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Crusader Kings dev goes boldly into space with Stellaris

A procedurally-generated strategy game brimming with possibilities.

Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4 developer Paradox Development Studio has announced a new sci-fi strategy game called Stellaris.

Set among the procedurally-generated cosmos, Stellaris tasks players with colonising new planets, exploring uncharted regions of space and interacting with various extra-terrestrial civilisations.

"Thousands of planets populate procedurally generated star systems giving you the largest possible theatre for performing the emergent stories that Paradox has become famous for," the developer stated of this latest enterprise. "Customise your ships, encounter unique randomly generated races, and participate in advanced diplomacy that would make Picard look like an amateur."

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Our friends at Rock, Paper, Shotgun got a good look at Stellaris at Gamescom and seemed more than impressed by its breadth, depth and polish.

Evidently you can set up satellites around a planet of pre-spacefaring species and play Vulcan to their humans, engage in battle with fiends from another dimension, or outsource all labour to robots until they inevitably develop better AI and stage an uprising against their organic overlords. The sky's the limit when you're boldly going where no one has gone before.

Taking a page from No Man's Sky, every species you encounter in Stellaris will be procedurally-generated from a complex list of random physical traits and skill-based attributes.

Unlike the developer's previous games, the starting points for each civilisation will be symmetrical as they're all on the cusp of discovering faster-than-light travel.

Interestingly, your species can get tied into the game's lore despite it not being a scripted story. "Every species has a backstory and as your power increases, so will your ability to explore your own prehistory," Rock, Paper, Shotgun explained in its report. "You may find that there was a precursor race that seeded life through the galaxy or that your people are the remnants of an empire that once ruled the systems that you're now unwittingly reclaiming. As with the rest of the design, the end-game is engineered to reward the curious, introducing unexpected stories and concepts."

For the full breakdown, check out Rock, Paper, Shotgun's deep dive on Stellaris.

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