Stellaris (video game)

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Stellaris is a turn-based, real-time 4X Strategy Game developed by Paradox Interactive. Starting off in the year 2200, gameplay in Stellaris revolves around space exploration, managing an empire, warfare and diplomacy with other spacefaring civilizations. The game also utilizes an updated version of the "Clausewitz Engine" that has been in use since Europa Universalis III. It was released on 9 May 2016 to generally positive reviews.

The game's official website can be found here.

Tropes used in Stellaris (video game) include:
  • 2-D Space: The bulk of the action takes place on a horizontal plane.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: All over the place, with various species and society types having their own particular palettes.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted, as many planets are either not suitably comfortable to your species by default (barring measures like terraforming) or utterly uninhabitable.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Potentially, you. As it's possible to come across planets with varying degrees of complex if not sentient life and "uplift" them, ultimately becoming "vassals" of sorts.
  • Beam Spam: One technology path allows you to equip whole fleets with this.
  • Civil Warcraft: The larger your territories become, the harder it gets to maintain order and thus the likelier the chances of civil war.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: The game makes a point to avert this by having your actions or those other factions have unforeseen consequences that materialize later on.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Depending on the species, cultural traits and alignment, you could come across as this.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Not only are your ships heavily customizable, but everything about your species/civilization can be customized to a significant degree.
  • Death World: In addition to planets with hostile environments, there are "Tomb Worlds" that are in a state of nuclear winter.
  • Energy Beings: The Unbidden.
  • Fantastic Racism: Depending on your culture and policies, this may or may not be evident in your domain. As even within your territories, it's very much possible to have slave castes and second-class citizens, whether they're of the same species or not.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: FTL technology is stated as one of the major catalysts for the game. There are even a number of distinct methods available, from wormholes to FTL-capable engines.
  • First Contact: You can either be on the receiving end of this or the one initiating it.
  • The Final Frontier: There's as much focus on space exploration as there is empire-building. With that comes diplomacy and conflict.
  • For Want of a Nail: The decisions you make, be it in the technologies researched, event actions or even the type of FTL technology used, can have large, unforeseen consequences down the line.
  • Game Mod: The game is designed to be very moddable from the get-go.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: Averted. As governments and culture are very customizable, it's possible to come up with a variety of societies running the gamut from the Imperium of Man to Star Trek's United Federation of Planets. And even then, they may not quite be what they appear, depending on your traits.
  • Humanoid Aliens: In addition to humans, a number of the various species types available are at least vaguely humanoid. The rest however are Starfish Aliens.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Missiles and mass driver-based tech, itself derived from conventional weapons, are among the various weapon types available, alongside classic Beam Spam.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: It's possible for your civilization to be run by a powerful Mega Corp.
  • One World Order: Subverted. While planets are generally unified under one faction/species, it doesn't necessarily follow that your species is united; it's possible for various nations of the same race to emerge.
  • Purposefully Overpowered: The "fallen empires," which are considerably powered and could potentially overrun most other factions in the galaxy if they decide to spread out once again.
  • The Rival: Similarly to Europa Universalis games, it's possible to make other civilizations your rivals.
  • Robot War: Sentient machines, should you develop a highly advanced AI "species" may rise up against their masters and run their own civilization. Should you develop advanced, sentient AI, they can also turn against you in the end-game if you're not careful.
  • Shout-Out: The game includes a number of references and nods to various works.
  • Servant Race/Fantastic Caste System: That's how "Syncretic Evolution" option was introduced from the start. Which, naturally, led to curious interactions with other effects, creation of obviously Hypnotoad-like species, attempts to simulate the Koopas and many jokes involving "The Reptilians" [1], being "enslaved by cats" [2], and so on.
  • Starfish Aliens: Some alien types, especially the mollusk-esque ones look suitably out there. Their respective aesthetics likewise look suitably alien and otherworldly. There are also a number of bizarre NPC alien creatures orbiting certain stars, including those seemingly made entirely out of crystals.
  • Tsundere: Developers' sense of humor made some aliens say the classic "It's not like I actually like you or anything" almost word for word (when Xenophobic Isolationists are friendly to you, they add this for the sake of appearances).
  • Vestigial Empire: The "fallen empires," computer-controlled civilizations that are large and powerful, but also old, stagnant and isolationist. Tick them off one way or another, however, and they won't hesitate to prove why they're not quite "fallen" just yet. They can also serve as a dangerous end-game adversary should they decide to regain their "rightful place" in the universe.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Nothing's really stopping you from glassing planets from orbit, practicing slavery or (with the right policies) engage in Soviet-style purges.
  • X Meets Y: Europa Universalis meets Galactic Civilisations.