Публикувани: 25 април
After 30 hours (3 games) worth of Endless Space I feel like I've exhausted its options. Maybe that isn't so but after a first runthrough learning the systems I was able to beat the game on easy on my next attempt in about 250 turns. Moving up to normal added little challenge. The game simply ended more quickly because the AI forced my hand earlier on. Strategy games thrive in that thin line between being too simplistic to have lasting appeal and being too complex to learn in the first place. Sadly, Endless Space is both difficult to learn and easy to master. It's the exact opposite of what a game of this sort should be.
That said I still had a lot of fun with Endless Space. I liked the addition of hero units to space based TBS Game. It's something common in fantasy titles but not something I had experienced in this specific type of strategy game. The combat to me was pointless. I found a handful of cards that worked and just used them in almost every battle. The AI didn't adapt to this strategy and I found myself easily winning every battle without having to fight it manually.
The main issue with the pacing of the game is that once you reach the point where you are close to victory you are so insanely powerful that there is little tension. In my first match on the normal difficulty level I built 4 of the 5 wonders needed to win the game and left the fifth one with a couple turns left to build and enough money to finish it instantly if I needed a quick victory. Meanwhile I also researched every single item on the tech tree but the science victory. I made numerous diplomatic agreements for no reason, getting my score very close to 100, and built up a massive army capable of destroying all of my opponents with ease. Eventually an opposing team got too close for comfort to reaching an economic victory, forcing me to finish my final wonder. But the point is that at the very late point in the game I was at, any victory method would have been viable. I was toying with my opponents. This is something I would expect to be able to do after a hundred or more hours of practice or on an easy difficulty setting. But it seems to me that unlike the best turn based strategy games, focusing on one area (say scientific research) does not have to hinder your abilities in other areas. That takes away from the strategy of the game.
So while I enjoyed my three matches of Endless Space, I felt by the end that I had nothing more left to see. I could play as one of the more unique races. I could up the difficulty and see if I could beat a cheating AI, but neither of those prospects excite me greatly. I still play Galactic Civilizations 2 over half a decade after it was released. And in my mind it inarguably remains the greatest sci-fi 4x game on the market.