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.
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.
As a roguelike, Dungeon of the Endless gives players more than one way to die. But it's also a mix of squad-based exploration, tower defense, and RPG-style upgrades, so there's also more than one way to stay alive, too. The game's newest trailer shows how these different genres work together to make the game cohesive.
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."
Here's a more sedate representation of space than that offered by some of today's other interstellar stories. Endless Space may not be as infinite as its title suggests, but thanks to Amplitude's commitment to free add-ons, it is constantly expanding. The fifth of these add-ons, called The Search for Auriga, is now available for owners of the game's Disharmony DLC.
Amplitude Studios have been generous in their post-release support for sci-fi 4X strategy Endless Space. Four free add-on packs followed the game's launch, adding new factions, heroes and technologies, and boasting excellent sci-fi names like Lights of Polaris and Rise of the Automatons. Now they're set to continue that generosity with a free major update to the game's Disharmony expansion. As before, it will bring expanded content and a strong name: The Search for Auriga.
A week is a long time when you're riding the PC gaming news bus. After ten days of announcement bumps and trailer plotholes, you'd be forgiven for not remembering Amplitude Studios' mysterious announcement for Dungeon of the Endless. Luckily, we can turn this vehicle around with a link. If you're all caught up, let's get this engine started, because a new trailer reveals more about the game.
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.
Amplitude Studios are gearing up to announce their second game, after the stately 4X space strategy Endless Space. Dungeon of the Endless is... well, actually, we don't yet know what Dungeon of the Endless is. For now, the developers are keeping the specifics a mystery, choosing to the reveal the game through a tantalising pixel cutscene of spaceship destruction, planetary crash landings and an unanswered question.
If you're not up to speed with the story behind 4X strategy Endless Space, this launch trailer for the Disharmony expansion doesn't quite hit the tone that developer Amplitude were presumably aiming for. An ancient, powerful, crystalline race rises from the depths of time. Their mission: to destroy... Dust?
You're telling me the oldest race in the universe are dustbusters?
For most games, you wouldn't get away with releasing a series of screenshots depicting menus. But for 4X strategy buffs, a nice menu is appreciated like an FPS fan appreciates a perfectly recreated gun. Or like an RTS fan appreciates some topographical terrain. Or even like a Saints Row fan appreciates a weaponised dildo. As these screenshots show, Endless Space's Disharmony expansion has some particularly nice menus. The space explosions are really just a bonus.
Also a bonus: the expansion's release date has been set for the 28th of June.
Endless Space is already a disharmonious place, with multiple factions locked in turn-based 4X fighting. The game's developers, Amplitude Studios, have been busy stoking the fires of this conflict, having previously released four free add-ons, introducing new units and factions to the game. Now they're set to unleash the biggest galactic overhaul yet, with Disharmony, Endless Space's first paid-for expansion.
Endless Space has received its fourth free add-on pack, Virtual Awakening. The update, launched in celebration of selling 300,000 copies of the 4X turn-based strategy, adds a bunch of new features unlocked during last year's free weekend. The more people who participated in that event, the more new items would be unlocked. And given the size of the changelist, it's safe to say the galaxies were swarming with would-be colonisers.
Slick 4X strategy game Endless Space received a free update yesterday adding a mysterious Christmas wonder called The Polaris Factory. Wonders were added in an earlier free update, they're hidden facilities and phenomenon that can grant great boons to an expanding empire. This one is an ancient machine couched in the deep arctic ices of a frozen planet, but what does it do?
The super-slick 4X space strategy, Endless Space, gained a new faction overnight. The Automaton were designed by Endless Space player and community contest winner, Panzer. His idea was voted on by fellow players using Amplitude's Game2Gether system. That lets players sign in to vote to decide on what the devs should work on adding next. The last vote offered a choice between random events, faction homeworlds and the ability to destroy entire star systems. Guess which one won (hint: the one with all the bombs).
This is a 4X strategy game – which sounds a bit like a punch-up fuelled by crappy beer. In fact, the four ‘X’s stand for the classic principles that underpin this particular offshoot of the genre: explore, exploit, expand, and everyone’s favourite – exterminate!
Endless Space focuses on macro-management rather than down-and-dirty detail-fiddling. It makes galactic control streamlined, helped enormously by the slickest interface this type of game has ever seen, a beautifully designed UI that keeps things only one or two clicks away.
Snazzy space set 4X game Endless Space has finally launched, and brought with it a bombastic new trailer. It might start slow, with still images of humans exploring alien planets, but don't worry, you get your space war by the end.
Chris and Tom S have been quite taken with Endless Space so far. It's a traditional turn based galactic conquering game, but with a smart battle system where you set up your fleet orders and then let them play out in glorious explodo-vision. It also has an impressively slick and accessible interface, letting you rapidly understand and control your empire, something a lot of other 4X games have struggled with in the past.