The development team behind Endless Space is trying its luck with swords and sorcery.
Posted by Jason Venter (August 21, 2013)
Amplitude Studios, the team behind the PC/Mac indie success known as Endless Legend, is developing a new strategy game called Endless Legend. According to a press release issued earlier today by publisher Iceberg Interactive, the new title is another 4X strategy project.
It seems like no matter how many times I hear the term "4x strategy game," I have to head over to Google and look it up before I remember that "4x" stands for "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate." In other words, it stands for "exactly the sort of strategy game that you like to play, you forgetful bum." I'm kind of glad that hasn't become the official definition, because then I'd just feel insulted every time I space out like that.
Endless Space apparently takes place in the aftermath of an unexplained apocalypse, and now each winter that arrives is worse than the one before it. As the ruler of a city and the caretaker of a loyal populace, you must work to keep your people alive with your might and your magic, but survival is hardly a sufficient goal for anyone with ambitions, and this wouldn't be a 4X strategy game without expansion and extermination.
"Creating a fantasy 4X game was a dream for all of us at Amplitude," said Mathieu Girard, the company's CEO. "The success of Endless Space and the support of our community have allowed [us] to make this dream come true. With respect towards great games released before us, we intend to set a new benchmark in creating a rich, immersive, thrilling, and accessible 4X strategy game in a new fantasy setting."
Girard's reference to the great games released before Endless Legend is worth some emphasis. Fantasy trappings are often the first that are considered by a development team when it produces a new strategy or RPG title, so there have been a lot of solid options within that genre over the years. At this point, the call to do something truly different must be a difficult one for any developer to answer, especially a developer who still hasn't fallen out of love with swords and sorcery and ogres and such.
"4X strategy remains a key genre for us," notes Erik Schreuder, Iceberg Interactive's CEO, "whether set in a sci-fi or fantasy setting. We're very excited to continue our co-operation with Amplitude Studios and are certain that Endless Legend will be another flagship title, when it releases in 2014."
Iceberg Interactive has published a diverse lineup of games that includes The Ball, Revenge of the Titans, Oil Rush, Star Ruler and Gas Guzzlers Extreme. It is arguably one of the most exciting PC-focused publishers working in Europe today, most especially for strategy fans.
There was no information in the press release about when to expect the game to arrive, beyond the vague promise that we should look for it sometime next year, but the accompanying screenshots show a game that appears to be far enough along to at least form a strong visual identity. Hopefully, any remaining time in development will allow the team to craft the sort of 4x title that fans won't easily be able to forget.
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