New Stellaris story pack to add proper machine empires

“Cast off the shackles of biology”, says the announcement. The second story pack for [Stellaris] [Review][Official Site], the 4X-meets-Grand Strategy game by Paradox Interactive, has no set release date yet, but an announcement page and trailer reveal that the Synthetic Dawn story pack, released later this year, will allow players to begin the game as a Machine Empire. Continue reading “New Stellaris story pack to add proper machine empires”

Review: Tempest (Endless Legend DLC)

Yes, it is. Very. I’ll still elaborate on why, but if you’re wondering whether Tempest is a worthy successor to Endless Legend‘s [Review] past two DLCs, it is – and I say that as someone who thoroughly enjoyed playing as both the Forgotten and the Allayi. Like any strategy-game expansion worth its salt, Tempest doesn’t merely add or improve on the base game, it adds depth: the reworked ocean and sea-related aspects of the game are at the core of how the Morgawr, the new faction, play, but also heavily influence all other factions and alter the approaches you can take with any of them to consolidate your empire. Continue reading “Review: Tempest (Endless Legend DLC)”

There’s a storm coming: Tempest expansion for Endless Legend out in two days

Despite its pivotal importance, the sea has often been neglected in strategy and 4x games, from units that turn into boats to a near-complete absence of any maritime mechanics . Endless Legend [Review] is receiving its fourth major expansion this weekend, six months after the release of Shifters, and with the aptly named Tempest DLC comes a new faction, naval warfare and other sea-related goodies. Continue reading “There’s a storm coming: Tempest expansion for Endless Legend out in two days”

Stellaris’ new Plantoid species pack sprouts onto Steam

In the style we’ve come to expect of Paradox, given how deep-rooted DLC is in their other Grand Strategy games, comes their latest content pack, the Plantoid species pack for Stellaris [Review], a cosmetic add-on that features fifteen new species portraits and accompanying city art and ship templates. The practice is similar to that in Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV, where cosmetic packs abound, though until the start of this year I hadn’t botany. Continue reading “Stellaris’ new Plantoid species pack sprouts onto Steam”

Stellaris’ first major patch, Clarke, now in beta

Fear not, space rulers, for the days when you had to contend with being a mere emperor instead of The Supreme Galactic Overlord(ess) are now over. The first major update for Stellaris, Clarke, is now available on Steam’s beta branch (right-click game, select properties, go to the betas tab and opt-in) and with it a slew of improvements, bugfixes and additions. Continue reading “Stellaris’ first major patch, Clarke, now in beta”

Things to know before you play Stellaris

There’s a new kid in the proverbial Grand Strategy town – Stellaris [Official Site]. I’ve had it in hands for over a couple of weeks and have played the flawed, yet unique and interesting space strategy game for nearly a hundred hours, throughout which I’ve meddled with peaceful empires that kept to their own and zealots that fanatically purged every alien they met. It’s a game of exploration and colonization, of genocide and eugenics, and most of all it’s a game where space cockroaches value democracy more than I do. I’ve also had great fun trouncing certain writers from our website (not Arvind). Here are a few tips I wish I’d known before playing. Continue reading “Things to know before you play Stellaris”

Review: Stellaris

It took little more than fifty years for me to establish galactic supremacy as the Igarian Galactic Assembly. A military republic of religious, long-living felines, it was my manifest destiny to hold political and military sway over the other space-faring peoples. True, I may have shared technology with underdeveloped civilizations with the sole intent of having them as march-states against other, growing empires; and my sprawling web of vassals was mostly the fruit of military intervention, rather than voluntary co-operation; but as a xenophile I never enslaved or exterminated an alien species, even when they were little more than over-sized, rebellious ants, and when the Gold Concordat threatened to expand into my circle of influence I, instead of crushing them, joined their alliance and, as its strongest member, pushed a vote to transform it into the Bright Concord, a pan-species federation where all those willing to work had a place. Continue reading “Review: Stellaris”