Endless Space 2 update launches fighters and bombers

Splendid sci-fi strategy game Endless Space 2 [official site] today launched a big update adding fighters and bombers. These spaceship classes were added to the first game in an expansion then promised as freebies for the sequel after launch, and here we are. Arriving alongside them are a new quest revolving around fighters and bombers, as well as returning Pirate hero Jennifer Rach. The game’s picked up a tidy little discount to celebrate the launch too.

Along with new content, the update brings heaps of bug fixes, AI improvements, and balance tweaks. The full Update 1.0.47 patch notes detail everything but developers Amplitude Studios also sum them up thusly “to give you the gist”:

“Trade Companies have seen their output lowered, while Heroes are now gaining a base amount of xp per turn, depending on whether they are a governor or an admiral. Their xp gains have been adjusted to be fairer to admirals. The AI is now less easily provoked by exploration vessels on its territory, while also better at handling its own approval ratings since the overcolonization changes.”

More of a good game is good news. Fraser Brown’s Endless Space 2 review praised the game, declaring that it perfects “elements big and small that tackle problems 4X games have been grappling with for a long time.”

If you fancy a crack yourself, you can pick it up on sale until Friday, September 25th. A 25% discount brings Endless Space 2 down to £26.24/$29.99/€29.99 on Steam.

10 Comments

  1. Rindan says:

    I probably need to give it another shot. I tried it and bounced off. I can’t help but compare it to Stellaris, and Stellaris just seems so much bigger, nuanced, and interesting. This feels like I am playing a board game on a computer. It’s a feeling I would have liked had I not played Stellaris. Hell, it even feels kind of gamey next to MOO2. Maybe I have a rose colored memory. I just don’t feel like I am at the head of a galactic empire.

    • Hunchback says:

      Endless Space has a very different feel to it, you are right. I think what you are experiencing is because it’s much more “zoomed in” than Stellaris. The scale is much smaller and you don’t get huge fleets with hundreds of ships. And it’s really much more about a plot line tied to the people you are playing than about “being the head of a huge galactic empire”.

      Stellaris mastered the slow transition from zoomed-in, a tiny space nation starting it’s saga in space, into a zoomed-out massive mega-empire that you have to automate at some point in order to keep up. However what eventually bored me was, funnily, the lack of story to follow.

      Imagine if Stellaris and Endless Space had a baby!

      • BlueTemplar says:

        And yet, Stellaris is still lacking in UI features and automation options that would enable you to transition from a single-planet empire to one spanning many systems without micromanagement hell. (Though the Sectors system was a commendable try.) Heck, even the very early game quickly becomes annoying as there’s no good system to keep track of the exploration corvettes!

    • LagTheKiller says:

      I know what u mean, its like both satiates your hunger for a decent 4X but both leaves u with mixture of joy and disappointment.

      Stellaris is mighty fun first couple of hundred years then even in hard mode devolves into stagnacy and farming +5% techs if u not chose to disco inferno the galaxy.

      ES2 is like wrecked differential system. Its fun but inconsistent. Political nature is somewhat expanded but devolves into pick bonus refering to ur last activity and setting up defenses for some reason influence military party. Where it should pacifist or industrialis or what. Every race somewhat got it uniqe trait but again it plays almost the same if u set up ur own policies. Theyre not that diffrent barring colonization startup.
      Worst sin of ES2 is probably hanging between mass colonization and system uniqueness. If u want to colonize dozens of similar planets go play stellaris. If u want ur star system to be truly one and only add more than
      +1 science/pop “anamoaly”. i.e. the planet could be desert devoid of life but abundance of minerals generates profit n industry start makin assumptions. Terraformations probably makes mining harder. Setup big cartel cities/bazaars/ports. Spawn pirates eager to plunder transports. U could even hire another pirate band or discuss sthin with current crimelord. And basing on your traits make deals, wage micro war, try to convert his net into goverment counterintelligence or hunt him like a rat he is.
      TL;DR : both games are fun but ES2 sits in the middle trying to implement every fun idea but not exploiting it further.

    • syndrome says:

      I bounced off initially, then gave it a proper glance after some time. It’s fun. It’s smart. It’s well done. But it’s not a jewel.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I have both Stellaris and ES2, and for now, ES2 is the one I jump into when I want a space 4X fix.

      With ES2 I can enjoy role-playing a pre-designed faction with unique qualities, compared to Stellaris where every faction is drawn from the same feature set, so they don’t feel or act very different. Stellaris is better for trying to recreate favorite sci-fi tropes, but it still feels samey, no matter what I come up with.

      Stellaris also has a big problem with Doom Stacks being the winning strategy in war, along with a clunky war goals system. ES2 isn’t perfect in that area, but the battles with smaller fleets at least look much better , and you can split up your fleets for strategic maneuvering instead of just piling everything into a Doom Stack.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        Still waiting for a good new 4X game with full-blown combat…

  2. gi_ty says:

    See reply to Zeneticus

  3. gi_ty says:

    Argh comment system not fun this was meant as a reply to Zenicestus:
    I think you can get rid of a lot of the sameness feel of the factions in Stellaris if you design your own to fill the whole galaxy. Especially with the newer hive mind factions, and the forth coming synthetic factions. If you set it up you right you can have a fast spreading hive mind that dominates huge swaths of the galaxy that will go up against alliances and federations of democratic pacifist xenophiles, a third bloc of authoritarian militarists, and some isolationist xenophobes sprinkled around. The spiritualists and materialists also hate each other so this will cause rifts inside the authoritarian and democratic factions. The exciting part is we can add a fourth bloc of power when the robot overlords are available. The power dynamics shift dramatically throughout a game if you have designed all the different civs yourself with an eye toward late game alliances. Ship graphic and race mods also help with the sameness feel you can get with just jumping in vanilla.
    Basically IMHO the best way to do it is make factions that represent all your favorite sci-fi factions and let them duke it out.
    As far as strategy is concerned the only time to doom stack is when you have numerical superiority. With the right drive techs you can prosecute a guerrilla war against a numerically superior foe and fight them to a standstill. Especially if you are friendly with the neighbors of your enemy. You can hide your fleets in factions that give you access and strike deep into enemy territory when they are trying to invade you planets. You can then use a second fleet to destroy their non escorted troop transports or any other soft targets that appear. Essentially there are tons of available strategies especially for harder difficulty levels, were doomstacking will cause you to lose a war for sure.

    • Zenicetus says:

      That’s a good point about customizing the whole Galaxy for a more tailored experience with Stellaris. I’ve never tried that. It would avoid the lowest-common-denominator effect you get with random generation, where there are few really distinct and interesting factions.

      I’ll try that next time I crank up Stellaris.