Reviews 27 Feb 2018 12:12:25

Endless Space 2

Endless Space 2 is from what I can see an upgrade over Endless Space in every way they intended. Unfortunately not in the ways I wanted, though. Like ES1, ES2 uses the simultaneous turn system and lacks turn-based tactical combat.

Simultaneous turns is what really kills this game for me. I loathe that the AI gets to perform actions on my turn, and even worse gets to react to my actions. E.g. if you are blockading a system, a single misclick that you immediately rectify will still let all your enemies through as they react to your mistake. Or that AI actions will pop up during your turn, sometimes after you’ve moved other ships so now you can’t react to it. This forces you to wait each turn until the AI is probably done with their actions, then perform your own. With a real turn-based system, these and many other quirks wouldn’t happen.

The AI only respects fleet size. Even if you are objectively the most powerful empire, if you don’t have a sizable standing fleet the AI will attack you. Doesn’t matter that you can then just buy a huge fleet and utterly crush them the turn after – they don’t think that far ahead.

Speaking of attacking, the AI will bundle up on your planet, declare war, invade, and thanks to simul-turns you don’t get to react or prepare. This shouldn’t be possible.

And combat…is boring. You get to set overall plan, then just watch it auto-resolve. There’s no tactical combat.

A damn shame. Endless Space 2 is so close to being great, if only a few tweaks were made. Sadly, those issues ruin the game.

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