The 4X strategy game Endless Space 2 moves from Early Access to full release on May 19, which as it happens is tomorrow. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time for things like preview trailers, so with that in mind we're going to have a look at the two remaining "X"-themed videos, following Explore and Expand—they being Exploit and Exterminate.
The concepts involved are fairly self-explanatory: As the head of a multi-species empire, you're naturally going to be dealing with differing, sometimes conflicting, "political affinities." You have to figure out how to make it all work to your advantage: You can target or support political parties to strengthen your standing in the Senate, or you can drop the hammer to keep them in line (and serve as a reminder to the rest). Recruitable "heroes" can act as governors and senators, providing bonuses to your systems, while resources and research are vital to creating a "vast commercial empire, with networks of trade routes that benefit you and your allies."
Of course, sooner or later you're going to run into a rival empire that doesn't want to play nice, which is when the final piece of the puzzle—Exterminate—comes into play. Military technologies will unlock new ships, weapons, and modules, and the heroes who govern your planets can also be used to lead your fleets. Ahead of battles, fleet formations can be changed and tactics chosen; once the choices have been made, the battles will unfold in explosive real-time.
The trailer ends on an ominous note: "You will learn the truth about the Academy, and you will have to face a terrible choice," it says. "For there are forces beyond science that have shaped the history of the galaxy—Forces that might shape your future as well."
Endless Space 2 is out tomorrow, as mentioned, and we will have a review for you. You can find out more about what's coming at endless-space.com.