The Endless universe continues to live up to its name - both Endless Legend and Endless Space 2 are expanding once more next week. On January 24th, Endless Space 2 bulks out its espionage options in Penumbra, while Endless Legend's Symbiosis expansion will let players control a race of sentient mushrooms and tussle with giant roaming crab-beasties. It's nice to see Amplitude Studios still pouring time, love and vision into these two rather lovely games, even if only the maddest of players will have the time to master both. Trailers for the expansions below.
Sneaky antics are order of the day in Endless Space 2 - Penumbra. The new playable race are the Umbral Choir, a faction of space ghosts who really do work coast-to-coast. Their big twist is that they only have one star system, hidden away from prying eyes. They extend their influence through sanctuaries on neutral and enemy systems, ideally undetected. Much of their power comes through their ability to hack into the defences and ships of other races, although the new hacking system is available to everyone. More direct in its sneakiness is the option to just turn ships invisible. There are several tiers of invisibility and detection tech, so you might get caught up in an expensive arms race just to see who's shooting at you.
Endless Legend's Symbiosis expansion adds a new playable faction too, and one new neutral force to the world. The new race are the Mykara. Similar to the Umbral Choir, they have a singular, permanent starting point - the heart of their root network. They can extend their roots to tie up resources and points of interest, but they're not going to be establishing new towns. They can, however, infest conquered enemy cities and gain perks and resources from the new spore colony. They seem an interesting counterpoint to the Roving Clans faction - stationary and aggressive while the clans are nomadic and relatively peaceful.
The second big feature of Symbiosis are the Urkans. Wandering Godzilla-scale crab monsters escorted by smaller minions. While they're a pain to any faction they decide to trample all over, it is possible to turn them to your side, either by beating them into submission or bribing them. It seems that there are multiple breeds of Urkan, each with their own special abilities to be leveraged if you can bring them over to your side. Not a bad little bit of new DLC, considering the game first launched in 2014.
Endless Space 2 - Penumbra and Endless Legend - Symbiosis launch on Steam on January 24th for $12.99/€12.99/£10.99 each, minus a 10% discount. If you're the sort to binge on your 4X strategy games (where do you even find the time to sleep?), you can grab both together for a little less here. Both are published by Sega.