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Game Info:

Endless Legend
Developed By: AMPLITUDE Studios
Published By: SEGA (currently), Iceberg Interactive (previously)
Released: September 18, 2014
Available On: iOS, Windows
Genre: RPG, Strategy
PEGI Rating: PEGI 12 for Everyone 12 and older: Violence, Online Gameplay
Number of Players: 1 offline, 8 online 
Price: $34.99
(Humble Store Link)

Released a couple years ago, Endless Legend is a civilization builder of fantastical proportions. Set on the planet Auriga, players take control of one of the factions struggling to survive. On this world are all kinds of wonders waiting to be discovered but be careful, not all of them are friendly, nor a native of Auriga. Can you lead your faction of zombie bugs, crashed space marines, or mechanical cultists to victory or will you become another footnote in the history of Auriga?

In Endless Legend you take control of one of the different factions in the game (or you can make your own faction using different traits) and try and lead them to one of the various victory conditions. Each faction has different traits that help make certain victory conditions easier to attain than others. While this might sound very limiting in how you can play the different factions it does allow for a lot of player choice. A fair bit of how the player will play their faction is decided by what regions the player settle with their cities. Different regions have different resources the player can collect as well as different minor factions that can be assimilated into the empire. 

Endless Legend lets the player make many decisions of how to run their empire. The biggest choice is what regions to settle. Each region has its own set of riches and it is up to the player to decide if it is a good idea to settle there. There are five main resources in the game; food, industry, dust, science, and influence; and each one is used in different ways. Different parts of the map have different yields for each of those resources so you’ll have to pick what is most important for how you are playing when you go to expand. You might also settle a city to gain access to a specific strategic resource (used to equip your military as well as build special building), luxury resource (used to give a buff to your empire), or minor faction (to gain their empire boost and / or gain access to their specific military unit). All of these are things that go into deciding how to expand your empire.

In this game each faction has access to three unique military units. Each faction has a different selection of units, each of one of the five classes of units in the game. The player can choose how to equip these units. Different types of equipment give different stat boosts as well as cost different amounts. They also can give different skills for the units that can help them both in and out of battle. Units can be combined into armies that are used to explore the world and to attack enemy armies. When your army attacks an enemy you are taken to a scene showing you the possible outcome of the battle and different ways to approach the battle. If you choose to manually control the battle and not go auto-combat you’ll be taken to selection of the map your units were on before the battle. In this screen you control your units in turn-based combat on the part of the map it gave you. At the beginning of your turn you can set up what you want your units to do and then they will then try and carry it out. I say try because the enemy also planned out their turn and they will be carrying it out with your units. This can sometimes lead to weird situations where your units end up taking a long route to get to an enemy or moving to a point where they can no longer attack an enemy.

One thing I do really enjoy about this game is its research tree. All of the different techs in this game are organized into eras. In order to approach into the next research era you simply have to research a certain number of techs from any previous era. This is really useful for allowing you to spend less time researching things you will not need as much. I also really like the idea that some techs can’t be unlocked unless you complete certain quests. It feels really special to get a tech that way.

Endless Legend
Highlights:

Strong Points: Unique fantasy setting; unique factions and allows the player to create their own factions; randomized maps; allows for many different ways to achieve victory; clean UI; allows players in a multiplayer game to use the host’s dlcs.
Weak Points: Lots of information getting presented to the player; all of the art in this game can make it hard to see the finer details; when playing multiplayer games, turns can take a long time to end.
Moral Warnings: Some tactical-styled RPG violence; use of magic including some darker things like human sacrifices; some minor pieces of revealing clothing.

Managing a city is also something that is really interesting. When you go into your cities you are actually able to control what all of the populations focus on. If you need extra dust just put all of your pops on the dust focus. It can really help give your cities that extra umph in the direction you need them to be heading. This is especially good during the dark season (winter) when all of your city yields get lowered. I also like the idea of appointing a hero to lead your city. 

Heroes are another interesting thing added to this game. Heroes are basically really good military units. Each player starts off with a single hero under their control. Each starting hero is a hero from that player’s own faction but every player does get the choice of later being able to recruit heroes from other factions. Each hero can be equipped just like a regular soldier would but they also come with their own skill trees that can be used to give each hero some nice bonuses. Every hero can be sent to lead an army, acting as a really powerful unit, or they can be sent to a city where they will act as governor but will take part in any fights involving that city. My only real complaint about heroes is that each of them has a set story and are pretty unique and there are only a handful per faction. The way the game gets around that is by throwing in “relatives” of them. For instance if you had Bob, somebody else could get Bob the 2nd and so forth. That is a minor complaint but it does make the very special heroes fell less special.

For a game about running an empire it has a fair bit of story. Each different faction has their own backstory and questline to expand on that story. The player can also get additional quests by exploring ruins and parleying with minor faction villages. In addition to that, there is also a fair bit of story accompanying all the research in the research tree. The story is also pretty interesting. One of the factions in this game, the Vaulters, is basically crashed space marines. Many years ago their ship crashed onto the planet and it went deep underground. They lived there for many years until they finally decided to come back to the surface. Another faction, the Broken Lords, used to be a race of proud, chivalrous knights until something happened that wound up with their bodies being fused with dust. Now, they are basically vampires that must feed upon dust in order to survive. Their questline is all about trying to stay the same group of honorable people they were before the transformation. It’s all this backstory that makes it feel very lively when most other similar games don’t.

Overall the audio is pretty good in this game. Most of the tracks are fantasy-styled background music. I normally find the music very pleasant to listen to but it is definitely not the kind of music one would download to listen to later. The art in this game is also very pretty. Everything is very detailed although this can lead sometimes to the map looking very cluttered when you are zoomed in. The most outstanding part of the art design would have to be the UI. The UI is very clean and easy to read and it can even be resized in the menu if you are having a hard time reading everything. It is a good thing that it is fairly easy to read because it does have a lot of information to present you with. 

Endless Legend
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 8.5/10
Sexual Content - 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 6.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7/10

The controls are also pretty decent. Most, if not all, things in the game can be controlled by just the mouse. The game is also pretty stable. I haven’t had any crashes and I’ve encountered no bugs. The game can take a long time to load and, if you are a warmonger like me, the game can really start to take a little bit of time to load the next turn if you control around ten cities. I also have not had any problems getting the multiplayer to work. The multiplayer is also very generous by requiring only the host to have any of the dlcs in order for all the people playing to use them. The only bad thing about the multiplayer is that sometimes the turns can take a fair bit of time. This happens when somebody goes into manual combat. It can sometimes take around five minutes for them to finish the battle and that is time were the other players just have to sit and wait.

In addition to all that the base game offers Endless Legend also offers a selection of DLCs.

Guardians: Adds into the game guardian super units as well as legendary deeds, buildings, and new competitive and cooperative quests. $9.99

Shadows: Adds to the game an espionage system as well as a new faction called the Forgotten that heavily relies on the espionage system. $12.99

Echoes of Auriga: Adds into the game seven new soundtracks as well as some new items based on these soundtracks. $2.99

The Lost Tales: Adds into the game over twenty different quests revolving around the minor factions. $1.99

Shifters: This DLC revamps the way winter is handled in the game and adds a new resource called pearls as well as introduces a new faction called the Allyai that really benefits from the new winter season and new resource. $12.99

Tempest: This DLC adds into the game an actual naval component as well as naval regions and the naval faction called the Morgawr. $12.99

The new factions added to the game are all very unique and take good advantage of the new systems added. The new systems added are also pretty nice and gives the player more options for how to play the game. The Guardians DLC offers some interesting new units and gives the player some medium term goals to try and achieve. The two smaller DLCs, while not adding much, adds some new content that can appear during your game so as to help make each player feel different which is something I greatly appreciate in a game like this. The only DLC that feels like it should have been present in the main game is the Tempest DLC. In the base game, if you are on a map with a lot of ocean it really feels like something is missing. My final thoughts on these DLCs is each dlc is pretty good.

Morally speaking, this game is very solid. I don’t remember any language coming up but there were some darker things being discussed during some of the faction quests. The game does have a decent degree of fighting and units being killed and cities being burned to the ground but the player is rather removed from the violence happening in this game. Some units simply die by showing their souls / life-force ascending. There are also some instances of the player being able to sacrifice units or population in order to get rewards. There is also a fair bit of magic happening in the game with some of it being elemental-type magic while others are clearly darker in nature. Finally, on the topic of sexual content there really is not as much as one might expect from a fantasy game. There are a few units that have some low-cut tops but that's about the extent of things in this game. 

In conclusion, Endless Legend is a very solid civilization builder game. The game has a very unique fantasy setting with big differences between the different playable factions. Morally, the game is pretty solid with the main questionable content being its use of different magics, but the biggest reason for not getting this for a young kid being all of the information that has to be digested at one time. Overall, I’d say if you are interested in this genre of game and like a unique fantasy setting, you should probably check this game out.

-Paul Barnard (Betuor)

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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