I love AMPLITUDE to bits, mostly because of HUMANKIND and Dungeon of the Endless… and because I own all of their games on Steam, I figured I should get into those. I did play Endless Legend for a little bit and was honestly quite overwhelmed. Hence, I didn’t try playing it for a year and yesterday I gave it a go again… Endless Space though. I gave Endless Space a go because I wanted to see the different species and races there. The most fascinating thing about Sci-Fi games is, after all, the different races, cultures or factions you can pick. In HUMANKIND, you kind of have that but in the end, all the different cultures are still the same race: Humans. Meanwhile, Endless Space features mineral-based life forms, automatons, humans, avian lifeforms, as well as the Cravers, an insectoid cyborg race that was created by the Endless in order to feast on everything. I love ideas like the Cravers not being able to enter treaties with others due to their “Eternal War” trait are interesting and I love that eating and expanding until everyone is on the brink of extinction! Either way, I skipped the tutorial. It’s boring and lengthy and honestly, after playing HUMANKIND, I feel like I understand the systems a little bit, so what could possibly go wrong, right?
Instead of going for the Cravers, I actually went for the Automatons, a race of sentient machinations that were created by an ancient race in an attempt at industrialism before they inevitably destroyed their world and committed mass suicide to not have to live with the consequences of global warming and all of that… Anyway, the Automations lived on that planet for ages before eventually, a space ship crashed on the planet which brought them “Dust”, the resource that quite literally brings you light in Dungeon of the Endless and the resource that everyone needs. Powered by the Dust, the Automatons became sentient and tried to understand the life forms around them and restore the planet to its former glory before eventually expanding to other planets in a pacifistic conquest to terraform planets! But just because they’re pacifists by nature, that doesn’t mean that they’re weak…
Either way, I love the Automatons from their backstory to their ideology and looks. It’s amazing honestly and hence, I started a new playthrough with them. My enemies in this run were Vaulters, Pilgrims, and Sowers. Right from the get-go, I spent my turns navigating the research tree and looking for the technologies that I needed to colonize different planets. Tundra, Desert, and Barren planets aren’t accessible from the get-go after all. I didn’t quite look at the traits I had but I knew that the Automatons are “Unlucky Colonists” which adds a Negative Anomaly to some of the planets and they also have some other bonuses on ships, planets and systems but produce less Dust and get fewer command points. Because of that, I had to invest in some early technologies to get Research going and colonise Deserts and Barren first and Lava, Tundra, Arctic, Oceans, Asteroids, as well as Gas Giants later. Eventually, I got to the point where the Vaulters declared War on me though but my industry, science and food production were booming already, so I wasn’t super worried about that… until I saw that a good economy doesn’t help you much when the enemy ships have five times your firepower!
My reaction to that was “uh, can we negotiate?” but I had yet to research those diplomatic options, which is why I went into the necessary trees, claimed what I needed and offered a cease-fire. The cease-fire lasted for a few turns in which I started research on more guns, shields, and even some other perks. I then produced lots and lots of ships, combined them into fleets, assigned a Hero to guide them, and re-designed my ship again to feature more guns, shields, and other technologies I researched. Afterwards, I had to retrofit all the ships in the fleet, costing me a bunch of dust but the end result was absolutely worth it with me rocking twice the enemies’ firepower. The Sowers that inhabited the opposite side of the galaxy wanted peace with me, so I decided to accept that. The Pilgrims and the Vaulters ended up with an Alliance, so we quickly got to an Alliance as well, resulting in a 2v2 war with the Sowers being the most influential and me sitting there in the last place. I wouldn’t know why the Sowers decided to help us but I guess it’s mostly due to our ideological proximity as well as our similarities: We’re basically both robots and robots gotta stick together! I won a few battles against those pesky Vaulters and we ended up in a Cold War… Then Peace… Then War… Then Cold War… Then Peace… Then War. Eventually, I just ignored their requests and headed towards the End Game!
I mean, I was suddenly a lot more influential, my three heroes had plenty of levels, my solar systems were increasing their reach and I was starting to push away the greedy Vaulters and the annoying Pilgrims. Like… who needs humans anyway? Still, I wanted to go for a Research Victory by building five Endless Empires. I was getting quite close to it and even though I got to it for 60k research points and was able to queue up five of them already. It requires actually a whole lot of industry as well as some special materials… but it’s a win condition, so certainly worth it. So, I basically accumulated enough Titanium-80, Hyperium, Hexaferrum, Anti-Matter, Orichalix, Siderite, Adamantian, Quadrinix for five cities, as well as 5x108k Industry and queued up the Endless Empires but I didn’t know that constructing them would also take so long… Had the game lasted only ten turns longer, Victory would have been mine but… It didn’t matter. The Pilgrims went extinct after the Sowers ploughed through their systems. The Vaulters were at peace with us. The Sowers and us Automatons were allied. In the end, they won with a Diplomatic/Influence Victory and there was nothing left for me to do against it.
Still, I had a ton of fun with Endless Space and I must say it’s still quite a lot of fun. I wanna try out the Cravers next, especially since I now understand the gameplay systems more… and then I may give the Amoeba, Harmony, Hissho, Sophons, Sowers, and the Horatios a go since those are fun. In the end, I could probably end up playing all the different factions at least once and then try going up the difficulty and stuff… but I think I might just have more fun going through the more interesting species first. Horatio in particular is a species that I really am looking forward to. Their backstory is basically a very rich person shooting himself into space and discovering ancient technology that allows him to populate an entire planet only using clones of himself… And after founding the most beautiful planet in the galaxy, Horatio and his clones attempt to spread this beauty to the world. “Love Thyself – A Horatio Story” is also based on this race, so I’m really looking forward to that faction in particular but also all the other unconventional species and stuff.
Overall, though, I must say that Endless Space may be 9 years old already but it’s certainly still a looker (though it may also have a bit of a “retro”-like charm to it)… and it’s quite a lot of fun. Just yesterday, I spent five hours playing just that and honestly, I’m surprised that I didn’t see the time fly by that fast… A lot of fun!
Anyway, I just wanted to write a bit about that. Endless Space is fun, I’d love to play some more of it once I get the time and then I’d end up writing more about it, too. Maybe I’ll mix in some posts about Endless Legend as well once I get to that again or HUMANKIND if I find more time for that… but in the end, it’s another game off my backlog and I’m loving it a lot. I do plan on getting into other 4X/Grand Strategy games, so me picking up this game relatively fast is honestly quite great! Have you played some of the Endless games or maybe even Endless Space? What were your thoughts on it? Isn’t the Research Tree absolutely massive?!
This post is part of the Blaugust 2021 event. For more information on that, check out this post!