Endless Endlessness Pt 1: Endless Legend

By Nathan Grayson on August 24th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

What the gray cave troll thing lacks in size, he makes up for with moxy.

Welcome. Welcome to the beginning of endless endlessness. Well, OK, I suppose the endless nature of this endlessness technically started with Endless Space, Amplitude’s rock-solid, ox-strong 4X space strategy. Now, however, the developer with Xs for eyes (they’re not unconscious; their eyes are literally the letter X) is headed in a markedly different direction with Endless Legend, a 4X fantasy about magic, discovery, and an impending, inexplicable apocalypse. It takes place in the “Endless universe,” so I guess that makes it a prequel? Or maybe a bunch of space ships will crash into your bustling metropolis at the last possible second, revealing that the two games were coexisting the entire time.

Endless Legend takes place in a world of impending doom and brutal, worsening winters. Your goal is to expand and thrive while also uncovering the magical mysteries of your grumpy wumpy piece of terra very-not-firma. And of course, there will be Xs. Many of them.

  • Explore legendary lands with one of the eight civilizations available both in single and multiplayer, as you adventure through seasons, striving to discover the secrets of Auriga.
  • Expand beyond the unknown and send your heroes in every corner of the world to find mysterious artifacts to equip your troops, and assimilate powerful minor factions which will help you overwhelm your opponents.
  • Exploit every opportunity by researching new technologies and magical powers while collecting Dust, luxuries and strategic resources tradable on the marketplace.
  • Exterminate fools who defy you with a genuine combat system where terrain and your unit abilities are key to take the advantage over the enemy armies.

Sounds like typical 4X, but the setting is obviously a pretty big game-changer. I worry that it’ll end up fairly rote fantasy in the grand scheme of things, but the story of these games isn’t the one developers tell. It’s what arises from your brilliantly orchestrated conquests, cheek-turning negotiations, and crushing, embarrassing defeats. So then, Endless Legend: who’s in?

It’ll be out next spring.

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16 Comments »

  1. RedViv says:

    Mastering Magic, after mastering Orion, are we? Good. Good.

  2. Harlander says:

    Or maybe a bunch of space ships will crash into your bustling metropolis at the last possible second, revealing that the two games were coexisting the entire time.

    You joke, but that’d make it a day-one purchase for me

  3. XhomeB says:

    Looks and sounds great.
    I hope that unlike Endless Space, it will come to GOG eventually…

  4. Anthile says:

    All of the three great RPG series (Ultima, Wizardry, Might & Magic) had lots of sci-fi elements. Heroes of Might & Magic 3 was even supposed to have its own sci-fi faction, The Forge, but why that never happened is a story in itself.
    So yeah, this might be more old-school that one would think.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It looks like they’re leaving at least one possibility for a sci-fi link in the new game, by using “dust” again as the monetary unit instead of the usual gold. That’s interesting.

      There was a logical explanation in Endless Space for why dust was valuable (nanobots that can do useful things), but I wonder how they’ll rationalize why that’s the monetary unit in a fantasy setting? The Heroes in ES have essentially magical powers as a result of being infused by dust (or learning to control it, something like that). So maybe there’s a link there?

  5. Gap Gen says:

    I do like the idea of exploring the Endless universe more. Despite a lot of great flavour text I didn’t get the sense that Endless Space had much plot development – for example, did my Pilgrims ever find what they were looking for? It would have been nice to learn something as you were going on (such as SMAC’s planet story that evolved in parallel with your development, for example).

    • Triplanetary says:

      Alpha Centauri’s story was indeed wonderful.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Well, ES is supposed to be a traditional open-ended 4X game where you write your own story from starting conditions. There is enough background plot with the Endless precursors, dust, etc. to get things rolling. I’m not sure it needs a strong plot after the game starts. That can railroad things a bit too much.

      Also, I’m not sure Amplitude are as good at writing plots and story lines as they are in UI design and mechanics. That’s why some people (including me) would describe the game as very polished, but lacking in a bit of soul, or personality.

      There are also some glaring “plot holes” in the initial setup, like the fact that you can hire mercenaries from other races that you haven’t even encountered yet, and said mercs will gladly work for you to exterminate their own species. That never made sense to me, but it’s accepted as a given in the game. Hopefully, this new fantasy setting will be a little more coherent, and you won’t be hiring Heroes from unknown factions on the other side of the map.

      • Gap Gen says:

        I dunno, I thought what writing and plotting existed was fine. It just felt like there was a disconnect between what the background story was supposed to be and how the game played. The setup of each of the races was neat, but it had no bearing on the game. The Pilgrims and the Empire can have quite amicable relations, for example, and in any case each race starts with one planet, such that the initial story gumf with races already interacting makes no sense. It’s like there’s a gun on the mantelpiece in the first act and it’s occasionally mentioned in passing but it never goes off and sort of disappears by the last act.

      • mrpage says:

        It also has the same plot hole that SMAC had in that some of its factions’ back stories has them as spin-offs or rebels from another of the factions. But here we are all taking our first steps into space, with no idea where one another are.

  6. crinkles esq. says:

    This sounds a lot like the Warlords series (which I was always fond of), minus the research part.

  7. Kompatriartes says:

    I am looking forward to Endless Legend and Age of Wonders 3; fantasy TBS people like me will have plenty to occupy our spare time.

    EL seems more flavorful already, with the hex terrain and strange fantasy races (other websites have posted more screenshots).

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