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Paradox's Stellaris: Utopia expansion lets you build Dyson spheres, ringworlds

No planet B?

Paradox has announced the first major expansion for Stellaris, its intergalactic PC empire-building game.

Titled Utopia, the add-on brings new varieties of space facility, Ascension Perks that let you decide how your civilisation evolves, and the option to divide your citizens up into race-specific castes with different rights and privileges, if you're in the mood to sow a little social discord.

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The new space stations include enormous habitats that may stand in for planets when good old-fashioned solid ground is scarce. You can also build megastructures such as Dyson spheres (think giant hollow planet with a sun at its centre) and ringworlds (think Halo).

"One of the core improvements in Utopia is the introduction of Ascension Perks," the press release notes. "As your species advances and gains new traditions, it can choose how it wants to evolve as it is further enlightened. You can choose between a biological path, a psionic path or a synthetic path, with various options within these broad categories.

"Body, Mind or Machine - how will your species challenge the future?"

Budding tyrant Chris Bratt slapped a Recommendation on Stellaris in Eurogamer's review. "If you've ever wanted to dip your toe into this incredible genre, but found Paradox's other stuff a bit intimidating, this is the one to play," he concluded. "If you've enjoyed their other stuff, this one's even better."

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