Paradox Interactive has unveiled a brand-new story pack for its wonderful sci-fi strategy title Stellaris. It's called Ancient Relics, and is scheduled to arrive on PC and Mac "soon".

Stellaris' story packs have historically foregone the major features seen in flagship expansions, and have instead sought to enrich the experience through deeper lore and other intrigue. To date, Stellaris has received three story packs - Leviathans, Synthetic Dawn, and Distant Stars (focussing on ancient aliens, robots, and extragalactic travel, respectively) - and Ancient Relics promises to bring an archaeological twist to the 4X core.

According to Paradox, there are two Precursors to uncover in the new Ancient Relics expansion, alongside Relic Worlds and ancient treasures. "Uncover the ruins of long-dead civilisations in Relic Worlds to piece together the story of their rise and eventual downfall," explains the publisher, "Mine their derelict cities and ships to unearth the truth, discover powerful relics and harness them for your own empire's ambitions."

Relic Worlds are dormant planets that feature archeological sites, and exploration of these can result in the acquisition of new relics. Investigating a site will begin a new story, which can feature anywhere between one and six chapters, and the relics earned at the end of a run can provide "significant benefits" to your empire.

Players will also get the chance to explore the histories of two new Precursor civilisations: the Baol and the Zroni. "The former," says Paradox, are "a sprawling hivemind of plantoids, the latter some of the most the most powerful psionics to have ever lived." There's also talk of a new resource type known as Minor Artifacts, although details are limited.

Paradox hasn't yet offered a release date or price for Stellaris' Ancient Relics expansion (although previous story packs have cost around Ł7), but expect more information soon.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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