What’s Gus Playing? Endless Space 2, part 1

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The eloquent elf of exploration expresses endless exultation ~

Lloyd Sabin, 26 March 2018

Although I have only played a couple of hours of it, The Great Meshing™ happened with Endless Space 2.

Some games just mesh with us. The art style, the UI, the characters, the writing…all of it just coalesces in to a greater whole that digs its claws in to us and we love everything about it. I can always count on the Assassin’s Creed games, the Total War series, Warner Brothers games like Mad Max and Shadow of War and the Witcher series, among others, to really blow my mind, even after numerous iterations. When this Great Meshing™ happens unexpectedly with a new title, it can blow your mind.

Although I have only played a couple of hours of it, The Great Meshing™ happened with Endless Space 2. Admittedly, for most of the time I played it, I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on, learning the game’s systems, reading up on it’s factions, and generally attempting to keep my head above water. I had chosen the Vodyani to play as, which may not have been the best choice…when I return to Endless Space 2 – and I am certainly going to – I should probably chose a more straight forward faction to try.

But even while dealing with the complexities of playing as a more complex faction, I couldn’t help but enjoy myself. Everything I was immersed in – the giant tech tree, the faction history, the nuances of combat, ship customization – was so slick and well produced that I couldn’t help but enjoy myself while doing almost every little task in the game. And the sense of discovery was just awesome, even with little points that came up.

Enjoy the screens below. I hope they convey the sense of wonder Endless Space 2 brought out in me. And I am hell bent on diving back in when I can to get a proper 1000-hour long campaign finished.

Yes, I discovered my own home world. Still getting used to all the complex systems in this game, like I said.


One small piece of an otherwise massive technology tree.


My Vodyani arks jockey for position as I begin to spread my wings across space.


The government/law screen. If I could muster one negative against Endless Space 2, it’s that there is just too much info to absorb. If players are not in to it as much as I was, I can see all these facts and tidbits getting problematic.


Ship design screen, featuring one of my ark ‘world-ships’ – craft so massive they can extend your civilization to the far corners of the universe.


Victory condition and progress screen. Clearly I am very early in to this game.


Diplomacy screen. I liked the nuanced choices I had.


System/planet description screen. Endless Space 2 is based on discovery and the combination of great writing, beautiful imagery and music really give that sense of discovery some heft.


Skill tree screen for my faction’s hero.


You win some… and through discovery you find new plants, animals, factions, minerals…and can exploit everything you find.


And you lose some… admittedly even in the early game it was irritating to get beaten to the punch by an undiscovered faction.


Pre-battle screen. I know that some players do not like the combat set up of Endless Space 2, but I enjoyed it…it created a sense of tension with a loss of control after orders were issued. Maybe not for everyone.


Time to kick some upstart faction ass.


This is where I began to hope that I issued proper orders for my faction and the ship types I had deployed, as well as the enemy I was facing.


Sweet success! I’m thinking victory will be even sweeter once I have a better idea of what I am doing.


And with battlefield success, my hero gets to level up again.


As you can surmise, Endless Space 2 is massive. I have barely scratched the surface with the above shots. Next week I will focus in tighter on the combat, which was tense and enjoyable at the same time for me.

If you haven’t checked it out yet and love some space opera, you will be hard pressed to find a deeper, more complex, enjoyable game than Endless Space 2.

See you next week!

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