It Came from the Deep (Space): Leviathans expansion for Stellaris

I knew only good things could come out from Sunless Sea’s Creative Director Alexis Kennedy partnership with Paradox Interactive, and indeed my suspicions seem confirmed: Stellaris’ [Review] first expansion, titled Leviathan, has now been announced. It brings changes to Fallen Empires, independent entities and other things, and will be released alongside the Heinlein patch.

As said on the announcement page, “Space is lovely, dark and deep, but it has secrets it wants to keep.”, something that to those who’ve played any of the Failbetter games paints a well known picture, further aided by the trailer, pictured below:

Parallels between Space and the Ocean have been drawn time and again, with both being similar in enough aspects that such a comparison isn’t unexpected, and while Stellaris has already populated their galaxy with a wide array of fauna – from space cows to crystal entities – none of them were truly threatening on an individual basis, as much as an actual space leviathan would be.

Other than what is coming in the free Heinlein Patch (read the dev diaries from August 8th onward), the DLC is set to include new Fallen Empire mechanics, independent and strong space entities, and trade posts. I quote:

  • Guardians: Powerful space entities with mysterious origins and motives. Fight or investigate them to unlock technologies and gain access to great treasures.
  • Enclaves: Independent outposts of traders and artists who are willing to make a deal. Exchange resources, purchase information about the galaxy, or commission a great work of art for your empire.
  • War In Heaven: Where will your fledgling empire lie if two ancient Fallen Empires decide to renew old grievances in a War in Heaven? Will you err on the side of caution and take a side with the stronger power, or will you strike at both whilst they are occupied with their own titanic struggle?

And new portraits and other nice things. There isn’t a price or an exact date yet, though you can expect the DLC to come out some time in Autumn. I enjoyed Stellaris for the 4x-meets-Grand Strategy game that it was, and most of all liked how each playthrough felt unique in no small part due to the events and storylines, so I’m glad to see them enhancing that part of the game, particularly so given that it’s someone with the experience of Alexis Kennedy.

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