Published on June 7th, 2017 | by Chris O'Connor
Endless Space 2 PC Game Review
Summary: Civilization in space with a touch of Game Of Thrones politicking.
I’m going to state this off the top… I felt this game was Civilization in space. Take that for what you want… I happen to love Civilization and find it to be one of those games where you can start playing at 9pm then the next time you check the time it’s 5am and your eyes are bloodshot and you realise you haven’t eaten or drunken anything in hours. Endless Space 2 has that same impact.
The overall notion is essentially as I’ve mentioned, Civilization in space (with perhaps a hint of Mass Effect in the sense that there are traces of a long lost civilization scattered throughout the worlds)… you chose your character/species and set out to make your mark. You can make your mark in those familiar ways such as through diplomacy, through science or military muscle… the usual. But it’s how the game is executed that makes all the difference. To begin with Endless Space 2 holds your hand in just the right way to get you familiar with the many different facets of gameplay. I’ve played a few games of late that either take the approach of sending you out of the game to a webpage or youtube clip to teach you how to play or that simply gives you a few words of what you need to do but doesn’t really show you what to do. Endless Space 2 gives you an advisor who helps you by directing you exactly where to you need to look to find what you need to make the most of the game… but just while you’re starting off… then they figure you know what you are doing and leave you to it.
There’s the ever familiar tech tree… select what you want your brains to look into and attempt to unlock the mysteries of the universe… or at least how best to arm and shield yourself before your galactic armada storms through the solar systems in the universe. There are mission tasks that will pop up that you can pursue to improve your standing or to give you some other form of boost. Planets can reveal extra resources or useful advances that you can glean from ruins or smaller civilizations.
Battles are quite interesting too. Ship to ship combat can be a one on one or one on many or many on many experience… you can create fleets or keep your ships as individuals, you can focus on shields, ranged attacks etc. Ground based assaults also give you a few options to improve your chances of success.
Each new solar system you discover gives you a lovely quick tour of all the planets in the system and then you can probe any for special bonuses or colonize them and expand your galactic population. Each new system you claim though does put you at greater risk… travel between systems can be slow and if you don’t make sure you are protected on one side of your galactic empire you may find it falling to the enemy before you can get reinforcements in place. There are many things to keep your eye on… but it never feels too overwhelming. There’s just the right balance of challenge and fun.
A beautiful, deep and fun experience that will take hours from your life… but you won’t regret it.