Galactic Civilizations III is the largest strategy sandbox ever made. Start with a single world and expand across the galaxy through diplomacy, trade, cultural hegemony or military conquest in this single-player or multiplayer 4X strategy game. How will you rule your galaxy?
User reviews: Mostly Positive (2,270 reviews)
Release Date: May 14, 2015

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Recommended By Curators

"More of a refresh than expected, but still hands down the best modern way to conquer unknown space."
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Recent updates View all (44)

August 11

Mega Events DLC Now Available for Galactic Civilizations III

Expand your Galactic Civilizations III experience with new Mega Events that include the return of the Dread Lords, a declaration of war from the Peacekeepers and more.Some examples:

  • Dread Lords Return A dormant Dread Lord colony has awoken. Stop them before they become too powerful and wipe out all life in the galaxy.
  • Peacekeepers A large force of time travelling robots appear and declare that they have been sent back to stop the conflicts that endanger the future.
  • Assassination  A beloved leader is  is assassinated, the new leader vows revenge plunging the galaxy into war.
  • Space Monsters - Distant relatives to the Living ships of the Dread Lords, begin to appear in the galaxy again. They will continue to spread until exterminated.
  • The Artifact  A mysterious Artifact appears and starts boosting the power of a previously weak race. The only way to stop them from becoming gods is to kill them first.
You will also receive Organic Dread Lord Ship parts as part of this pack.   

The Galactic Civilizations III Mega Event DLC is available now for $4.99 through Stardock or Steam.

If you are a Galactic Civilizations III Elite Founder:
The Mega Events DLC was automatically added to your Steam account free of charge, and can be accessed under “Galactic Civilizations III” in the “DLC” section, enjoy!
 

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August 11

Galactic Civilizations III 1.2 Update Released

The 1.2 update now includes 3D printing support for ships created in the Galactic Civilizations III ship designer. Also included in this update is map sharing in Steam Workshop so you can share and download custom maps made by other players, as well as new DLC for galaxy-wide Mega Events.

We’ve also been working on other various AI improvements and bug fixes. You can see the full list of changes here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/226860/discussions/1/541907867771426275/

PLUS! Register Galactic Civilizations III in-game with the Stardock Games service and receive a free ship parts DLC pack, in addition to an online profile and leaderboard system.

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Reviews

“The new gold standard in 4X space strategy”
9/10 – GameWatcher

“Such a wealth of victory conditions and customization options that the experience feels new with every playthrough.”
8.6/10 – IGN

“A mix of familiar mechanics and new ideas that can keep both fans and newcomers occupied for a frighteningly long period of time.”
9/10 – Softpedia

Design your own ships!

About This Game

Galactic Civilizations III is the largest strategy sandbox ever made. Start with a single world and expand across the galaxy through diplomacy, trade, cultural hegemony or military conquest in this single-player or multiplayer 4X strategy game. How will you rule your galaxy?

CORE FEATURES:

  • Never the same game twice: Play in the ultimate sandbox where each game has a unique map, unique worlds and new challenges to face.
  • Multiple paths to victory: Win through military conquest, cultural domination, technological ascension or political alliance.
  • Story-based campaign: Galactic Civilizations III includes a campaign that brings players up to date on the 20-year story arc behind the rise of humanity in the 23rd century.
  • Massive technology tree: Research a technology tree with immense breadth and depth. Player choices determine the capabilities of their civilization.
  • Custom ship design: Players have total control over how their starships function as well as how they look. Any ship you’ve ever imagined can be created or downloaded.

NEW TO GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III:

  • Massive scale: The new, 64-bit, multi-core engine increases the number of possible opponents from 16 to 128 with a similar explosion in maximum map sizes.
  • Ideology: Player actions advance their empires down the path of various ideologies, which unlock unique abilities, planetary improvements, and other bonuses.
  • Multiplayer: For the first time, Galactic Civilizations is a multiplayer game with full support for custom civilizations, saved multiplayer games and much more.
  • Unique technology trees: Players can play as any of the eight major galactic powers (or design their own), each with their own unique technology tree, ships, colony improvements and abilities.
  • Faction Creator: To encourage massive gameplay, the game includes a faction creator that allows players to create a civilization with its own look, ships, technologies and even options for how the AI will use them.
  • New Battle System: Players assign their ships specific roles to play in combat. You can now view fleet battles in a cinematic style to see your designs in action.
  • New Colony Manager: The location of a planetary improvement now matters. Adjacency bonuses and planetary resources make a major impact on what a planet is strong (or weak) at accomplishing.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD K10 Dual-Core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB DirectX 10.1 Video Card (AMD Radeon HD5x00 Series / Nvidia GeForce 500 Series / Intel HD 4000 or later)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor or Equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB DirectX 10.1 Video Card
    • Hard Drive: 15 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
680 of 764 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
222.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
Stardock is not going to like this review. I had delayed my review, expecting to eventually write a positive one, but watching the latest dev stream I was discouraged. I know such streams are a double edged sword, and I appreciate that you do them. Unfortunately I now see what has been a long time coming: the game isn't ready.

You can see that I have over 200 hours playing the game. "So how can you give it a negative review after playing it for so much time?" you might ask. The vast majority of that time was spent finding bugs and providing feedback during the beta phase. That is time spent trying to help improve the game, not time spent having fun. Shortly after release, I stopped playing. The game has not reached the "fun" point. It's not a matter of the game getting stale. It's not a matter of the game being fundamentally no good. Through the many hours I found many annoyances that have reached a level where I just don't want to play the game. Were a friend to ask me whether I would recommend they play this game, my answer would be no, and that is reflected in my "thumbs down" review. The game in it's current state is unfinished, and I'm about to prove it. This game needed six more months of beta development. Given that extra time, I think the game is going to be great, and I will recommend it. But I do not subscribe to the philosophy of recommending something that is not good now but promises to be good later. That is not fair to people trying to make a purchase decision.

The game is fundamentally a good one. It is a big step up from GalCiv2 in many ways, while keeping to the formula that makes GC2 a fun game. Absolutely humungous hex maps, better graphics and battles, more complex battle mechanics, a focus on planetary specialization, more complex diplomacy and trade. All these things plus more make the game concept very exciting. That's not even mentioning the plans they have for DLC and expansions, which will make the gameplay even more rich. I've been playing and providing feedback since Beta 1, have watched all the dev streams live or same day. I've seen the game improve significantly, and I fully expect in six months this game will be absolutely awesome.

But as I said the game is not ready for a 1.0 release. Just watch the latest dev stream. Nearly all topics are either things that don't work as intended, or things they wanted to do before release but didn't have time to make it happen. During beta the running joke was "well this is game development" and "it's beta". They practically have to pinch themselves to stop saying that now. In order to justify my "thumbs down" review, below are specific things that should have been addressed prior to release. These are mainly things that the devs said they wanted to accomplish, but didn't, but also things that, cumulatively, I have found to be major hinderences to my personal enjoyment of the game.

1. With all of the planetary bonus features, the game practically screams at you to specialize your planets (manufacturing/research/wealth) with the planetary production wheel. Yet once you get past 10 planets, managing those specializations becomes prohibitively unwieldy. They promised governors, but they are still on the post-release roadmap. The state of the game at release is that they want you to specialize, but they make it too time consuming and repetitive.

2. If you specialize manufacturing, but want to reduce your micromanagement workload, you can make use of planetary projects. Unfortunately, numerically research/wealth projects are practically worthless. Manufacturing-specialized planets should be set to 100% manufacturing. But if you run a research project, you will get 0 (zero) research. To get some research you need to adjust the production wheel, which negates the micromanagement reduction purpose. Furthermore, you would get the most research by setting the production to 99% research, 1% manufacturing, and really that only provides a 10% boost to what you would be getting if you just set it to 100% research, where the project is not being utilized at all. That needs to be reworked. It should have been ironed out during the beta.

3. Constructors and starbases are a big deal in this game, bigger than previous versions, mostly due to the abundance of map resources. It's not uncommon to have 10 starbases on a tiny map, feeding each one several constructors for upgrades. You're going to want to have lots of upgraded starbases. Managing the constructors is one thing. They have a "Request Constructor" button that is supposed to help, but unfortunately it requests the most expensive constructor, so most times you are better off managing the constructor sending yourself. They wanted that system to be better, and they should have made it better during the beta. Once you get your constructors to the starbases, you then have to manage the upgrades. No governors there yet. The wanted to get that done in the beta too.

UPDATE: Read my 1.2 Update in the comments on 8/7/15

4. The AI on normal, the setting where the AI is using its best algorthims without cheating, is trivial to absolutely obliterate. It is simply terrible at managing its planets and making tactical military decisions. I know it's a work in progress, but I had hoped it would be beyond just pure dumb by release.

5. If you have standard galaxy settings and are in later stages of the game having scouted most of the galaxy, you can zoom out to get a big picture of what's going on. Unfortunately the map is absolutely cluttered with various fields and clouds, resource icons, and the starbases to mine them. There is no way to declutter the map, making it extremely difficult to really get the context of the galaxy. I frequently find myself lost, not knowing where the front lines or hot spots are. They never promised a declutter capability, but at this point I wish they had it.

6. The govern screen and production wheel UI has not changed much since early beta. We were promised a "UI pass" to improve its capabilities, but that never happened. Here are the two most annoying things about it: a) While changing your production wheel, you get no immediate feedback on how your changes are affecting the build times for planets, shipyards, or research. You have to exit the govern screen, check the turns to completion, then go back and adjust in a click-heavy cycle. b) In beta 5 they implemented one-turn overflow, so you do not lose left-over production upon completion of a building, ship, or technology. Unfortunately the only feedback you have this is actually happening is if you hover over the queue. This lack of good feedback has resulted in many new forum topics by new players complaining about lost production. The UI for this should have been fixed in beta.

I have a few other issues on my list, but I'm holding back on them for now because they are difficult to explain.

My expectation is that the issues above will hopefully get resolved in the next six months. The dev team knows these are problems, in fact knew they were problems during beta and had hoped to have resolved them, but ran out of time. I will be keeping a distant eye on this game over the coming months and years to see how they have progressed. Stardock, I promise you this: once you get this game much closer to the state it should have been in at release, I will change my "thumbs down" to a "thumbs up". Now it's your turn to make sure that happens. I have full confidence you can do it.

1.2 Update: Read my comment on 8/7/15
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
778 of 949 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
38.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
I can not currently recommend this game for the full $50 price. Maybe later when the price drops or some patches come out to fix some things.

There is just some real irritating flaws in the game that when combined with the other problems drop the game down the the blah level. Most could be fixed easily. Two and five probably will never change which is what will keep this game not much above the blah level.

1. Capitals on a planet, The AI places them at random wherever it wants. Considering capitals give bonuses to surrounding buildings it makes a big difference on where it was placed. It seems to me that if I find an unsettled planet I should be able to choose the location of the capital. So because the AI chose a dumb spot for a capital you lose those bonuses because they go to waste. The best example would be if hexes were about the size of Australia and you were to colonize a planet with land masses like Earth, why would you place your capital in Australia and forfeit all bonuses?

2. No retreat option for combat. Similar games (Master of Orion and Endless Space) at least gave you the option to retreat during combat, meaning you could take some damage and/or losses but at least have a chance to run away. So later in game if the enemy is bigger and faster then you do not stand a chance of getting away. At that point you might as well concede the game. Simply because a fleet can attack as many times as it has movement points.

3. You can draw production in a shipyard from multiple planets over long distances to build colony ships, but somehow people just can not make that same trip. Yet these same people are going to climb into that ship you just built and travel ten times that same distance. So now you have to waste multiple turns just putting people into your colony ship.

4. Technology specialization. What was the point in this feature? The specialization technologies can traded and you can find the specialized in anomalies. Which if you receive a tech you have no made a choice, you lose that choice. So if you wanted to specialize in a certain bonus, but a friendly AI gives you a different specialization tech, then maybe next game, unless you get lucky and find another AI to trade for it. The fact that you lose your choice of specialization is extremely lame. Never mind how it can get exploited in multiplayer.

5. Battles are either "quick result" or "watch battle" meaning you have zero control on that battle. All of the battle tactics are based on what job tags you gave the ships in your fleet. Which means no singling out a target to kill first. The battles for the most part are not worth watching anyways because either option is going to give you the same outcome.

6. Construction ships and using the station option to call for one. Someone had a great idea to be able to have a space station go "Hey I need a construction drone to build another module" and you click that button. Then a construction drone will be built and sent to that station. Sounds cool right? Real cool up to the point that this feature will clear any orders an existing drone currently has. So if you manually sent a drone to build a new station, it wont reach it. So that means you have to wait to use this feature until your manual drone is done. This feature will clear orders a drone already has, but will not clear guard or sentry, so makign them in advance and planning on using this feature does not work.

7. Excess research and production is lost. When the game calculates the end of a turn if it finishes building or researching something any points over that mark are NOT carried to the next project, the points are just gone. This just seems to make the game drag on and it also makes specialized manufacturing planets nearly pointless because so much can go to waste.

8. Ship designer spamming designs. Whenever you get new technologies the ship designer will spit out new ships designs, which later in the game leads to having way too many designs to sort through. Stardock solved this in previous versions and other games by adding a feature able to turn off the auto-designer. Considering that feature exists in multiple other Stardock games the feature should exist here.

9. Cultural expansion is ridiculous. It expands faster than you can explore early on. If you never explored it then how is your culture affecting it? About equal to the Roman Empire holding cultural sway over North America before they even knew it existed. The only way to catch up later is you disposable scouts with stacks of engines, lifesupport, and scanners which is about mid game. Since I have only played insane maps, then smaller maps probably run a higher chance of culture flipping.

10. Rush production is really flawed. If you rush a production in queue then no other production points are gained from that planet or shipyard for that turn. On top of that rushing production is a set amount, even if you have the production item almost complete.

11. The pirates are pointless. Four hundred turns in on a insane map size and I am discovering the same low tech pirates that were encounted in the first dozen turns. This makes them nothing but a nuisance, one that apparently the AI ignores. Not even sure if they attack the AI or not because the pirates will not attack anything stronger than them. So basically then end up as nothing but clutter to make your end turn processing longer.

These are the just the basic things I can think of that should have been ironed out during the beta.

Now for the technical aspects.

1. The sound for cut scene movies. Apparently someone forgot to include cut scene movie volume with the sound options in the game. So it just comes out as a bunch of mumbling.

2. End of turn processing on large map. This is really what kills the gaming mood. I made it up to around 400 turns on an insane map before it was just too ridiculous to play. The time to process became about 2-3 minutes a turn, which really sucks if the only thing you do on your turn is spend a few seconds to click next turn.
The other issue is every time the end turn process it kicks in all the fans in my computer into overdrive just to keep up with the processing. Meanwhile you can not touch much with getting the "not responding error" from Windows. Which by the way if you are seeing that blue circle between turns, it aint a Stardock logo thing, that is Windows saying "hey this program aint responding." Which leads me to wonder if running the game is really good for the computer.

3. Ship designer, great feature (seriously.) One tip though, you might want to save your game before using it. Otherwise you could be sent back to your last autosave it decides to crash.

4. I received the achievement for the completing the first part of the campaign game simply by clicking to start it. Sounds petty and nitpicking, but think about it for a moment. That is really sloppy coding and testing. Where else in making the game were they sloppy? I think the first patch today fixed this along with a dozen other achievements, which basically proved my point.

5. After about 200 turns the text on the UI starts disappearing. Which is really annoying with diplomacy options.

I was one of those customers burned years ago by Stardock with Elemental: War of Magic. This release reeks of the same issues. The whole "release it and patch it later" attitude. About the same effect as buying an early access game when they are on the .8x builds.

So in short, if you are on the fence on buying this, let me knock you off it. Wait and watch, in the mean time take a browse through the forums. Sure in six months of patch it might be a decent game, but news flash I doubt it will still be $50 price tag on it.

If you are mainly thinking about the game mainly because of the ship editor then do yourself a favor and go find a free 3d animation program like Blender and learn something in the process.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
250 of 288 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
68.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 19
General features (can be viewed as pros):

-Race customization is fairly detailed
-Ship designer is good, even better because you can use pre-existing models and modify them to your own tastes
-Certain resources are linked to certain celestial bodies eg antimatter surround black holes, elerium in nebulae, etc. So a savvy player, upon seeing a nebula knows to explore it fully incase there is elerium and that a black hole is likely to have some antimatter surrounding it.
-powerful resources like antimatter are more limited, but using them is non-destructive so there wont be buyers remorse, ie you'll get the resource back if you destroy the building/ship that uses it. This also allows you to use resources early in buildings tech, and then recycle it when a better option arrives, meaning that a player who can manage his resources well will do better than one who just holds onto resources until a "top tier" usage for them is unlocked.
-massive maps are possible, so with the right settings it doesnt feel like a "small" galaxy or that you're running out of space (until late game)
-starbases used intelligently can give an edge at all points in the game, especially economic starbases. eg rather than waste a building slot on your planet to raise approval, just get the approval upgrade on the starbase linked to the planet.
-able to finely control research/economy output/dedication on planets individually, but also with the "govern" tab you can do this en mass, saving time. Same applys for upgrading ships, etc.
-every planet has an event, which some may find annoying, but I think is good, allows you do add a slight layer of uniqueness to each planet as well as develop your ideology.
-its actually more beneficial long terms to dabble in all ideologies to some extent, as long as your primary ideology has most points you wont have an ideological shift. This means you dont have to do the unrealistic option (as in some games with ideologies/religions) and devote 100% to an ideology. This also means, if desired, you can play on the basis of the moral choices involved for events/planets and still do OK in terms of ideological benefit (as opposed to number crunching the statistical/numerical benefits for each choice planet, etc)

Cons
- diplomacy at first seems well developed, but that's only for early game. Late game diplomacy is at best, shallow, at worst, buggy. "Benevolent" ideologies seem to hate pragmatic ideologies as much as "malevolent" ideologies, which is silly and means that as a pragmatist, you need to kill anyone else who isn't a pragmatist and can only really form alliances with other pragmatists. This makes a diplomacy victory in a large game close to impossible without a decent military (because you need to kill anyone who refuses to ally with you), which means its always going to be predominantly a conquest based game.
--continuing on for diplomacy: enemies will gladly colonise planets within starsystems you have partially colonized and there's no warning to tell them to ♥♥♥♥ off (as in games like CIV 5), and the same for resources. Early game is basically en-mass resource grab if you dont want to be screwed over mid/late game.
-pirates/barbarians in 4X games are normally some kind of great equalizer early game to prevent a military/expansion snowball (eg sins of a solar empire, civ, etc), but in this game they're just annoying and dont do much besides kill the occasional scout. also, AI dont appear to be bothered by pirates, so its just a player handicap.
-once you start going balls to the walls crazy large military, the game will start glitching out your "military power" parameter, which means for the purposes of diplomacy, one turn later everyone will think you're the weakest, declare war/♥♥♥♥ with you even though you could wipe them out. this also contributes to the impossiblity of a diplomacy victory (without killing loads of people)
-terraforming in the incorrect order can cost you between 1-3 tiles per planet, which is a fair amount. eg if you use a higher grade terraformer on a "easy" tile, you wont be able to terraform the "harder" tiles, as late game you can terraform as many "easy" tiles as you like, meaning its better long term to hold off on terraforming until you've researched it fully as it isnt always clear which tiles are "easy" or "hard".
-money is weak, it can take anywhere between 5-15 turns to be able to afford to rush construction (pretty much the only use of money, besides upgrading your military ships) whereas focusing on manufacturing allows you to build anything in 1-3 turns. Basically as long as you break even with your economy, you can just focus on manufacturing and research. Its actually usually better to just decommission old ships and build news ones rather than upgrade them (which will make you bankrupt quick if you have a large army)
---In other words with the diplomacy + economy balancing, there is no viable economy based strategy or peaceful based strategy. No matter what, you will always need the strongest military regardless of your intended method of victory (unlike some other 4X games, where you could have an adequate military and with good diplomacy/economy still obtain most victory types you desire). And basically to get the strongest military you need to focus on research and manufacturing.
- united galaxies is but a shallow addition to the game, furthermore, if someone ever defies (which is almost always), they are permanently booted, which can lead to the ridiculous situation of having a united galaxy meeting of 2 members, while the other 6-10 races are "defiant" (yet have not formed another united galaxies).

meh features:
-culture. you must have decent culture to stop other races culture from "flipping" your planets, it also creates territorial space and (I think) it allows your ships to fly further into enemy space. problem is that if your culture is too strong it flips the planets of other races, including that of your allies. this makes your allies weaker and it entirely possible for them to be wiped off the map (further adding to the difficulty of a diplomacy victory). It also may land you a bunch of crap planets that you dont want to deal with. Fortunately you can give the ♥♥♥♥ planets to the minor races (who are immune to culture flipping)

note: most of these issues dont apply to multiplayer games, this is predominantly a critique of single player. although culture flipping feature will suck when playing co-op with friends.

Do I regret buying the game at full price? a bit
am I enjoying the game? yes
should you buy this game full price? only if you plan to win/enjoy by conquest every time or if you only care about multiplayer
should you buy this game on discount? yes, if it were at 25% discount it would be a good price
it should be noted that stardock have a good trackrecord for improving/patching their games post release, so I anticipate that some of these issues I have raised will be gone in the future.
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310 of 371 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3,727.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
It is the night before release. I have spent a lot of time over the past 14 months with this game. I loved Galactic Civilizations 2. I had high hopes for version 3. In the last few weeks of the beta things really started to fall in place. If you enjoyed playing GalCiv 2, then this is the game for you. If you enjoy building an empire, exploring and establishing relations with other species, crushing them under your heels, building an economic monster or just spreading the wonder of you then you will enjoy this game. If you enjoyed the ship designing in Galciv 2. You will find the offset and mirroring tools to great additions.

The support through the beta has been first class and they had indicated that they will to produce new content for a long time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
348 of 428 people (81%) found this review helpful
999.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
My review could be different than most because I am going to review Stardock first and the game second.

Many games I have bought in the past I had no idea what I was getting in them, and what I was not.

I love Gal Civ 2 and when I heard Gal Civ 3 was going to come out I became a founder, why? because I wanted to see the development of this new Gal Civ game. So, I watched all the podcasts and read all the release notes. I watched features come and go and learned why from the developer himself. They were very transparent in everything they did and included in the game, they talked about its future and all that they had in store in DLC and just plain patches.
I have read a lot of peoples reviews claiming the Apha was a brick and condeming it in the early reviews, the problem to me on this, was that Stardock said it was a brick.
Stardock always in all its states of the game told the buyers long before the game came out the state it was in. Yet the reviews that said don't buy this game kept coming up on steam.
For some reason all the Statements that kept saying Stardock was ripping people off and not telling the people what kind of game they would be purchasing was 100% not true.

I suggest before you buy this game watch the streams, read the posts on the Stardock site and understand just what kind of game you are buying.
If you do this like I did there will be no disappoinments and you will enjoy the game for exactly what Stardock says your gaming experience will be.

Now My game review
First I will tell you the type of gamer I am . I play my games solo against the AI, never multiplayer so you will not see any thing about that mentioned in my review. I like immersive games and love the graphics, 3d , textures and partical effects in games. I zoom in and out to see details, in the games , I don't do quick moves, my graphics settings are the highest, I watch all my space battles and I like grand strategy , turn based games.

While many Companies are trying to stop modding, Stargate is welcoming it, though I am not a hardscale modder that alone gets my approval

Cinema Graphics, the opening and the Campaign opening gets you ready to start playing the game and for once the massive fleets you se depicted in the cinema graphic inserts can be at your command and Stardock takes it further in the campaign the opening cinema makes you hate the Dregin (again this is only if you play immersive ) and want to kill every one of them, in the cinema you see, the pocket universe fleet emerge and you say wow what power and unlike many games that don't live up to or even come close to there cinema story , Stardock hands you that pocket fleet in your first mission and tells you to go destroy Dregin, Then they give you a spectacler battle viewer to watch it all unfold.
Missles streak across the screen, to be shot do by anti-missle systems, then beam weapons fire, and as the range closes, mass throwers throw projectiles into there victims, or they just bounce of the protective armor. Engine trails light up the screen, tiny to massive explosions dot the screen, there is no retreat in Gal Civ 3 only victor and loser. You can click on any ship for its vital information or slowly watch your fleet indicators turning from full strength to red while the top bar counts down you ships left in the fleet vs the enemies.
You can rewind and watch the battle again change the Camera view and watch it again.

Races available for play: There are less races for gal civ 3 then there were in Gal Civ 2 and Stardock explained this as the races appropriate for this story line, and Gal Civ 3 is more story based than Gal Civ 2. Stardock says that eventually the same races in Gal Civ 2 will be introduced as expansions with their further developed stories, but Stardock has included something to make your own story in the vast Gal Civ 3 universe a custom Race creator.

Here is my brief experience and out come using that tool. I decided to make an insect based race based of a picture I found in the race image library , I named the race its leader and all its drive and motivations very quickly in this tool, I wrote quick back story for flavor and after about an hour I had a race that I felt was very mantis bug like and put it into the game. So far it is one of the toughest un-yielding races I have ever run into, so once people get there custom races onto steam you can imagine all the possibilities Stardock has put out there to experience using this tool.
facing up too 100 different races with player written back stories will be quite exciting. My mantid race for instance will be quite a challenge.

Ok now onto building the universe to play in, from the development stream Stardocks goal was to make this game massive and if your computer can (and thank the maker mine can handle it) the amount of size and detail to their universe is mind boggling. There are so many different options of, size density, clusters, minor races, artifacts, richness, and the list goes on that you control or just through caution to the wind and put it all on random.

Now your victory conditions, there are about 6 victory conditions you can turn off or on , some , one or all I like to play with all my self , but if you are a warmonger conquest can just be turned on but just remember all the races AI will change to a conquest intelligence and races that were usually peaceful in nature will have no choice but conquest. Of course to me there is nothing more annoying than the count down victory of an ascension victory for another race way across the galaxy.

OK now the game builds the insane galaxy and I usually choose spiral to make it more like the milky way. On my computer it take about a minute to make it . Then poof lots of black and your home world, if your Terran its very familiar if not its a whole new experience. I no matter how many times I have played zoom all the way in and checked out my stars, planets, nebula's and ships, when you zoom in all the way you also get the ambient sound and hear the swirl of the nebular, the roar of the suns , with headphones of good quality the back ground noise is amazing, when you move your ships and the engines cut in with sound and trails to me its like sipping a good glass of wine, and the ships the default ships are amazing but Stardock throws in a custom ship builder so if you want the Terran,s to be the Federation from that famous TV and movie series and if you are a terrible ship builder , other people can build the ships and you can bring them into your game. Gal Civ 2 had the ship builder as separate interface right of the start screen and in this version you have to be in game to use it , many people in there reviews act surprised at this but again Stardock said they were going to do it and why and they also said in a future patch they would try to tab it the way it was in 2 but that the new way they handle the builder it is easier said then done. Now to me when a company says this is what they are doing and why , I am not surprised when I open 1.0 and the tab is gone.

The tech tree, again all the reasons why they did what they did was explained by Stardock so no surprises to me and its fully mod-able, it has nice pull downs with lots of information, I can see for meta gamers it to be way too clunky but for immersive gamers like me I spend a lot of time in the tech tree.

The planet screen, when you first start out you have few choices and they are important ones , but this is not a tutorial this is a review. The interface is loaded with info, probably to much for a meta gamer but great for me , again I check out everything from top to bottom , and many complaints i read in the forums about planetary invasion as an example, I laugh to my self and think how do you expect to throw off an invasion, without planetary defenses installed on your planet? This interface is a very common sense interface.

At the text length limit.
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