Endless Space 2 adds eggheaded clonefolk faction

Look, I trust you’re a sensible sort who’d sooner pluck out thine eye than read video game loreblasts but… check out this backstory for the latest faction added to strategy ’em Endless Space 2 [official site] on its journey through early access.

“Incredibly wealthy and only slightly less deranged, Horatio was a trillionaire who left to discover his own star cluster. Finding a planet sprinkled with labs of ancient cloning technology left by the Endless, the boredom soon drove Horatio to create a race of allies, servants, and slaves who were every bit as gorgeous as the most beautiful person in the universe–Horatio. Once the planet was repopulated, Horatio the First had only to look up, regard the stars, and realise how much beautiful they, too, would be if they were filled with… Horatios. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Amazing. And with an egg head like that! Let’s crack on with the rest of the update.

So! That’s The Horatio, a faction added in yesterday’s update. Amplitude say that they have the handy power “assimilate the DNA of other factions into the Horatio gene pool, effectively gaining the advantages of the absorbed population and adding it to the effects of Horatio population.”

And they can’t assimilate DNA for hair?

Check the patch notes for the full scoop on the update, which also includes new victory conditions, new minor factions, and a touch of deck-building action with ‘Battle Play Cards’. This trailer goes over a lot of it:

Still no firm word on when Endless Space 2 will leave Steam Early Access and properly launch. Adam played ES2 when it first hit beta and has decided he’ll not return until it’s done, prefering to wait until it’s all shiny and polished.


  1. Snowskeeper says:

    Horatio was in ES1, too.

    • syndrome says:

      Exactly. This curiosity is only 4.5 years old.
      Though I did expect Horatio (or something similar) in ES2, simply because lore like this is what is truly authentic about ES, I didn’t expect Horatio to become gaming news 50+ months later.

      • Alice O'Connor says:

        We’re a sunny bunch today.

        • syndrome says:

          I still find you <3-able

        • shde2e says:

          Allow me to shine some light amongst we happy few:

          ES2 is coming, YAAAAY!

          Silly factions with unique, creative mechanics to spice up the gameplay!
          Adding some actual character to what was actually a pretty good space 4x game!
          Blowing up those alien critters in giant space firework displays for the glory of the God-Emperor of Eggheadia!!
          Fricking gorgeous art design!! Pretty little spaceships to push around an equally pretty space-map!!
          Seriously, Egghead-Clone-Narcissist-Billionaire Aliens with a god complex!!
          No release date (ARGH)!!!

          But it’s coming! WOOOO!!!!!

      • MisterFurious says:

        The news is that Horatio was added to “Endless Space 2”. That’s something that people interested in the game would want to know.

        • Snowskeeper says:

          Title was “Endless Space 2 adds eggheaded clonefolk,” implying that Endless Space 2 added these eggheaded clonefolk. It didn’t; they were present in ES1.

          Not saying this shouldn’t have been reported, nor am I angry about it; just pointing that out, for the great God we call the Record.

          • Levarien says:

            Yeah, it’s nothing to get overly passionate about. Some factions get left out in sequel releases. The Tau and Necron both missed out in Dawn of War 2 (ignoring Last Stand) after being in DoW 1.

  2. NetharSpinos says:

    The blurb reminds me of a vaguely similar planet description you can find in ME3; a staggeringly wealthy & eccentric individual that had essentially bought a planet and ruled it in his own glorious fashion. (not sure whether he cloned everyone, though.)

    If I recall correctly the Reapers passed over just long enough to reduce the planet to ash before carrying on.

    • Snowskeeper says:

      To be fair, I doubt whoever that was had access to ancient, hyperadvanced technology.

  3. Calculon says:

    Interesting updates – I have to say Im starting to become cautiously optimistic. With ‘disasters’ like Stellaris and CIV VI Im rather skeptical about a space strategy/4x game.

    • SaintAn says:

      If you consider Stellaris and Civ VI disasters you probably just don’t like 4x games.

      • stringerdell says:

        Pretty much.

      • Snowskeeper says:

        In their defence, in Stellaris, missiles–one of the three major weapon types–are currently useless, and the Warscore system allows the AI to bully you into submission even if you’re blockading all if their planets and winning the majority of battles, so long as you’ve lost a greater number of ships overall. And the mid and late game are widely considered to be mostly boring.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I hate the warscore system in Stellaris. One of the main reasons I don’t spend more time in that game. It’s a shame because there are many great things about Stellaris, but the arbitrary player limits in the warscore design sure isn’t one of them. It feels like Paradox still hasn’t understood that this is a space game with aliens, and not a European historical simulation.

          Amplitude almost went this way in the first Early Access version of ES2 with a “forced truce” idea, until players rebelled against it.

          • Fnord73 says:

            My problem with Stellaris is that I just cant be bothered to sit down and learnt he war rules. All I want from that game is to play the Culture, but as soon as I have started dwelling into sectors and all that jazz it soon becomes obvious that Im supposed to make war like some goddamn Iridian. Maybe Im stupid, is there a way to play it as a passive agressive scientific juggernaut?

          • Zenicetus says:

            I hear ‘ya about the Culture, but Stellaris is a classic 4X where you don’t start that powerful. In the books, they’re already a late-stage faction, at a point just prior to where civilizations decide to bug out into other dimensions, or some other form of ascension.

            I guess you have to imagine what it was like getting to that point and surviving conflict with other factions, on the way to becoming the Culture.

            The Sector mechanic in Stellaris is annoying and the AI is too dumb for it to be efficient, but you might imagine Sectors as one of the groups that splintered off from the Culture in the books. You sort-of have control and they’ll work with you in a pinch as part of your extended civilization.

            FWIW, the next major update and DLC in Stellaris (“Banks”) will apparently introduce Orbitals, which might be a way to build tall instead of wide. That might reduce the need for warfare that comes with constant horizontal expansion.

          • shde2e says:

            In stellaris, you play one of those young upstarts the Culture deals with. Their equivalent is basically the Fallen Empires.

          • Snowskeeper says:

            I don’t mind Warscore, in theory. It’s just an in-game representation of a system most 4x games already have. I just wish the way they calculated it was less stupid. If my racist space mushroom economic juggernaut can produce ships at a rate of 5 for every 1 enemy ship, it doesn’t matter if I’m losing 1.3 ships for every one of theirs–especially if the result is that I’m destroying their mining stations, blockading their planets and bombarding their population into oblivion with nuclear missiles. The fact that I’ve lost 1300 ships to their 1000 should not mean I’m losing that war.

      • Calculon says:

        Not surprisingly you’d be incorrect given that Ive played many – but thanks for your inane comment. I hope you leave another.

        Stellaris was released too early (obviously) and is missing most of its content. Its another Paradox DLC cash grab with mediocre features at best.

        Civ VI has a disastrous AI and not worth touching for another year or two.

        If you consider those two titles worth your money you have awfully low expectations.

      • aepervius says:

        It all depend on your *expectation* from a 4x. I like 4x , when they have a battle system similar to MOM, or MOO. That is turn based, with a lot of possible customization (another reason why I don’t like the MOO reboot). Modern space 4x pretty much forgoe that part to switch to real mode, or barely real mode (like endless space). Most ship customization being more of the boring “You get +2.3% damage and hit 7% more” rather than truly gameplay changing like the various weapon (or spells) you had at your disposition.

        Does this mean I don’t like 4x ? Nope it just mean I don’t like the 4x made in the last 10 years because they simply decided the “fight part” is not important or remove complete control from you.

        And watching people lamenting this on various BB, I would say I am not alone.

    • teije says:

      Glad I’m not in your parallel universe. In mine, Stellaris is very enjoyable, and the massive upcoming Banks update is looking great.

  4. Zenicetus says:

    The new design for the tech tree is good in this update (return to ES1’s circle format instead of EL’s linear eras).

    I’m not sure I like the switch to a deck building card game for battle orders. It feels even more gamey than the phased card system in ES1. I would prefer just straightforward issuing of battle orders for formations and attack moves before hands-off combat begins, instead of this deck building/card collecting (via research) idea. It’s a space 4X strategy game, not Gwent. I need to spend more time with it though. Maybe it will grow on me.

    The game is shaping up nicely as an asymmetric faction alternative to Stellaris’ symmetric design. Still way unbalanced and missing features, and the AI isn’t fully functional yet, but it has two more phases to go for balance and additions. The design is interesting. I think it will be a good game if they can get the AI working well. They know it has to be better than it was in Endless Legend.

    • vahnn says:

      If it comes down to the ai, well, can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Their ai has never been particularly good. But still, they’ve had some practice and know their weak points when it comes to ai, so maybe they’ll find a way to fix it up this time. Probably over several post-release patches.

    • lglethal says:

      I dont know. I’m happy to see them change up the Combat. It was easily the weakest part of ES1. A deck building combat system sounds interesting, and I’m willing to look forward to seeing how it pans out.

      But I’m still annoyed with them that The Vaulters are now only a minor faction! They were MY universe conquerering Boffins!!!

      • Snowskeeper says:

        I’m still hoping the Cultists from EL show up.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Vaulters would be yet another Human faction and there are already too many of those (IMO). Cultists aren’t Human but they’re the same bipedal, anthropomorphic body plan, and so far EVERY single Major faction in ES2 is built that way. Too many bipeds in this game.

        The only really alien-looking aliens are a few of the Minors, like the (demoted) Amoeba and the new Deuyivans. Maybe the last two Major factions to be announced will be different, and there’s always hope for a more alien DLC faction.

        • Snowskeeper says:

          The two main Cultist entities aren’t humanoid, and the Cultists in general are just any other species, except enslaved and brainwashed. In Endless Legend, the vast majority of the factions they could draw from were humanoid, which is why their models are mostly humanoid (although since the Cultist playstyle is “convert minor factions to your religion like crazy” you end up using their units more anyway). In ES their leaders would probably still be humanoid, yeah, but their soldiers would continue to be fanatics stolen from other factions. Maybe their ground armies would be huge, diverse, seething hordes, supplemented by the jerky, clockwork Cultist tech we saw in Legend.

  5. phreddo says:

    But aren’t the eggheads from France?

  6. SaintAn says:

    Really regret buying this game in EA. I’m seeing why they sold out to Sega now.

    • MessiTheMessiah says:

      Genuinely curious, what do you dislike about the game? I think it has the potential to be greatest 4X space game made.

  7. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Cntrl+F “coneheads”.

    I’m very disappointed in all of you.

  8. boundless08 says:

    Gaaarryyyy? Gary? GARY!!

  9. emertonom says:


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    Alpha1Dash1 says:

    Well, the vid raises questions in my eyes:

    The Hugo’s “assimilate” seems a bit out of character. Why would they corrupt the perfect genome?

    When talking about the new battle cards, the narrator said “is available” meaning it’s optional?

    The rest of the fleshing out sounds cool, I just hope the rebellion mechanic is better than Stellaris’.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, it’s an odd choice as a gene splicing faction. Horatio was already perfect. That was the whole point of the faction in the original game.

      I suppose the idea here is that Horatio has decided that perfection shouldn’t be a static goal; that splicing in the attributes of other species would make them even better. You pick and choose which species to splice, with a malus if you splice too many (excessive food consumption, which is a little weird). So there is an element of artistic decision making, in choosing what to splice. Maybe that fits.

      The battle cards aren’t optional. You start with three slots for activated cards that you can fill from a “hand” of cards you hold. You can get more slots activated, and collect more cards to use through research. Or maybe events, I haven’t played the new system enough yet.