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Endless Legend: The Review

Endless Legend, the most recent 4X game by Amplitude Studios quietly came onto the scene in September of 2014. As an avid follower of the game since its conception and alpha, I have watched it grow and evolve into the most enjoyable 4X game on the market. For the uninitiated, 4X is a market term for games such as Sid Meier's Civilization and Age of Wonders, the 4 X's being eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. Endless Legend blends the in depth political and economic mechanics of Civilization with the more strategic and built up concept of war that Age of Wonders possesses. While it may not be the master of either, it does both excellently, and blends them together into a very well built game. 

Endless Legend

Amplitude Studios spared no expense crafting the most vivid and beautiful randomly generated game on the market. Their landscape is breath-taking and varied, and the world is always dotted with mystical "Anomalies" each with its own flavor text explaining its importance to the world. The races you can play as are each very distinct and come prepackaged with their own lore, back story, and "Story Quest" you can chose to play through. On top of the eight playable races you also have a multitude of minor factions you can conquer and assimilate, adding even more variation into your armies. While the game lacks in a multitude of different soldiers to chose from (just 3 per race) with the minor factions as well as a HUGE customization option which lets you equip soldiers with armor and weapons that give them new properties, each playthrough will feel fresh and new. To win a game, you have many options, from an economic victory revolving around making the most "Dust" (the games currency) before the game ends to an elimination victory, better suited to those who enjoy destroying all of his enemies cities. 

The mechanics can be a bit rough without any prior knowledge, since the game can overload you on information. The tutorial can help, but you may find that it's easier to learn on the go, playing a few practice games is the best way to understand the mechanics. Don't be discouraged right at the start. The game is rewarding to learn, and eventually you'll find yourself managing an entire empire AND an army at the same time with a few clicks. 

Endless Legend possesses a fairly powerful non-player AI at its disposal. Past the normal difficulty the AI expands quickly, and falls into their preferred victory type quickly. You'll find that the more militant AI will expand and build armies quickly while the more political will send you compliments or peace treaties, hoping to win by forging good relations with all other players. The competent AI provides an enjoyable and challenging option for players who cannot play online or chose not to. For those who look towards the challenge of real players, you might find that online matchmaking is poor, so you may have to do a bit of searching looking for players. This is a problem all 4X games possess, the time requirement for games such as these means you cannot knock one out in an hour, games can span days or even weeks, depending on settings. Building up a friends list and setting times to play is crucial, since most evenings will end with a save to be picked up later. 

It would be remiss not to mention the flaws in the game. It contains some minor glitches and bugs, such as quests not working properly or minor crashes, but considering the quality compared to more recent releases, they are only minor inconveniences. Considering this, the overall quality far outweighs this tiny issues. The online works fantastic, and rarely do you experience crashes or internet issues that would impede gameplay. 

Easily a top 5 game of 2014, it was easy to miss Endless Legend if you don't actively monitor alphas or 4X games. But I highly recommend anyone interested in joining the 4X genre or just looking for a fresh start try out Endless Legend. The developers are still actively patching and updating the game with new content, and I see a bright future for the series. 


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