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.
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.