Endless Space 2 (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 26.05.2017 1

Review for Endless Space 2 on PC

Endless Space 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original 4X space strategy game that was released in 2012 by Amplitude Studios. Cubed3 had checked out the Early Access build, which featured many improvements over the first title, but unfortunately this still has problems on launch. In typical 4X fashion, the game has the player take the role of a leader of a fledging space empire and has to guide them to victory in the stars.

Endless Space 2 beta/Early Access showed a lot of promise, and its full release comes through on most of it, but is plagued by problems that indicate it wasn't ready for launch yet. The best way to describe this game is massive potential ruined by a desire to rush things too fast.

To start, it all takes place in typical 4X fashion: begin with one single planet, slowly start to explore space, research, colonize, and expand. All the basics are here, and for the most part they work fairly well. The most notable thing is that entire solar systems are viewed as a 'single unit,' meaning it cuts down micromanagement by a factor that is huge.

One of the better features is a quest system where various things like rebellions, distress calls and so on pop up and the player has to decide how to deal with them, and gets various rewards as a result. It is a great idea and really fun, but like other aspects of the game, isn't ready for prime time yet. There are still coding references, like HERO_NAME, that appear in dialogue, as well as simply unbalanced options.

Colonizing new systems and watching the planets grow is fun, especially dealing with various political laws, parties and so on. It gets a little repetitive at times, but can largely be ignored if desired. Again, issues present here are balance on some of the parties.

Screenshot for Endless Space 2 on PC

One of the largest complaints from the first game was that battles looked great, but weren't fun, and that remains largely true. Ships are carefully designed, but battle literally is just a movie playing out. The strategy cards to be picked amount to little more than rock-paper-scissors. This is by far the most lacking part of the game, and short of a mod, unlikely to be changed.

Compared to the Early Access version, there are many new techs, heroes and an overall rebalance. It is good to see a move towards fixing issues, but many of them are still glaring. One of the most complained about is a quest for the humans very early; it essentially cannot be done until mid-late tech is achieved. Another example is a quest later that either requires very late military technology, or 200 science, of which this is easily achieved less than 20 turns into the game.

All of these balance issues might be able to be hand-waved away, but are indicative of the overall structural integrity of the game, which in this case is still buggy. A major issue encountered while playing was some sort of game-breaking battle freeze that caused all the saves became corrupted in that starting any battle (which, of course, is necessary) would hang the game forever. A six-hour review session was brought to a close when the bug was encountered and no additional battles could be fought.

Screenshot for Endless Space 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

This verdict is highly caveated. Short of the balance issues, and, of course, these massive game-breaking bugs, Endless Space 2 is actually really great. It hits many right notes of the 4X genre. It is fun and hours slip away. However, seeing games that are clearly not ready to be released getting shipped off, only to have massive fan complaints and hotfix after hotfix is a very bad trend in the industry. It is hard to recommend a game, no matter how fun it may be, when it can't be finished.

Developer

Amplitude

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Really wanted to recommend this game, but when I saw it was RELEASED I could not believe it.  Way too buggy still.  Esp playing and I see the YOUR_HERO type variables in a dialouge box I just shook my head.

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