Paradox Interactive continues with the old practice of releasing DLCs for existing games. Sure, a lot of them improve the base games and some even add enough new things to be worth the money. Speaking of money, it has also been a great cash cow for Paradox, which is why so many look at their DLCs with skepticism. One of the latest new expansions from Paradox is the new DLC for Stellaris called MagaCorp.

Stellaris: MegaCorp Review By Ajendra Variya

Stellaris: MegaCorp Review By Ajendra Variya

Starting at the Beginning

If you have checked my other reviews (Crusader Kings II), you already know I love the grand strategy genre. In fact, I have to admit a personal bias from the start, as I enjoy most of the games made or published by Paradox, Stellaris being no exception.

The original game was released in 2016. This was the first time Paradox left the historic grand strategy game genre and made a space strategy game that was a direct competitor to other 4X games at the time.

However, even then Stellaris was a unique 4X title. In addition to expanding and achieving domination, Stellaris brought a wealth of unpredictable events and wonders. The research ships you send to investigate planetary systems will occasionally find relics of past civilizations, unexplained artifacts, or natural phenomena that require deeper research. In addition to competing civilizations that start from the same area as yours, there are also “fallen empires”, remains of civilizations that have long since passed their zenith, and only artifacts remain to testify to their past glory.

+ Pros

Adds further play options and enriches gameplay

Mega corporations work for me

– Cons

Further complicates the game

For $20 you can buy a full game

Gameplay Stellaris MegaCorp

Although I like to play with other people, for this review I decided to go for a theocracy called the Kingdom of Yondarim, a civilization of Avian people.

The first thing you’ll notice after you install the DLC is the redesign of the planets themselves. In earlier versions of the game, each planet had many sectors, some of which had a bonus for a particular type of construction.  Now each planet has resident, energy, mining, and agricultural sectors, whose number depends on the size and type of the planet. You expand these capacities by simply investing in minerals, and having a surplus population.

I quickly expanded my empire and ran into the first mega-corporation, which immediately started diplomatic talks about trade agreements, as well as the opening of their office on my territory. In addition to trading with mega-corporations, you also get extra energy that you can use to speed up research or develop your military power.

In the further expansion of my theocratic empire, I also met with another type of mega-corporation. This was a criminal empire that managed to develop its criminal activities on the territory of my empire through its agents. Trust me, it took a lot of time and effort to defeat these space mobsters and stop their criminal activities.

The DLC also expands on the economy. Each system in the game has its own trade value that you are picking up through commercial routes, which depend on space stations with economic modules. The game also includes commercial caravans that will offer you a variety of things in exchange for anything and everything, as well as the galactic stock exchange for the purchase of resources.

The game also enables you to develop your planet into a Mega City world, similar to Coruscant, the city-covered planet in Star Wars. The Ecumenopolis is useful as it provides jobs for processed resources, allowing your other worlds to focus on producing raw resources.

A Galaxy Far Away

So yes, the MegaCorp DLC brings new game options and possibilities. However, that might be the problem. It’s more about bringing new options than refining the existing ones. If you already thought the game was complicated, this DLC won’t help at all. In fact, for many players, this addition further complicates the game. If you go through some of the comments on Steam, many seem to think that the economics have changed too greatly. Many of the players do not like these changes, feeling they might lose their energy and minerals overnight.

On Steam, only 60% of the players gave a positive opinion at the time of writing.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I can say that I like MegaCorp. A few hours in I was having fun with the changes. I personally think that this DLC Paradox has additionally improved this game and enriched the experience. There were moments when I had the feeling I really was a ruler of a galactic empire. Can you ask for more of a game?

Sure, further refinement and streamlining of some options can also benefit overall gameplay. And this being Paradox, you can expect that and more in the next Stellaris DLCs.