Endless Legend™ is a unique explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate strategy game. At first it can be confusing, and seemingly too much to handle if you're a player new to the genre, but fortunately there is a tutorial and wiki that teaches you how to play. When you have learnt the basics, you'll find that the game play is simple, which is what makes Endless Legend™ unique.
The expansion and exploitation aspects are easier than popular 4X games, such as the Civilization™ series. It primarily consists of moving icons of workers
in your cities to different zones in order to produce more of certain resources, either food, production, science
In a similar fashion to Civilization V™, you have settlers that you use to build cities; however, when you settle a city, you take control of an entire region
, and there are a number of regions depending on the size of the map that you had chosen. The map consists of many hexagons
, and your city
will start out small, usually seven hexagons in the shape of a hexagon, unless you build it near an impassable hexagon
, but the region that you built it in will change to your empires colour. You then have the option to expand your city in the region by the construction of an extension at the edge-hexagons of it's current geographical influence.
The battle system is great; when you encounter an enemy army, the scene changes and you both fight on a zoomed-in part of the map where tactical game play occurs. You first position each of your units on selected tiles, and then move, attack, debuff, buff or heal; the tiles you can position your units on are selected depending on where you attacked, or were attacked from.
The two stages of the battle system consist of fluid
movement and rigid
movement; after you have positioned your units, you click ready and the second stage begins, and in this stage you can target enemies, allies, or target a tile you wish to move to, but if something obstructs you, your movement will fail, yet you may still complete an action; if you are in range of an enemy at the end of this rigid movement, you will attack. You have the chance to win battles using skill and tactics even if the odds are stacked against you. There are six phases
in each battle, if units on both teams are alive after six phases, it results in a draw. There is an option to auto-resolve
a battle, which you'll probably use often to save time; the probability of winning is shown prior to this choice.
The customisation in this game is invigorating; you can make new units, and even create an empire of your own. When making a new unit, you take an unlocked unit as a basis
and you can change it's name and equipment, which alters the statistics of that unit; or you can edit the original unit. You can also rename any regions you control, and the name appears in the centre of that region in bold letters when zoomed out
, which is a nice addition.
Each empire has three units
--one starting unit, and two that can be unlocked by researching them
. However, within the many regions are minor factions
that can be pacified, either by doing a number of missions for them, bribing them with currency or simply fighting them. If you have settled a city in a region where you have pacified a minor faction then you can assimilate
them to gain a passive bonus, and their unit. You can assimilate a maximum of three minor factions
, therefore, you can only build six different types of unit at a time. You have the option to change an assimilated faction, so you could end up using many types of unit in one game. The army capacity is maxed out at eight, but you must research certain technologies to increase your army capacity, which begins at four.
Another good feature of Endless Legend™ is the hero
system; you may hire heroes
to act as Generals
of your armies or Governors
of your cities; heroes give bonuses to whatever they are set to, and any hero can be a Governor or General. You may switch a hero between being a Governor or General, but, there is a cool down
before you can switch back again. Each empire starts out with a hero, and further heroes can be hired after researching the technology that permits access to the hero marketplace. Some heroes can be gained through faction quests, attuned to certain empires that you can select.
There are many strategic resources
that are unlocked at different eras, and you exploit these to construct buildings or equipment for your units. You only need their presence in your region to build an exploitation on them, so you don't need them in your city's geographical influence. There are also luxury resources
which are used to add temporary bonuses to cities or armies, depending on what resource it is; they are called booster effects, and some empires can use strategic resources as booster resources. All kinds of resource can be used for trade in the marketplace or on the diplomatic screen when communicating and dealing with another empire.
There are many victory conditions: Score, Expansion, Elimination, Economic, Wonder, Scientific, Supremacy and Diplomatic. I will not go further in depth on each but instead direct you to the wiki which can be found at http://endless-legend.wikia.com/
The graphics are finely attuned, but it can be difficult to tell what the tiles consist of (i.e. whether a tile is forest or grassland) without mousing over and reading the information about that tile; however, if you zoom out around half way it becomes clearer; apart from that, it looks good. Zooming in and out of the map is a seamless switch between viewing the regions, and viewing cities and tiles.
When you start a new game you're presented with an options screen
, where you can change the difficulty, the empires you are against, the size and shape of the map, and more; there is even an advanced section that goes further in depth
. The customisation here is brilliant.