Has anybody else tried out Endless Space 2? It's my first try at a 4x space game. I've only played 5 hours or so and am still in the tutorial (so my opinion might very well change as I play further). But so far, my first impression is : "that's it?"
The graphics are pretty (though I'd like to hear how they hold up against Stellaris, which is on my wishlist but haven't yet picked up), but the game feels really really familiar (not necessarily in a good way). I've a long experience with the Civilization series, so my view might be tainted, but Endless Space feels like a Civ port (I'd also be curious if others played both Beyond Earth and ES2). I know there's so much you can improve in a genre, but still.
I'm still trying to understand the game mechanics of ES2, but so far, most of it (too much) seems like rehashed Civ. All down to "space roads" (whaaa?
) to move from one system to another. The minor civilizations in ES2 also feels like the minor civilizations from Civ 5 and 6. ES2 also keeps with the population system from Civ (for example : your system creates 35 food. it consumes 20 food. After you've accumulated 1000 food from surplus, the population from you're system goes from 1 to 2). This might work for something to the scale of a small town, but it just seems a dumbed down system when we're talking about planet systems.
One of the reasons I was interested in ES2 was the senate/election aspect they brought to the genre. But then again, I though it was rather dumbed down. Every actions you make favours a political party (industrial, ecologists, pacifists, scientists, etc). Every four years, there's an election and as far as I can understand, the party you favoured most wins... which plays in the direction you're already going, so I don't see the point.
The other addition is the Heroes (you can recruit hero characters which can act like an fleet admiral or world governor). But it feels so weird, like they tacked on something that doesn't belong, especially how it's presented. I'm all for fantasy lore and all, but in ES2, the Endless were a long forgotten grand space civilization which you're still discovering ruins. Though they build an academy which trains heroes. But its location remains a mystery, nobody knows where it is. Except, you know, the Great persons....erh, I mean... Heroes who graduate from it.
(which you gain by accumulating points in Great persons.... erh I mean... Heroes categories).
My only forray in space civilization was Birth of the Federation, in 1997, but so much of that game made sense
. You just colonized a lush terran world? That's cute. But if you want your colonists to eat, you have to build farming infrastructure. Not enough farming and your colonists die from hunger. More than enough and the population rises. Birth of the federation also controlled how well you played the civilizations via the morale. The higher the morale, the faster you build improvements. The lower the morale, the slower it's built. So declaring peace as the Klingons or invading and enslaving alien species as the Federation can be done, but your population is going to hate it and you're going to pay for it (and then some). So you're simply and effectively being guided in following your civilization's characteristics. In ES2, the political parties is neither effective nor simple. So I don't understand what purpose it serves.
Bottom like : ES2 is not a bad game. I just feel like it's a rehashing of many similar games while not having thought out or better adapting game mechanics to space colonization. And it seems dumbed down yet too complex at times.
Am I wrong? Am I too harsh?