Endless Space 2's Awakening expansion is out now, introducing yet another weird faction to the peculiar Endless universe. The Nakalim faction, once a huge empire, has seen better days, and now waits for the return of their gods. But they'll make time for galactic conquest, too.
Since Endless Legend, Amplitude has really leaned into faction design, so each of the Endless Space 2 factions plays differently from the rest. The Nakalim, for instance, get a technological head start, but to simulate their stagnation, they can't research any new technology—instead hunting down relics to unlock new advances.
The Nakalim's other unique hook is its relationship with the Academy, which is now an empire itself, though not a playable one. The Academy is a permanent fixture of the Endless games, but it's largely just a way for players to recruit heroes. Now it can build fleets, take over systems and request assistance from other factions. The Nakalim can gain control over systems through temples, and then turn them into Academy worlds, though not without some hefty compensation.
The Academy plays a pretty big role in Endless Space 2's story, so it's good to see it evolving from an abstract game system into a galactic mover and shaker, and you can still use it to hire heroes.
Awakening also throws a new Dust-sensitive minor faction into the mix, along with new Academy roles that the empire's ruler doles out as rewards. And even if you're not playing as the Nakalim, you'll be able to recruit the four new Nakalim heroes.
Endless Space 2: Awakening is available on Steam now.