New depths: Endless Space 2 adds new faction

“I’m not planning to go back until the Early Access period is done,” our Adam said after playing the still-in-development Endless Space 2 [official site], preferring to wait to enjoy the finished game. Fair enough! But if you’ve been playing Amplitude’s space strategy game or simply want to know how development is coming along, here’s word of the first big update. It’s expanding and extending the game, adding another major faction, the United Empire, along with three more minor factions, while extending the turn limit and adding the fourth tier of technologies.

The update is now live on Steam. The full patch notes are over here but Amplitude call these changes out as the highlights:

  • New major faction: The United Empire, which features economics-focused gameplay based on the generation and use of influence.
  • Three minor factions: The Pilgrims & Amoeba factions from the original Endless Space, and the new Z’vali faction have been added.
  • Minor faction quests: Players can now assimilate minor factions through various special quests.
  • Increased turn limit: Players can choose to continue their game after achieving a victory at turn 200.
  • Marketplace: Allows players to acquire resources and heroes in exchange for Dust
  • Technology Tree: Era 4 of the Tech Tree has been added, offering for more research paths, unlocks and buildings
  • Addition of deeds: Players will receive special rewards for performing specific actions

£26.46/29,99€/$29.99 on Steam Early Access. Amplitude aren’t sure quite when they’ll launch the full version but their development roadmap says it should come after three more major updates. They’ve taken several cracking games safely through Early Access so I trust this’ll end well too.

Here’s a new trailer to introduce the cheery folks of the United Empire:


  1. Lotti Fuehrscheim says:

    That United Empire trailer feels like Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers society.

    • Rich says:

      Would you like to know more?

    • Kollega says:

      The visuals in the end and the video thumbnail remind me more of Killzone’s Helghast – which is just as well, as far as space totalitarianism is concerned.

    • falconne says:

      Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers society. The book is a classic, up there with the best of Clarke, Asimov, etc. The movie was just a fun, silly affair that trivialised it all.

  2. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Screw space. I want to go to whatever planet those massive teeth call home.

  3. Zenicetus says:

    The Early Access for ES2 feels much less feature-complete and rewarding to play than their previous Early Access games. But I can see the potential being developed. Maybe this new update will flesh it out enough to get me back into it.

  4. stuw23 says:

    Just want to say what a fantastic faction trailer that is. The whole “futuristic dystopia with retro sci-fi kitsch” thing may hardly be novel, but that sure nailed it in 90 seconds. Lets you know exactly where the faction is coming from, and where they are. Fun stuff.

  5. SaintAn says:

    Really regretting buying this game in EA. I want aliens with cool themes, not humans with an 80’s Communist Russia in space theme. That’s just lazy and uninteresting. Wish I would have bought Stellaris before this because I don’t see how it can be anywhere near as good as Stellaris.

    • Zenicetus says:

      They’re completely different games, not even remotely trying to do the same things.

      Stellaris is a symmetrical strategy game. Every faction is assembled from the same randomized kit-built parts, so they all play the same way. The brakes on a player steamrolling the Galaxy are larger empires and events that trigger to hold you back.

      Stellaris is also built on a game engine that was previously used for European historical games, and that pokes its ugly head in the design here and there. Like War Goals that often make no sense. If I’m a conquering space worm, I don’t need the game telling me I have to wait 10 years to finish destroying my neighbor.

      Endless Space 2 is built around a small number of races that should play very differently depending on which one you choose. It’s an asymmetrical faction game. That makes it potentially a very different type of 4X game from Stellaris.

      I have room in my free time and hard drive space for both games if they reach full potential.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      You are perhaps trolling? This is the only human faction, out of the 5 announced thus far. Stellaris has 2 human factions, not counting the randomly generated ones that turn up. The United Empire actually sound like Stellaris’ Commonwealth turned up to 11 which is pretty nice.

      In any case, if ES is anything like its predecessors, there will be plenty of weird alien races to play as. Stellaris is pretty great too and definitely worth playing in the meantime.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Stellaris manages to have countless hundreds of diverse alien races, and every single one of them boils down to a different portrait picture stuck over a generic race you design.

      Hardly a good comparison if you’re trying to make a point about being uninteresting.

  6. lglethal says:

    Pilgrims are only a minor faction now??? But they were my chosen bad boys in Endless space 1! Booo!!!!

    Also Ameoba??? WTF???

  7. Neutrino says:

    I hope this has more narrative than Endless Legend as after all the rave reviews and Game of the Year award I was shocked to find that a bit of a let down.

    I bought EL in a recent sale. Nice graphics, lovely ambience, some clever mechanics, nice asymmetry between the races, interesting lore etc. It looked perfect, how could it fail to be compelling?

    Started playing. 120 turns in absolutely nothing happened! Every turn just setting up build queue and exploring. One adjacent empire initially closed borders but agreed to reopen them after negotiation, and the Cultists attack me from time to time, but have never uttered a word.

    After 120 turns of basically nothing happening I just lost the will to press on.