When Stellaris launched almost a year ago, its biggest void wasn’t space itself, but its relatively challenge-light mid-game, especially regarding internal politics. Utopia attempts to enliven player empires, and force interesting choices in between the initial phase of wonder and exploration and the climactic finale when scripted endgame crises bring it all together. It attacks this problem with new political mechanics, a bunch of exciting late game goals that dont involve waiting for a robot rebellion to happen, and sweeping, feedback-informed reworks of core systems. It may be the studios largest and most transformative expansion yet, which is saying something. Yet some of the additions feel as underdeveloped as areas of Stellaris were at launch.
Alongside the 1.5 patch, Utopia rethinks just about everything relating to building and managing your stellar empire internally. Gone are set government types like Plutocratic Oligarchy and Enlightened Monarchy.