Heavens to Murgatroyd, it’s only the weekly Steam charts! That is to say, the ten games which sold best on Steam last week.
After a string of backwards-looking weeks, it’s beginning to look a lot like 2017 at last.
RPS Feature Actual 2017 games at last!
RPS Feature Al(ien) Capone
Every Monday we jettison Brendan into the uncharted quadrants of early access and demand constant progress reports. This week, Brendan is away so Adam did the only thing he knows how to do: he spent a few hours playing a strategy game. It’s Endless Space 2 [official site].
I’ve been looking forward to Endless Space 2 since around the time I played Endless Legend and fell for it hard. Actually, I’ve been looking forward to Endless Space 2 since I played the first Endless Space and a wonderful feeling washed over me – here, in Amplitude, was an exciting new studio making strategy games that were forward-thinking and unafraid to muck around with genre conventions.
Now that Endless Space 2 is available in Early Access, I should be soaking it up, exploring every corner of what already exists and speculating about the shape of things to come. Instead, I’ve been playing another 4X game and didn’t find a spare minute to look at Amplitude’s latest until this weekend just gone. And now, I’m not planning to go back until the Early Access period is done.
RPS Feature "We needed more money"
Amplitude Studios has grown significantly since the Parisian developer, as a small team that you could count on one hand, first conceived Endless Space. Now they work out of two floors in a high-rise near the centre of the metropolis and are busy working on their fourth game, Endless Space 2. Recently, they announced a partnership with publisher Sega.
It’s an evolution and escalation that’s echoed in their games. Endless Space 2, then, is an opportunity to show everyone just how much they’ve grown, combining the ideas that birthed their first game with the lessons they’ve learned through the much lauded Endless Legend. I spoke to the company’s two founders to discuss why they’re making the game now, what the partnership with Sega means for the studio, and more.
Endless Space 2 is the sequel to French studio Amplitude’s cosmic 4X game, though it feels just as much a follow-up to their exceptional fantasy strategy affair, Endless Legend. Comfortably sitting next to all the numbers, resources and planetary management are lively stories, epic quests, and fascinating space-faring species, each with distinct hooks – the ingredients that made the company’s last game something special.
I traveled to Amplitude’s offices to get my hands on the game, and thus far my goal is to try and get rich – the noblest of pursuits.
Sega have acquired Amplitude, creators of the Endless series of strategy games. Endless Legend was our game of the year in 2014 and its predecessor Endless Space is set to receive a direct sequel that will enter Early Access later this year. Sega will now publish that game, as well as assuming responsibility for the back catalogue of Endless games, which includes Dungeon of the Endless, a fantastic tower-defense/roguelike hybrid.
Amplitude are one of the smartest young strategy studios around and they join Creative Assembly, Relic and Sports Interactive (Football Manager is a strategy game) in Sega’s stable of PC developers. That’s a mighty strong line-up for a company that old men like me still associate with ancient consoles and platform games rather than PC publishing.
Perhaps Amplitude’s award-winning strategy game really is endless. A large free update for Endless Legend [official site] is due to land sometime today and there will be two cash-money chunks of DLC arriving alongside. The free stuff comes under the heading Forges of Creation and brings AI improvements, new modding tools, including compatibility with free map editor Tiled and the ability to reskin 3D units. There will also be Steam Workshop integration. The two purchasable packs contain new music, items and minor faction quests. More details below.
Endless Space was a fine 4X strategy game with interesting, distinct races and a best-in-class interface. Then Amplitude Studios’ follow-up was Endless Legend, a fantasy 4X game set within the same universe which was best-in-class in general. In fact, we named it the best game of 2014.