Do you know many 4X ‘’*eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate*’’ grand strategy games out there? If you’re PC grown user, then you might name quite a few with great confidence, but what if you’re a console gamer? Is such a thing as 4X grand strategy game even possible on a console? Well, apparently, it’s not only in the realm of possibility – it’s a fact. We have had a great discussion here with colleagues, and finally, it’s settled. We’ve decided on exploring Stellaris game, which in one or another version is available on our Eneba Store for PC, Xbox, and PS4 users alike!
If you’re a grand strategy fan, the chances that you know nothing about Paradox Development Studio are fairly small. By fairly small we mean, you are either a grand strategy fan who knows about Paradox, or you are pretending to be someone you are not. Anyway, throughout the years, the developer studio has created quite a few magnificent strategy pieces, which have quite a few things in common. Such titles as Europa Universalis or Hearts of Iron tingles with your skin every time someone mentions them and exploring Stellaris game comes as no different.
Just 10 more minutes please!
Like we’ve mentioned, such games as Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, and Stellaris have a few things in common. Firstly, all these are ‘just 10 more minutes games’, you know, those that you cannot step aside from, and ’10 more minutes’ transforms into a sleepless night, that is, if you won’t show some power of will against them. Secondly, these are no fixated games that are brought unto the market as a constant – they change, and they change drastically! And we, of course, can see the same tendency by exploring Stellaris game as well.
The Stellaris game was released three years ago, and while bursting with potential, the game had its definite flaws and shortcomings, however, three years is quite a lengthy period, and three years for a Paradox piece can only mean radical changes! At his very point, this interstellar odyssey truly meets its 4X’s standard, and yet, it’s still growing, expanding, and becoming even more immersive. Even throughout the PC realm, the competition against Stellaris is pretty scarce, and if we’re talking about its place on consoles (both Xbox One and PS4) there’s nothing like it at all!
It’s a lengthy experience
A single article, if not aiming for a wall of text, is not able to fit all that Stellaris brings on the table, but we’ll try our best to offer some insight on the few of the game’s most intriguing aspects and features. But before venturing into these, we want to first note – exploring Stellaris is a timely experience. For an inexperienced player, even a 10-hour playthrough may serve just as a mere introduction to the adventure ahead. However, if you have spare time, this is without a doubt an experience that brings cosmic satisfaction!
As you’d expect from a game of such scale, exploring Stellaris begins slowly. Upon starting your journey, the first decision you have to make is either select a pre-made specie, or… create your own. And that’s where the first signs of the game’s vastness start to show up. If you’re not used to all that 4X games have to offer, you’ll instantly get starstruck with choice variety! Choose your specie, choose your appearance, choose your leader, your homeworld, your local system, your aspirations, your temperament, your racial ethics, your religion, your flag (!), and we could continue, but hopefully, you got the point.
Your ultimate goal here
Is exploring Stellaris universe is the ultimate goal? Not precisely – creating the most fearsome and powerful space empire known throughout the endless galaxies and far beyond is more so the case. Of course, going about your business as a pacifist explorer, or a genuine technology-interested fanatic is also amongst a vast variety of options! Although truth must be spoken, exploring Stellaris game is without a doubt fun, but conquering all space and time is how the game’s meant to be taken. Even if the good guy’s role is what you’re into, throughout hours upon hours of inter-alien AI relations, you might start leaning towards the dark side without even noticing it!
Ingenious AI tutorial
Whichever is the case really, exploring Stellaris won’t be easy if you’re a newbie in the scene, and for such reason, Paradox has developed an in-depth tutorial system, which admittedly works wonders for the newcomers. It doesn’t force into a predefined path, however, for whatever action you’ll decide to initiate, the tutorial will be there, supporting and helping at the most crucial times. It’s seamless, it’s not irritating, and it doesn’t stop you from doing you, on the contrary, it’s simply there to fasten the process.
The initial stage
As we’ve mentioned before, exploring Stellaris is not only about exploration, and as such, the game is divided into three sections. The first one is the early game, throughout the early game’s play, you’ll get to explore your solar system, learn all about it and begin your expansion on surrounding stars, once that’s settled, slowly your expansion rate will increase, and the territory you own will get wider and wider, other life forms will come into picture, and you’ll start forming numerous bonds with extra-terrestrial lifeforms you didn’t even know existed. And that’s where the mid-game kicks in.
The middle journey
Keep in mind, the life-forms you’ll meet, the resources you’ll find, and the planets you’ll visit by exploring Stellaris, are all procedurally generated! So, each and every playthrough is completely different! The mid-game is something that you should be looking for the most! It’s the period where numerous intergalactic empires are forged, and numerous other falls into their demise. You’ll be concerned with constructing defences and forging alliances to ensure your own well-being. The problems here may arise if two of your allies decides to partake in a quarrel and you’re forced to choose a side.
Variety of choices
Exploring Stellaris, same as expanding, exploiting, or exterminating are all based on choice, and only your own choices determine the final outcome to your Empire’s story. Become a cosmic bully or save the entire galaxy from one. Explore the farthest corners of the universe or dabble with inner politics instead. The game is set in such a way that no matter what you decide upon, it all feels coherent and plausible, sometimes you can lay back and only sigh with wonder at how well your made speculations have turned out. And yet… there are a few things present, which are not determined by you.
The final challenge
Exploring Stellaris brings a lot of satisfaction, but then there comes the end game, and with it, you are presented with the ‘Endgame Crisis’ scenarios. These are made to ensure that you are truly worth your victory. Currently, the game offers a fair number of scenarios which are sure to shake up your galactic dominance scheme. Let’s assume that an interdimensional alien species starts invading your planets, or the AI robots are starting their own rebellion out of the blue, or even better, the galactic swarm is engulfing all that you hold dear! These challenges should be kept in mind from your very first in-game minutes.
Overall, exploring Stellaris game is not only worth it, but it’s also a must if you’re into 4X strategy and overly-lengthy gameplay which doesn’t ever stop changing and producing numerous captivating experiences. It’s a game that takes ages to master, but every single minute brings unprecedented quality gameplay.