Four years ago, Paradox launched Stellaris, a sci-fi grand strategy game which had promise but needed a bit of work to find itself. Since then, Paradox have released so many updates overhauling and replacing bits and pieces that I'm entirely lost on how it works when I come back to it. They've certainly put in work. To celebrate the fourth birthday (which was actually on Saturday), Paradox today launched yet another patch, started a free trial week, and put the game on sale too.
Paradox claimed today that March saw Stellaris hit "an all-time high for monthly active users" as well as pass three million units sold. I suppose the best time to play a Paradox strategy game is a few years after launch, once they've refined it.
The Anniversary Update (codenamed "Wells", after Fredrik Wester's favourite sort of hole) is live now. It's a fairly broad one, with perhaps a minor focus on sound and vision. Lots of sounds are remastered, they've given new visual and sound effects for things including nebulae and consecrated planets, new edicts like Drone Overdive and Extended Shifts are in, balance is tweaked, some bugs are fixed, AI is less daft in a few small ways, and so on. See the update 2.7 patch notes for more.
Stellaris is free to play in full (DLC not included) on Steam from today until Sunday the 17th. If you want it for keepsies, it has a 75% discount until Monday too, bringing it down to £8.74/€9.99/$9.99. Most the DLCs and expansions are half-price for the sale too, with smaller discounts on newer ones and none on the latest expansion, Federations.
Nate and Nic Reuben the RPS verdict on Federations back in March, also taking a wider look at the game as they got into spacetrouble.
Today was the first I've played Stellaris in a while so I'm out of touch: how is the game these days anyway, gang?