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03-26-2017

Endless Space 2

Amplitude's Endless Space 2 is dutifully trudging through its Early Access period and the game's third major update is bringing a new faction and (finally!) multiplayer.

Said new faction is the Riftborn, an extradimensional being that lived in a pristine, geometrical plane untainted by strife. It was brought to the Endless universe when a rift tore open their (its?) dimension. The Riftborn uses time dilation spheres on entire galaxies to slow, speed up, or even stop their production, which sounds over-powered but I look forward to giving it a whirl.

Multiplayer is also here, so up to eight players can now rule or destroy galaxies together, which I've found can lead to the ends of friendships rather quickly. New galaxy shapes, galaxy events (such as nebulae and solar winds), and AI improvements should also make games a little smoother.

The impressive battle system will also see some upgrades in the form of a tactical view that looks similar to football plays. Thankfully, the tech tree (rehauled with the last update) has seen some re-designs on the military side of things, which Amplitude thinks will lead to a better progression. When I last tried playing, I reached a point where the tech tree blocked me from progressing with the main story, so I'm hoping that's also been ironed out.

When I first played Endless Space 2 at that preview event last year, I hadn't played a 4X game before and I didn't know what the dang heck I was doing. I'm pretty sure the other journalists better-versed in the genre were laughing behind me. Well, eff those guys, because now I live and breathe the Endless series. Legend is crazy good, Dungeon of the Endless sucked up a lot of my February, and Endless Space 2 is increasingly great with each update. When it finally leaves Early Access, I'm pretty sure you'll all never see me again.

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