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Amplitude have consistently done things the right way, as far as I’m aware. They began well by making a superb space strategy game, Endless Space, which is a fundamental part of the development process. When they finished the game, they allowed the people who bought it to play, although those people did have to register the game on Steam which caused some grumbling. You’re probably thinking they slipped up by charging outrageous amounts for inconsequential DLC but you’d be wrong. The fourth expansion has just landed and it’s as free as the last three. This one adds new random events, anomalies and heroes, and allows further tinkering with gas giants. The game will be discounted by 50% until March 18th.
Endless Space is free to download and play on Steam until 9pm GMT this Sunday and its strategic turn-based space-conquering is fantastic, so you’re going to have to cancel your plans to do some Christmas shopping, hunt sharks or play with your new Nintendo-Box. There are so many space games in the crowd-funding mixer at present but it would be very foolish to forget that this year has already seen such a stellar release. To sonically celebrate the free weekend, the ace soundtrack is also available on a ‘name your price’ basis.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Endless Space pre-release and I’ve been dabbling and preparing to tell you wot I think of the launch version. In the meantime, I fired up my interstellar communicator and beamed some messages to the development team, specifically Mathieu Girard CEO of Amplitude Studios. Across the infinite void I fired these queries and across the infinite void, answers came. Peruse them below.>
Endless Space, the 4X spacy strategy is now out on Steam, and has a launch trailer with lots of pretty explosions. It also explains that in the end, it’s a game about dust. I am bemused by the role that dust appears to play in fiction. From Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, to CCP’s EVE spin-off, it’s hard to think of a more innocuous object to take such an important role. Where are the stories about fluff? And lint? Where are my games about loose bits of thread? I have been sidetracked. You can see the launch trailer below.
My plan is to release a 7X game. eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate, eXasperation, eXboyfriend, eXit ab urso actus. But until my great day reaches us, you’ll have to put up with just the four Xs, and as soon as the 4th July. That’s the date that’s just been put on Endless Space, Amplitude’s scifi strategy that’s looking rather good.
Maybe the joy isn’t quite infinite and maybe the space isn’t endless in the sense that might be imagined on first exposure to the title, but turn-based space conquest game Endless Space is already the second great entry in my 2012 feast of strategy gaming. If Crusader Kings II was a roasted hog with a side order of roasted hog, washed down with a keg of mead containing roasted hogs as booze-croutons, Endless Space is a vacuum-packed futurepill of a meal: nutritious, filled with flavour, perfectly formed. And it’s only just reached beta.>
The amount of developers that seem happy to revive our favourite things from times gone by is something recently discussed in the breezy parapets of Castle Shotgun. A few days later a game appeared on Steam, taking preorders that gave access to its alpha. That game is Endless Space and if it were a farmyard animal it would be plodding around a field saying ‘MOO’ quite a lot. It’s a space-based 4X game and although I need to spend more time with it before I say too many more words, it’s already caused me to miss one night’s sleep and that just doesn’t happen enough anymore. Trailer and brief excited key-tapping below.