Alright first off this is my opinion, so my first Paradox game and the one that introduced to me to Grand Strategy was EU2. I had never come across a game with such immersive game mechanics and since i was a RTS gamer since Red Alert i was growing tired of the genre that wasn't evolving from the whole base building mechanic. I fell in love with EU2 however there was always one aspect missing for me…. Battles. I wanted a game that combined both and later i found the Total War franchise and never went back.
Being a Total War fan which i always will be as the years have went on i have missed the deeper mechanics implemented by Paradox. While Total War has gotten significantly deeper it still doesn't come close to Paradox games which focus on other aspects other than war and it's these aspects i've come to appreciate more.
Paradox games while mechanically work well which led to it's success has always lacked on one area, War. Battles taking place in a 2D spreadsheet is certainly never going to be immersive and they have always been complex games with a steep learning curve which puts off new gamers.
Then came Stellaris, a whole new Title from Paradox, not based off any book or movie i believe, something completely new and this title ends up being Paradox's fastest and best selling game of ALL time. How did it achieve this? Well Stellaris managed to bridge the cap i feel that has been handicapping Paradox games for so long for becoming more mainstream. It managed in a very subtle way to merge what Total War had done before it a Grand strategy aspect and Battles but unlike Total War which focuses more on battles this title focuses more on the grand strategy aspect. Honestly i think that is the best mix
Battles: Now listen i know there is no tactics to battles however the fact is battles in this game are a million times more immersive than two men hitting each other with spears on a campaign map in EU4, they carry out like other RTS Sci Fi while not being too long or indepth that it becomes overwhelming in a grand strategy game. I think this is the biggest evolution in a Paradox game as they have attempted something that none of their other games have, graphical immersive battles. The number of mods focusing on battles and their popularity only proves their importance.
Accessibility: Paradox has always aimed to have the most immersive mechanics in their game evolving all the time however this has meant that unless you are a veteran of their games coming in as a newcomer will be extremely daunting. Stellaris however i find much easier for newcomers and it has one of the best Tutorials yet and is much more forgiving than their other titles. Taking 100 hours to learn how to play a game is quite off-putting and Stellaris has proven that you can be just as immersive in the mechanics department while also quite forgiving to new player. the game has so much depth but you don't have to know everything right away to do well, it just helps.
Graphics: Many Paradox gamers say this isn't important, let me tell you it has/is and always will be important. Graphical Art like ALL art is important. The reason why focusing on graphics isn't important to many gamers is merely because of the generic rubbish with pretty graphics that has been fed over the years so we tend to look right past it HOWEVER that in no way means it's not important. Paradox games especially the EU franchise looks like a digital board map, it just hasn't looked as exciting as the Total War franchise for example which always focused on the little details aswell to immerse the player however Stellaris changes that. It goes that extra mile in that area and based on it's success it's paid off. If you like RTS, Grand Strategy and you enjoy pretty much any Sci Fi game in this franchise you are certain to love this game as it combined them all. This game has managed to balance what many gamers said couldn't be done. A grand strategy that doesn't compromise itself by also including graphical immersion through the use of little details and battles.
Now i could talk about all the other reasons i love this game, the level of detail, how deep all the mechanics are, the species, the different events, constant drama affecting your faction, immersive huge battles etc however this thread was merely to show why i feel Paradox hit a home run with this game and why i like many others leading to it being the best selling Paradox game feel it's their best Title yet. At least it's success has secured a sequel, lets hope they build and evolve on their success. For me this has to be one of if not the best strategy game i ever played
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