Endless Space 2 Announced, First Trailer Released

Endless Space was a fine 4X strategy game with interesting, distinct races and a best-in-class interface. Then Amplitude Studios’ follow-up was Endless Legend, a fantasy 4X game set within the same universe which was best-in-class in general. In fact, we named it the best game of 2014.

So pardon my excitement for the news that Amplitude are now making Endless Space 2 [official site] and have released the first CG trailer.

A little cryptic, no? If you can’t watch it right now: a starship travels around a planet and a voiceover says, “What if I could begin again? I had reached perfect harmony, before they came and destroyed everything. But sometimes you just need a single drop to change everything.” That’s it.

More interesting is that the ship that flies by is the one that you could repair in Engless Legend and use to leave the planet. This was added as one of the victory conditions back in March; look at the ship in the header artwork in that post and compare it to the one in the trailer. The victory condition was achievable by any faction, though the logo on the side of the ship in the trailer belongs to Endless Space’s Hissho faction.

Arguably this means that Endless Space 2 could equally be considered a sequel to Endless Legend, and Amplitude are no strangers to this kind of cross-game story work. Dungeon of the Endless, another of their games, took place on a spaceship from Endless Space that had crash landed onto the planet from Endless Legend. This spaceship? I’m not informed enough to know.

As per Amplitude’s other game’s, they’re making use of their Games2Gether system through which they encourage participation among their community in the service of both designing and promoting the game. Right now there’s very little other information, but we’ll see more next week at Gamescom.

41 Comments

  1. Gyro says:

    If they add tactical combat and build out the diplomacy system some more I might never stop playing.

    • dontnormally says:

      You have triggered Gripe Time.

      When ES was still very new, I signed up for Games2Gether. I entered a single suggestion: I wanted to be able to zoom all the way out and still see the entirety of the strategic situation at once (normally, empire colors / star lanes / all details disappear and it is not possible to see everything at once). This seemed like an obvious oversight and I expected they’d make this adjustment.

      One of the mods took my post and said that it was a duplicate of one of his: “seamless zooming between all levels from planet- to galaxy- level” (or something like that). This allowed him to remove my post and +1 his post. The mod removed any objections, or later, complaints, that I posted.

      So, I have no faith in their stupidumb system. Insert grumpy face here.

      • dontnormally says:

        Also, guys, watch the video at their site (link to yourvision-theirfuture.com) and do try press-holding SPACE while the video is playing.

        • Graves says:

          Well that was neat, thanks for the tip. Does that symbol inside the ship look like the symbology of Dust to anyone else? Perhaps the drop he was referring to was a drop of dust.

          Also, the switching of your and their is suggestive as well, though I’m not sure of what.

          • Premium User Badge

            BlueTemplar says:

            Looks more like the crystal in Dungeons of the Endless that you have to protect during your ascension from floor to floor!

            Also, when the ship explodes, it looks very much like Dust (in the “non-amplified” video) spraying everywhere…

          • frightlever says:

            I don’t think the ship exploded, I think it jumped to FTL (or entered Hyperspace or folded regular space or.. or…).

            Never seen that spacebar trick used before.

  2. JackieLaFrite says:

    Space, the ultimate frontier…

    • luukinflames says:

      This is space. It’s sometimes called the final frontier. (Except that of course you can’t have a final frontier, because there’d be nothing for it to be a frontier to, but as frontiers go, it’s pretty penultimate.)

      • Bugamn says:

        Have we been reading the same books? Because I can swear I’ve seen that somewhere.

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          Google suggests it’s a quote from Pratchett’s Moving Pictures.

  3. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    If you subscribe to their newsletter, you unlock some sort of reward. But the more interesting tidbit is it says something about Early Access – as in, I assume, the Steam variety. Hmm.

    • RedViv says:

      That is their normal mode of work now. Both EL and DotE were released in early stages – which, mind, were far more polished than most “finished” Steam EA products – too, and this concept actually works rather well with their “games2gether” community sharing and cooperation system.

      • Premium User Badge

        BlueTemplar says:

        Yeah, I played Endless Legend when it was barely released in Early Access as an “alpha”, and it was quite playable even then.
        The funny thing is that that was the last time I played it, and decided, just this evening, to give it a shot again, and came to RPS while it was still downloading to see this article!

  4. onuryn says:

    you can try to embed from here: link to youtube.com

    • onuryn says:

      sorry, the trailer was embedded into the story just as I made the comment… :-/

  5. Speedball says:

    Check your own links, I do believe this ship is intended to be the same ship you get for completing the Quest ending of Endless Legend, where you find an alien starship buried in the caves and get it working and get the hell off the planet before it freezes.

  6. Laurentius says:

    They have to fix single player campagin. ES and EL have unfortunately pretty blank SP. Endless Space seems unfinished even after expansion. I like many things it does :interface, resources (yes! but give me even more and unique of them !) but combat is meh, and pacing is off, generally the moment whole galaxy is settled, someone reaches one of victory condition. Also, and it goes towards Firaxis as well, give me a proper ending ! This, sudden , The end and score screen, this is terrible. Think of something that would make those hours count. Even Paradox games EU and CK went for more robust end screen.

  7. Zenicetus says:

    Yes!! I was hoping they’d return here for the next project. Very much looking forward to this.

    If they can address the “lack of depth” criticism of the first Endless Space (which I think they accomplished with Legend), and find the right balance of user control vs. automation with tactical combat (which is still a problem with Legend), they’ll have something special.

    With Amplitude’s UI polish and art style, we’ll have at least one new space 4X that doesn’t look like the devs were too cheap to hire a good art director, and just had a programmer do the graphics.

  8. nearly says:

    Wait, are we not going to be insisting that this be referred to as Endless Space_2 like with Watch_Dogs? The underscore seems that much egregious for appearing between word and number when there’s actually two words in the title.

    • Premium User Badge

      BlueTemplar says:

      Looks more like someone was a little bit obsessive about both lines having the same number of characters…

  9. games4breakfast says:

    Folks, go back to the website, and press [SPACE] while playing the video

  10. gabrielonuris says:

    I never played a 4X game before Civ Beyond Earth, and I only tried that one because of a Free Weekend; I really liked the concept, never played something similar before, so I started to research other options within the genre. Found Sword of The Stars, Sins of a Solar Empire, Pandora (which is very similar to Civ: BE) and this Endless Space, that I ended up buying with Steam trading cards money; I loved the game, the UI, the resource gathering and all, but after I finished a match, that took me a dozen hours to accomplish, I’ve felt…. Empty…. I don’t know why, but I never came back again, and those other 4X games? Never considered buying them after that.

    • Myrdinn says:

      Try Civ 5 (or 4), still the best 4X franchise on the market by far imho.

    • Premium User Badge

      BlueTemplar says:

      A common issue with the empire games is that the “journey”, especially the earlier parts of it, is much more fun than the “destination” (aka late-game grind).
      As for the “most acclaimed”, there’s also Galactic Civilizations 2 (good AI, even though personally I find it boring – Gal Civ 3 is still a bit rough I hear…), Distant Worlds (heavy price tag, but unique automation systems and economy allowing for HUGE games), Civilization 4 (RPS n=°1 strategy game) and Alpha Centauri (unrivaled in atmosphere and the deepest civ-like combat there is) :
      link to gog.com
      (There’s also the classics like Master of Orion 2, which might feel a bit old depending on your preferences…)

      Also you have to understand that many of these games are VERY different from each other : some of them might have a very heavy focus on tactical combat (Sword of the Stars 1), while others might not have any tactical combat whatsoever (GalCiv2) – so you really can’t judge the whole “empire” genre by just one game…

      • gabrielonuris says:

        I like your way of thinking, lol, the journey is much more fun than the destination… Indeed, that’s what I’ve felt playing Civ: BE, and Endless Space also made me feel like that, I mean, it doesn’t matter if you were victorious, all the things you’ve done were fun nevertheless…. Maybe I should give it another go.

        And about the other games, you’re right again, we can’t judge the whole genre by only one game. You know, I might actually keep my eyes open for more news of Endless Space_2!

  11. Challenger2uk says:

    Second paragrahph first line, “En[b]g[/b]less Legend”

  12. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Colour me excited. I dive back into EL every couple of months to try out a new faction and see how they run (Mezari/Vaulters are my favourite so far, that teleporting mechanic is a lifesaver). I’ve considered picking up ES, but I’ve read that Amplitude only really hit its stride with EL, and at that price I’m not quite tempted enough to risk not liking it. It’s not like we’re exactly hurting for space-based 4X games anyways.

    That said, Amplitude have been on a roll lately and I have no doubts that we’ll see some great new innovations to the genre with ES2. I do hope that they manage to strike a better balance between faction characterization and playstyle freedom than they did with EL, though. It occasionally feels like you are confined to specific strategies for certain races if you hope to achieve victory in that game (with the exception of the Drakken, who are kind of overpowered), which is a little disappointing. It often feels like a whole 600 turn game is spent building upon a specific strategy you adopted in turn 1, rather than adapting your tactics to your changing circumstances.

  13. Provost says:

    ES is actually part of the rather wonderful Humble Bundle right now, at a very reasonable price.

  14. Hunchback says:

    Oh my…. The best game UI ever made is coming back for part two…

    *excite*

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Everyone keeps raving about how great the interface is. Care to explain why it’s so great to someone who’s never played ES (but has played other space-based 4x games)? All screen shots are telling me is that it’s pretty minimalist for the genre.

      • Premium User Badge

        BlueTemplar says:

        That’s why. By being minimalist it looks good, especially compared with the deluge of tiny icons, tiny text, or even spreadsheets you often see in other empire games. And they managed to do that while keeping it quite functional!

      • Strabo says:

        It is pretty, while also being easy to read and highly functional. It gives you a great overview over your empire while also looking good, which is a thing you see rarely in a strategy game.

  15. Vesperan says:

    I am in the process of bouncing of Endless Space at the moment.

    It just isn’t getting it right for me – bland races, bland tech trees. Interface is clean… to the point of leaving me wanting a little more information, especially with regards to how well all the civs are going.

    And Rob Zacny from Three Moves Ahead has ruined me – why do I have to design all of the ships? Why can’t I have some more default designs that do an OK job? What is it with Space 4X’s that require this?

    That said, there really is a lot to like, but it just isn’t seizing me. I have come out with a great appreciation of Amplitude Studio’s work though – on that free weekend I dabbled with all of their games and they are stylish and well though out pieces of work. I really dont want to bounce of Endless Space.

    • Creeping Death says:

      I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve bounced of Endless Space several times. I absolutely adore Endless Legend though.

      Endless Space just seems so bland in comparison.

  16. Molay says:

    Seems obvious to me what the game is about, going by the trailer.

    You play as an arid planet that used to have lots of water, probably a lush climate and dense vegetation. Then intelligent life appeared and drank all your water. Now you need a single drop to change everything.

    Quite obvious, really. And quite a modest planet to only want a drop.

  17. anHorse says:

    Amazing UI, lovely setting, game didn’t hold my attention

    Everything they’ve made since has been fantastic though so I have high hopes

  18. LexW1 says:

    Endless Space was a decent 4X with an amazing UI.

    Endless Legend was a great 4X with a good UI.

    If the trend continues, Endless Space 2 will be an amazing 4X with a decent UI.

    Sounds good to me, frankly. Endless Space had so much about it that could have been better, could have been more fun, could have been more memorable or charming. So the potential here is huge. Dare I hope for a game to finally exceed the MoO bar?

  19. Henas says:

    Will be interesting to see how this will compare to the MoO reboot (AKA World of Doomstars).

    Tactical combat and similar diverse races as EL and it would be a winner.

  20. zero signal says:

    I liked the mechanics and UI of ES, but the game and its setting lacked personality. Messing with spreadsheets is fine if you feel like it’s achieving something tangible in a galaxy with real cultures and characters, but this game had none. It was just twiddling numbers in the end.

    I really hope the new game fixes this. I haven’t played Endless Legend yet but from what I can tell, that game does a lot better in this department. So there is a chance that they’ve learned a few things that make it into ES2.

  21. anandus says:

    Loved ES, but I hated those godawful battle sequences. I hope battles will involve something more than the card system in ES, preferably a SOTS-style full tactical battle.