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Endless Space Review

Usually when I’m judging indie games it’s by a different standard. We have to take into consideration the fact that there was probably a small, couple man team doing the job that big developers have hundreds of people doing. Indie games are usually reviewed with more consideration on the idea than the execution. But for Endless Space, this is not the case at all.

If you compared this 4x strategy game with other recent blockbuster releases in the genre it would still be on top, even if it is classified as an indie game. It has a fantastic balance of colony management, exploration, combat, and diplomacy. Every other strategy game has parts that get dull and repetitive. Whether it’s the micromanaging or the tedious upgrading of the environment around the settlements. But Endless Space makes the dull parts simple and quick, allowing players to spend time on the more fun parts of the game.

The best part about this game is the creativity. To start you have the option to choose between eight different alien races. Each one is portrayed in a new creative and unique way. Unlike other video games where you can see exactly where they got their inspiration, Endless Space has created their own distinct lifeforms. Each one also has specific bonuses and alignments, which is common in this kind of strategy game. But unlike other strategy games each race has a specific way that they win. This really revolutionizes gameplay because each faction is competing on different levels, trying to achieve different goals.

The graphics in Endless Space are superb. They put depth and detail on the important things in a strategy game. Like making each type of planet have a distinct look. And making each races ships have completely different designs. The combat, while simple, is very vivid and theatrical. In the middle of battles I began to forget that I was playing a video game and felt like I was watching a movie’s battle scene.

This game is very unique in terms of it’s technology tree. Actions that we take for granted in other strategy games like sending money or making peace with allies are locked without the right technology. Also, colonizing different types of planets, whether it’s a planet covered in lava, or a planet with no ozone layer each take different technologies to colonize. This type of tech tree makes players really have to balance out what they’re researching. A military based faction will surely lose if they only research military technology because the other branches of the tech tree are equally as important in Endless Space

I put simple combat as a thumbs up and a thumbs down, because it really is a good and bad thing. In games like Total War I always automatically resolved each battle, so simple combat is something I personally really like. Playing through the combat in Endless Space consists of only picking how you want your fleet to act overall. It uses cards like “offense” and “defense” instead of controlling each individual ship in the fleet. I’m glad that the combat was simple, because it gave the developers more time to focus on what’s important in a strategy game. And it makes the combat look bad ass.  But if you’re someone who’s into tactical combat, this game defiantly doesn’t have that.

The one minor problem I had with Endless Space was the tutorial. The text based help screen that pops up 20 times in the first half and hour of game play gave me too much information too quickly. It’s expected that an in-depth strategy game like Endless Space is going to take awhile to learn, but the developers could have made it easier for players by making a simple tutorial level, or giving information out slower.

Overall this is a wonderful game. It beats out series like Civilization with a superior gaming experience. But what’s even better is that this indie game comes at an indie price. At only $30 this game is giving you a superior gaming experience for half the cash of major releases. There is no doubt in my mind that I would recommend this game if it had a $60 price tag. If you like strategy games, then this one is a must have. Your collection won’t be complete without it.

Travis from Leviathyn.com reviews Endless Space.

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