Stellaris: Overlord Expansion Review

Although there are a veritable plethora of strategy games out there, I can count on one hand the ones (or franchises) that have impressed me the most. The venerable classic, Master of Orion 2, was the gold standard that I compare other strategy titles to and until 2016 rolled around and Paradox Interactive’s Stellaris came out.

While Stellaris wasn’t perfect at launch, I could see the magnificent potential the title had if was handled correctly. But knowing PDX’s penchant for flinging DLC packs out like flapjacks, I waited. Simply put, after delving into all of DLC content that has been added to the base game, I have to say that Stellaris is up there with MOO2 in my view. It’s epic.

And with Overlord, the newest full expansion for Stellaris, players are granted access to new features designed to unlock the next level of our space civilizations. Guide a galaxy full of potential subjects to glory – or subjugation. New mechanics provide many ways to specialize your vassals’ roles within your empire, bring new planets and subjects under your reign, and new magnificent megastructures to project your power further, faster.

Whether you’re ruling the galaxy from the bridge of your flagship or from the opulent capital of your magnificent homeworld, Overlord will grant you the following perks of leadership:

Want to grab the reins and make the rules? Perhaps the biggest new addition is the new vassalization mechanics that let players you define the role of their new subjects. For instance, you can create new Specialist Empires to grow into economic superpowers, military specialists, and technological creators. Negotiate or demand contracts and agreements between your vassals to define the future of dozens of worlds, and then reap the benefits.

As a powerful force in the galaxy, players can now seek out and unite scattered empires across the expanse of space. As you explore the vast galaxy, you’ll encounter more unique enclaves of aliens than ever before—everything from mysterious shroudwalkers to militaristic mercenaries and crafty salvagers. Will you forge a mutually beneficial relationship and earn their unique services, or will they submit to your rule by force?

Another much-anticipated new feature is the five new origins to take for your species. They are as follows:

· Imperial Fiefdom – You may be just a Specialist Empire now, but some day, the galaxy may need a new ruler… shouldn’t it be you?

· Slingshot to the Stars – The ruined remains of a Quantum Catapult have been discovered near your homeworld – what secrets might it unlock if your people are clever enough to bring it back online?

· Subterranean – Your species adapted to life underground, excelling in mining and archaeology. See what awaits you far, far above the surface!

· Teachers of the Shroud – Developing in contact with the curious psions known as the Shroudwalkers, your empire has learned a thing or two about expanding their minds!

· Progenitor Hive – Under your leadership, this hivemind empire can achieve more than ever before… but without your guidance, the hive will fall to ruin!

Players can also engineer their civilizations in bold new ways. These include:

· New feats of technology will give your empire the edge it needs to become the dominant force across the galaxy.

· Orbital Rings will elevate your influence (and defense) in grand displays of power from your planets further into space.

· Hyper Relays will give your fleets the ability to enforce your will across the stars faster than ever before.

· Quantum Catapults enable new ways to react quicker in the galaxy while projecting your might – but it’s a daring one-way trip for your fleet!

And that’s not all. For those getting a little tired of the Stallaris tracks, there are four new music tracks to inspire your rise to greatness with the Overlord expansion.

SCORE: 8.4 / 10

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