Espionage Expansion: Endless Legend Shadows Out Now

Adding a new faction to Endless Legend [official site] must have been a daunting task. Amplitude’s 4x masterpiece is built around the concept of highly individual playstyles and rulesets for each of its factions and if the newcomers didn’t live up to what had come before, they’d look terribly out of place. That’s why the just-released Shadows expansion doesn’t stop at adding a new faction, going by the name The Forgotten, it also adds a whole new layer of systems to flesh them out. Espionage, counterspying and stealth trickery. Early word is positive.

The espionage system sounds like it’ll change the flow of the game dramatically. Rather than simply tacking on a few extra unit abilities and city improvements, the possible presence of spies, assassins and traitors. This means you’ll need to keep a closer watch on your settlements and activities within your own borders, rather than constantly looking to the horizon, the sky and the crumbling future.

The Forgotten are “nightmares from the past”:

“…a faction that all others thought to be lost or dead. Against their will they were forged into a tight society of violent and distrustful survivors, having spent the final years of the cataclysm alone on the surface of Auriga.

“Now, as rifts in their society have led a splinter faction to declare its independence, the Forgotten are risking everything in the hopes that the other factions will accept them – or kneel before them.

“Masters of deception, infiltration, and sabotage, the arrival of the Forgotten among the factions of Auriga will change everything.”

Their units can poison, assassinate and turn into mist. The espionage, infiltration and sabotage abilities aren’t just for The Forgotten though. Heroes can gain skills that allow them to investigate empires from within, discovering their secrets and fomenting trouble.

The expansion is out now on Steam for £9.99. The base game’s half-price at the moment too, down to £13.49.

10 Comments

  1. LexW1 says:

    Endless Legend is pretty great as-is, hopefully this layer just improves a tremendous 4X.

  2. Zenicetus says:

    Bought it right away, haven’t had a chance to play it yet. The new faction has a “steal tech” ability that should be fun, although I imagine it won’t be easy to pull off.

    Only thing I don’t like about the new faction is that they’re humans (more or less), and there are already plenty of other human factions in the game. Amplitude’s alien designs are usually very original and interesting. It would have been fun to see the Shadows as something creepier than a human-based design. Oh well.

    BTW, the Shadow DLC is concurrent with a 1.02.0 patch that everybody gets, including a ton of overall fixes and balance changes. Some improvements to the AI too (which needs it), and it’s encouraging that they’re still working on that.

  3. raiders says:

    Sounds nice, but that $14 price tag…I don’t think so. Especially after I just purchased the Shadow of Mordor bundle from Bundle Stars for $15. But I’ll get it on discount…eventually.

  4. Fry says:

    Bought the original release and haven’t played more than 10 mins because they still haven’t implemented mouse capture to the active monitor and it drives me nuts. A little silly, I know, but come on… it’s 2015. People have multiple monitors. Get with the program.

    • vahnn says:

      I’m always watching a movie on my second monitor and have no problems with capture cursor. I’m pretty sure there is an actual option for it, but it has a weird name. I’ll check when I get home.

  5. ahmedabdo says:

    I’m still waiting for them to fix the terrible AI before buying it. I watched some videos about the game, I admit that its mechanics are great, some are even novel, but the AI was really bad, it looked as if it doesn’t know how to play the game.

    • Komodo says:

      Everything about this game is great apart from the AI. If these expansions don’t fix that then they aren’t worth buying.

      • Zenicetus says:

        The expansions aren’t aimed at fixing the AI. That’s an ongoing process that just occasionally gets rolled into the same patch release where DLC is made available (like this one).

        Amplitude recently increased the number of people on the AI team, and they say they’re actively working on improving the AI in EL. Part of that work is probably aimed at the upcoming Endless Space 2, using EL as a test bed for AI improvements. They know it’s a problem.

        There are a few AI improvements in this latest patch, but I haven’t had a chance to see if it’s anything noticeable.

      • Henas says:

        To be fair, how many 4X games have good AI? Decent is as good as it gets, and most rely on ‘cheating’ to be a challenge.

        I do love EL, but I’ll wait on the exp pack I think.

        • Sin Vega says:

          Not many, but not many need it is as badly as Endless Legend does. One of its greatest strengths is its unique factions, which immediately lose all worth because the AI doesn’t know how to play them. e.g. every game I played had the “diplomatic” faction constantly starting pointless wars with everyone (including me, but I was able to buy them off with a comically small amount of resources immediately. They never even tried to trade for them, which I’d have been happy to do).

          It’s a really gigantic flaw, and the only reason I stopped playing it. That they’re releasing even more content that will likely be fatally undermined by the bad AI is really disappointing.