true

        Run in 1280×720 at 16 bit color

        • alienjd says:

          Thanks! I hadn’t tried the 16bit colour setting or turning off clear type fonts. I’ll try it tonight.

        • Gary Vandegrift says:

          Thanks for the info. If I can find my SE V disc, I’ll give it a try :)

        • alienjd says:

          So far so good! Changing the colour setting to 16 bit seems to have fixed the framerate issue (at least 20 minutes into the game). Thanks again SugeBearX.

          I also did the changes listed here:
          http://steamcommunity.com/app/1690/discussions/0/846947320625372516/ previously.

          Oh, and installed Captain Kwerk’s Balance Mod (unrelated to frame rate issues but an excellent mod if you’ve not tried it).

        • Gary Vandegrift says:

          Ya, Balance Mod really helps.

        • SugeBearX says:

          Glad it helped…Lol, I just realized that my jump from 30 to 60 fps likely came from my having disabled Aero so I could play another game. I have added that tweak to my list…thanks for the info alienjd. Cheers!

      • Yrth says:

        Hmm, I am playing SE V over the last years again and again with the Balance Mod (1.19j), right now on Win7 and never had eny problems.
        I have to mention that I use the old original boxed version, and not the steam version and that I am playing always in Windowed mode scaled to the screen resolution.
        Give it a try, maybe it helps.

  3. Jeff P says:

    “Although approachable and enjoyable at the beginning, an unexciting combat system allied with a largely lifeless galaxy combined with a confusing tech tree made the game feel quite bland, repetitive and uninteresting in the long run.”

    Amen. The whole game seemed too abstract: simple icons on the screen represented ships while progress was limited to numbers changing on displays. Card-based combat was no more satisfying than that in GCII. Add the mandatory “space lanes” and too powerful early-game pirates, and my experience with ES bounced between boredom and frustration.

    I sure hope Amplitude gets the next one right.

    • naielrtn says:

      I for one think the UI is one of the best there is, the clinical look meshes very well with the space theme and with the rich backgrounds and gorgeous ambient music there for contrast the whole package hits a nice balance. And what was wrong the tech tree? Grouping the techs into four different categories IMO made it both non-linear and easy to understand. I’ll grant that pirates were a bit too strong early game. If it wasn’t for the boring combat and non-functional blockade system I’d still be playing it today.

      • Adam Solo says:

        Regarding the point on research, I didn’t fancy the tech tree’s arrangement into a tech web. I don’t think it’s a natural way to look and navigate through a tech tree (I also didn’t like it again in Civ Beyond Earth, for example). The four branches/categories also seemed a bit too arbitrary which I remember didn’t make it too intuitive where to find what. And, the tech descriptions were quite cryptic or just very general and too esoteric for my taste.

        So, in general I didn’t feel connected to the research system which hurt my experience with the game. Of course, this may be a matter of personal taste, and the arrangement into a tech web could have been a determinant factor for considering the system a bit confusing.

  4. zigzag says:

    Have the devs mentioned anything about tactical combat? Hopefully, they’ll jettison the card-based system (and the more sophisticated, but still limited system used in Endless Legend).

  5. hakkarin says:

    I was pretty hyped for the first game but just found it extremely boring. And don’t get me started about StarDrive 2…

    Hopefully the second game will be better.

    I think GalCiv 3 is the strongest space 4x game at the moment, though it is still kinda lacking features. But I hear expansions will fix that. Let’s hope people will be right about that.

  6. Ermdog says:

    Endless Space had it’s flaws, but it was a solid 4x game. It had a lot of things going for it, but things like combat and the invasion system kept it from being great. Here’s to hoping they learn from the bad, and make it better.

  7. ACEofHeart says:

    As many stated, Endless Space was a mixed bag. I enjoyed different aspects of it. Mostly on the main map of stars and exploring. Sigh, I’m not sure which game ever started the branching research approach where you can see ALL research goals (technology wise you have no right to see), but I hope it ends soon. And if done right I’ve never seen any major problems with real time combat in turn based games if it removes those mid to late game marathon click fest fights, if they do take that on..
    Hopefully Amplitude Studios has seen the good and bad of Endless Space and knows what direction to take. Time will tell…

    • Jeff P says:

      “… I’m not sure which game ever started the branching research approach where you can see ALL research goals (technology wise you have no right to see)…”

      Right on! In my opinion, one of the few things SoTSII got right was the semi-random tech tree (which revealed itself as you progressed) with a “feasibility” modifier: what you could research may change game-to-game, and researching a tech did not guarantee success. Also, the “salvage” feature granted the player the opportunity to reverse engineer techs you hadn’t already developed. If only other aspects of SoTSII were as well thought out…

      • Mark says:

        “If only other aspects of SoTSII were as well thought out…”

        Indeed, for every design decision they aced (like the tech tree) they totally stuffed up several others (Fleets, GUI, AI…. etc). Never saw a game with greater potential totally flushed down the toilet by the dev’s arrogant, hostile attitude towards any criticism at all.

  8. Mark says:

    I’m really not very excited about this one. The first one was very underwhelming with its star-lanes and horrible card-based, hands-off tactical combat. I strongly suspect that the chances of a sequel fixing any of these things is zero to none.

    Brace yourselves for yet another sub-mediocre space 4x trying to milk a few bucks out of fans desperate for the real thing, certainly no shortage of those around.

    • Ermdog says:

      Star-lanes bring strategy to the game. It makes it so you have to decide what strategic points to take, and how best to defend. Besides, you didn’t have to use them once you researched the tech, it was just a tad slower getting there.

      I admit the cards with combat didn’t work for me, but they tried to be different. Many space 4x games don’t have tactical combat now a days, you can probably list all the ones that do on one hand, and even then only 1 or 2 were actually decent. They made progress with Endless Legend, I expect a better game in ES2.

      • Mark says:

        Yes starlanes add a little strategy, but they do so by introducing a concept which has absolutely nothing to do with the free and open nature of space. In my opinion starlanes are a very lazy, flawed, immersion-destroying way of introducing an additional layer of strategy.

        Adding strategic options is great, but devs should work on their design to ensure that whatever they add is fully consistent with the actual nature of space. Not force-feed terrain and choke points where none exist. Space should feel like space, not a 3-lane highway.

        The fact that you can tech your way around them is good. Even better would be if they never existed in the first place.

        • Gary Vandegrift says:

          Mark said: “Yes starlanes add a little strategy, but they do so by introducing a concept which has absolutely nothing to do with the free and open nature of space.”

          Actually, they simulate wormholes between stars, which is certainly in line with various scientific theories for FTL travel.

        • Mark says:

          Well there’s a million different FTL theories and if you’re dead set on star-lanes you’re bound to find at least one which fits.

          But what they really do is reduce an existing 3-dimensional medium to a gamey 1-dimensional medium in order to artificially force terrain and choke points. To me that’s not space.

        • Ermdog says:

          Thing is this is a game, and no one really knows if “starlanes” will actually exist in the future. If you played Eve Online or Space Empires IV, they run on starlanes via a warp-machine and wormholes. Lets not forget Sins of a Solar Empire, and that is a great game. Also the upcoming Master of Orion game will have starlanes. I understand the concept of it being space and not having any boundaries, but you can’t say for sure there shouldn’t be any when we actually don’t know. Distant Worlds is a game that plays great without starlanes, but each game is different. I don’t find it being lazy at all, just depends on the game.

        • Mark says:

          Of course its a game, but ALL FTL theories are just fiction at the moment and if the FTL fiction that you choose for your game happens to be a long way from what we currently know about space its going to be increasingly difficult to swallow for your players.

          I agree that wormholes are a popular scientific theory, but EACH solar system having at least one wormhole, connecting ONLY certain stars and ONLY nearby stars in the familiar starlane net-pattern is definitely NOT. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a scientific FTL theory like this, popular or not. Wormholes just don’t work like that, at least in theory. It’s just a gamey mechanic to force terrain and choke points like you would find in a land-based game. Nothing wrong with gamey mechanics, but they should at least fit the genre.

          I have no problem with wormholes. They were a great addition to MOO2. But having at least one at every single star and conveniently arranging them in the familiar starlane fishnet pattern is stretching credibility and immersion to the breaking point and beyond.

    • Ashbery76 says:

      The game has tech that allows normal open travel anyway.

  9. ACEofHeart says:

    I have no problem with star lanes. My approach is that the discovery of star lanes and worm holes would absolutely be necessary for any living creatures to ever travel millions of light years light years to other galaxies. Just one light alone year is approximately 6 trillion miles…
    Just a propulsion system alone would never allow such events to be feasible.

    • Mark says:

      One of the most popular FTL theories does not involve wormholes, IS a propulsion system and would certainly do the job if we can ever find and control the negative energy necessary to power it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

      But I really don’t have a problem with the concept of wormholes. I have a problem with EVERY star in the galaxy having at least one wormhole which connects ONLY certain stars and ONLY nearby stars. It comes across as fake and contrived.

      Contrived for what purpose? To artificially force land-based strategic considerations into a space-based game.

      • DrManhatten says:

        No offence but even that Zero space energy nonsense thingyme of the Alcubierre Drive would hardly allow for intergalactic space travel. The distance are way too far. We’re talking about several 10000s of Lightyears.

      • Mark says:

        None taken. I’m really only talking about interstellar travel. I’m not sure why ACEofHeart mentioned travel between galaxies. No 4x game that I’m aware of operates on anything even remotely approaching intergalactic scale.

        I just wanted to point out that one of the most well researched FTL theories we have involves an FTL propulsion system rather than point-to-point wormholes. And yes I think its far-fetched, we don’t even know if negative energy exists, let alone how to harness it. But any sort of wormhole theory is even more far-fetched. Sadly the Alcubierre drive is the closest thing we have to practical FTL theory at the moment.

        But wormholes really aren’t the issue, its the weird way they are contrived in order to shoehorn land-based strategic thinking into space that I object to. You can easily have wormholes without starlanes.

        • Ermdog says:

          The problem with your “theory” is that its just a theory, and by no means does it make it more likely it will come true than us creating a jump-gate, which would connect 2 points in space like a starlane. We just aren’t scientifically there yet, not by a long shot, so we can let our imagine run wild. By not thinking outside the box you are limiting yourself to what could be in the future, except you grasp on a theory that might never come true. If you ever watched a sci-fi movie and liked it, guess what, most likely all that stuff will never exist. Besides, most of the things in these games are made up anyway.

          I’m not telling you how to like your games, and it’s ok if you just don’t like the concept of starlanes, but to latch onto a theory is just silly. The good things about sci-fi and its games is it takes brings us to a fictional place that doesnt have to live by our theories and rules.

        • Mark says:

          No offense Ermdog but I think you’re missing the point. The only reason I even mentioned the Alcubierre Drive is that someone else (ACEofHeart) claimed that wormholes were the ONLY feasible and “absolutely necessary” method for FTL travel. Clearly they are not, at least not in theory.

          Personally I don’t believe that any of these theories are more likely than any others and I haven’t “latched on” to any of them. I just wanted to point out that there are FTL theories out there (being seriously considered by scientists) that are NOT wormhole-based.

        • ACEofHeart says:

          Was not talking about any particular game just use of star lanes in space strategy games. etc.. As I stated it was just my approach to the possibility of traveling among star systems or galaxies… It’s all unproven theories so saying anyone is really wrong is a mute point…

        • Avon says:

          Hey I’m going to make a space strategy game where you travel between the stars by flapping your arms and humming Gregorian chants in a minor-key while standing on your head. Nobody can prove me wrong because its all unproven theories.

          At least it isn’t as wacky and hard to swallow as Star-Lanes.

        • Mark says:

          Lol, I’d probably play that game :)

        • Ermdog says:

          Yeah sorry Mark, I might have misunderstood your point. Basically what i’m just trying to get across is that there is no way of us knowing what will be real, and what won’t. Someones idea of something being “immersive breaking” probably lies on our current knowledge of space travel. It’s understandable, but sci-fi is supposed to be filled with crazy things that don’t have to always make sense.

        • Mark says:

          @ Ermdog: Well we can certainly agree on that, nobody knows what interstellar travel will really be like and I dont think that any of our current theories are very likely to come true, at least in the near future.

          But when you refer to “immersion breaking” I have no problem with a weird or crazy FTL method in my space game. I have a problem with a weird and crazy FTL method that turns space strategy into land strategy so that it no longer feels anything like space. If I wanted roads and mountains I would play Civ.

      • ACEofHeart says:

        While I agree the concept of every star system having a wormhole/starlane to another star system is at best a hopeful theory and not a plausible reality, that Alcubierre drive theory you mentioned at least to me only supports my initial thoughts on even more. It talks of using negative energy to bend, expand and shift space to travel. It sounds more like a compact worm hole creator rather than a propulsion engine. So I’ll stand behind my opinion that no propulsion device “alone” will ever work. It would take some type of “event” that space offers for mankind to ever traverse among the stars.. :D

        • Mark says:

          Starlanes are a lot more contrived and convoluted than just a wormhole to every star. They work as follows….

          1/ Every single star in the galaxy has at least one starlane. Most have more. No star ever has none.

          2/ Starlanes only connect to nearby stars, never distant stars.

          3/ Of those connections, only certain stars are connected, not every single nearby star. This creates the terrain/choke points that force land-based strategic thinking in a space game.

          Another (more popular) name for the Alcubierre drive is “Warp drive”. You can use it to travel in any direction you like, you are not restricted to certain routes. It would definitely work like an FTL propulsion engine, at least in theory.

    • Avon says:

      I’m the opposite, I cant stand Star-Lanes and avoid any game that uses them. Horrible, horrible idea.

  10. t1it says:

    They’ll of course rid of the card based “combat”. It’s gone in Endless legend after all.
    Still I’ll be skeptical until I see real game play videos.

  11. Anguille says:

    I have very mixed feelings about Endless Space. Some things i loved (music, artwork) and some things i really disliked (sometimes really boring, slow).
    Anyway, i am mostly positive about thèse news. That and with the new Master of Orion and the new game by Paradox, i can’t ask for more. Funny thing is however that all this games have a system with starlanes which is not my favorite. My reference is still the original Master of Orion. Armada 2526 is also one of my favorites. A game that hasn’t been mentionned here but that i consider very solid is Horizon…i think it’s the most underrated 4x game of the last years. I play it on regular basis.

    • Mark says:

      I keep meaning to learn/play Horizon but for some reason I never do. It seems to have all the things I like (including NO starlanes). Time to bite the bullet and give it a go I think.

    • SamDog says:

      I’ll give Horizon another try.

    • MarcusAurelius says:

      I had mixed feelings about Endless Space too. But I opted to never play it again. I seldom am wrong about things I don’t like at first glance. Believe me I tried to get into it as much as possible, but it was stale and unambitious.

      I played Armada 2526 alot longer, although I wished that game was more than it was. But it was a quaint little game that had interesting concepts. Since then I have tried playing a slew of other games that held my interest for maybe a few hours and a few weekends attempting to absorb as much as possible. They were games like Distant Worlds, GalCiv 2, Sword of the Stars series, StarDrive 2. But they all seemed not what I am after. I did spend countless hours reading the lore on Distant Worlds though, that was nice and admiring the artwork. But not since Imperium Galactica 2 or Hegemonia did I care too much about a space title.

      I am hoping Paradox and the new Master of Orion changes that. Otherwise I am quite autistic when it comes to what I deem is a worthy successor and riveting title to waste away many weekends on. I hope I am proven wrong though with Endless Space 2.


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