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вторник, 10 февруари 2015 г.

Endless Legend - EN




Endless Legend is turn-based 4X fantasy strategy game, developed by Amplitude, in which you're in the role of a kingdom ruler who is on his quest to recover the might of his realm.

The first thing that impressed me was the map - it is extremely varied. In your wanderings you will find hills, snow-capped mountains, rivers, endless deserts and vast seas.

Also there are all sorts of rare places of power, resources, plants and stone circles on which if you build the right structures they will increase your production.



But Endless Legend will give you not only various biomes but also big variance of races. There are eight starting ones and fifteen additional which you can assimilate for all kind of bonuses including unique units. Each of the starting races have unique trait that make the play with it strictly different than with the others. Few examples of the traits are no need of food, mobile cities and teleportation between towns. Also each race will offer you part of its story.


About the gameplay


Endless Legend starts as many other 4X games - in the start you will build you first city. This is your first choice, hard choice, dependent on the resources in the area and your chosen race.



After that follows another classic move - eXplore. The map in Endless Legend is divided in regions, each with its own borders, which you will have to mind when doing quests, starting wars, chasing enemies, exchanging items and upgrading units.

In your wanders through the lands of Auriga you will also find many races that will become your friends, allies or enemies, depending on your actions toward them. The neutral ones you can make part of your empire either by force or doing them favours (quests). You will always keep your eyes open for neutral towns as they will give you race specific bonuses and unique units.



Other things to keep your eyes open for are the Temples/Ruins and also the veins of rare resources. In the first you will find resources, items, fights and quests while the second will help you get the upper hand in your conflicts with the other lords.

Of course this is still a 4X game and in your wanders you should not forget your cities (something that I did too often) and develop them too. As in many other games from this genre the researches are presented in...research spheres where you will find all kind of economic, military and diplomatic skills and technologies. The really nice thing about the researches in Endless Legend is that they almost don't limit you. You can go full military or economic and there is nothing that will stop you. The only limitation is that you need certain number of technologies from one era to advance to the next, but you don't need certain technologies.


EXplore, EXpand, EXploit...EXterminate? 


All of you who are following this blog for some time now know that I'm huge fan of turn-based games and the battle is one of their aspects that I really enjoy. And as any 4X game Endless Legend also have its own battle system. 

Sadly it is a bit lacking.

When you engage in combat small field around the place of engagement is circled. This is your battlefield. If there are other nearby armies belonging to any of the two sides, they will also join the fight (in similar way to Age of Wonders)

But unlike other turn based games here you have only six turns to win. If you don't manage to do it the two sides disengage and the battle ends without winner. On your next turn you can attack again.

Battles also have auto-battle, spectator mode and instant result. I must say that I used the instant result almost all the time as battles left in me strong sense of disatisfaction with their lack of strategy and variety.



But on the other side here you also have heroes that lead your armies, giving them all kind of bonuses and can equip items. And here not only the heroes can have items, but also the units. The really cool part is that you can change the purpose of the unit totally when you change their sword with a bow or spear.

Conclusion

Endless Legend brings true enjoyment for all fans of the genre. It has beautiful visuals and sound, unique races and polished mechanics.

And in my praising I will get even further and will say that I see Endless Legend as better game than Beyond Earth. Mainly because of the greatly varied races and simple but interesting and limitless research circles. Also the game has well made, living, breathing world.

But unlike its name Endless Legend don't tell you much about its residents and lacks any form of campaign. Truly at the start of every mission, depending on your starting race you will hear short story and while playing you will have main quest giving you bit of story. But that's it.



Also the whole game feels really slow - movement, development and battles.  Not to mentions that the AI is trully random, sometimes will be very aggressive, sometimes defensive and other time will run with tail between his legs. And this have nothing to do with the race it is playing.

And because I mentioned the battles.

Endless Legend gives you good economic and technological variance, but totally lacks epic, tactical battles and soon you find yourselves choosing the instant result a lot more often than commanding the battles personally. Here eXterminate is just a necessity that is brought to its minimum. The game rely a lot more on eXpanding, eXploiting and growing in economic power.

But despite all those downsides, the game with its vibrant world is still very enjoyable to play and I see it having the potential to reach games like Age of Wonders and Warlock therefore I advise you to try it.



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