Endless Space: The Kotaku ReviewThere are plenty of games about flying a starfighter, or being a space merchant, or a humble lowly space marine who runs through space stations shooting everything that moves. There are plenty of games where you're an officer in some kind of army of the stars, clicking your way to victory as your tiny little minions give their tiny little lives for the cause.

Those kinds of games are fine, but sometimes, you want more. You don't want to be the guy taking orders from the Emperor. You want to be the Emperor.

Endless Space lets you be the Emperor.

Managing the economy, industry, science and military of a sprawling galactic empire isn't - at least I'd guess it isn't - an easy thing to do. All those planets to monitor, all those unhappy workers, all those alien starships blowing stuff up across the fringes of known space, it's a lot to stay on top of.

For Endless Space, a game that follows so closely in the footsteps of classic 1993 title Master of Orion, staying on top of the nuts and bolts of galactic governance is never a problem. A surprisingly attractive and clean user interface (these kind of games are normally as stylish as a text book) makes it easy to navigate the necessary levels of menus and research screens, while smartly-designed pop-ups keep you informed about decisions that need to be made sooner rather than later.

Endless Space: The Kotaku Review
WHY: It may be lacking in character, but Endless Space is still a smart, slick attempt at giving the average human being desktop control of an entire galaxy.


Developer: Amplitude Studios
Platforms: PC
Released: July 4.

Type of game: Space Strategy

What I played: Three singleplayer games, one as the United Empire, one as the Pilgrims and one as the Sowers. Briefly tested multiplayer (it...works!), but didn't have time to complete a whole game.

Two Things I Loved

  • It's pretty. Every other game in the genre should take note that, yes, it helps when you look good.
  • There's a great understanding of prioritising player information and pop-ups.

Two Things I Hated

  • The game has a personality disorder. Namely, it doesn't have one.
  • Combat is basic and unfulfilling.

Made-to-Order Back-of-Box Quotes

  • "The perfect game for fans of spreadsheet clicking! 8.5/10!" - Luke Plunkett, Kotaku.com
  • "It's no Master of Orion, but you know what, it's close enough" - Luke Plunkett, Kotaku.com

What could easily have been the game's biggest stumbling block, then - keeping the player informed about the dozens of things that needed their attention every turn - is vaulted with ease. Considering that's the point where many games of this ilk begin to lose the player, that's quite the achievement.

The thing I enjoyed most about Endless Space, though, was its degree of customisation. Don't like the eight default races? Combine a bunch of attributes and make your own. Can't find a starship that does what you want? Roll up your sleeves and design one yourself. It really helps invest you in the empire you're creating, giving you the sense that you're building everything, not just the big stuff.

It's a shame, then, that while the universe hums along nicely under the hood, the rest of game can't convince you it's worth controlling at all, let alone saving.

The real joy of these kind of titles where you explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate (fans call them "4X" games) is in feeling like you're playing, well, a game. Against other people. They're at their best when a rival empire isn't simply a competing colour on the map, but a convincing opponent, one that communicates and reacts like a person (or, in Endless Space's case, an alien).

Unless you're in a multiplayer battle, Endless Space almost completely overlooks this part of the experience. Story and context are practically non-existent, while diplomacy - which should be rich with intrigue and personality - feels sterile and arbitrary. The computer's intelligence is also suspect, rarely giving the impression it's able to react to even the broadest and most successful of player strategies.

This empty feeling continues through to the game's combat. Sure, it looks gorgeous, as starships soar past planets exchanging broadsides, but aside from a basic card-game system of bonus powers (which are largely ineffective) you're not actually doing anything. The computer is just tricking you into thinking it hasn't already made a snap decision on who wins, basing it entirely on who brought the bigger guns. The inability to set even the most basic strategies turns what could have been one of the game's most exciting aspects into one of its most mundane.

Endless Space, then, isn't endless at all. It ends about halfway where a truly great game could have ended. It ships as a title complete with all the management tools and streamlined design you could hope for in a game with such scope, but you'll need to abandon hopes of finding much humanity - or any other form of conversational life - amongst the stars to get the most out of it.

Product Update - Valve
- Added the G2G vote results concerning the "Anti-Expansionist" Horatio faction trait.

- Fixed an issue where the ship design information will only display the first module of each class.
- Fixed an issue where the random event duration doesn't depend on the game speed.

All the version notes since the alpha version can be found at:
Product Update - Valve
All the version notes since the alpha version can be found at:

- The duration of random events is now displayed in the game event panel.
- Removed the "% of colonized systems" constraint from the expansion victory requirements.
- Each effect of "Retreat" and "Offensive retreat" battle actions now lasts +1 round.
- Improved AI reaction with Difficulty.
- The Endless Hero (Corporate/Adventurer)is now more balanced fleet/system-wise.
- Memory optimization.
- Added a new portrait for the Sheredyn (Emperor Edition).

- Fixed an issue where the cancel button in the Faction Editor saved the changes, allowing custom faction exploits.
- Fixed an issue where the Endless Hero never appeared in the Academy (Emperor Edition). The Endless Hero cannot be hired by an AI.
- Fixed an issue where two simultaneous attacks on a third player in the same system crashed the turn ending.
- Fixed an issue where simultaneous game joining crashed the turn ending.

- Fixed an issue where the upkeep for Inorganic Cultivation (Sower) & Intensive Cultivation Logistics (Craver) was positive instead of negative.
- Fixed an issue where the number of players in a session did not take into account locked slots.
- Fixed an issue where all battle cards were played even if the battle ended before the final phase.
- Fixed an issue where battle cards were not effective in a specific case.
- Fixed an issue where a player could only request a value of dust, from another empire, equal or less than his current dust.
- Fixed an issue where hovering over a reduced anomaly displayed the reduce anomaly effect tooltip.
- Fixed an issue where a player could rejoin his own defeated session after receiving the defeat screen.
- Fixed several text issues.
- Fixed several localized text issues.
PC Gamer
PCG Podcast

Apologies for the delay in getting this week's podcast to you, listeners. We had a technical issue whereby Chris' voice was very very quiet. It took a long time before we realised what was wrong: we knew he was trying to tell us something, but, well, we had no idea what it was.

This week Chris, Rich and Tom Senior gather to discuss Dota 2, Dragon Age 2, Spec Ops: The Line, The Walking Dead games, Killing Floor, Endless Space and more, including the Steam charts and your questions from Twitter.

Tom would like to offer his sincere apologies to oboists everywhere. He doesn't mean a word he said. Really.

Download the MP3, subscribe, or find our older podcasts here.

Show notes:

Tom Francis goes hands-on with Dishonored.
Chris' Rome 2 preview and video interviews.
Our Minecraft server.
The PCG Planetside 2 forums.
Gummy vitamins.

Product Update - Valve
All the version notes since the alpha version can be found at:

- Memory optimization. Refer to the following post for further details:
- Added collisions to graphic FX to stop them from going through ships.
- Improved graphic FX for the 'Gravity Well' Battle Action.
- Hero bonuses to attack and defense will now be correctly acknowledged through displayed MP on his Fleet.
- Diplomatic balancing (harder mainly for Serious & Endless modes).

- Fixed an issue where negative effects on the AI’s diplomatic attitude were inversed, counter-balancing other parts of that AI.
- Fixed an issue where the Tolerance trait was displaying a wrong value in the system view.
- Fixed an issue where “Random faction” was displayed instead of the faction’s actual name on an invasion notification.
- Fixed an issue where the galaxy would sometimes not be visible when starting a new game.
- Fixed an issue where the user was unable to zoom out at maximum height after playing a few game sessions.
- Fixed an issue where the Horatio Affinity unlocked the Arid Epigenetics technology.
- Fixed an issue where the host remained stuck on the end turn action if a client joined in progress and left the session at the same turn.
- Fixed an issue where the title remained stuck on end turn actions after a manual combat.
- Fixed an issue where the users were not synchronized after a system was invaded and conquered during a multiplayer session.
- Fixed an issue where the round-ups on the tonnage modules were different than the ones on the total tonnage in the ship design view.
- Fixed several text issues.
- Fixed several localized text issues.
PC Gamer
Endless Space thumb

Snazzy space set 4X game Endless Space has finally launched, and brought with it a bombastic new trailer. It might start slow, with still images of humans exploring alien planets, but don't worry, you get your space war by the end.

Chris and Tom S have been quite taken with Endless Space so far. It's a traditional turn based galactic conquering game, but with a smart battle system where you set up your fleet orders and then let them play out in glorious explodo-vision. It also has an impressively slick and accessible interface, letting you rapidly understand and control your empire, something a lot of other 4X games have struggled with in the past.

Endless Space is out now, and it's £23 on Steam. We'll have a review with you soon.
Jul 5, 2012
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

I find the concept of endless space more daunting than inspiring.

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.



They've never really stopped trickinling out since the genre's heyday in the 1990s, but it's been a while since people could get truly excited about a space-based "4X" (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) strategy game on the PC. So it's cool seeing people get excited about Endless Space.

The game, out now on Steam, promises "hundreds of star systems to explore", and lets players win the game through a variety of means, whether that be through exploration, science, diplomacy or conquest. Combining fancy 3D battles with a full strategic interface for your empire management, it looks like something my teenage self would have shrieked quite loudly about.

Product Update - Valve
Endless Space Out Now!

All the version notes since the alpha version can be found at:

- Changed the save file system. The previous files are not compatible.
- Added the custom faction screen.
- Added a free camera mode in the battle view.
+ Arrow keys: move the view
+ Mouse wheel: changes the camera field of view (angle)
+ Mouse right click + pan: rotates the camera view
+ Ctrl: sticks / unsticks the camera on your fleet
- You can continue to play after a victory condition is achieved.
- Added a state to the player, to know if he's in a battle or not.
- Added an animatic for each faction, which will be displayed for a new game.
- Added narrative & random events illustrations.
- Changed the illustration for the selection of "Random Faction".
- Changed the Pirates 3D fleet icon.
- Added several outgame scenes, which will be displayed randomly.
- All technologies have a dedicated icon.
- Added 5 new music.
- Added new GUI sounds.
- Added an ES soundtrack directory (in the Steam install directory of Endless Space on your computer).
- Added the ES credits.
- Texture, video, memory & AI optimization.
- Added one new difficulty mode - Endless.
- Food consumption by population will vary with game speed.
- Heroes will not be injured when retreating. Changed the 'Death before dishonor' faction trait.
- Ship levels increase HP, DamageMin, DamageMax, InterceptionAccuracy, DeflectionPerTurn and Absorption.
- Changed the ship leveling, which now requires more XP (6 to 45 -> 4 to 100)
- Decreased the defense mods' cost (3 to 75 -> 2 to 58).
- Decreased the defense mods' weight (7 to 20 -> 5 to 16).
- Antimissile and Shield mods are now more powerful than their Weapon counterpart.
- Deflectors bonuses were only slightly increased.
- Halved Defense MP (8 to 210 -> 4 to 125) but not their efficiency in general.
- Defense MP is less effective during invasions than weapons.
- Added an extra bonus on the armor mods (25 to 304 -> 25 to 220+12%).
- Modified the Bluecap mold monopoly bonus (Dust -> Approval).
- Reduced the difficulty of diplomatic victory ( 1000 + 10*(players)*(planets) -> 2000 + 15*(players)*(planets) ).
- Decreases the malus of the random event "SUPERNOVA DISRUPTS NAVIGATION MAPS" (-80% -> -30%)
- When playing sower, the player knows the actual FIDS of a planet before colonizing it.
- Decreased the Alliance bonus multiplier (Alliance : * 2 -> Alliance : * 1,6).

- Fixed an issue where the leech hero ability will not stop upon conquering the star system.
- Fixed an issue where an assert is received when a system is conquered by the AI and the user is in System view on the same system.
- [MP] Fixed an issue where assert is received when joining an in-progress session.
- [MP] Fixed an issue where opening the war notification as host will cause an assert.
- Fixed an issue where pressing ESC after quitting a game will cause an assert.
- Fixed an issue where the game crashes 100% after loading a specific save game.
- Fixed an issue where loading a saved game from another Steam account causes an assert.

- Fixed several text issues.
- Fixed several localized text issues.
- Fixed an issue where the browsing arrows become unresponsive in planet view in a 2 planet system.
- Fixed an issue where the moon orbiting a planet will not adjust size properly in planet view.
- Fixed an issue where the heal button is not functional on the Assign to system screen.
- Fixed an issue where a graphical corruption can be seen when entering the star system.
- Fixed an issue where the Permanent Perennials star system improvement is not working.
- Fixed an issue where the resolution will not change to 1600x900 when in windowed mode.
- Fixed an issue where the user will have the buyout option active for a ship that cannot be completed normally (strategic prerequisite or obsolete ship design).
- Fixed an issue where the amount of military power is displayed using decimals on the battle report.
- [MP] Fixed an issue where ships are displayed as being in hangar on other player`s system.
- Fixed an issue where the name of the empire is not replaced in the current deals with button.
- Fixed an issue where cease fire are not spread to allies.
- Fixed an issue where the initial starting population decreases right after the first turn at slow game speed.
- Fixed an issue where disband/create fleet does not refresh movement points.
- Fixed an issue where the race names are seen in the language of the other player.
- Fixed an issue where the Hissho Affinity tool tip is not updated.
- Fixed an issue where the United Empire Affinity tool tip is not updated.
- Fixed an issue where the "Industry to Science" conversion tool tip is not updated.
- Fixed an issue where the user is able to select guard action on an enemy`s fleet.
- Fixed an issue where technologies do not affect the deal approval.
- Fixed an issue where actual faction names were not updated in the Diplomatic Negotiations Screen when choosing random factions.
Product Release - Valve
Endless Space is Now Available on Steam!

This galaxy is ancient. Its first intelligent life was the civilization we call the Endless and all that remains of this people is what we call Dust. This substance has been found scattered throughout the galaxy and lost in forgotten temples, it once gave powers to admirals and galactic governors. The galaxy will belong to the faction that can take control of the Dust and uncover its secrets…

Guide one of eight civilizations as you strive for galactic dominion within hundreds of star systems. Play against up to seven opponents in quick match-ups or endless war. Generate an infinity of random galaxies where every start begins a new adventure and optimize each fleet for epic battles.