I’ve never had too much skill at the more complicated sort of strategy games. I’ve not had much luck with Paradox games, for examples. However, I’ve been having far too much of my time sucked up by Endless Space 2, so I figure I should give it a positive review.

Space-based 4X Games (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) are one of the oldest genres of video game out there, or rather a subgenre that has a very well-defined formula. One would think that 4X games would have figured out all possible permutations of this approach, but they remain popular and ever evolving.

I’d tried Stellaris but found it a bit much and a little unintuitive. Endless Space 2 has a lot of options, don’t get me wrong. However, it’s presented in such an intuitive manner that I was able to figure out half of it on my own. The other half I quickly learned through trial and error. The UI is very clear, which helps you understand why you made the mistakes you did.

Presentation is a theme with the game, which boasts truly gorgeous artwork, graphics and music. Often the difference between one game and the next is just the polish, and Endless Space 2 sparkles and shines in all aspects. The only blotch I can see is a notoriously bad outsourced DLC, but that’s easily simply skipped.

The game features a variety of colourful and interesting spacefaring Empires to choose from, each with very unique visual motifs and playstyles. And that’s not even getting started on all the more minor races you run into. I won’t spoil them all as part of the fun is discovering all the love and attention that went into every corner of the game.

If you like science fiction, strategy and lovely art, I’d highly recommend it.