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Stellaris gets political in its Federations expansion on March 17

Cosmic 4X game Stellaris is dabbling in politics in its next expansion, Federations, which now has a release date. You'll be able to argue in the galactic government and do more with your big interstellar alliances from March 17. 

The senate lets every empire vote on a massive list of issues, ending wars, promoting trade or screwing everything up for all but the top dogs. With enough influence you can sanction your enemies and use your pals to push your agenda, bending the senate to your will. Or you can just abstain from everything because you're just planning on blowing everyone up. 

Federations have been expanded, too. Empires with similar traits can create cohesive federations, generating XP and eventually unlocking bonuses. If you want allies but don't really fancy democracy, you can make a hegemony where you're in charge, or you can seek out profit in a trade league or conquest in a martial alliance. 

When you create a new empire, you'll have a new choice to make: your species' origin. These are new and re-purposed traits that flesh out your creation's background and starting situation, as well as informing some stuff that will continue to affect you throughout the game. 

If you pick the Void Dweller origin, for instance, you'll unlock orbital structures early because you can only live in space. The Tree of Life origin sounds like a good pick for a hive empire, meanwhile, as it makes your species obsessed with a magical tree that it needs to spread across the galaxy. 

The expansion also introduces some new construction projects, including a mobile starbase, the Juggernaut, and the Mega Shipyard, which rapidly spews out ships. 

Federations is due out on March 17 on Steam, GOG and Paradox's official site for $19.99/£15.49.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.