Stellaris review: Synthetic Dawn Story Pack

With Stellaris, a 4X strategic one of a very high level published more than a year ago, Paradox has managed to perfectly balance trade needs and product support, releasing free content with great regularity (we got to update 1.8), accompanying them with valuable DLC medium / high. 


After the exceptional Utopia, which has revolutionized many aspects of the basic game, reigniting the interest of even the disappointed, the new DLC is more in line with previous ones (the Leviathans Story Pack and the Plantoids Species Pack),


which offers more targeted content, introducing three new races linked by a common feature: they are all of a robotic nature. This is an unprecedented in the universe of Stellaris, since so far the empires were all populated by creatures of organic nature.

Stellaris Review: Synthetic Dawn Story Pack


The three new breeds introduced by the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack are very different, both for appearance and for objectives. The Determined Exterminators are children of an aggressive and warlike civilization, which wants to destroy all the organic creatures of the universe.


The primary source of inspiration for these nice children of a machine with easy bolts are definitely the Dhalek, whose references are clear from the name. In honor of their socially problematic nature, the Determined Exterminators do not dominate the organic races, but they exterminate them as soon as they conquer them. You think that by using them you lose


access to all the options related to diplomacy.In general it is the poorest of the three, interesting if you let yourself be fascinated by its background, but too tied to combat (which is not the strong point of Stellaris). Let’s say that it’s okay as a secondary choice, after you’ve explored the potential of the game with one of the other races.


Rogue Servitors, on the other hand, are a much more interesting race, whose philosophy seems to have come straight out of a book by Asimov. As the name suggests, they are robots born to serve organic creatures, which have developed, however, to take the upper hand.


Although they are dominant, they have not killed their former masters (at least not all), who in fact continue to serve, creating a wonderful paradox that manifests itself with great force in the gameplay: feel the protectors of the dominated races, which bind their morale. What do you mean? Rogue Servitor to be happy must serve and protect organic creatures.


The more they are numerous, the more their morale grows.Among the three is certainly the most interesting race, both mechanical and narrative, because it requires a more balanced approach to the game , in which there is always fought between the need to grow machines and to accumulate organic creatures. Making him perform indiscriminate massacres leads them to see them collapse morally. Finally there are the Driven Assimilator, practically


the Cyber ​​men of Dr. Who mixed with the Borg of Star Trek, who tend to assimilate the organic civilizations, transforming them into cyborgs and integrating them into their neural network.


In general, the three robotic races are not much loved by organic ones, whose reactions are a good part of the beauty of the whole experience and determine most of the narrative turns. Without revealing too much, let’s say that while with the Driven


Assimilator diplomatic relations have more traditional forms, the other two races are very hated, although hatred manifests itself at different intensities (as already mentioned, the Determined Exterminators can not have


diplomatic relations with the other species, so they fight just). If you want there is also a fourth option: create a personalized robotic race, more malleable in dealing with the organic, but at the same time offers a much more traditional gameplay.

Stellaris Review: Synthetic Dawn Story Pack

Let’s say that it is a compromise choice, but it does lose a bit of fascination to the DLC, also based on the references to the classics of science fiction, lacking above all many possibilities for personalization of organic races. Obviously the three robotic races have specific technologies, events and path of ascension, which personalize them making them unique, but that certainly do not revolutionize the gameplay, remained in line with what we saw in the basic game and in previous DLC.


In the middle of the game, unfortunately, there is a lack of some more specific content. In particular we think about the absence of advanced units unique to the three races. Something more, from this point of view, could be done, in order to characterize them in a better and more complete way. Of course, it must be said that the offer is much richer than that with the story pack Leviathan,


a sign that at least the criticism received then was taken into account. In short, the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack is a good DLC and nothing more. Surely it will appeal to fans of Stellaris, but for others we do not believe that represents a great incentive to get back into play.