Endless Legend: PC Games, Review - Games Weekly

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Endless Legend: PC Games, Review

You haven’t seen anything like this lushly decorated turn-based strategy. Every aspect, from its origami-styled world map, down to the individual unit models and the lulling accompanying soundtrack, comes with a stunning level of presentational polish and the necessary originality to ensure it stands a mile out from an overloaded genre pool.


At the heart of this beauty is the hexagon gridded, untouched landscape of Auriga. Zoom in and you’ll spot minute details such as the crumbling textures on the stonework of a village of Dwarf-like Delvers. As you move outward the overlay morphs seamlessly into painterly etchings on parchment.

This fantastic presentation stems from a foundation of wondrous lore, which permeates every action with meaning. Nowhere is this more apparent than among the playable factions. Each one comes laden with juicy, game-changing story elements.
“RATHER THAN PUMP OUT ONE OR TWO UNITS PER CULTURE, EACH FACTION FEELS ONE OF A KIND”
Take the Broken Lords. These guys were once an honourable race of humanoids, but after a cataclysmic event now find themselves trapped within suits of golden armour, their bodies replaced with spirit mist. They live like vampires, attuned to draw power from Auriga’s life force, Dust. This throws up intriguing inwards-facing faction developments, dividing your citizens between those who thirst for the drug-like euphoria that comes with consuming the life of ‘lesser’ races, and those who wish to retain their people’s chivalrous past.

Beyond infinity
These intriguing faction designs don’t end at the lore stage, rather they inform how you’ll go about playing the game. The Broken Lords’ lust for Dust means they no longer require the same food resource as other factions. This effects everything from where you chose to found your cities, to how you’ll balance the workloads of your populations. Every player that approaches Endless Legend will walk away with a distinct favourite faction to roll, which tells you a lot about each opponent’s potential objectives, especially in multiplayer. Rather than pump out one or two unique units per culture à la Civ V, this has crafted each faction to feel entirely one-of-a-kind.

Get down to the nitty-gritty of managing your burgeoning empire and there’s plenty to get to grips with. Auriga’s world map has a scattering of resources, all of which offer specific boons and will need researching to utilise. Villages of minor factions are also knocking about, and can be parlayed with or crushed under your military might.

Each faction comes with a standalone story, too, from the Ardent Mages’ exiled Queen looking to avenge the death of her brother, to the Vaulters attempting to rediscover their space-faring past. Quests that these stories play out across might not involve the most interesting of tasks, usually requiring that you travel to a certain location or pacify a certain minor faction, but they also come at you via ludicrously well-written journals.

With its artistic complexity, its absurd depth and its well-thought out, lore-threaded factions, Endless Legend carves out its own unique niche and is worth the life-sapping time investment that its title alludes to.

8.5/10

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