|What's cooler than a warrior-bird race? Alfred Hitchcock would love this.|
As I said there are some in-depth, very informative reviews already out there and one of the blogs I read regularly is playing it as well. IGN's review mirrored what I felt about the game, and wanted to say so much so that I could just tell you to read that and we'd be done, but I'm not that lazy.....yet. I'm not going to do a full-on review, however, but I will do my part and promote this well-done indie game. It is deserving of attention, but ultimately not the right game for me.
This game looks great. It is extremely well-presented with a great UI. The developers mentioned they worked with someone to create an 'ergonomic' UI and it shows. Everything is accessible and easy to follow. Accessible is a good word for Endless Space. I don't have a lot of experience with the 4X Space Genre (limited mainly to Space Empires IV which I loved) but one of the criticisms of the genre as a whole is that once your empire is large and sprawling things can get bogged down. Endless Space has obviously made a choice for streamlining this experience and as you progress, things don't get bogged down.
Which is where the game lost me. It's a bit of a contradiction that I never finished Space Empires IV because it became too much for me only to now criticize Endless Space for making it easier. It's not really a criticism, but a game-design that ultimately fails to work for me. I love micro-managing and the lack of it leaves me feeling like there's little to do. Combat has also been streamlined to basically be a cut-scene where you choose your tactic (play your card) and each type (attack, defence, engineering, etc) can be 'trumped' by your opponent. It's like a game of rock-paper-scissors but not one that can sway the battle if you are outnumbered. Whoever has the best fleet (represented by a score) seems to win.
If you like space games I would highly recommend you check out some of the more in-depth reviews and/or check out some You Tube videos on it. It isn't my cup of tea, but that doesn't mean you won't like it.