Endless Space 2 reveals its spacetreants

It’s T minus ten days to the full launch of Endless Space 2 [official site] and we finally have a look at the eighth and final playable faction of Amplitude’s space strategy game. The Unfallen are a species of treants who’ve taken to the stars in driftwood-y ships to spread pace and harmony. They sound a pretty neat bunch, slowly branching out into nearby systems while making friends and boosting allies. Bless the little darlings. Here, watch their introduction:

As for what they do, developers Amplitude Studios explained in today’s announcement:

“The Unfallen civilization, completely designed by the community, utilizes gameplay modeled around a tree metaphor, with the Unfallen’s homeworld being the trunk, as they slowly expand via their tendrils – colonizing systems that are nearest their homeworld. To lose their homeworld is to lose their entire empire, as the Unfallen must maintain contact with their homeworld to survive.

“Players of the Unfallen will favor the ‘slow and steady’ pacifist style of play, rather than rushing out to conquer as quickly as possible – expanding their ‘branches’ as they go, while seeking symbiosis with the other factions and providing bonuses to their allies. The Unfallen are also in synch with nature and have the unique ability to awaken the Guardians, beings that normally lie dormant on planets, which when awoken, provide benefits to their owner and friends, and penalties to their foes.”

Endless Space 2 has been in early access since October 2016. It was promising back then so I’m keen to see how it shapes up when the full launch blasts off on May 19th.

From this site

31 Comments

  1. Snowskeeper says:

    Rest in peace, my dreams of space Cultists of the Eternal End.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I feel like I’ve been playing too much Stellaris lately for another Space 4X. I think I own a couple ‘Endless’ games, but all of them have a few hours, tops.

    Looks really pretty though, have to admit.

    • Tyrmot says:

      Give Endless Legend another go – it’s really outstandingly good land-based fantasy/sci-fi 4X

      • Huntattocks says:

        I’ll chime in and add that Dungeon of the Endless is an excellent little game. Has nothing to do with 4X at all, but it’s goood.

    • Sakkura says:

      Paradox timed the 1.5/Utopia and 1.6 updates well if they were trying to steal ES2’s thunder.

      I’ll buy ES2 eventually, but I’ve also had plenty of space 4X with Stellaris for the past month or so.

      ES1 was decent, actually had some really good features in the UI and such, but to me it lacked personality and got kinda bland after a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if ES2 is excellent though, given how much better Endless Legend (released after ES1) was at giving color to the environment and each civ.

      • FelisCatus says:

        Alas, it’s not. They’ve actually made combat worse than it was in Endless Space 1 (before Disharmony), and that took effort. A lot of the fluff they’ve bolted on is nice and all but it feels like they were trying for Endless Legend in space and they’ve missed the mark by some margin.

        Post-Utopia, Stellaris is by -far- the better 4X now, Amplitude needed to actually be a lot braver and more original than they have been, but what they’ve done here is retread bits of Endless Legend with an Endless Space aesthetic in the hope it would catch lightning twice.

        • Dynamique says:

          I only played Endless Legend and ES2 in the current version (“Update 3″+). So I don’t now how it compares to the first installment, but agree that it feels a lot like Endless Legend in Space. For better or worse: Lots of character, somewhat grindy in Mid- / Endgame. Then again, I don’t know if I’m made for this 4X stuff. :-)

          Anyway, the Humble gave me Stellaris, Paradox gave me the patch, now it’s time to give it a try.

      • Haxton Fale says:

        It does not help that ES2 feels in many ways like it’s trying to become a turn-based Stellaris.

    • Boardwalker says:

      Stellaris is meh to me. It gets in its own way when it comes to pure 4X gameplay / conquering your enemies. Give me ES2 and GC3 any day for good old fashioned beer n’ pretzels space strategy.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Um, maybe I should already know, but what exactly is “beer n’ pretzels space strategy?” No clue what you mean but I totally like the sound of it..!

        • Nelyeth says:

          If I had to guess, I’d say it refers to what the lad actually does while playing. And yes, it sounds like an awesome evening.

        • Boardwalker says:

          “beer n’ pretzels” was a popular phrase back in the 80’s / 90’s that applied to strategy games that combined just enough required brain power with just enough depth and combat to make the game fun and completeable in one sitting with friends.

      • Rindan says:

        I think it depends on what you want out of your Space 4X. Stellaris leans a bit on the “simmy” side. At the end of the day, Stellaris has some neat systems, but not much inbuilt character. You can run into any sort of combination of alien in Stellaris, but in the end that makes them less distinct. The Endless games have real strong character. You play the pre-built races and you play it for their particular style, which can be radically different from another race’s style.

        I like both. I like the style of the Endless games and the neat gamey mechanics. I like doing my races stories. I also really like Stellaris. Stellaris can let your imagination run wild if you let it. You don’t beat Stellaris, you pick a role and play it. One play through you build your utopian peace loving federation building good guys. Another, you play a devouring swarm. Another time you play a slaver race. It gives you a lot of room to make your own stories, and it makes the “simulation” aspect interesting enough to help you buy your own story.

        I’ll end up playing Endless Space 2 for sure. I’ll probably let stick to Stellaris in the short term and let the first few waves of patches hit before picking it up.

        • Snowskeeper says:

          I’d argue that Utopia, and the accompanying update, have gone a long way to make the alien races less bland, but, unfortunately, it’s done so at the cost of some of the customization. The resulting compromise is sort of annoying, especially if you want to play as a Hive Mind that doesn’t want to consume the universe, like Star Wars’ Killik hives.

        • Rainshine says:

          There’s (or, at least in my games) so little interaction with the other groups in Endless Legend that the game just didn’t feel right. Also, going wide doesn’t (or didn’t, in any of my playthroughs) work, which seems to kindof go against one of the Xs of 4X. It felt alright, but it didn’t really grab me; it was like I was reading a book in the corner, rather than spreading across the world like a plague overcoming the weak.

  3. Tyrmot says:

    This is exactly what I wanted to hear!

  4. Karomsir says:

    You are not really losing anything I bought it a few months back on a whim. Its pretty enough but a lot of systems are unnecessary and unintuitive space combat is meh and otherwise its endless legend.

    Give me stellaris any day of the week. Also turn based…

  5. Zenicetus says:

    I’ve been playing the early access. It’s better than the first Endless Space, and different enough from Endless Legend to be interesting (so far, I haven’t seen the final Phase 4).

    I refuse to compare it directly to Stellaris in a competitive way, because they’re very different games. Stellaris allows a huge number of factions, and is very amenable to customized races and classic sci-fi themes. It also has every race drawing from the same available pool of tech, culture, and politics, which tends to flatten out the aliens and make them all seem the same. It’s a symmetrical design.

    ES2 is asymmetrical. There are few factions, but every one is very different and plays differently. There are flaws and missing pieces in the game design here and there (IMO), but as far as asymmetrical space 4X games go, I’d rather play this than Nu-MOO or GalCiv3.

  6. grimdanfango says:

    I have to say, Amplitude Studios have some fantastic writers. So much fantasy and sci-fi in the games industry can come out feeling goofy, fanfictiony, or slavishly mimicking favoured fantasy authors.
    Amplitude consistently feel like they have a truly unique and incredibly refined voice. Their races, narratives, and background lore feel constantly enthralling. There’s nothing more done-to-death stock-Tolkien than Ents, but somehow they make them sound like something completely fresh.

    Even Torment Numenera, as well written as it is, occasionally feels like it’s mimicking its predecessor’s tone a tad too slavishly.
    I know it’s not Amplitude’s chosen forte, but I find myself wishing they would take on the RPG genre next… I get the feeling they could create something truly sublime!

    • Zenicetus says:

      I agree, Amplitude has a unique flavor in their designs and they deserve support just for that.

      They’re like the Citroën DS of strategy games: a car that’s beautiful, with some weird ideas, and uniquely French in design (I just saw one in a local parking lot, which reminded me of this). And I hope they can stick around, because everyone else is recycling the same cliche aliens in space 4X design.

    • Premium User Badge

      teije says:

      Very well said. I actually never stick with any of their games very long, but the lore and care they put into them is outstanding. Not to mention their excellent UI design, which all dev shops could learn from.

  7. racccoon says:

    if not going to end in fire, you need make weapons that self implode into themselves.

  8. Henas says:

    I am Groot?

  9. psychowitch says:

    Space battles are just horrible .. panzer corps did it better and that game is years old! I think the game is less substance and more asthetics .. they needed to sort out the research tree to make it clearer the research paths you could take.. but it ended up being cluster..F of confusion…the game says its 4x but its more like 4excel … graphics wise yes its very nice … just like the Jaguar car.. looks awesome on the outside but the engine is just a ford.

  10. poliovaccine says:

    Since this is a common enough sentiment, I’m gonna ask everyone in general – I see a lot of complaints that Endless Space 2 has shaped up to be basically Endless Legend in space, and that the sameness is maybe the worst thing about it, since apparently Endless Legend was quite good… am I still on track so far?

    If so, my question is: will Endless Space 2 be more fun/more worthwhile to someone (i.e. me) who never played Endless Legend or Endless Space 1? Or are the shortcomings apparent in their own right? Cus the way I’m reading it, it sounds like they might be more relative to expectations, of which I have none. Well, some – I do play Stellaris. Will that alone make Endless Space 2 look “similar-but-inferior” to me, as well?

    • Jovian09 says:

      Since a lot of people are asking, I’ll say this: Endless Space 2 is similar to Stellaris only in that it’s a space 4x. Other than that, they’re very different games. While Stellaris wants you to roleplay your own space empire, ES2 offers eight extremely distinct ones. In Stellaris factions are differentiated by the various traits and stat bonuses you can apply to them. In ES2, those traits are innate and much more diverse. For example, there’s the Cravers faction who generate resources quickly but also devour their planets til they’re depleted, necessitating an unending cycle of expansion and consumption; or the Riftborn who don’t use the food resource at all because they came from an inorganic universe that has no concept of it. Other than that, ES2 is turn-based and not realtime; games tend to be a bit shorter and have multiple victory conditions rather than longer and decided by in-game crises; and combat is more strategic and less hands-on than in Stellaris. The most significant in-genre similarity between them is the importance of quests and secondary objectives. I love both games, for very different reasons.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Perfecto reply, thanks for taking the time. Knowing those distinctions, I think I am game for this one (oh god was that a pun?). I do enjoy Stellaris a lot but I don’t mind copping to a premade character/race/identity in games if I like it… and I was reading some of the descriptions for the different races, and I mean, that’s really, ultimately why I’m sold. I could totally play as a distinctly defined race if it was the Riftborn, for example. Thx again for the reply..!

  11. ZippyLemon says:

    branching out

    *squints*

  12. Fiatil says:

    Well damn, the community managed to design my perfect 4X race. Thanks guys!

  13. taohansen says:

    Why isn’t this being made available for Linux?

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>