Paradox Interactive has long since become the standard-bearer of a philosophy that in the variegated universe of videogames puts the complexity and depth of gameplay before the frenetic and immediate action, even preferring to limit the portion of the public to which it is addressed in order to keep intact those that are the cornerstones which have consecrated its success. We have had yet another confirmation with Stellaris, which at the beginning of the year also obtained approval on consoles, thanks to a nice conversion that was able to confirm the spirit of the productions of the Scandinavian development team. And it is precisely to make the offer in these terms even more complete to console users that the latter has released these days Utopia, adaptation of the expansion of the same name for the PC edition of the game, which adds a lot of new content and revolutionizes various aspects, improving the advanced stages of the game and giving new objectives to reach the most demanding.
The art of diplomacy
Utopia obviously confirms the elaborate structure and the layered game mechanics of the base game, which therefore require a good handful of hours before being mastered to the fullest and giving satisfactions: for details we refer to the review. But at the same time it improves and refines various elements, as mentioned in the introduction. First of all the work di government, which becomes more complex and multifaceted to the point of assuming an even more central role in the economy of the game. In fact now there management interior of the empire is much more interesting and central to the gameplay than it was in the base game. If before there were selectable types of government, now we start from four general systems, namely democracy, oligarchy, dictatorship and hereditary Empire, to which civics can be associated (two basic, three if a certain social technology is developed) that allow to shape a government closer to what the player's vision is.
All this then affects the growth and development process of the company which, depending on the policy adopted by the state, can in turn give rise to some factions capable of affecting the life and functions of the government. In fact, these social groups united by a common cause each pursue a goal and have their own political agenda that can be in contrast with the user's style of play, leading the latter to make decisions with decisive consequences for the conduct of a game. . For example, if the gamer heads a nation strongly militarist in a social context that shares its ideals, then no problem. But if vice versa the population (or a part of it) manifests more pacifist ideas, so the reactions to the war-mongering ideologies of the government could lead to the birth of an anti-militarist faction to counter it, and so on.
Genetics and robots
Utopia introduces other significant innovations to the game, especially in the evolutionary field. In this sense, the expansion introduces a new resource, called Units, which through the use of special points allows you to unlock new functions within skill trees called Traditions: through specific paths, characteristics called Ascension Advantages are thus enabled, perhaps useful for making genetic changes to the population (Biological Mastery), for using the Transcendence to release the psionic potential of one's species or even to transform it into robot through Synthetic Evolution. It is possible to influence primitive civilizations by getting them to adopt their own ethics through the use of observation stations, multiply the fertility of women or build enormous structures useful to bring great advantages to one's race, such as ring worlds.
And again, always on the subject of creations, to build Sfere di Dyson around a sun to suck all the energy out of it and extinguish it, thus eliminating all living species of an entire system, or Habitat, of orbiting stations capable of hosting a larger population, up to covering the role of small planets in a small and limited system. The possibilities offered by Unità are really many and, opening towards the second half of the game, they make the most criticized phases of Stellaris in the past more interesting. It's just a pity that to unlock all the skills you need to sometimes perform specific actions in antithesis with some aspects of the policy adopted by the player's government: nothing that however jeopardizes the goodness of the DLC. Either way, Utopia still definitely improves the gaming experience of Stellaris: Console Edition, as mentioned in the introduction, making the gameplay more layered and deep. For the rest, the conversion process operated by Paradox Development Studio it also proved to be positive with regard to the graphics and sound sector, as well as the controls, which obviously maintain the well-optimized basic ones of the original conversion.
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery PlayStation Store, Xbox Store Price 19,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
Utopia revises Stellaris: Console Edition in almost every aspect and further improves its basic content, introducing new and interesting ones. This expansion actually gives the game more refined and complete mechanics, which are added to a deep and well-layered gameplay, full of variables and contents capable of guaranteeing a good experience for console players despite some sacrifices.
- Finished several aspects of the base game
- Improved government system which now offers more variety to the political scene
- The new additions give more depth to the gameplay and add things to do
- The system for unlocking some of the new skills should be significantly revised
- For some users, the price of the DLC may be high