Endless Legend Preview
Thereâs a certain flair to the word âendlessâ in gaming. Sure, weâre aware that no game is actually without an end, but with the latest advances in world and NPC generation, it can beÂ said that weâre getting pretty damn close to building a game that is, for all intents and purposes, endless. Disregarding that, we gamers flock to titles that come advertised as âendlessâ because they sound promising, exciting. Now, Amplitude Studios perfectly understands the psychology behind the given term. Theyâve created a vast, sprawling universe spread across three games â all of them Endless.
The whole thing begins with Dungeon of the Endless. As a prisoner transport enters the atmosphere of Auriga Prime, only a few survivors manage to save themselves via an escape pod. They crash landÂ into the facilities left behindÂ by an ancient, mysterious civilization, and realize that theyâll have to push through these dungeons towards the surface to survive. The canon says that they do make it out and, as long centuries pass, populate what is at that time a dying planet. They eventually split into multiple factions that are all vying to control Auriga. This is where Endless Legend kicks in. Having forgotten how they got here in the first place, the prisonersâ descendants are all trying to gain access to the limited quantities of Dust thatâs available on Auriga. The Dust is the equivalent ofÂ MelangeÂ from Dune â an extremely valuable componentÂ of nearly everything thatâs of any importance on the planet, the key resource of all future technological progress. Now, Endless Space takes place long after the wars weâll have depicted in Endless Legend, but weâll worry about that later down the road. For now, letâs just focus on the era we currently have at hand.
The first thing I noticed upon kicking Endless Legend off for the first time is that the interfaceÂ is wonderfully slick and unobtrusive. These guys sure know how to make a good UI, so even without the proper tutorial (itâs going to beÂ implemented into the full release) it isnât too hard to get a proper grasp on the situation. The second distinctive trait of this game are the factions. Not all are currentlyÂ available, but a fair selectionÂ is already ready to beÂ guided through Auriga. I chose the Broken Lords as my people, as they seemed fascinating enough to ensureÂ a richly detailed first play through. They a wonderful testament of how different the creatures of Endless Legend are from what weâre usually served in similar games. The Broken Lords are an aristocratic society that spins their yarn around honor and justice. However, theyâve been cursed and are now trapped in their Dust-enhanced suits. The other factions view them as abominations, as the only way for them to survive is to suck the life force from other living beings. They are torturedÂ and complicated, but undeniably awesome. The thing is â this is just a snippet of their rich back story, and you can expect loads and loads of interesting lore waiting for you to uncover it. Where the other 4XÂ games falter, Endless Legend provides piles of content even in its unfinished form.
The current basis of gameplay is centered on militaristic dominance over the opposing factions. The devs are planning to introduce deep political and economic options for the pacifists among us, so once the game goes gold, you will be able to play without fighting. This is not an option at the moment, though, so I can only comment on what Iâve witnessed so far. The situation here is reminiscent to that of Endless Space as there is no micromanagement required to win a fight. Actually, thereâs no micromanagement at all. You simply decide what tactics should your units use and their placement on the battlefield, while the actualÂ combat plays out according to the given statistics. While some might say that this approach is overly simplistic, I say it makes you feel like an actual general who only provides the most basic orders while the armies handle themselves. The rest of the gameplay is pretty much classical 4X, just set in a semi-fantasy world instead of space. You will be taking over regions, assaulting provinces and trying to get as much territory as is humanely possible. By attacking the many minor factions youâll come across, you will be able to take their settlements over and produce them as your own â a system not entirely dissimilar to the one put to work in Kingâs Bounty series.
The graphics are amazingly well detailed, and the clever usage of depth of field makes it seem like youâre playing a board game. This does away with the eye-sore induced by blurry textures and jagged edges weâve come to expect from When entering combat, the lush environments turn into simplified hexes that make the armies stand out of their surroundings. Really, the wholeÂ visual side of Endless Legend is masterfully rendered and makes it come to life in a very specific way. The technicalities, thus, are well developedÂ and provideÂ a wealthy amount of eye candy, should you crank every setting up to eleven. Surprisingly, Endless Legend is already a nicely optimized title and runs much better than Civilization V ever did, all the while looking much, much nicer in every way.
All in all, Endless Legend just might be a masterfully built 4XÂ that will refresh the fantasy strategy genre. Its connections to the other Endless games serve as a great basis for the rich and vast lore, so thereâll be plenty of incentive to play with all the different factions. Why am I so sure this is going to beÂ great? Well, Iâve never been a big fan of 4X, but Iâm having difficulties in keeping away from Endless Legend â and itâs a time sink if Iâve ever seen one. I suggest keeping an eye or two on this one.