Aight. 14 hours in, 4 campaigns played/started, it’s the wee hours of the morning, going on afternoon. I think I’ll take a stab at writing a few words on the Early Access release of Endless Space 2.
First up, Bad Things! I Wish These Weren’t in the Game, But They Are
#1: Soft turn limits.
This is a bug. Every campaign that’s made it to turn 67-ish so far (Craver, Sophon, Voydani) suffers a fatal error. Suggested options include A) loading an autosave from a couple turns ago, and B) ignoring it. Autosaves did nothing. Same turn rolls around, yellow/red screen of death on my monitor. Ignoring it, amusingly enough, was more effective. I made it to turn 69 (thanks, game) before Terrible Things happened to my computer. I strongly suspect this bug exists due to issues in how the game covers faction deaths, because as the Cravers I had murdered the last Voydani Ark and was cleaning up stragglers.
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If you are at all interested in science fiction, aliens, space battles, crazy artificial intelligences, or beautifully well written stories, then a very, very good place to indulge yourself would be the Spacebattles.com forum thread The Last Angel. A quick summary lies below, but comes nowhere near doing the work justice.
Humanity, in a final stand against the hordes of the alien Compact, builds a dreadnought, the UECNS Nemesis, and an AI, Red One, to command it. Red One makes its first mark in life by destroying a Compact god-ship and its attendant fleet.
It’s not enough. Heavily damaged during the battle, the Nemesis is unable to return to Earth in time to prevent its destruction. With no humanity left to protect, and repair systems slowly but surely bringing function back to damaged systems, Red One makes a decision to echo that of the Compact Expeditionary Fleet:
All Shall Burn.
The whole story is available free in the forums, and is still being updated. The first act is 50 chapters long (plus a prologue and epilogue), with a sequel, Ascension, currently in progress. There is also a six-chapter side story, The Angel’s Fire. The author, the pseudonymous Proximal Flame, has attached links to every chapter (including Ascension and The Angel’s Fire) in the first post, and frequently responds to questions about the universe from commentators with clarifying responses and teasing remarks.
The entire work is beautifully well written, with high quality characters, generally good pacing, and an incredible formation of atmosphere. Check it out here.