Endless Legend Shifters is an expansion for the Indie Game Endless Legend. The game is a strategy, hex-grid and turn-based game where players fight for land through diplomacy, trade and combat. Similar games would be Sid Meier’s Civilization V or Galactic Civilizations; In these games players can choose a race/faction to begin the game with, each one brings a strategic advantage. Shifters for example, introduces the Allayi whom roam the map for resources and are not hindered by the effects of winter. With the base game being released Sep 2014 and winning ‘Game of the year’ from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, the latest expansion Shifters was released April 2016 and adds a variety of new content to the game.
Amplitude studios, the developers and publishers of Endless Legend, releases Shifters with a whole new race, heroes, units and updating the winter effects in-game. While the winter-effect is cosmetic, it adds an additional satisfying level of graphics. Graphically, Endless Legend is one of the best fantasy strategy games to be released within the past few years. Amplitude tailors the new race to specifically prosper during the winter season where the units obtain a dark form and become more dangerous. Other features such as the ‘Pearls of Auriga’ was added, pearls act as an additional resource which can be found in ruins or completing quests. These pearls can be spent at the additional building Alter of Auriga, the pearls can be used to bolster defense towers or to boost resource extraction and stock piling.
The gameplay of the new expansion Shifters makes it the most diverse and unique compared to the previous DLC expansions the game has received. The winter system in combination with the Allayi adds for tons of content in terms of strategy and gameplay. With the Allayi able to resist the effects of winter far better than other factions, this helps keep consistent unit movement throughout the season as well as sight. However, one of the most unique things about the faction is their method of winning, other races such as the Drakken uses diplomacy to win; While the Allayi uses questing as a main method of winning. Questing is difficult for most factions because it tests the player by micro-managing and fully map exploring to complete quests. Allayi excel in questing as their strategy to win a game is to split-units up, explore the map to complete quests and claim victory. This is bolstered by the strength of their units such as the Monk who has considerable strength. It is because of such a deeply intricate and satisfying gameplay that this expansion excels above the others in regards to content and additional strategy.
Other features such as the Alter of Auriga and pearls are available for all factions, however it is the Allyai questing strategy which gains the most benefit from this. The alter requires a variety of resources and can be constructed once all the requirements has been met. Once the pearls have been collected it opens additional options such as defense or increasing passive stats such as unit sight in winter. It is because of this that the Allayi begin the game at a slow pace, further developing throughout the game as the faction collects more pearls, units and can strategies winter attacks to catch enemies off guard. Most importantly, the Allyai is well-balanced in comparison to other factions in the game.
The difficulty of the Allayi will vary from the experience of the player to the other factions that can deny the Allayi from questing. It is however because of the unique winning strategy that players new to the genre can find difficult, while more experienced Endless Legend players will find the faction slow and tedious but progressively more powerful throughout the game as the core strategy of winter ambush and area denial really shines out for the faction. It is through this level of strategy and satisfaction that the content and Allayi offer a great level of replayability because of the level of gameplay they add in the expansion.
In conclusion, Endless Legend Shifters offers an enormous amount of play-time, replayability and additional content. The expansion is well worth the price of admission, graphically looks stunning and the longevity of this expansion will last tens of hours for both new and experienced players alike.
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