Endless Legend Review

Endless Legend is a turn based 4X game set on a distant fantasy level world. Players take control of unique factions with their own abilities and weaknesses, grow, build huge armies and kick the crap of out each other. Eventually, someone wins.

Its a 4X game! If you don’t know what that is, pick up Civilization 5 when its on sale, and you might as well stop reading this review.

The Good
Absolutely amazing UI that blends nicely into the background. Seriously, this is one HELL of a pretty game screen, with an amazing art design team. Seriously, kudos.

Cool, thematic storyline and world with neat animations and storylines, including unique quest lines that lead you to victory. Fun factions with halfway decent writing that will make you want to explore your faction’s storyline.

Some really nice ideas I wouldn’t mind seeing in other 4X games.

The Bad
High levels of micromanagement. By the time I get into the mid/late game with 8-10 cities, I’m getting bored of the game. At this point you are dealing with trade routes, empire effects, guarding all your cities,

Combat is ok, but cities feel almost absurdly vulnurable after playing Civ 5. The only innate defenses they have are these incredibly feeble militia units that trip over their own shoelaces. Building garrison units in every city aren’t really an option either – you will be too busy producing a constant stream of new buildings, and if you want to spend any time on an army, you fall behind on growth if you don’t use it to take a city (which is easy, because the AI is problematic).

I also feel that this game has horrible balancing problems. The Vaulters seem horribly overpowered as an individual faction, and Broken Lords fall off very heavily into the early mid game unless you go on a rampage and start taking over towns. Cultists are just awful on anything but a tiny map.

Custom factions are so broken I don’t even know where to begin. Just… don’t use custom factions unless you want to break the game. The point values for the different abilities are laughable.

And finally, this game is frustratingly random. I don’t mind different things happening in the game, but so much of the game is entirely out of your hands. For example: starting tiles. Civ games usually starts you at terrain that gives 1-2 food,1-2 hammers, 0-2 gold. Terrain in Endless ranges from 0-8 in four different categories, and there’s almost no base bonuses for the city. I’ve had starting hammers ranging from 6 to 36, starting science from 2-30… that’s ridiculously broken from turn one. Another example is quests: you frequently are given quests when you stumble into a ruin or attempt to convert a minor faction to your cause. Sometimes these are as simple as exploring a ruin. Other times, they want you to give them a material you won’t even be able to SEE until turn 100 or so. Get that quest and you’ll have to burn the village to the ground or pay them a ton of money. I should mention that one faction (cultists) relies on being able to convert these villages as quickly as possible to get their army out of control. There’s a very fine line you have to walk, a point where games go from being random fun to random frustrating, and I think Endless crosses that line a bit too far for me.

Who is this for: Turn based strategy fiends who can’t wait until Beyond Earth comes out, but are already bored to tears of Civ 5. Alternatively, people who liked Endless Space and want to continue to support the game.

If I had to give it a score: 6/10. This is not an average game: its a beautiful, highly ambitious game that will likely improve as the developer balances out aspects of it (much as was the case for Endless space).

Even broken, its still a hell of a lot of fun to tear up the country side and conquer the world in the name of your faction.

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