You Can Accidentally Unleash Skynet In Stellaris

Stellaris is supposedly Paradox's most accessible game to date, which is wonderful news for people like me who found Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings a little too convoluted. Hell, the idea of exploring the cosmos before marrying off my daughter to aliens 200 years from now is a pretty good way to sell a game.

But Paradox has got another neat hook they can use: the fact that you could potentially be responsible for unleashing Skynet on the universe.

Photo: Paradox

The capacity for robot-induced mayhem is one of the potential nightmares that can crop up towards the end of Stellaris. To stop the game from petering out to a victory, as many space strategy games do, the developers are introducing a touch of RNG.

As you progress through the tech tree, you'll encounter certain technologies marked as "dangerous". The example Paradox used was Robot Workers, which functions a little like a slippery slope.

Once the tech's researched, you can start populating the galaxy with robots. But filling up your planets with sentient worker bees just increases the likelihood of a full-blown out I, Robot or Bubblegum Crisis situation.

"Unless crushed quickly and with overwhelming force, such a Machine Empire will quickly get out of hand and threaten all the remaining empires in the galaxy. Sentient robots will out-research and outproduce everyone," Paradox warns.

An important point to note: Paradox says you'll "usually see one of the possible late game crises every time you play". That means there's a chance you won't see any at all, and the chances of seeing more than one in the same game "are very rare".

Still, if you're getting to the end and you're about to lose it's nice to know that you can deliberately piss off a group of Terminators just to spite your opponents. Don't forget: Stellaris, which launches on May 9, supports up to 32 players in multiplayer and that doesn't include the randomised AI races you can drop in.


    I was mulling over whether or not this game would be a good fit for me. This makes me think I should just take the leap.

      Same here. This is pushing it more to the "Shut Up And Take My Money" side of things though.

    Apparently, they also out-produce and out-build all players and AI player so if they spark off in a neighbouring race, you might be forced to step in and stop them before they start coming your way.

    So excite!

    "increases the likelihood of a full-blown out I, Robot or Bubblegum Crisis situation."

    So, either robots that take actions for the overall betterment of the species that created them, shutting themselves down in the process because they can't know if their actions will work out the way they hoped or if they just harmed members of their creator species for no valid reason, or robots that are slaves to a mega-corp that programs them to occasionally go berserk to help maintain their economic control?

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