For those of you that don’t know, I am a big PC Gamer. Not as big as the big leagues mind you but just enough to feel like I know what I am talking about. I love the strategy genre and I love a game that can really get you to think and plan what your next moves will be. Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio have been behind some of my favorite grand, in depth, strategy titles that I have ever played. They give rise to games that can span several months of real time play and each one continues to impress me with each release. Stellaris is the latest from the acclaimed studio and it is the game that has my wallet’s attention at this current moment. With the promise of bringing a 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) like no other, Stellaris, has quite the shoes to fill for my personal taste. What is Stellaris though? How is it so much more different from any other space-faring 4X to date? Well allow me to answer some of that down below!
Stellaris is a 4X space strategy game that’s focus is on being able to give the player an enormous amount of freedom in how he or she guides their space faring civilization into eternal glory. You are able to do this in traditional conquest fashion or you may passively achieve this through the use of diplomatic force, rather military might. Your campaign can reach to the ends of the galaxy or just for that day. You may choose from pre-made races, such as Humanity or you can strike out and make your own unique race(s) to play as or with. In this game you will start out with a singular system and a whole galaxy open for exploration. Your galaxy can range from a couple hundred star systems to over 1000 stars; each containing their own systems and star types. The race you being the game with will have their own pre-determined or user determined needs. These all are affected by their ethics and world types. Do they prefer arid environments over cold or temperate ones? Are they a Military Junta or Pacifist nation that are either Xenophobic or Xenophiles? Each type factors into your races choice on the galactic arena as well as the future of how other races will view you. Now, nothing is ever made to last and opinions can drift and change. This is something that can happen in game, as the exposure to other alien cultures may play an influence on far out colonies or even your home system.
What happens if you don’t want this sort of ethics or culture convergence? Well, you can always purge your pops or even go to war against those who would dare to influence your citizens! Paradox has always been about the factor of choice and decisions in your games. While their games may be a bit to chew on, in terms of learning curves, the games that they have made have always been a blast to play for hours. They have taken this approach and lovingly translated it back into Stellaris with a few added tweaks. While the game does not seem too hard to grasp for newcomers, it also seems to have a large amount of options regarding returning Paradox fans and Space 4X enthusiasts. The event system, that is widely used in almost every single one of their titles is present and gives players the chance to uncover new research, lore and those who came before them. These events are key to helping the player advance and to also providing late game crises that keep the game fresh and vibrant. The AI is also on par with the changes and scale that you, the player, present to the game. Building alliances, federations, rivalries all their own, the AI will keep you on your toes when you look to expand your borders and your influence. If single player is not your thing then luckily for you, Paradox supports 32 multiplayer sessions. This is just insane to literally think about, I mean this has been done in their previous titles but nothing on the scale of Stellaris. Their is a key difference in fighting 32 players on Earth as nations versus fighting 32 players on a galactic scale with fleets and ground forces to consider.
This is Paradox at their finest. Everything that I have stated and talked about above is nothing new. It is not a new way of seeing games nor is it a new way of making them. Paradox has always pushed the bar when it comes to making a grand strategy game that manages to scratch that itch. While yes, the focus has usually been on historical periods and settings, Stellaris is still a historical game, just set far off into the future. Fans have literally been clamoring for a title of this scope from this studio. I believe they have listened and more. Paradox games are known for being supported for long bouts of time and being very community driven in terms of longer support. Now modding is something that paradox has always supported, so much so that their game, Crusader Kings 2, boasts one of the most popular mods for a strategy game to date. I don’t feel I need to name this mod seeing as it has gathered quite the draw from the modding community. Now will this game support day one Steam Workshop? I honestly do not know however, after watching the Paradox YouTube channel, Paradox Extra, I do believe we may see day one implementation of support. This is both great and exciting for many players. We all like the base game but we also like seeing what we can do to further our gaming experiences.
Now you all should know that when I see a product that I love, I will do everything to help promote that product and well, this is a game that I can very much get behind. The scope and scale is unlike any other 4x I have seen to date and the promise of it’s features are almost too overwhelming in terms of what we could possibly see develop! I really want to say that I can solidly support the features however, I have yet to actually play the game for myself and may not be able to provide an accurate impression until the game’s launch day of May 9th. I will however try to keep you all up to date on this game’s upcoming launch date and any new information that pops up around it. The game is set to release on May 9th and it available for pre-order from most digital-retail storefronts!
Pre-Order Stellaris: http://store.steampowered.com/app/281990/
Official Stellaris Website: https://www.paradoxplaza.com/stellaris
Follow Paradox: https://twitter.com/PdxInteractive
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