Earlier this week, Paradox announced that the latest expansion for their sci-fi grand strategy epic Stellaris will be released on September 21.

Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn is adding an sizeable amount of content to the base game. The biggest change is that the player can now start the game as a wholly machine empire and set out to dominate organic life in the galaxy. These mechanical civilisations have different pro and cons, for example they do not need to consume food but instead rely on burning energy for sustenance. Like every other type of playable nation, they are completely customisable, down to what the species looks like to the sorts of ships they build.

Machine empires come in a few different flavours: firstly, there are the Determined Exterminators, Terminator-esque robot conquerors who fanatically destroy all organic life they can find; Driven Assimilators, who seek to improve themselves by cybernetically merging themselves with other biological species (yes, you can now role play as the Borg);and finally Rogue Servitors, machines constructed to run the civilisation of their creators but who now seek to liberate other organic lifeforms from the burdens of governing themselves. Basically, imagine what Elon Musk fantasises about when he lies awake at night.

Being programmed to fanatically seek out and destroy/assimilate/totally-not-enslave all biological life in the galaxy, naturally these robotic empires cannot live alongside other, squishier species for very long without conflict arising. All conquered aliens will slowly be purged from your worlds… and really, who can blame them? All us organics do is try to shag or eat everything we can find, and if we can’t find anything we just begin to leak odd smelling fluids or start trying to kill each other. Depending on what type of machine you are, this can be either through forced cybernetic implants, being kept prisoner in a life of luxury, or through the good old, tried and true method of a laser beam to the back of the head.

In order to flesh out the procedurally generated galaxies of Stellaris further, Synthetic Dawn is also adding several non-playable ancient machine empires into the game, as well as different event chains relating to them. Alongside this, they are including more music composed by their wonderful in-house composer Andreas Waldetoft to further immerse the player in their vast sci-fi setting.

Paradox are once again proving themselves to be one of the most consumer friendly gaming companies out there by adding several free updates to Stellaris when the expansion is released. Included in this is a complete revamping of the genetic modification system, allowing you to alter organic species to function better on different types of worlds.

Watch the video below for more details on Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn.

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