Endless Legend is a "civilization fantasy game," Amplitude Creative Director Romain de Waubert de Genlis told me at Gamescom today, during a run-through of the game's early-alpha build. Players craft empires in a fantasy setting, complete with orcs, castles and Broken Lords, a playable faction of "vampire knights." These noblemen must slaughter civilizations in order to survive, but they have souls and don't inherently enjoy killing people. Whether they're "broken" because they care or because they kill is up to the player. Broken Lords are one of eight playable factions, each presented with unique circumstances within the world. The planet is destined to die and players must determine ways of saving it or fleeing, with actions spread across six ages. Warring factions form as civilizations advance in weaponry and technology; inhabitants similarly evolve throughout the ages, fighting harsh seasons as well as each other. Unlike Endless Space, Endless Legend doesn't use skill trees with branching paths – instead, players must accumulate a sufficient amount of experience in order to advance to the next age, but there are no linear routes for players to choose from.
Faction leaders can choose to assimilate new civilizations or kill them off for strategic purposes. For example, a tyrannical, undiplomatic ruler may decide to kill a trade clan, since they control the markets and tend to work with politically proper rulers.
The game sits on a hexagonal map, and even the terrain is molded into hexagon patterns, with clean lines along ridges and slivers of angled land stacked on one another. These visual cues clarify battlefields and construction sites, as well as looking nifty. When players encounter an enemy leader, they can enter into battle and their armies immediately appear in the surrounding spaces. Other players passing by the battle will see the troops propagate live, and can watch the fight from afar or decide to join one side. Theoretically, the whole world could enter in a giant war this way. Amplitude is still working on the actual battle system, but it's focusing on making the gameplay "fast-paced."
As the titles suggests, Endless Legend is part of the universe spawned by Endless Space. Within that series timeline, Endless Legend is a prequel to Endless Space, and Dungeon of the Endless fits somewhere within the world of Endless Legend – the actual world, since the spaceship in Dungeon of the Endless crash-lands on the planet of Endless Legend, de Waubert said.
But that's a story for another time – or another world.