Endless Legend is Amplitude's fantasy follow up to Endless Space—replacing the surreal beauty of a tactically significant vacuum with vibrant terrain-filled hexagons. Amplitude are still writing this newest Legend, but they're almost finished. They've now announced that, as of September 18th, it will leave Steam Early Access for an official release.
Early Access reviews offer our preliminary verdicts on in-development games. We may follow up this unscored review with a final, scored review in the future.
Hexagons have never looked this good. Endless Legend paints a watercolor fantasy across its 4X strategy grid, and the pieces that fill those hexagons—distinct warring factions, indigenous races, fire trees and magical orbs and mysterious ruins—build a rich and deeply complex game world. Complexity is typically expected from 4X strategy games, but playing them before they're complete is not. And Endless Legend is definitely not complete.
At the Game Developers Conference in March I previewed Endless Legend, a fantasy 4X strategy game from Amplitude Studios that is now available on Steam Early Access. I wanted to spend more time talking to Amplitude's creative director, Romain de Waubert de Genlis (above right), about the recent resurgence of the 4X genre and the success of his previous game Endless Space. We decided to talk over lunch with another 4X designer, Daniel DiCicco (above left), who is working on a sequel to his indie success StarDrive. Over the course of an hour we discussed different approaches to 4X design, their all-time favorite 4Xs, what they think the genre is missing, and more.
It's a long, meaty conversation about one of the most complex corners of PC gaming. Read on to join us for lunch.
Previously, "Endless Legend" was a term I used to describe the interminably long lore dumps associated with fantasy RPGs. Now it's also an upcoming 4X strategy game, created by Endless Space developer Amplitude Studios. Fittingly, they've created their own series of lore trailers, each introducing the game's roster of factions. Far from endless, though, they're relatively short. This first video, introducing The Vaulters, is just over a minute of phrases like "unknown relics," "hidden past," and "coming soon to Steam Early Access."
Space is endless. We knew that much, but it turns out legends are endless as well. Or rather, one Legend in particular, and probably not the one where Tom Cruise shares a curry with a guy named Tim (as is my understanding of the film). Not content with just one 4X strategy game, the Endless Space developers are back at it again, this time using those 4 Xs (eXplore, eXploit, eXpand and eXtreme) in a fantasy setting, with no spaceships or anything. You can see some hexy screenshots after the break.