Update October 6, 2016: Endless Space 2 is available on Steam right about now.
More space. Loads of it. An endless amount, you might say. That's what awaits you in Amplitude's first proper sequel, Endless Space 2, which enters Early Access today.
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To celebrate, Amplitude sent over this split-screen trailer, that shows you two perspectives on the universe. On the left, the inquisitive Sophons, on the right, the viscious Vodyani.
If that gets you going, it's out in just a couple of hours on Steam. It'll be priced €39.99 / £34.99 / $39.99 for the normal edition, €10 / £5 / $10 more for the digital deluxe edition. Those will be cut by 25% for launch, though. The plan is to spend four to six months in Early Access before a final release some time next year.
Amplitude have done all this before and they are highly adept at taking player feedback and turning it into a great game - it should be quite the trip. Chances are, that 25% off is as cheap as it'll get for the forseeable future too, so if you're wanting to get involved with the final version, this might be your cheapest option.
Original story September 27, 2016: Amplitude Studio have confirmed the Early Access launch date of their sci-fi 4X follow up to 2012’s Endless Space. You can try your hand at galactic domination on Thursday, 6 October, where - if you fancy buying in before the full release - you’ll have access to four of the game’s eight planned factions: Sophons, Cravers, Lumeris and Vodyani.
Endless Space 2’s other four factions have yet to unveiled, but will all have unique gameplay styles, technologies to unlock, featured characters and storylines, which should elevate its narrative far above the standard for the strategy gaming genre. You can watch a trailer for the Sophons below.
The Early Access phase of development has been postponed twice previously, with both a general summer, and September window being abandoned before this latest date. Amplitude Studio’s addressed the previous delays in an update post on the game’s Steam page: “We did our best to hold the September release we had in mind and that we announced at Gamescom. However, this turned out a bit difficult in the end. With the feedback we've collected from our VIPs who played the pre-alpha version of the game, we knew we had a fun game in our hands but it still needed some adjustments which we’ve worked on these past few weeks.
“This isn’t the first time we’re going to release a game via Steam Early Access. We kind of know the drill now. The apprehension and pressure are still here nonetheless: we want to make a good first impression and want to deliver a version that should be as polished as what we’ve gotten you used to. Therefore, the game you will be able to play next week is the alpha version of Endless Space 2: it will be missing some features which aren’t implemented yet, but will also include mechanics we want to improve with your help. Note that the core gameplay will be there, so you’ll get a good idea of what the game is about already.”
With the game going live on Early Access in its Alpha stage, we’re guessing the game is still quite a way off its full release, especially with four factions yet to introduce. But seeing as Endless Space was one of the most interesting and deep universes featured in a 4X game, it’ll probably be worth the wait.