Game watch

Stellaris’ Utopia DLC adds megastructures like the Dyson sphere and gives you greater tools to customise your empire.

Stellaris’ Utopia DLC adds megastructures like the Dyson sphere and gives you greater tools to customise your empire.

Stellaris’ Utopia DLC has added a great deal of depth to Paradox Development Studio’s grand strategy game, making it that much harder to get my life on track.

For the uninitiated, Stellaris­ is a grand strategy game in which you guide your people from a fledgling space empire to a galactic superpower.

Along the way you make friends and enemies, deal with crises and spend so long in front of your computer your skin forgets the kiss of sunlight.

When Stellaris first came out I lost myself in the excitement of galactic exploration and the wonder of making first contact with an alien species, partly because I probably won’t live to see humanity achieve either.

But my enjoyment came to a grinding halt in the boring as all hell mid-game, which just had you waiting until the “make peace with your god because everything is now on fire”-style end game crises.

Since then, Paradox has been trying to fix the mid-game and give players more to do and so far they’ve succeeded.

Utopia adds a litany of new features to customise your stellar empire, build wondrous megastructures and choose your species path to glory, which makes it even easier to use Stellaris to avoid all worldly responsibilities.

You can build Dyson spheres and ring worlds straight out of science fiction and the new unity system allows you to choose unique bonuses for your empire.

This could include turning your entire population into robots, achieving your species’ psionic potential or moulding the genetics­ of the various species­ in your empire.

All that and more makes for a game with a far stronger mid-game that will ensure I will continue to shirk my responsibilities until I get bored or my dog bites me because I haven’t fed her in three days.

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