Stellaris Review – A Three Act Opera… In Space

Stellaris is the latest game from Paradox’s internal development studio. These are the folks who have brought gamers titles that are grand, intricate, and even alienating strategy games such as Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II. Many gamers absolutely adore these two games, which means there is plenty to look forward to in Paradox’s latest title.

Stellaris Review - A Three Act Opera… In Space

Stellaris Does Excel in Many Areas, But Ultimately Falls Short

Stellaris is a videogame that is very much like the vein of the classic 4x space titles such as Master of Orion. In other words, it feels very much like something like other Paradox titles as it aims to accomplish two things: one is to show that the development studio’s brand of large strategy games which can be tamed to become a little more tasteful towards the masses, and the other is that it hopes to sweep in and clean up what could be a forgotten genre as the category has been seen to be stagnant for quite some time. Ultimately, the game succeeds in both fronts, well, for a little while to say the list. This is a videogame of three distinct chapters wherein some is more successful than the others.

Starting up Paradox’s Stellaris begins just about any other 4x experience; players would have to pick out a race, then you set some map size and artificial intelligence options, then you are dropped into a galaxy wherein you’re free to explore, expand, exploit, and even exterminate all to your heart’s content.

In terms of the expanding and exploiting parts, these are generally played really well and are a very enjoyable experience. You would start from humble beginnings wherein you would need to reach out across the stars as you investigate through nearby solar systems for habitable planets and resources. Even though this portion of the game might be seen as the least bit interesting, it will keep you busy for most parts but will never be too overwhelmed.

Even though there are many things to do in Stellaris, after a few hours of playing, you might hit a brick wall. For instance, your first foray into the unknown galaxy and solar systems does bring you a refreshing array of quests and things to explore. However, what comes after is a total grind. Diplomacy in the game is as cold and as dry as deep space. Even though there are many of Paradox’s trademarks that can be seen within the game are in place, such as helpful numbers to weigh a balance for a particular deal, but it lacks the nature of a true character system. Therefore, chatting up with opponents can become very predictable and unentertaining.


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