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 (1,043 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."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (38)

May 21

Galactic Civilizations III v1.01 Available

The first post-launch patch for Galactic Civilizations III is live, bringing custom faction support to multiplayer, adding several Steam achievements, and fixing high-priority bugs.

The upcoming 1.1 patch, due out in the coming weeks, will add Steam Workshop support among other things.

Read the full patch notes here:

Thanks for your support, and happy conquering!

9 comments Read more

May 19

Galactic Civilizations III v1.01 Opt-in Available

The first post-launch patch for Galactic Civilizations III is now available on an opt-in basis. This patch enables custom races in multiplayer and fixes various data bugs and crashes.

Read the full patch notes here.

To enable the patch, do the following:

  1. Select Galactic Civilizations III in your Steam Library list
  2. Right-click and select Properties
  3. Select the BETAS tab
  4. From the dropdown, select opt-in and click Close (if you don't see this option, restart Steam)
  5. Steam should pull down the changed files; if you ever want to go back, do the same as above but select default
Thank you for your support, and happy conquering!

7 comments Read more

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 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
443 of 548 people (81%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.4 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 good patches to fix some things. The patches could happen, it is Stardock after all. They did prove in the past with their Elemental:War of Magic/Fallen Enchantress debacle they can do patches after release.

There is just some real fundamental flaws in the game that are really irritating when combined with the other problems.

1. Capitals on a planet, The AI places them at random wherever it wants. Considering capitals give bonuses to surrounding buildings it makes a difference on placement. It seems to me that if I find an unsettled planet I should be able to choose the location of the capital. Every strategy game that I can think of at least gives the option to move a capital elsewhere. You do not even get the option of relocating it.

2. No retreat option for combat. This makes early game scouting a pain because you have to do it manually. If you set your scouts to auto explore plan on them being being lost. Later in game if the enemy is bigger and faster then you do not stand a chance of getting away. 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.

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.

4. You HAVE to turn off trading technologies. Sounds dumb right? Well this is even dumber. They made it so you can choose a specialization for certain tiers of technology, you get three choices. Well guess what if you make friends with an AI and they decides to give you a technology associated with a specialization then you are denied your choice and stuck with that specialization. Simply because someone lacked the foresight to put in a "no thank you option." That made me quit the campaign they threw together.

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? Well guess what happens if you are not paying attention and sent a construction drone manually to a location to do something else before you clicked that call button? You better guess the game wipes the construction drones current orders and makes it start moving to the station that called for a drone.

These are the just the basic things I can think of that should have been ironed out during the beta. Maybe even patched to them.

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. You can not touch ANYTHING while it processes the end of a turn without risking seeing the "program not responding option popup." If you can not at least scroll around the map while waiting for the turn to process then you got something wrong with your game engine. If your game engine is THAT sensitive then maybe it should have gone old school like other turn games and just locked out ALL controls while the turn processes.

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. Pssst achievements are given AFTER you complete something. I received the achievement for the first part of the game simply by clicking to start it. I mean come on really? Should something like that even exist?

I was one of those customers burned years ago by Stardock with Elemental: War of Magic. This release reeks of the same issues. However I do remember Stardock issuing full refunds on the game (which I took.) Then six months down the road they patched it enough I re-purchased the game. Then Stardock did give Fallen Enchantress for free to those who bought E:WOM at full price and gave a discount to anyone else who purchased E:WOM later. So I do have to recognize even though they released a faulty product they made a good effort to make up for that. Something most companies do not do.

So in short, if you are on the fence on buying this, let me knock you off it. Wait and watch.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
138 of 164 people (84%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
995.2 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
206 of 285 people (72%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
31.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
Don't bother until a price cut and inevitable DLC.

Poor job Stardock. Very poor job. I'm enjoying it because I love Galactic Civilization 2. I'm winning on my first game because I know how to play Galactic Civilization 2.. It's the same freaking game just with a 3 on the end.

Why is there no innovation? Why am I paying $50 for a game that has no significant improvements from Galciv 2? Why are things that were IN galciv 2 missing if it was supposed to be a faithful sequel?

You had ten years and you rehashed the last game pretty faithfully. Well rehash isn't the right word. You released the same game with glaring holes for dlc to fit in. Where's the experience system for ships or espionage? Less races to pick from. Half the things like ship designer are mostly cut and paste from galciv 2. Why can't I set taxes?

They missed so many opportunities and offered in most ways an identical game with some parts cut out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
259 of 366 people (71%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
27.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
Galactic Civilizations is a classic, and I purchased this game almost immediately while it was in early access. Unfortunately this game has missed the mark, Stardock just didn't do enough with the franchise to give it 'new life', and while some things they did were exceptional (the customization of everything, see below), it has too many negatives to warrent a recommendation, especially for the price of $50, this is not a $50 title.

What GalCiv3 did right:
- Ship customization is FANTASTIC, they hit the ball out of the park with this one.
- Custom race creation and balance is really interesting and in-depth, great stuff.
- Custom game setup options are plentiful, letting you tune the game to the experience you want.

Areas GalCiv3 falls short:
- The Combat animations are bare bones at best, and while this would be bearable (the particle effects are good, as are the ship models which are completely customizable as mentioned above), the camera controls/modes for viewing are beyond poor, the ship pathfinding for movement is really poor (battles just proceed in exactly the same paths again and again) and the space skyboxes are AWFUL. This really lets it down.
- Did I mention the space skyboxes are awful?
- The Campaign is not worth bothering with. Last minute stitched together skirmish game that unfortunately really doesn't show much love and care.
- The User Interface isn't fantastic by any means. While it's not terrible, there are many unnecessary/overly complicated tabs and windows that just don't need to be there. A Perfect example is the comparison between the Research page in this game compared to the Research page in another Stardock (published) title "Sins of a Solar Empire", SoaSE blows this game out of the water in terms of UI in areas like that. It just feels clunky.
- Game loading times (especially on startup) are horrendously long
- No where near enough new content or innovation to make this a worthy successor to GalCiv2. I could have forgiven it if it was an almost PERFECT execution (I adore Homeworld: Remastered, while it does have a few faults, that game is a stunning remake), this game just has so many flaws I just don't get excited when playing it.


TL;DR: Customization options are fantastic, but the game just doesnt feel polished. Clunky UI, clunky battle camera, unpleasant skyboxes, campaign is a joke and overall just not a worthy sequel to GalCiv 2.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
65 of 74 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
50.9 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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77 of 97 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
75.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
So it has finally reached 1.0...

Having been a founder from early on, I have a good perspective on how things evolved and changed up until release. I held firm to the belief that GalCiv3 was not ready for release prior to 1.0. Now that most of the really big issues have been dealt with, I no longer hold to that belief.

Yet while the game is certainly in a playable state for a release candidate, GalCiv has a long way to go still. Nearly all the features in the game still need refinement and further development, and some of those features that need a lot of improvement I'll note below:-

Invasion Mechanics: Are non-existent, and not much has changed from GalCiv2. You invade a planet. You get a screen. You click. It's over. You find out if you won or lost. That's pretty much it. It's a very boring mechanic, lets be honest. Yes - the devs have stated that some planned concept content was cut cause it didn't make release, and they want to work on this for later on. But I'm reviewing a game in its current release state, I'm not about to review a game for what might or mightn't happen later on down the road.

Battle Viewer: Essentially a copy/paste job from GalCiv2 battleviewer with a few tweaks, but not much different here. Could be spruced up? Yes.

Multiplayer Missing Features: Sadly the multiplayer side of GalCiv is a mixed bag. They 'snuck' some features out that were in early access and now you can no longer play multiplayer on maps above huge and you can't use custom races. The official statement concerning this is that there were new instability problems with those features and they had to be removed to be worked on. I just hope Stardock stay true to their word and fix whatever issue they're having. It still rubs me up the wrong way that they removed them without comment first in the update, and only expressed their reasons for it when pressed on it.

There are other elements of the game that need a lot of refinement, most of which falls down to balance. Stardock have had a good track record in early access fixing lots of crucial issues. I hope that track record continues.

So is it good? Is it just a copy paste of GalCiv2?

It's certainly good, and while some elements are most definitely copy pasted from the 2nd game, generally GalCiv 3 is a different experience. Not vastly different however.

The map now has hex's instead of squares. Ships now have combat categories so when you design a ship, you can choose if it will be support/escort/capital, etc. These play a role in combat and are essentially a way for you to construct formations of ships. A nice tweak to the combat. Ships also have new stats like tactical speed that will aid them in combat, allowing for ship design strategies to be more involved. Ship designing in GalCiv2 was mostly a paper/rock/scissors affair, and while there is still an element of that in the game, it has a less of an impact in combat.

There are now trade resources (their may have been similar ones in GalCiv2 if I recall) and strategic resources which is one of my favorite new features, although I wish the AI would use them a tad more intelligently, if they use them at all.

The graphics have obviously received a makeover, and the game is optimized enough that they don't have much of an impact on performance.

If there is one thing I remember most about GalCiv 2 is the AI, and how good it was. It had its flaws, like any AI, but it was very impressive for its time, and I would consider it the best strategy AI in any game by far.

Sadly, the same can't be said for GalCiv 3. The AI has a long, long way to go before it even evolves into what the AI was in GalCiv 2, and I hope that this is an area that receives special attention. Regardless, as it stands, the AI is miles ahead of the AI in Civ 5, so, that's a good thing, right?

Despite the differences and tweaks made, GalCiv 3 still feels very... GalCiv. That is what the developers intended, to make a game without losing that GalCiv appeal. Sadly, I think they went a tad too far.

The first and second game were released during a time when carnivorous space apes (Drengin) and evil squirrels (snarti) were fine. Cheesyness in all its glory was good. Toilet humor and lame jokes were told a-plenty in both games, and it got away with it cause they were great games for its time.

So while GalCiv3 evolved, sadly the humor and 'feel' of it didn't evolve. There was plenty of opportunity to increase immersion and to allow the game to mature, to 'level' up, cause we no longer live in those cheesy times when lame jokes could be told for a cheap laugh. You either shape up, be serious and tell the story you want, or you tell it while a minor race informs you how they set their own atmosphere on fire while letting out a fart...

GalCiv3 actually has a rather 'grown-up' campaign. Yes it still features the space apes, but it is an improvement over the last, and considering I very briefly played the last one and got fed-up with it, I'm hoping this one can keep me interested, as I usually just dive into a sandbox game.

It's just a shame that other elements, other races, do not seem to maintain any sort of consistency. I believe they missed a good opportunity to level up their style, unfortunately, they stuck to their guns a bit too much.

And lets mention races. There is 1 new race. The Iridium Corporation. That is it. 1 whole new race. This is perhaps the biggest disappointment for me, personally. Just 1 new race is just poor play Stardock, it really is. Some might think they shot the idea down due to the campaign, as in how else would they fit the new races into their story? Simple: You don't. You have new races for those delving into the sandbox, and you kept out any mention of them from the story. There you go. Granted, we get lots of new minor races, which is a plus. And of course you can make your own custom race, but the custom editor is no excuse for Stardock to get lazy! And sure, new races might arrive in the form of dlc/expansions, but for only just 1 new race for a brand new sequal, tut tut... bad form I say.

Despite its flaws and despite the game still needing lots more work on it, I highly recommend GalCiv3 as it has surpassed GalCiv2 in some areas, and will hopefully continue to evolve with future content.

7/10
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358 of 541 people (66%) found this review helpful
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
EDIT: Someone explained that my impression that I could not concentrate production was false, and after checking into it I realized they're right. I also wrote that I couldn't find political parties, but forgot that this came with a diplomatic research option in the previous games as well, so I am retracting that point too.

Adding 2 more things I noticed after playing another 1.5 hours today, though.
1. The zoom on the minimap seems to reset every turn, so you have to keep changing it to the scale you want.
2. Money is not prominently displayed like it used to be, so financial decisions are a bit more of a pain to make.

None of the things I'm finding are gamebreaking, and I doubt that I will be posting any more of them here. The point I'm trying to make here is that there shouldn't BE all these little things in a finished product. They should have been caught and fixed in beta. To the individual who thinks I'm "an old guy"... don't really have an answer. I don't think I'm that old, and I invested hundreds of hours in GalCiv 1 and 2 when I was younger. That was something like 7 years ago.

But as for being stuck in another gaming era... perhaps. I remember how I felt when I played GalCiv 1, and what a huge improvement GalCiv 2 was at the time. I just don't feel that GalCiv 3 currently offers any major improvement on GalCiv 2, and it doesn't feel as polished as well.

Sorry?
-----
ORIGINAL REVIEW:

I'm a little disappointed, to be honest, that there don't seem to be many reviews that are completely honest about the state of the this game. I love Stardock and the GalCiv franchise, so this negative review is being written out of love, not spite. It isn't a bad game, but it certainly isn't yet what I'd term "ready for launch."

I'll start with what I've noticed in the first couple hours of playing, so that anyone else who's thinking about shelling out $50 for the game has at least some idea of what's what.

1. Battlecam is a mess. In the normal mode, ships eventually fly out of view of the camera during battles and you can't see what's going on. If you switch to free mode, the controls are so sensitive that the slightest touch will send the camera flying off into the far distance or way too close, making it impossible to see anything. It's very difficult to get the camera into just the right frame.
2. Tutorial is not very thorough. I've played GalCiv I and II quite extensively, and there are a number of new features in this game which are not adequately explained in the tutorial, i.e. intricacies of adjacencies, behavior of ships in battle based on various stats, and more.
3. No espionage. I heard this will be included later as DLC, but why are they going to be charging for something that was a feature in previous games?
4. Units don't gain experience in battle anymore.
5. AI frequently says inane things to you during the game. I had a computer that was "close" to me in diplomacy who nonetheless kept threatening me for no reason.
6. Soundtrack is not seamless, with very noticeable pauses between switching tracks.
7. From what I can tell, you can't concentrate production values on individual planets anymore to focus on military, research, or social production, nor can you adjust taxation level to help with morale. If I'm wrong about this, then that just goes to show that things are not well-explained in the game.
8. No more asteroid mining to help with production.
9. It seems like there's also no more political parties, meaning you can't be ousted from government. I'm not really sure what morale does, in this case. Either way, it makes the game less interesting.

And a number of graphical stutters. I'm sure I'll find more issues as I continue to play--and I do intend to continue to play, and will update my review once I've had more time with it. I have a lot of love for this series, and I want it to succeed. I know from playing the previous games that Stardock will pour a lot of effort into making this the best game they can. However, I cannot honestly say that this game feels ready or polished and, in fact, it rather feels like a rehash of old territory, but with features taken away.

I really hope they make significant progress. I want this to be the best GalCiv yet. It just isn't so far.
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96 of 131 people (73%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
Not in love with this game at launch. It's not a bad game. It just isn't exceptional. Ship building is bugged currently. The game itself froze up on me a few times but after a fresh install seemed to run better. It still stutters at times, even on the small tutorial map. Combat is uninteresting. You have no capacity to command your units, not even to flee. So you send your guys in and hope for the best. Worse, the combat camera is fairly horrible and you spend a lot of the time listening to battles happening off screen. It's a bit chaotic.

I have read that diplomacy is a greatly improved in this game. If so I didn't see it. In the two games I have played so far my allies seemed fairly erratic, almost like a crazy person you find yourself dating after an online hook up. One minute they threatened to obliterate me for not following their doctrine. The next minute they are showering me with credits as though they feel badly about how they acted and are desperate for you not to leave them.

If there is colony management automation I couldn't find it. Managing your economy is a matter of moving a slider. Again, not bad. Just not interesting.

The Universe in the couple of games I have played seems fairly lifeless. At first black holes look really neat. But there are no civilian ships to be seen. No convoys. Besides some basic animation of a moon orbit or the odd comet it seems like you are looking at a stagnate game board. Again, not bad per say. Just not interesting.

Towards the end of the games I found myself clicking a lot to just shuffle through turns so I could finally get to the tipping point of overwhelming my enemy. This involved stripping his final system of defenders and then doing a sort of auto resolution troop invasion. Then a wall of exposition and a victory screen. It was around this point that I realized that finishing the game had been more work than actual fun.

There may be a solid core of a good game here that can be greatly improved upon with further patches and DLC. But for $10 more you can buy Distant Worlds Universe. With a bevy of mods that make it a living breathing universe. Or just play some Gal Civ 2. Or Sins of a Solar Empire. I do not recommend dumping $50 into Gal Civ 3 at present. It needs a lot of work.
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47 of 54 people (87%) found this review helpful
31.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
Okay so I have about 22 hours under belt so I am going to weigh in here. While I owned and played a good deal of GC1 and GC2 they were always so/so to me. I enjoyed them and got my money out of them but they never really engaged me as much as I would like to have been able to say that they did. GC3 so far is holding my fancy though pretty good. It has some flaws, the AI like most 4X games sucks at diplomacy. The biggest sell to me is the HUGE maps. I like games that go into the 500-1000 turn range and this game has that in spades with the larger maps.

The game does suffer from some CTD (Crash To Desktop) from time to time but that is when I am on huge and larger maps, and it is somewhat expected with a new game. The CTD haven't really hurt my progress as I save often but they could cause someone to be upset if they don't save enough.

One bad thing is that Stardock is clearly in the game for the long haul and has plans to release DLC and expansions regularly. This is a plus and minus. I like a steady stream of content but there are some things that I feel like were left out of the game just to be an easy sell later on like Spies and other races. This isn't a huge deal though as I am a game collector and I don't mind decent DLC/expansions. I spend a small fortune with games like Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV so I am used to this sort of deal. However if you want a full experience I would suggest waiting later and picking up the game in a few years (if you can wait that long) for a complete edition at a sale price.

But if you enjoy the genre and don't mind having to pay as you go for features to be added here and there the game is worth the money.
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74 of 97 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
33.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Well I bought the game yesterday and I am a big 4x fan but donot have any experience with Galactic civilizations games, And at the moment I can not recommand the game without any objections.
But first I'd like to talk about the positive things in the game:
1. The races: they differ from each others, and have traits, which make sense and have impact on the game mechanic, but not so much, that I can say, that specific trait(s) is/are overpowered. But I think the old Master of Orion is still somehow ahead of it.
2. Ship design: although I am to lazy to play the ship designer, I believe there are people out there having huge fun with it. and customize their ships to every little detail.
3. Fleet command: you can order specific ships to a rally point or set a rally point for newly build ship from a single or all shipyard quite fast. That make your ships better to organize.
4. Techtree: You got "normal techs" everyone can search but you have "specializations" which you have to choose from three, and the other two you can not research but trade with other players. which make every gamerun somehow different. But unlike "Endless Space" you do not have race specific research.
5. limited building lot on planet represent the quality of planet. on a "Paradise" planet you can build like 15 buildings and on a "barely habitable planet" only 4, sure terraforming can change it quite a bit, but not like other 4x games each terraforming research you do only let you terraform 1!!! tile (in the early-middlegame) and you have to research further terraforming research to convert more.
6. adjacent effect of buildings: If you build more fabrics together, they get bigger bonuses and a embassy boost the market places around it. So you have to plan your buildings ahead and for example leave a space in the middle of a big industry complex for let we say a refinery or a power plant to hugely boost its output.
7. last but not least the really special thing I realized: The spacestation: unlike other space 4x games, you customize your space station with modules and well a "ring" around it (just like DS9) the ring is limited to 1 per station and determine which additional modules you can further install into a station. For example you can not build a culture modul into a station with a mining ring. And not only are station used to protect your boarders, they give moderate bonuses to planets around as well.

From my point of view, I have seen all these positive facts expect point 7. somewhere else, but it make sense to combine them, it make the gaming experience rich and complex. But now I have to talk about the negative facts:

1. The game do not really feel finished, from my opinion it is a late beta version. the descriptions of technology you research is a total mess: everywhere you see like, "maintenance -10%" you think great, it gives you a flat bonus of 10% on every building. WRONG: you have to look carefully and read the flavor text of the tech to see, it's only specific to "commerce building" or "research building" and there are still bugs while the symbol of a bonus don't match it description. and there are thing like the technology "industrial specialization" which gives you "manufacturing cost -5%" and another "manufacturing cost -5%" so is it 10% or is it only 5% and there is a bug? And in general the game do not tell you in a intuitive way. For example, I still do not know how my raw production and raw manufacturing/research and net income is calculated. So 1 or 2 more months is needed to get rid of some of these and make other things clear I hope.
2. "Planet potentials" you know your planet is class 16 with 16 tiles you can build on, but how far can it get? my capitol can only be terraformed to class 18 and another to class 24. So it's kind of a pocker, how good your planet can get.
3. Terraforming: It is not really clear that there are different "terraformable tile quallity" --> salvageable, decent, less, and almost useless quality. the tech "terraforming plant" f.e. can be used on salvageable and decent tile, but keep in mind, that in the late game you can terraform all salvageable tiles but only ONE!!! decent tile. So you will "waste" your "terraforming plant" if you use it inefficiently.
4. No Espionage. What shall I say, I read about that GC2 had it and GC3 will get it per Addon...
5. Culture/border/spacestation: If you are a highly cultural race, you will push the enemy border back and take over their planet, but not their spacestations, in fact AI stations will continue mining your precious resources and you can't do anything not even build your own one next to it or buy it from AI, you have to blow it up. And on top of that, AI at peach even build station actively in your territory, that make it more difficult to play cultural race.

So from my point of view, this game is really nice, but at the moment, things are still not final, that's why I do not recommend it to everyone interested. Wait a few month, there will be a discount on price and the game will be "hopefully" more finished.
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72 of 95 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
64.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
General stuff

Galciv3 is a worthy sequel to its predecessor, and a good 4x game when compared to modern titles in the genre. This coupled with a developer with a proven reputation for supporting their games for a long time makes this a safe buy. Journalistic reviews are very favorable as well. If you are in for the long haul this game has amazing potential for the future, and unlike most other games in the genre recently has the financial means to deliver.

Big Features

-Fully 64bit & DirectX11: Perhaps the games most important feature, removing one of the genres biggest limitations: the 32bit 4gb memory limit. This allows the scale of the game to increase by a order of magnitude in terms of map size, amount of ships, planets and stars, and complexity of AI routines.

-Adjacency on Planets: The way you place planetary improvements matters. If you put 2 improvements of the same category next to each other, they will buff eachother. Combined with terrain bonuses native to the planet and clever terraforming means you can get factories or research labs with 6+ bonus levels on your high quality planets quite easily, massively boosting your production.

-Map Size: The largest map in civilzation: Beyond earth and Endless Legend are around 10.000 tiles. Galciv3's biggest map size is 432.061 tiles, appropriately named Insane. Keep in mind that a insane map requires at least 8gb ram to even start.

-Campaign: A rarity in 4x games, this game offers a campaign. The main benefit this brings is that it allows newer players to jump straight into a game that in well in progress, giving them a chance to see the beauty of 4x games without having to struggle trough the learning curve to much, it starts of with a couple of large space battles to give players a taste of what is possible. A experienced 4x player can probably beat the campaign in one of two afternoons, while a new player might take a bit longer.

-Ship Designer (cosmetic part): A iconic feature of the series, the in game ship designer is a powerful tool that lets you build virtually any ship you can imagine, such as ships form popular TV series. Chances are you can see a bunch of them in the screenshot section. The game comes with a bunch of pre-made designs and workshop integration will allow for easy downloading of other players ships if designing ships isn't your thing.

-Ship Designer (gameplay part): Choose the stats and combat roles of your ships. Research ship components like enginers, weapons, shields and life support, then put them on your ships to create your own style. build anything from large capital ships, carriers that launch strike craft, bombers and interceptors to freighter hulls loaded with lazers. Customize your ships to be optimal against the enemy you are fighting. You can assign your ship combat roles that determine how they behave in fleet combat (ie interceptor, support ship, assault ship, etc) This part too is not mandatory, the game will dynamically generate ships for you as you research more parts, those ships will do the job but might not be exactly what you want.

-In Depth Faction Creator: upload your own pictures and icons (or videos) to use for your faction, choose what positive and/or negative traits your faction gets, your ship style and looks, UI color, tech tree, etc. Set up how the AI should play your race if you want to fight against it by giving it personality traits and priorities.

-High moddability: The devs went out of their way to make this game easy to mod, allowing virtually every aspect of the game to be changed. In June steam workshop support will arrive, allowing for players to easily share their mods, custom factions, ship designs and components, custom maps, balance changes, etc.

Usual 4x features

-Large number of opponents: The game supports up to 128 AI opponents for truly insane games, where entire factions will die out before you even meet them.

-Multiple Victory Conditions: Standard feature for any 4x worth it's salt.

-Faction specific tech trees: The tech tree is large enough that in a regular game you will only research certain parts of your choosing form it. Each race has a couple of unique techs, and gets certain techs earlier then others, each tech tree has its own full set of flavor text per race. Specialization techs offer you a choice between 3 techs of which you can only choose one, though you can get the others trough trade if you want.

-Ideology: Colonizing planets and galactic events present you with ethical choices allowing you to choose a benevolent, pragmatic or malevolent path. Each choice might have pros and cons for the planet you are colonizing, and gives you ideology points to spend on perks. The perks become quite powerful in the higher tiers and each path offers strong options.

-Multiplayer: Play with friends and stuff. 4 player multiplayer atm. At the time of writing there are still some stability issues to work out but that is slated to be fixed within the next weeks.

-Diplomacy and AI: Still a bit in it early shoes but is constantly being worked on. A common pitfall amongst 4x games is that this area lacks on launch, nevertheless the AI performs quite well compared to other games. The AI will regularly contact you with trade request, comment on your relationship (move ships out of my area, dont build up troops near my borders, your army is weak, i like that were trading, i dont like that your friends with the other guy, etc.). It's noteworthy that the AI doesn't cheat nearly as much as a lot of other games in the gerne, it can't see the entire map for example.

Future Support

-Dev has stated multiple times that the life cycle of this game is around 7 years.

-3 expansion packs and 12+ DLCs are sheduled. Expansions include major new game systems, DLC includes non-mandatory things like extra civilizations, custom scenarios (evil squirrels take over the galaxy scenario confirmed), ship parts, etc.

-regular free content patches are planned during this period. This includes basic gameplay features like AI updates, Ui improvements, steam workshop/mod support, bug fixes, etc.

-Features slated for expansions include: espionage, fleet commanders, hypergate long distance travel, increased starbase complexity (and hopefully starbase designer), increased diplomacy complexity, planets with population from multiple races. ofc no promises no official announcements have been made.

Info on Developer

-Dev has a history of being nice to customers and supporting their games for a long time.

-Dev is financially solvent and game was fully funded before development began, game is selling like hot cakes (100.000 units sold before launch, beat GTA V on top sellers list for two days after release), so there is no risk of the game being abandoned for financial reasons.

-Dev communicates well with customers, there has been a dev stream every week for over a year before release, where they take questions from viewers. They are active on both the steam forums and their official forums. Even the CEO of the company has made multiple appearances on the stream.
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139 of 216 people (64%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
114.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
Lots of great ideas in this game, but really badly broken for a supposedly complete game, especially one that spent a lot of time in beta with a lot of players and feed back and extra development money rolling in. I still might have recommended the game, which will hopefully eventually be fixed, but when I went to check the support site to see the status of these errors they link you to a page that asks you to try to fix the game for them, asking you to do just about everything short of a clean OS install to try to get their product to function before you even think of submitting a ticket. It sure feels a lot like blaming the user and it makes me wonder if they are so overwhelmed with error reports that they felt they had no choice but to try to discourage people from submitting anymore. I'll happily change my review if they fix this game in short order, but right now this really tastes like a lemon.
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59 of 85 people (69%) found this review helpful
36 people found this review funny
22.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
Won a diplomatic victory by using a fleet of custom built battlestars to exterminate all other races but one then allied with them. Peace through superior firepower. 11/10 would recomend
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28 of 34 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
39.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
If you combine Distant Worlds and Civ 5 you get this game. It's deep enough to be fun but not so deep that it is a chore or a micromanagement nightmare.
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38 of 52 people (73%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
24.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Seems unfinished. I'm getting an issue where the whole screen just goes black except for the mouse cursor, and the music continues playing. The only way to fix it is to restart and unfortunately it happens often.

I am excited about the possibilities of 64-bit gaming, and I'm glad Stardock went this route.

I love the GalCiv games but don't buy this one just yet. I would've held off on spending $50 if I had known that this many bugs were still present.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
The game is a sequel to the cult games galactic civilization 1-2 and its easily described as a Civilization V set in space, where you move around in space and settle planets instead of ground. This game moves as Civilization V did to hex grids but it do allow stacking ships something Civ V did not allow. One other major difference is the way units are, instead of having this historical unit or set unit Galactic Civilization expands on the previous entries in its franchise and offer you to customize every single aspect of a ship. Its like having a Lego box with thousands of Lego parts, you want to build a boombox with a head like a unicorn that shoots lasers go ahead. You want to build the famous ships from other games or science fiction media in general go ahead. There is also some pre- built standard ships for each race that you can build if you don´t wanna design or build. There will also be a feature to download others creation trough steam workshop among mods of other things.

The game is regarded as a platform for Dlc and free patches with content so bear that in mind, it will be a lot of it, and it will be during a duration of its life cycle 5-7 years.

It is an improvement and refinement over Galactic Civilization 2. Various stuff like a perk system, vast tech tree that branches and the mod support is amazing. The game has a bit dated User Interface but it looks great, and the game looks very good. It also plays well and functions well, and can loose one many nights of sleep. It has that one more turn sickness the Civilization fans are so accustomed to at this point. Its a strong foundation of a strong game. And I would gladly recommend it to anyone new players as old timers.

I have some gripes with the game that can be considered negative:
-Lack of battle viewer for planetary invasions
-Poor camera in the space battle viewer
-Lacks some key features from older games like espionage (they will most likely return though)
-Pirates needs some adjustments before they add something great of interest to the game
-It makes you stop sleeping
-Some minor memory leaks that most likely will be fixed on the largest maps
-Lacking a few option that will be added later I suspect in diplomacy

Positive:
+Stunning to look at
+Detailed
+Engrossing and large scope
+Fantastic designer
+Modfriendly and customizable
+Allows for deep dives under its hood, its a deeper strategy game than it looks
+Great tech tree progression and many techs to research
+It makes you stop sleeping
+Diplomacy (the overall diplomacy is great)
+A bit old school in a good way with modern improvements
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33 of 45 people (73%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
This is kind of a cautious recommendation. The base game is good, but as it stands it kind of has the same problem that Civ 5 did at launch, where there just isn't enough content or polish to really keep it going. There are still quite a few typos in the game, the amount of random colonization events is very low (I saw repeats in my first game ever!), and the AI is just not quite there. As it stands, this isn't as complete a game as GalCiv 2 Ultimate is. I feel like after a few expansions, this game will be one of the best 4X strategy games out there, but until then I would only get this if your a fan of the GalCiv series or just really want to play it. Its a good game, but it could definitely be better.
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40 of 58 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Despite really needing that game to be awesome, because I need a good modern 4x space game (Endless Space doesn't count, I already spent too much time on it), I really can't recommend that game.

Let me be clear on that : the game is OK or even Excellent on several points. Some nice ideas, alright to brilliant visuals, nice tunes, OK diplo, etc. But the game design... dude... This is a nightmare. The kind that slowly, creepily, haunts you at night.

So for starters that game is ultra slow. If you like your 4x turns to take about 30s to 1min, then this game is alright. But if you want one full game to last less than 30hrs, then this game is NOT for you. Pacing is always a big issue in designing a 4x game (as Jon Shafer explained in a couple of great articles), and this game is proof. I remember ranting about Civ 5 taking too long to complete even on Fast setting, but this... See, at the time I'm writing this review, I'm clocking about 20hrs of game time. That's 1 tutorial and 2.5 campaign missions. Thing is : the tutorial took half of that.

Why this game is slooooow isn't a computing problem (I've got a nice machine, turn goes by without even noticing a slowdown, everything goes fast), it's a game design problem. The perfect recipe for a 4x game is when you have much things to deal with at each and every turn. Meaningful and interesting choices if possible (yes I'm talking to you Pandora). Is Galactic Civ III, turns went past me by the dozens just because everything is this game take 20-30 turns to happen. I soon realized that every single strategic choice I was making was to improve the rate at which things where building JUST to push the damn game forward! That wasn't a real strategic choice, that was just a comfort choice, so I could make something happen in the game under 6 hours.

When you end up fighting the game rules to speed up things, something went wrong...

For instance : you have a build queue on every planet you have. Great. Alright. Buildings and ships are built that way. They all cost a certain amount of "Manufacture" (Prod) and conveniently, your planet generates "Manufacture". If a building needs 45Man and you produces 15Man a turn, it takes 3 turns to complete the building. Right?
Now if you have three buildings that all cost 15 and you build them on a planet that produces 45 a turn, how much turn do you need to produce all three of them? One? WRONG. You need 3 turns. Because it doesn't push unused "Manufacture" to the following builds to the point it can build multiple things at the same turn. so even if you get a planet with 150Man a turn, and a bunch of buildings each costing around 45-60 Man, you will NEVER build more than 1 building per turn.

So a build queue that could have taken 3 turns, ends up taking 10-15 turns... for nothing!

So of course, every turn, you have something new to deal with : "Hey! here's a new building we could have built 6 turns earlier, we just wanted you to know we don't give a damn! And NO you don't have anything to do with it, this is just a message filling your log that you can't do much about!"

So much for a good 4x recipe...

That's just an example of how the game makes you go mad. Here are a few others :

- Ships are put into Fleets, Fleets have a maximum size measured in "Logistics". Each ship in a fleet costs part of this "Logistics". You can have Logistics reduction on ships so that they end taking less room in the Fleet so that you can put more of them. The problem is that "Logistics"stat is stored in a decimal value (but displayed as a integer value). So you end up with Ships costing 1 Logistics that cannot join a Fleet of 28/29 Logistics... because ♥♥♥♥ you.

- Some technologies (Specialisations) expect a choice from you. Most of them have 3 possible choices, mutually exclusive and definitive. Some of them won't go with your plan, some others will exactly fit your master plan. Turns out these techs are available for diplomatic trading, but since each Specialisation choice is a separate tech, you may end up earning a Tech that you didn't choose based on the fact it was a exclusive choice. Such technologies won't appear as "Specialisation" tech in the trading screen. Now you're stuck with the strategic choice of another civ... because ♥♥♥♥ you.

- The Ship Designer is a complex and rich piece of software that lets you assemble, scale, rotate, fiddle with, even ANIMATE ship parts in a very, very, very profound way. You may end up spending countless hours designing splendid vessels to contemplate ingame. The same goes if you ever want to build a working useful ship. There is no "Just give me a ship with Defense AND Attack please" button. There is no "Just fit my ships with what they need, even if it's not perfectly optimized just build them" button. But there IS a core listing of ships that the game provides for starters... but these ships are only complete and in working order when you research some specific Technologies first. You can build them, fly with them, but they'll only be of any use if you get to those techs. But it WON'T TELL YOU WHICH ONES... because, again, ♥♥♥♥ you.

- The planet screen lets you place buildings on its available tiles. The basic buildings all have multiple upgrade buildings (better versions of the latest) that you build on-top of them. At any given point, if you have the technology to build an upgrade version of an existing building on the map, it will show on the list of available buildings that you may place and build... but you can't place them anywhere you want because they only appear there so that you are reminded that some of you buildings may be upgraded (which is already the whole point of having a big "up arrow" on top of those buildings with an "Upgrade" button next to them). So it is just there to further dwell you into madness and anger... because ♥♥♥♥ ergonomy. Anyway, who cares about ease of use nowadays?!


This game is a pain in the ♥♥♥ to play. I needed this game to be great, so I kept playing, and playing until something happened to make me love it, but it kept striking me with stupid UI design, bad pacing job and worst game design flaws that absolutely forbid this game to earn its legacy's reputation.

This game doesn't need a patch, it needs to be remade correctly.
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42 of 62 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
I am a long time fan of of the game series. Let me tell you what I think of this latest version.

Early access is supposed to hammer out all the bugs. It has not done so. This releasedate 14.5.2015 version is full of bugs.

Game experience is not really different from the earlier versions. Graphics have been updated, but otherwise the game experience is pretty much the same as in earlier Galactic Civilizations games.

New GUI has some logic problems. Sometimes one needs annoying mouse travel from one command icon to another - and in the case of certain menus - some items are so close that they get mixed up constantly. Some practical features that prevent annoying micro management in larger scenarios are missing.

I tried to find the NEW in this, but I could not.

Knowing what I know now, I would not pay the full price for this make over. Try before buy.
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43 of 64 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
30.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
I cannot recommend this game at this time, for several reasons.

First of all, it is an incomplete game, lacking espionage functions, politics, and even the ability to create random opponents in the random map generator. These and other missing aspects of any decent 4X game will be sold at a later date in expansions. In the end, this game will cost you over $100 just to get what it should have in the base product. I do not like this trend in some games we are seeing, where an incomplete game is sold for full price as though it were a finished product, and then over the next months and years, the game is finished and released at extra cost.

Secondly, this game is not a third installment, but more like a 2.5 installment. If you played GC2, you have already played this game. Almost everything is exactly the same as its predecessor. Once more, planets have no moons we can exploit, dead planets cannot be mined or otherwise used, black holes and nebulas, are little more than space walls that impede traffic (apparently in space, there is no 3D travel allowing us to fly under or over these obstacles), asteroids belts cannot be mined, either.

Planet development is the same as GC2, with random tiles conferring random bonuses. There are no telescopes in this game, so we cannot know what the universe looks like, what planets are like, what stars have planets, etc. until our scout ship (or some other vessel) goes there.

The races are generic and dull. Apparently, in the galaxy all races breath the same air as we do here on earth, prefer the same atmosphere and climate, and want the same gravity. The race creator is as uninspired as the races themselves, being a rather shallow system where you get to pick from a handful of options to create a not all that unique race. There is no high gravity races or worlds, no aquatic races, no radiation races, nor anything else unique. The races are more like different groups of humans than species who have evolved on different worlds, except for the fact that they look rather alien (mostly). Think of the races as humans, and humans wearing costumes.

The tech tree is as imaginative as the races. Generic is the word to use here. None of the tech is interesting. There are no fascinating tools like shields that extend over other ships in your fleet for instance. Just a series of faster engines, a series of stronger missiles and bullets and lasers. You can unlock more squares on your planet, you can get some terraforming so you can live on cold or hot planets...basically, this is the same generic tech tree in every 4X game in the past 7 or 8 years. There is nothing interesting here, but there are silly fluff techs you need to research in order to discover that you need to research weapons, or engines, and so on. Even with the fluff techs, the tech tree is so short, that you easily cap out your research. In order to slow down players' research, there is an age system. There are three ages, and during each age, you can only research so far up the tech tree. Why? Because, that's why. We don't want players researching too quickly, the AI opponents will feel sad, I guess.

Trade is conducted the same way as in GC2. In this game, you can send constructors to build starbases that mine special minerals and such floating in space. These can be magically shipped at great distances to your planets, even passing through alien, even enemy, territory at no extra cost. Pirates do not interfere with your shipping of these valuable resources, nor do other factions. the only way to impede this magic transport of rare resources is to destroy the miner base. Not capture it, no, just destroy it.

There are a couple things Stardock did improve on, however. The lousy morality system in GC2 that never even worked all that well, was changed to an ideology system. The same three morality perspectives--benevolent, pragmatic, malevolent--still apply, but as you acquire more points in these ideologies, you can unlock the ideology tech tree. The ideology tech tree is more interesting than the regular tech tree, but it is very small, and somewhat redundant across the systems. There are some variants and interesting things in it, though, and this is easily the only part of this game that is actually any good.

The other improvement, which is a bit of a mess as implemented, is adjacency bonuses on planets. Various structures can provide bonuses if they are built next to each other. Also, certain random bonus tiles on the planets can provide bonuses as well. This is a mixed bag because the tiles are random, and you will often find yourself unable to take advantage of certain bonuses, or set up a grouping of buildings that feed bonuses to one another.

The other attempted improvement is the creation of unique tech trees for the races. Unfortunately, the tech trees are so generic, that the differences are extremely small and not worth mentioning.

In short, this game is just GC 2.5, but without espionage or politics. I can only recommend waiting for two years, maybe three, for expansion packs to flesh out this incomplete offering, and get released in some kind of deluxe edition for a reasonable price. However, I am confident that no expansions will solve this game's greatest drawback: genericness. This game is generic mediocre gaming, and it shows in every aspect. There is nothing innovative or interesting when exploring or colonizing. Combat is abstracted and forgettable, just as it was in GC2. Techs are the same, races are humans in costumes, and so on. Save your money and don't waste your time. Just load up GC2.

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