Amplitude and 4X have just released their latest title Endless Legend on Steam as an Early Access product and that gives us the perfect opportunity to see what the game is about. Before we go any further though, let us be very clear about the fact that the game is still in development and will continue to be until its full release. Until that time, we will be updating you guys with all the latest information about the game, starting with what Endless Legend is.
In a nutshell, Endless Legend is a turn based strategy game (most of the time). You place a city on a hex based grid, select units or buildings to construct in that city, expand with more cities and research new things. All of these aspects function via the passing of turns and exploration is also handled through movement allowances on a turn by turn basis. This part of the game will see players move their armies around the map and engage armies/enemies.
Although simple sounding, Endless Legend is anything but. Due to the game only being in Early Access there are no tutorials and no guides to help anyone gain a level of experience. For now, that is all gained through playing, failing, playing again and then failing some more.
The general success of a "˜campaign' hinges on gathering the right amount of resources via your cities in order to help them flourish. These come in the form of food (increases population), industry (speeds up turns to finish constructions), science (faster research), dust (currency), and influence. Not only is gathering these components important, but you will also need to undertake quests to get further rewards. These can often end up being quite powerful, so it's in your best interest to at least entertain the possibility.
If players can manage to keep up with quests and manage these primary resources well enough they'll be in a decent stead to succeed, but there are plenty of other complexities to discover. There are quite a few and that's what this first article will primarily focus around:
First up, we have Anomalies. These are special tiles around the map that give extra benefits to a city that includes it within their influence. These can be pretty powerful and are worth taking advantage of if you have the chance.
In each region, you will find small villages that contain various "tribes". These are often referred to as Minor Factions. You can choose to do one of three things when you encounter a minor faction: bribe, attack or parley. By undertaking one of these actions, you will take on a quest and if you complete it, all villages of that type will become friendly to your cause. You can later spend your influence points to assimilate a faction and that will allow you to create their unit type.
Perhaps influenced by Game of Thrones, Winter plays a prominent role in proceedings. This period of time occurs randomly, but the game does at least offer an estimates of how many turns remain until Winter will start and how long it will take to end. During this time, you will see your food production take a hit and movement also becomes a challenge. "˜Cold War' also occurs where enemies are allowed to basically do what they like.
One pretty core part of the game comes through the implementation of Heroes and the ability to Equip Units With Cool Stuff. Heroes have their own talent tree, which is dependent on their type (infantry, ranged, etc.) and faction. This sees the tree have three different branches, with the second branch being the same for every hero. You can equip them with armour, weapons and accessories that are developed as research progresses or prerequisite resources are gathered. Similarly you can also do the same for your general units, and equip them however you please. This will alter what they require to make and their general cost however.
Alongside the standard resources that have already been explained, there are also Luxury Resource. These require extractors to harvest, but as research progresses new tiles will be found and various upgrades can be made from their harvesting. Investing in these resources can be very profitable in the long run.
Every 20 turns, the Empire Plan will also happen. During this time you can spend your influence in a 4-point system that can improve the overall running of your cities.
Through researching, you will gain access to the Marketplace. Here, you can buy new heroes, units and luxury resources. However, cost is affected by supply and demand. As an interesting side note, if you disband a unit for whatever resource, it moves to the marketplace and other factions are able to purchase it.
What would a game be without combat? The Battle System is rather interesting and will probably be expanded upon more on its own. However, for now it's worth noting that you can use the auto-system, which decides who wins and by how much, or you can choose to see the battle out yourself.
This, as well as the main campaign, can also be affected by Terrain. Movement will be affected based on height, but it can affect the outcome of a battle if the enemy has to navigate through cliffs to face you. Maps are randomly generated and terrain can vary quite a bit from game to game.
That pretty much covers all those aspects, albeit in some rather fleeting detail. In our next feature we will take a look at the different factions in play, as well as the diplomacy system. Check back in the future to find out more about how we're getting on with Endless Legend.