I’ve had this game sitting around for a while (like some 300-odd other games on Steam), but I didn’t actually install it until a few days ago. You see, I was feeling a 4X scratch that needed to be itched, and since everything I’ve heard about Endless Legend has been overwhelmingly positive, I decided to try it out.
It’s only been a few days and I’m already confident that this is probably the best 4X since Civ IV.
Endless Legend is vaguely set in the same universe that Endless Space was. The main difference is that Endless Legend gives us more of a fantasy spin on what is still probably ultimately science fiction, where Endless Space was planted pretty firmly on the spaceships side of that scale. In addition, many of the gaming mechanics and aspects of the UI are similar, so if you’re familiar with Endless Space, jumping into Endless Legend is pretty easy.
But Endless Legend definitely improves upon and refines what Endless Space did, and the result is a game that is actually one of the best in the genre, rather than being a pretty good attempt.
As a ground-based 4X (as opposed to a space-based one) , this plays very similarly to, say, Civilization. But it really shines in flavor lore and also in battles that you can actually run yourself! It’s like a tactical mini-game in the midst of your big strategy game.
And yes, that delicious flavor lore. Endless Legend takes a page from RPGs here, offering a variety of quests (including a main quest for each race) as well as hero units that gain experience and have their own talent trees. I always appreciate a strategy game with good “other-worldly” lore, since so often you either get history (think Civ and most Grand Strategy games) or you’re just expected to go in and kill the bad guy without thinking much about the why (Warcraft before III, basically.)
Also in one of these quests you’re a robot, so that’s cool.