Humankind - a Historical 4X by Amplitude (Endless Space, Legend, etc.)

Funny part about that is the likelihood you actually shape your destiny but instead end up on the same paint by numbers game loop every time you start it up a campaign makes me still laugh at it.

Made me smile.

What an amazing review! Made me laugh out loud.

Not that I ever much care for trailers, including this one, but I think what they were going for was less that you control history, and more that you feel the narrative of your faction.

I do not usually feel a strong narrative in Civ or any other history game I play. If someone asked me what happened in my game, I could stop and think and piece together a story, but as I play, I do not feel like I am taking part in a compelling narrative.

I have no idea if this game actually makes narrative stronger, or whether their PR people were simply told to emphasize that aspect of a historical game, since it might broaden the appeal. But the tongue-in-cheek tone to this makes me suspect they are going for expanding the potential audience for a 4X game, so that it is not primarily for people who like things such as perfecting build queues and similar min-max strategies.

At the risk of derailing discussion of Humankind and its trailer, it’s my opinion that a lot of computer gaming genres are dominated by games which use their subject matter (history or underground exploration or space or whatever) mostly as background flavor, with actual gameplay depending on the player manipulating the various game systems in ways far removed from the subject matter.

In Civ, seeking the perfect city location that will allow both a dam and and aqueduct such that a powerhouse industrial district can arise in a few thousand years… Those character build plans in DnD type games, premised on finding lots of hordes to slaughter so as to become really good at magic. Etc.

Maybe this comes from a long boardgaming tradition where things really have to be abstracted. Playing chess would not really pass for taking part in a war.

(I guess my mind has been running along these paths the past few weeks as I take part in testing a promising looking strategy game, and I see the struggle to make the game be about experiencing the game world, as opposed to the game becoming an intelligence test involving exploiting game systems.)

Anyway, I know that a whole lot of people here would not want to see games change in this regard. As it’s been put, they want games rather than simulations. But it would not surprise me at all if game makers tried to broaden their potential audiences by making their gaming more like the actual experience.

No I agree and it’s why i find Civ games kind of boring - because there is actually a correct answer, because they are effectively deterministic, if you “play perfectly”. There are too many moving pieces to ever really exactly know that perfect state, but in general for a faction, a geography, and a metastrategy, there is an ideal set of moves you should do.

Looks like a Sega trailer to me. I’ve never seen an Amplitude trailer like that before.

Me, neither, but the music is terrific.

I just want them to concentrate on their best series, Dungeon of the Endless.

I never put any time into this, despite getting it for free with one of the other Endless Games. Maybe have finally give it a shot based on that recommendation!

It demands you to be OK with pixel graphics and roguelike gameplay loop. You lose, don’t get anything from it except for experience and then you try again. Gameplay is not nearly as complex as in 4X but it means that the game actually works.

That sounds like a good trade off for most 4X (not all).

Fantastic game indeed.

I have a LEGO hobby project and I really wish I was good enough at math (or tools) to design nice looking terrain that still works in terms of game-like play. For instance, LEGO terrain would have to remain “in-system”, but it’s also desirable to keep the number of parts to a minimum.

I’d be more enthusiastic for this game if the studio had not left Endless Space 2 in such a buggy state. The lackluster later expansion packs introduced a slew of bugs that have never, and likely will never, be fixed.

It’s rare the release of an expansion I didn’t buy actually makes the game I do own worse, but they managed it.

I’m thinking that ES2 did not sell well and neither did the expansions. I bought the base game on sale and never really played it much. I did 25 hours, which for me and a space game is dismal.

The problem then becomes ROI, and since they will likely want to continue to be a company, there is no use in pouring money down the drain.

I liked Endless Space 2 a ton… and played it a ton… (i was literally firing up a game of ES2 now to putter around with for a few minutes) but i almost never finish a game. In fact I hardly ever reach the point where conflict happens. I tend to settle my neighborhood then quit. The Rock Paper Scissors thing is annoying to me, and i find the AI kind of kicks my ass on even moderate difficulty levels because it tends to out produce me and even after 100 hours of gameplay and many hours of YouTube strategy videos I’m still not completely sure what exactly the contours of strategy are, how aggressive I’m supposed to be, how best to capture planets, what kinds of “things” should I be aiming for, etc.

The AI tends to outcolonize me then outproduce me then tends to start hard countering me - the AI almost always has the exact counter to my fleet because it always seems to have perfect knowledge of my composition. Or, if i do beat it one battle, it immediately shifts production to what counters mine. That kind of behavior is incredibly annoying, to the point where i don’t actually like playing, because basically ever 10-20 turns i have to rebuild my fleet composition, over and over, lasers to misses, back to lasers, back to missiles. The meta strategy in ES2 is for me sort of a black box which I’ve never really figured out.

But what i appreciate about ES2 is that it’s not the kind of catass gameplay like Stellaris, which requires so many tiny decisions.

I don’t remember the AI being that tough. I likely only played normal difficulty though. Yeah, if you can’t outsettle the AI, it will be tough to beat it.