Stellaris: Console Edition, the review on PS4

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
Author and references

paradox has long been synonymous with quality in PC strategy games. A fame gained in the field thanks to the production of titles of the caliber of Universalis, Crusader Kings or Hearts of Iron, just to name a few, that is games characterized by complex, deep and very engaging stories and mechanics. A reputation confirmed just under two years ago by Stellaris, production with which the developer has temporarily abandoned the historical simulation, taking up a large part of the mechanics to adapt them in a distant future. The experiment worked, the reception was overall positive and therefore the game was chosen to act as a forerunner to the genre on PlayStation 4 e Xbox One, facing a conversion process which, as we will see shortly, has turned out to be all in all positive, able to guarantee a good experience for console players despite some sacrifices.

The two editions

Stellaris: Console Edition it will be available in two versions: a "smooth" one, ie without additional content, which is the one used for this review; the other call Deluxe which will contain the Plantoid Species Packs, Leviathan History, and the Utopia expansion.

An immense universe to be discovered

In Stellaris: Console Edition the player finds himself having to manage a civilization, whatever it is, at the dawn of colonization of space and with a society collapsing due to a lack of resources for livelihood. At the beginning he is therefore called to select his race among the ten available, or to shape it from scratch through the dozens and dozens of parameters of the rich editor included. Then, after choosing whether to play alone or in multiplayer, to develop it and lead it on an adventure into the depths of space; which, as per Paradox tradition, has almost nothing written and is entirely determined by the player's actions, by the relationships he maintains with other races (and that they have among themselves) and by the thousands of unpredictable possibilities that each new game brings with him. The universe and the plot of Stellaris, in fact, slowly open up in front of the player, shaped by his decisions and his way of operating.

Habitable planets, resources e alien peoples are revealed gradually, while minor and major events follow one another, articulating a story with multiple facets and variables, yet cared for in every detail, able to capture the imagination of the player for hundreds of hours if he lets himself be fully involved, thanks to even the splendid colonna sonora composed by Andreas Waldetoft, who serves as a succulent side dish to the opera. In fact, there are many options through which you can develop your civilization, thanks to a well-layered and deep gameplay where obviously the element strategic it is essential to manage the resources of your faction in the best way, discover new technologies and use brute force or diplomacy to govern effectively and depending on whether you want to maintain good relations with the outside or not.

From this point of view, the Paradox title offers an excellent set of options for policies to be adopted within the borders of their empire and outside, thanks to which the user can do a bit of everything: if, for example, he chooses a diplomatic system, he can enter into economic or military agreements, exchange goods and technologies, develop new trade routes by opening allies their own spaceports, while allowing them to cross their territories (and permission to pass through theirs), and so on. A particularly complex system, like every other aspect of the game, but also for this exciting, especially progressing in the most advanced scenarios, when the forces in the field are more and the relationships between the factions reach high levels of complexity, increasing the factors of deadlock or crisis.

Space without borders

Each event can be managed in real time or by pausing the action, but it is a shame as, given the amount of text present for the description of objects, dialogues and moments, and the complexity of the genre itself, there is no localization in Spanish. An element, this, that would have benefited those who do not know the available languages. Just as an option that would allow pop-ups to be brought to the foreground would certainly have done well, in this case: the writings are very sharp and clear, but enlarging them would facilitate reading on the various screens for those who play from a some distance, as console owners usually do. Stellaris is a game that requires you to read a lot of descriptions before making any decision, whether it is related to "simple" technological or military development projects, to the exploitation of resources and Events key to the evolution of one's population, and it takes some effort to do it a couple of meters from the TV.

In any case, those who still did not know Paradox productions will have understood at this point that Stellaris: Console Edition is a game that requires a lot of dedication and passion to be discovered and enjoyed to the fullest, regardless of whether you are passionate about strategic 4x or newbies who want to get closer to the genre. This is why we could continue to tell about Stellaris for hours, and still not be able to describe it in every detail. And after all, this is not our goal (if you wish, you can further explore other aspects of the gameplay by reading the review of the PC version): in this article we aim rather to give you a clear idea of ​​the game, and above all to describe its strengths and weaknesses. of a porting technically valid and even intelligent from the point of view of the controls.

Adapt with intelligence

Even if the high number of calculations and simulations to be performed, especially when the game is in an advanced stage, have suggested to the developer to reduce the size of the space and eliminate a game speed, the maximum one, the title does not differ much, ideally, from the PC counterpart in its version of update 1.7-1.8, the basis on which the porting was made. In fact, these are factors that do not prejudice the experience, since they "limit" themselves only to adapting it. Similarly, for the interface, Paradox has tried to optimize screens and controls to try to facilitate the tasks for users: the map is then navigated using the analog sticks, which respectively control the cursor and the camera, leaving the player free to change the sensitivity in such a way as to be able to find your favorite setting.

With the lower backbones you can adjust the zoom distance, while with the upper buttons, i.e. on PlayStation 4 triangle, square, X and circle, the speed of time and the pause, a couple of simple shortcuts, the selection and confirmation of an action and, finally, the cancellation of the same. To the menu, intelligently positioned at the edges of the screen, so as not to be invasive, it is instead accessed comfortably by acting on the keys of the directional cross, through which to quickly recall all the possible choices concerning the management of resources (above), the alerts in real time ( below), the control of every aspect of the Empire (left) and the monitoring of colonized planets e naval fleet (right). To navigate within them use the R1 and L1 buttons, to pause the game the Select button.

Everything happens smoothly and fairly quickly, and those accustomed to using the pad find themselves almost immediately at ease, confirming that the direction taken to carry an interface and controls designed for mouse and keyboard on the controller was the right one. Of course, in the long run you can feel the lack of shortcuts and shortcuts, especially in recurring operations, as well as the accuracy and speed of execution guaranteed by the mouse and keyboard, but we believe that it could hardly have been done better. For the rest, going to close with a quick look at the technological side, we have nothing particular to report for this edition, except that graphically Stellaris: Console Edition is similar to the computer counterpart and therefore visually pleasing, but not impressive. . On the other hand, the aesthetic aspect has never been among the strengths of the game.


Tested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery PlayStation Store, Xbox Store


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Your vote

Stellaris is also confirmed on console as a strategic space setting well done and strong in the great tradition of Paradox. It remains a product not suitable for everyone, it will be more beautiful to play on PC with mouse and keyboard, but it is also appreciated on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One thanks to its deep and well-layered gameplay, to the myriad of variables in the story it "tells" and a good optimization of the controls. All this, however, provided that you are passionate about it, want to spend a substantial number of hours and devote a lot of attention to it, turning a blind eye to some inevitable limitations.


  • All the charm and mystery of the discovery of space
  • A huge game full of things to do
  • Well structured gameplay and with deep resource management
  • Well optimized interface and controls ...
  • ... even if keyboard and mouse remain something else
  • Spanish is missing among the supported languages, which could keep a slice of users away
  • Uncomfortable to play remotely
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