I haven’t been updating the site much lately because I’ve been a bit distracted. Unlike most other players of the games, though, it has not been Pokemon Go occupying my every free second. No, for me it is Stellaris a Four-X style strategy game with a Sci Fi setting. The game takes a significant amount of time to complete and there is enough depth to it that I want to finish it at least twice before I write a review but I wanted to get down some early impressions all the same.
For the uninitiated Four-X strategy games are games in which players control some type of organization, usually an entire civilization but sometimes a smaller group, with the goal of dominating a map or achieving some other win condition. The titular four X’s refer to the activities of exploration, exploitation, expansion and extermination.
Stellaris does not deviate far from past games in this genre in the arena of gameplay. This game differentiates itself in the level of customization of thee player’s starting civilization. Like many other games in the genre Stellaris provides players with prefab Civilizations for those who don’t want to take the time to drill too deeply into the background of the game. But for those who do wish to be granular Stellaris provides a level of customization that is impressively robust.
Would you like a space empire of Fungoid Randian hyper individualists with a militaristic bent? Stellaris says go for it.
Maybe a reptilian Collectivist Mega Corporation is more your speed? No Problem.
I found this ability to customize my Civilization made my investment of interest in the game much greater than usual. Only the Civ franchise of games has been able to hold my interest in this genre before and that was more because of the clever automation options for managing the Civilizations allowed in those games. In Stellaris players control or at least involved in directing almost every aspect of a futuristic society, an undertaking that I usually find too exhausting to be interested in for more than a week. But because I was able to make a society into a reflection of my own political beliefs I find myself invested in their success unable to step away.
I may start streaming the game and once I finish a playthrough I’ll definitely be reviewing it. If I can find the time.