Stellaris: Megacorp DLC Review – A Masterful, Economy-focused Addition

Stellaris: Megacorp DLC
Paradox Interactive

When Stellaris was originally released back in May of 2016, I knew right away that it was going to be something special. I always say “going to be” because anyone familiar with Paradox’s post-release policies knows that there are going to be tons of updates and DLC following each game’s launch. I mean after all, these guys are the makers of the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis series’ for crying out loud.

However one might feel about Paradox’s DLC practices, one thing is for certain: These folks make the best strategy games out there, and this is an opinion that is shared by many a gamer out there. One of the primary things that separates Stellaris from the rest of the space strategy flock—such as Endless Space 2 and Galactic Civilizations 3—is that it concerns the player with all of the juicy minutiae of running an entire stellar civilization.

Each game of Stellaris is intrinsically unique because there are so many variables that are involved; from hand-crafting your very own space civilization; to the procedurally generated universe which you set the parameters for; to how everything seems to unfold organically through quests and role-playing scenarios—there is just so much to take in and explore.

Probably the most talked about complaint, however, was mainly about how Stellaris seemed to get bogged down during the mid-to-late game periods. People recounted how they’d become bored or that the game seemed to become stagnant and rather uninteresting as the universe became more filled out, with aliens civilizations and their borders rubbing up on each other.

In response, Paradox has released update after DLC which have, for the most part, addressed these concerns. The recent 2.2 update along with the Megacorp DLC only drive home this point further.

Each and every update and DLC ushers in some new and usually drastic changes to the basic Stellaris formula. For instance, 2.0 relegated interstellar travel to hyper-lanes and did away with warp and stargate modes of traversing the universe. This caused quite an uproar until gamers got used to the changes and quit complaining.

The most recent 2.2 update has again caused quite a stir. This time one of the biggest changes are within planetary management. Instead of the rather boilerplate tile-based system where you’d place buildings on planetary tiles and more or less forget about them, with the new system you have much more control over every facet of your planetary development.

2.2 introduces a new system where everything is organized into districts and building clusters, which makes everything much more intuitive. For example, during one game my empire’s alloy stockpiles were running low so I apportioned part of my capital planet’s surface to building mining districts. That in turn created mining pops which immediately went to work in the new alloy refineries I constructed. You can do the same for all of your other basic resources as well.

However, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have the time to perform all of that construction quickly you can simply trade resources from the new galactic market. At first, you only have access to your civilization’s own internal markets but once you come into contact with other alien empires you get the more “international” version which has better prices. I feel that having a central marketplace was a feature that was sorely lacking in Stellaris so I’m glad that Paradox finally addressed it.

Of course, the new Megacorp DLC introduces the titular: “Megacorporation empire type, which features unique civics as well as the ability to become an economic powerhouse by spreading branch offices on the planets of other empires,” according to the official website blurb. Even if you don’t have the DLC you still gain access to the new Trade Route system, which allows your empire to set up trade nodes between your star bases.

They’ve also added traveling space trader caravans, a galactic slave market, and new megastructures, including the Matter Decompressor, Mega-Art Installation, Interstellar Assembly, and Strategic Coordination Center. You can either construct them yourself or they can been found in ruined states which allows for you to reactivate them, once you gather the prerequisite materials of course.

And perhaps the most impressive addition (at least in my humble opinion) is the new planetary type: The Ecumenolopolis. At a certain point in your empire’s development, you can convert one of your planets into a city-world, which is completely covered in urban sprawl. Think: Coruscant from the Star Wars series.

The Stellaris: Megacorp DLC once again drastically changes the base game and gives gamers a greater amount of control over the economics of their space faring civilizations. It’s a fantastic addition to the greatest (in my opinion) space strategy out there right now.

SCORE: 88%

Stellaris features some pretty great graphics that make its strategy-based gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!

 

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