Amplitude Studios is taking a very dedicated “play how you want” approach with Endless Legend. The game, which is a 4X strategy title, is all about granting you the freedom to explore and conquer its world as you see fit. As a result, players can follow a number of different routes as they rise to power, paving the way for multiple playthroughs that feel fresh every time you start a new game. That’s definitely no small task, but Amplitude is up for the challenge and wants to give fans a strategy game unlike any other. After getting some early details on Endless Legend at PAX East and GDC, we got a more in-depth look at a recent preview tour in LA. Amplitude shared more info on the game’s six current factions, as well as news on the player-created faction and the many varying gameplay systems players will manage. The complex nature of 4X games means that playing Endless Legend is an experience that initially seems daunting, but once you learn the game’s intricacies, you’re able to make important decisions on the fly. Part of the freedom you’re granted is being able to specifically decide whether you want to be a war-crazy conqueror or a more pacifist decision-maker. If you’d rather not get your hands dirty with the blood of others, you can focus on the economy and social aspects of Endless Legend. By investing more time into trading with other factions, you can find success in ways that don’t necessarily require you to shed blood. In addition, each faction has several strengths and weakness based around the game’s different mechanics and resources. For example, one faction may excel at trading but isn’t exactly a powerhouse when it comes to war. As such, each faction plays quite differently, and this allows you to “break the rules” typically associated with playing strategy games. Food, Industry, Science, and Dust are among the major factors that your faction can focus on, and these have a direct impact on the game’s economy, as well as the relationships between the different groups. There are specific goals in Endless Legend that you can shoot for, but even though success, domination, and victory are always priorities, you decide how everything plays out. So if you’re engaged in a certain objective, you have the freedom to tackle it as you see fit. So if you decide to go overboard with your food growth, you can always sell some of it to another faction, in the process strengthening said faction while simultaneously building or reinforcing a relationship. Obviously, this can come in handy later on, especially during times of war. Micromanagement plays a massively important role in Endless Legend, but that’s not all the game’s about. You’re also building, enhancing, and shaping the game’s world with every decision. These choices affect your story, which creates an even deeper sense of immersion. Consequently, it’s important to plan ahead before you make big moves. Everything you do affects your influence, which means the relationships between you and the game’s other countries will either be more positive or more negative based on how you’re playing and how you run your faction. With all of these systems and sub-systems to manage, it’s easy to see how Endless Legend could be an intimidating strategy game, especially for newcomers to the genre. Still, Amplitude insists that the game will captivate players of all skill levels. And because it allows for so much freedom, you don’t have to be a die-hard strategy buff to find something you enjoy about Endless Legend. The studio also noted that experience with the game’s predecessor Endless Space isn’t a prerequisite for getting the most out of this latest endeavor. There are currently six factions in Endless Legend. Broken Lords are chivalrous vampire knights who require Dust, the game’s currency, to survive. Ardent Mages are well-equipped with devastating magic. Necrophages are large, aggressive insect creatures that thrive in battle. Roving Clans are interesting in that they can’t actually declare war, but their trading and embargo influence is such that they can influence the game’s economy. Wild Walkers are elves who can use a bow and arrows like no other. Then there are the Vaulters, a tech-savvy group that’s desperately trying to get off the planet to get to more advanced lands. Unfortunately, Amplitude couldn’t disclose any information on the game’s super-secret eighth faction, but the studio was more than willing to share details on the player-created faction option. You can create and customize a group of your own by using preexisting skins and then setting the requirements, skills, and strengths for your faction. The example I was given during my time speaking with Amplitude was a mix of the Necrophage faction’s violent hunger for war and a more economic approach to progression. By setting your faction’s needs and number of controlled cities, you can create a much more personal dynamic that adds even more depth to the already multifaceted 4X design of Endless Legend. A full run of the game could last you anywhere between 10 to 12 hours, and you will be able to take on the adventure on your own or in eight-person multiplayer. True to its name, Endless Legend looks to provide players with plenty of reasons to go back and play again and again. The diverse factions, emphasis on meaningful decision-making, dynamic world, and focus on multiple systems could create an experience with substantial replay value. Endless Legend is out now on Steam via Early Access, though the full launch is expected to occur within the next few months.