Intergalactic life

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
Author and references

Sometimes out of pure mental laziness we end up believing that some genres have said it all. It is difficult to see room for improvement or the possibility of change where dozens of similar titles crowd, which seem to have copied each other, whose authors have taken care not to risk distancing themselves from a certain formula particularly appreciated by the players. How many strategists set in space have we been able to play in recent years? Countless, yet after a few hours of trying Stellaris we had eclipsed almost all previous experiences, as if we were facing a new starting point. Stellaris is not only grand strategy, but it is the story of the expansion of a civilization in space.



Stellaris is first of all the charm of discovery

At the beginning of a game, after choosing whether to play alone or engage in multiplayer, you can select one of eight races available, or create one from scratch with the very complete editor included. Already at this stage we understand how Paradox has not really left anything to chance. The parameters to select are innumerable and, as we will discover by playing, they all have their own influence on the relationships that will be established with the other forms of life that we will encounter in the cosmos. For example, we can choose which model of society to adopt by selecting one of the available ideologies, which will automatically reflect on the forms of government that can be selected. How about running a materialistic society led by a directory of scientists? And a collectivist dictatorship that admits slavery? If we want, we can give our society more traits, so as to exploit its advantages, but at the same time suffer its weaknesses, which will emerge strongly when we have expanded sufficiently. Once the government has decided, we still have many parameters to select: the morphology of the mother planet, the type of space technology at our disposal, our colors and symbols, and so on. It is right to warn you that it is not important to report every single option available, but it is essential that you understand how much attention to detail has been put by the developers in creating a complex and articulated title, which makes each game unique. Once our civilization has been chosen, it is necessary to determine the size of the game universe, selecting the number of stars from which it is composed and the number of those who will contribute to the conquest of space. A thousand stars may seem like a lot for a handful of civilizations (maximum thirty-two), but we will soon discover that this is not the case.



Paradox takes us into space with Stellaris: a strategic one not to be missed

The rudiments

The beginning of every game of Stellaris sees a similar scenario: our civilization, whatever it is, is at the beginning of the colonization of space with a collapsing social situation. The population has grown too much and the mother planet is no longer able to guarantee sustenance for everyone.

Large-scale battles are spectacular

By examining it we can verify that almost all the production boxes are occupied (they can be managed for each colonized planet). We must expand if we do not want the situation to become explosive. The universe is huge and there will certainly be other habitable places, as well as countless dangers, but first you have to discover them. The starting system itself, whatever it may be, is a mystery in terms of resources. The first thing to do is therefore to use a scientific ship to find them by scanning the different planets of the system, and then extract them with the orbiting structures that can be built with construction ships. While playing we notice a further detail that makes us understand the complexity of the Paradox title: the tutorial. The freedom we are offered is so great that it probably wasn't possible to structure a linear tutorial. The developers have thus opted to create a kind of assistant, which can be deactivated at any time, which gives us information every time we come across a novelty, screen, race or concept, also assigning us missions to check the level of our understanding. It may seem like a hasty method, but it proved to be really effective in letting us learn the rudiments of the game and in leaving us the initiative anyway without oppressing us with constraints (the tutorials of the strategy can be lethal). The alternative, given the amount of Stellaris mechanics, would have been hours of stasis reading explanations after explanations, which in any case would not have been able to render all the facets of the game experience.



The universe is our interface

At first glance, the Stellaris interface looks very minimal. At the top left there are six buttons that open the classic summary and management screens of the general aspects of our galactic civilization. Immediately you get to know the diary, where the game events are noted, or you can select the technologies to be researched, assigning them to scientists, giving priority to those that are considered most useful for our strategy.

The management of individual colonized planets also offers several options

Of particular importance is the spaceship editor, which allows us to replenish our fleet by choosing from pre-packaged models, or by leaving us the possibility of creating custom vehicles., perhaps to take advantage of some newly discovered technology, or for the pure taste of customization. There are three basic vehicles: the aforementioned scientific and construction ships, to which military ships must be added. Their functions are clear, but not as obvious as it might seem. All their actions must be managed directly on the map, which turns out to be the core of the game interface itself. Let's take a direct example. After studying the planets in our system, we can send one or more scientific ships to explore the surrounding systems. Doing so is very simple: you select a ship directly on the map (or from a side menu, convenient when you have many means available), then click on the arrow that leads to the system to be explored, finally select one of the celestial bodies and give the order to examine the single planet or all those hosted by the displayed system. In case there are problems, for example there is no scientist on board the spaceship, or there is an encounter with a hostile alien race, or if some anomaly is found on a planet to be studied separately, we will receive on-screen communications which will allow us to intervene immediately. Each event is made known to the player clearly, who can manage it in real time or by pausing the action (when many events happen at the same time the pause is precious).



The fascination of discovery

The examples we have done so far to make you understand how Stellaris works are small compared to everything the game has to offer. Unfortunately, it is impossible to account for every single option and, frankly, it is not even our aim to do so. What matters most to us is to make you understand the care taken in every single aspect of the game and the study behind the design of each of its elements, i.e. how Paradox has incredibly mediated between complexity and usability, to remove weight from the interface, while not sacrificing anything of what 4X enthusiasts are looking for in a similar title.

In multiplayer it is important to know the forces on the pitch

As our civilization expands in the universe in small steps, looking for habitable planets, discovering resources and coming into contact with alien races with often original and unexpected traits, so Stellaris expands in front of the player, gradually revealing his cards. Before coming into contact with other civilizations, countless discoveries are made and one is fascinated by the level of the narrative. The space is full of more developed races than ours, some equipped with technologies that can wipe us out in an instant, but there are also primitive ones, which can become a resource if managed in the right way (much depends on the form of government chosen) . For example, it happened, leading a despotic and militarist society, all taken by the expansion, to cross a so-called Fallen Empire. Strong in our fleet, we ignored their warnings and immediately went to war (also because they wanted us to give up some planets we had just colonized). Unfortunately their threats were not far-fetched and we found ourselves having to leave the battlefield soon, taking away what remained of our "invincible army", which has not proved so invincible and whose carcasses have become a terrifying warning. for our arrogance. The consequences of the defeat were disastrous: after the escape we had to give up the colonies and we found ourselves with the mother planet in the throes of political chaos. Obviously there are also minor events, some really minimal but told with great care, such as the discovery of the corpses of explorers of now extinct races on some planet distant from ours.

Warrior diplomacy

Stellaris also offers a very rich diplomatic side, inevitable in the 4X genre. In strictly economic and military terms, you can do a bit of everything, that is to make alliances, join forces against a common enemy, exchange goods and technologies, create trade routes, allow allies to cross our territories, obtain the same right from them and so on. Street.

The spaceship editor is very comprehensive

Imagine all these actions in a game with thirty-one other players, human and otherwise, and you will understand what level of complexity the relationships between the factions can reach. Of course, despite the care taken, it is one of the most conventional aspects of the Paradox title, that is, it does not differ much from direct competition. Maybe something more could be done in managing relations between the various species, but given the freedom left in the creation phase, we imagine that it would have been a colossal undertaking to foresee all the possibilities. Even the more warlike side does not present particular novelties and, despite doing what it must, it often turns out to be a mere comparison between the values ​​of the forces in the field. Again not bad, since making the battles too complex would have distracted from everything else, but a few more options would not have hurt (you will see that some DLC will arrive to deepen this aspect). Speaking of game times, be prepared to spend many hours on Stellaris. We are not talking about tens, but hundreds, if you let yourself be taken. You have to devote a lot of time to the game to get the most out of it, even in multiplayer. It is true that you can play on smaller maps and with fewer factions on the field, but the best is achieved on large-scale scenarios, where the forces on the field are many and the factors of stalemate or crisis multiply. In general it is fair to note that this is not a game for everyone and requires dedication. Another factor that should be noted is the language: Unfortunately, Spanish is not supported. If you don't know English (or one of the other selectable languages), you will have a lot of difficulty playing.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Intel Core i7-4770 processor
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 video card
  • Windows 10 operating system

Minimum requirements

  • Windows 7 x86 or newer operating system
  • Processore AMD Athlon II X4 640 @ 3.0 Ghz / o Intel Core 2 Quad 9400 @ 2.66 Ghz
  • AMD HD 5770 / or Nvidia GTX 460 video card, with 1024MB VRAM and updated drivers from respective manufacturers
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • 4 GB disk space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection

Recommended Requirements

  • Windows 7 x64 or newer operating system
  • Processore AMD Phenom II X4 850 @ 3.3 Ghz o Intel i3 2100 @ 3.1 Ghz
  • Scheda video AMD HD 6850 / o Nvidia GTX 560TI, con 1024MB VRAM
  • 4 GB of RAM

Comment

Digital Delivery Steam Price 39,99 € Resources4Gaming.com

9.2

Readers (71)

8.5

Your vote

Stellaris is an immense title capable of capturing in its black holes for hours and hours. In this sense it is truly all-encompassing, to the point that playing it came to mind long game sessions with the Civilization or with other strategists of the same caliber. It is not a product for everyone and it does not even want to be, dedicated as it is to fans of the most radical strategic 4x, despite the functionality and clarity of the interface. In short, after first-rate series such as Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis, Paradox has produced a new masterpiece that fans cannot miss for any reason.

PRO

  • Multi-faceted game mechanics
  • It combines the fascination of discovery with profound resource management
  • Interface designed to perfection
  • Do you have a large enough coffee machine?
AGAINST
  • Those who do not know one of the supported languages ​​will have difficulty understanding the game (Spanish is missing)
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