Endless Space 2 is a turn-based strategy, science fiction 4X game developed by Amplitude Studios. It is the sequel to Endless Space, which was released in 2012. The game had been made available through Steam’s early access program since October 2016. It was released on May 18, 2017. Endless Space 2 is set in the universe that was long ago dominated by a powerful race called the Endless. Inquisitive and dedicated, the Endless were able to make great advances in the fields of science, which culminated in them achieving virtualization, allowing them to upload their minds into machines and giving them eternal life.
Your story unfolds in a galaxy that was first colonized by God-like beings known as the “Endless”, who rose and fell eons ago. All that remains of them are mystical ruins, powerful artifacts, and a strange, near-magical substance known as Dust. Endless Space 2 takes the classic “one more turn” formula to new heights. You will explore mysterious star systems, discover the secrets of ancient races, build colonies on distant planets, exploit trade routes, develop advanced technologies of unthinkable power; and, of course encounter new life forms to understand, to court or to conquer.
This created a great schism in their society, splitting it into two opposing factions, the Virtuals, who embraced electronic immortality, and the Concretes, who viewed it as an abomination. The quarrels quickly grew into an open war, called the Dust Wars, which essentially destroyed their society, leaving but a few splintered surviving individuals. Tens of thousands of years after the demise of the Endless, the galaxy is yet again thriving with life capable of interstellar travel. The player takes control of one of the 12 major factions, “each with their own asymmetrical gameplay, storyline, homeworlds, spaceships, heroes and technologies”.
In order to expand their empire, the player must colonize systems throughout their galaxy. They are also competing with various other empires, who are also attempting to win the game. The player can interact with them, by declaring war, sending tributes, or forming alliances. Each empire has their own territory, and different relationships with the player. There are also minor civilizations, who players can improve their relationships with to get them to send resources, or declare war on. They can also be assimilated into the player’s empire if their relationship is good enough. However, enemy empires can interact with these civilizations as well.
At the beginning of the game, the player can choose from one of the 12 predesigned races, as well as to create their own custom race. They are then given control of a fledgling empire, which they must expand by conquering systems. Each system has up to 5 planets, with their own environments, climates, stats (i.e. production, food, etc.), and sometimes anomalies. Anomalies can be explored using an explorer ship, and give buffs or debuffs to the entire system. Planet stats decide how effective planets are at what, while environments decide whether a planet is colonizable or not. The ability to colonize different environments is unlocked through research. Each planet can also be given a specialization, which give buffs, with additional buffs being granted based on climate.
Research is key to progressing through the game. It unlocks new constructions, ship hulls, weapons, modules, upgrades, tactics, abilities and other useful things. The game has currently 10 factions (including the downloadable content). There are four different categories of research trees: military, science and technology, business and trade, and empire development. Each tree has four levels, which are only unlockable by researching different subjects in the level before. Politics are also important for different reasons. Each race has different parties, such as industrialists and scientists, which can have different statuses, such as entrenched and established. There are also different types of government.