And so we come to yet another budget space-strategy game, replete with resource building, Napoleonic tendencies and lots of nice space skyboxes.
Fair play to Endless Space though, compared to the countless other space-battle strategy games we’ve let damage our posture, social life and will to live recently, it’s fairly sleek, polished and well executed. There’s a card-based battle system too, if that’s your bag, and it makes a change from the usual number crunching and stat clicking, although of course that’s there too. It’s fairly intuitive once you get to grips with everything in the tutorial, such as ship customisation, combat, resource management etc etc.
But it’s all so incredibly dry.
It has been said before about many in the 4x genre, but where’s the sense of drama and scale? You’re supposed to be conquering galaxies and expanding your own evil empire. Endless Space treats it with all the drama and fervour of a man falling asleep watching Babylon 5.
It’s all very well getting the fundamentals down, but there’s really no point if you’re not going to bother putting any personality in whatsoever. It’s a shame too, as Endless Space could have been good in this regard. It looks nice, the battles are suitably explosive and the soundtrack gives a good sense of scale. There’s just no character, though. In a genre that’s weirdly starting to become quite oversaturated, something’s going to need to craft a proper plot and sense of drama to go along with all the painstaking micromanagement to stand out.
Endless Space, for all it does right, is offensively bland. For 4x genre fans only.