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Endless Legend (PC) Review

The Endless part of the name couldn’t be more fitting to a game that is part of the 4X genre. Like in many strategy games, you spend a majority of the time building up an empire, but in Endless Legend you get the opportunity to carve out a pieceof the world with a more personal feeling. This is where the game stands out from regular 4x titles. You have a hero that accompanies your standard units, and together they fight in turn-based combat.

I became accustomed to the 4X genre through Civilization V, so I expected to be able to grasp this game rather quickly. The fundamentals are there, but there is an added level of complexity that I wasn’t ready to deal with. I stubbornly chose to skip the tutorial – who needs those any way – and dropped myself into a match.

The basics

One of the unique eight factions in the game.

You choose out of eight factions, each with their own perks. From there on out, you are put in a random spot on the map. Then the real fun begins, you have your very own city and it is up to you to choose the strategy in which you want to develop your starting empire. I always play Civilization V with a friend, and all he does is expand his realm by putting down cities left and right. He focuses on developing those towns into army producing factories and takes over the map. I, on the other hand, like to keep my kingdom small. My cities tend to be small, but very economically profitable, so while my friend produces his army, I buy them.

Endless Legend is slightly more complex than civilization, I restarted several times to get the hang of it. Now that isn’t to say that it is overly complex, but if you are used to Civilization you might be taken for a ride at first.

Under construction

The reason why I found it a bit tougher is because there is just a lot more to do. Your citizens can contribute directly to your city’s production. By letting them work at the food production you get more food, if you want more gold you put them at gold. The more citizens you get, the more resources you get. Thankfully, the UI is user friendly and does not make you look for everything.

All kinds of buttons

As most 4x games, Endless Legend has a research grid. But instead of the traditional square it opted to go for the circle, whicn makes sense when you consider the fact that you can research in any area you wish. You go hop from military to economy; nothing is locked. You still have to reach a certain level to get the better stuff, but that doesn’t have anything to do with what direction you research in.

Another neat feature is the Empire Plan. Besides getting attributes from buildings, the Empire Plan helps you shape the direction of your empire by adding attributes to either the military, economy, science or empire’s needs. They split up the traditional way of improving your empire into research and planning.

Man with the plan.

Hero time

Who said there aren’t any strong female characters in games?

Your troops can be led by a champion, which strengthens it considerably. The real need for the champion is for the countless quests you can do. Throughout the world there are caves, temples and all kinds of locations that you can discover to do quests at. The rewards vary, you may get some extra spending money or a beautifully crafted sword that will make your vanguard a one man army.

You start out with one hero, but you can buy more later in the match. There is an entire list of mercenaries that are ever so willing to service you for the right amount of coin. Besides the heroic kind, you can also find minor factions scattered on the map that will give you their troops when you make them loyal to you.

Pretty plateaus

The game is absolutely gorgeous. It breathes fantasy, and with its several magical ecosystems you will be surprised by their vast differences. What is especially nice eye candy is the way the plateaus create a wave in the landscape. There is a height difference, but because they are build up of individual hexagons it makes the environment look more alive.

Final Thoughts

For those that complain that Civilization V was a downgrade from the previous series and are looking for something new, then you should definitely check Endless Legend out. For those that like their 4X games slightly less challenging, well, it is still a nice game, so you can still give it a go. Personally, while I liked the game, I could not see myself playing it for a long period of time. The game is great, but we just don’t fit that well together.

About Rick Rozenberg

I am 24 year old whose love for gaming started with my dad showing me games like Wolfstein 3D and Aladdin. As I grew older, so did my interest in games. I would religiously read Dutch game magazines to keep up to date. Initially. What was supposed to stay as something to pass time has grown to having a love for all things gaming related.

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