Endless Legend is, at the most basic level, a lot like Civilization. You choose a faction, you advance your technology, you expand across the land, you build armies, you explore. There’s diplomacy, strategic resources, a fog of war and an endgame victory you can work towards. But to say it’s a lot like Civilization, looking only at those superficial similarities, is to do a disservice to the things about it that are so different and wonderful.
Endless Legend doesn’t take place on Earth. Instead, it takes place on the fictional planet Auriga, a place that at first glance is your typical fantasy fare, a land full of monsters and magic. Endless Legend’s fantasy roots go deeper than just the story, though, as there’s a little RPG to the game as well. You’re able to make use of hero units, who can either govern cities or lead armies, and these units become the stars of the game. You can level them up through exploration and combat (assigning new skills and perks to them), as well as equip them with gear (which can itself be levelled up).
Your heroes aren’t just walking buffs, either, they’re necessary for the game’s quests, small challenges that pop up over the course of the game (or exploration), and which keep things interesting during quieter moments. These challenges normally involve travelling the map exploring ruins, fighting monsters and helping villages. I’m shocked by how good this game looks. It’d be classy if it had come from a big studio like Firaxis or Creative Assembly.
For its slick menus and gorgeous 2D art to have come from a small team working under the radar is a fantastic achievement. And what a world map it is! Taking visual cues from the Game of Thrones intro, it divides its hexes into clear, almost cartoon-like terrain and is a joy to look at. I also love the way it slowly changes as you zoom out, bleeding from the closer view (which gives you a look at the terrain and units) to a more strategic map outlining regions, resources, etc.
Endless Legend is a strategy game that you may never have even heard of, let alone played, but if you’re into Civilization, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Available on Steam and with the Halloween sale (Oct. 29) right around the corner it’s very affordable!
– Olivia Adams
Image from Steam Community