Endless Space 2 by Amplitude
Genres: 4x in SPACE, Turn Based Strategy
It’s good so far!
4x games are a niche market. 4x means eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. Games such as ‘Civilization’ or ‘Master of Orion’ are 4x games, where you raise an empire from one lowly city (or planet) to world (or galaxy) domination. It is a slow genre with little to no plot, and is by it’s nature massively time consuming. In short, 4x games are not for everyone.
Endless Space 2 has been an enjoyable game so far, but I can’t recommend that you purchase it right now. The game came out just a few days ago, and it still contains bugs. Lots of them. Some of them are game-breaking, some you can live with, but either way the game is not presentable. That said, these bugs will soon be fixed. Once that happens I can wholeheartedly recommend this game.
Endless Space 2 doesn’t have a campaign you can play through, but instead each one of the 8 playable species has a series of quests you can play through. For example when playing the Lumeris species (think Mafia salamanders), you are given the choice to align with one of three separate Mafia families. This choice results in different gameplay, such as requiring you to bribe a minor faction or conquer them instead. The plot of each play through will be different based on the choices you make, as will the story the quests give you.
The different factions are characterized strongly. Here are some examples.
The Sophon faction are bumbling scientists who somehow manage to not kill themselves despite numerous failed experiments. They have funny British accents to make them sound harmless.
The Unfallen are tree people who are torn between the moral choice of being pacifistic or militaristic. Their gameplay reinforces their plant-nature, for they spread outward from their home planet like exceptionally friendly weeds.
The Horatios are a civilizations of clones of Horatio, a megalomaniac egomaniac obsessed with making the galaxy ‘beautiful.’ (AKA making the galaxy filled entirely by Horatios).
The list goes on, with each faction being similarly unique.
This isn’t a storytelling game. This is a game with a strong external layer of lore and flavor, and how you play the game will inform how the story winds up.