Games like Endless Space require thought, careful planning, and calculated risk-taking. The 4x genre is famous for its in-depth gameplay and Endless Space is no exception.
You can choose to take charge of one of ten unique civilizations or create your own. With these, you must then expand your interstellar empire throughout the galaxy. The options for victory are just as varied, players may win by Economic, Diplomatic, Expansionary, or Supremacy victories.
The game itself is set in a randomly generated galaxy. Players colonize different star systems, which are connected by a series of cosmic strings. These allow ships to travel swiftly between neighboring systems. Players can research from four different research trees representing military, science, expansion/exploration, and diplomacy. Research unlocks planetary enhancements, stat modifiers, new ship types, and more.
Four basic resources are present in the game, food, industry, dust, and science (FIDS for short). Balancing FIDS is an important aspect of the game, failure to do so results in a low approval rating. This affects the efficiency of your empire, making it easier or difficult to advance. All of your actions have a knock on effect in Endless Space, meaning each decision must be made wisely.
Space combat is reminiscent of rock-paper-scissors. Each battle has three crucial stages, long-range, medium-range, and melee-range. Fleets are issued one order for each stage. Tactical control is relinquished which means that battles come down to reading the enemy fleet composition and attempting to predict or counter their orders.
It is also possible to recruit hero units who can act as system administrators or admirals. Each hero is unique, providing a bonus, and can be leveled up. The game is also fully moddable and available to play multiplayer as well as offline.
If Endless Space doesn’t whet your appetite, there’s a whole host of other sci-fi 4x games on offer!