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User reviews:
Mixed (31 reviews) - 61% of the 31 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 18, 2016

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About This Content

The human race is fighting a desperate war against the remorseless Drengin Empire. Both sides have become increasingly desperate, leading them to turn to the galactic underworld and their elite mercenaries.

In Mercenaries, the first expansion to the acclaimed Galactic Civilizations III game, new opportunities open up across the galaxy in the form of Galactic Bazaars. When you discover one of these hidden establishments, you can choose from a long list of hired guns and pay a mercenary to take care of business for you.

Each mercenary has their own unique ship and provides various services. Want to improve a planet? Some mercenaries will boost your economy, technology, or construction. Find a dangerous anomaly you don’t want to risk life and limb over? Pick a combat mercenary suited for the job and send them to do your bidding. Your bones are fragile, after all.

With a new campaign, factions, abilities, tech trees, music, and more, Mercenaries is a must-have addition to your Galactic Civilizations III experience.

Core Features

  • Galactic Bazaar
    Visit the Galactic Bazaar and choose from dozens of mercenaries for hire and use them to improve your planets or send them on missions to fight enemies or survey other planets and anomalies.

  • New Ships and Ship Parts
    Every mercenary has their own unique ship for traveling across the galaxy. There are also dozens of new ship parts to allow for more customization. Check out the ship editor and enjoy all of the new possibilities for design.

  • New Faction - Arceans
    Play as an ancient and honorable civilization of warriors and long-time enemy of the Drengin Empire. Making their first official appearance in Galactic Civilizations III, the Arceans have new racial traits, abilities, and tech trees.

  • New Faction - Torians
    Play as an old familiar race from Galactic Civilizations II! The Torians are an aquatic species who seek to escape the slavery of the Drengin Empire. They are at the center of the campaign and come with new racial traits, abilities, and tech trees.

  • New Campaign
    No one likes being farmed for meat. The Torians have had enough! Hire mercenaries and lead the Torians to freedom from their Drengin oppressors. Rebuild your shattered empire from the ground up and thrive in the face of adversity.

System Requirements

    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.x / 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
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10 / 8.x / 7
    • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor or Equivalent
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB DirectX 10.1 Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (31 reviews)
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22 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
381 of 408 people (93%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Posted: February 18
I don't often write reviews, but I am going to try making a **large** one that basically says what's in it exactly, which should help anyone buy. Basically this is less like a review, more of an explanation, for people who see the price and wonder what it includes.
I'm not that bothered about rating, just explaining what's available and hopefully giving Stardock something to think about if they ever read.
Mercenaries is an expansion pack for Galactic Civilzations 3, named as the 'first' expansion due to the size increase from all previous content.

It is in essence like the base game - Cool and fun, but pricey. However I would say the price is justified since there has been a focus on a 'funding' type role, and from the money towards Stardock even players of the base game have recieved nice new features including depth of field (something I REALLY wanted, it helps show scale well) as well as bug fixes and AI tweaks galore.

The main additions of 'Mercenaries' are two new races complete with new ship styles and tech trees, a new campaign level, and of course the Galactic Bazaar where you can hire mercenaries. Also included are some new racial abilities like recieving one free merc per game.

____The Races____
1. Torians
An amphibian race, with a very useful tech tree to match (I had a few amphibian custom races over time that could use it).
Visually they sit between Iridium, Iconians and Kyrnn, and after seeing enough of their structures you will get an 'elven' sort of vibe. I will say their ships put a smile on my face, like when people saw Iconians for the first time.
Gold and green sort of theme and UI, nothing special but not bland either.

2. Arceans
A fan favourite species, the Arceans have ships a bit like the Iridium especially in their shiny gold appearance.
Arceans are known like the 'Anti-Drengin'. That is to say, they are hulking warriors that free slaves rather than take them.
Love the might of the Drengin but don't like evil? Play as the Arceans.
Oh, and the UI is alright, it's mainly sandy colours and it works well.

The campaign scenario is better than nothing, in fact (I think) it's longer than any single base game mission.
You play as the Torians as they free themselves from the Drengin, and will learn how to hire mercenaries and control the first amphibian race in GC3. Terrans and Arceans will appear, but they'll be more for interaction than actual combat support.
Still more fun and more story than a 'New Game' skirmish!

____The Bazaar____
A survivor of a race from earlier in the series contacts you, offering a card-deck-looking screen of hirables. One unique merc is recruitable in the campaign scenario, and the rest are all bought with money and the galactic resources which are finally relevant.
They are split into the three 'ages' of a game in increasing cost and power, and range from ex-pirates to unarmed miners.
Mercenaries are chosen from a large pool, with more variation than always using the same recruits without the dull and buggy look a randomised ship would have. Mercenary and ship backgrounds are given too, which is immersive and allows you to hire people based on morality if you wish.

____New Ship Parts____
I'll keep this simple since many people just play the game. The new ship parts are cool; better than the Snathi parts. Not as numerous as the base game pieces, but there are two races and dozens of merc ships made from the new parts so you know there's enough!
After writing that, I looked through and saw some cool Mercenary style parts like glowing signs and cargo crates, which are very useful for detail.

Best Parts:
- Very useful amphibian tech tree, which modifies how you play, like the Yor synthetic tree.
- Arceans the star-faring Paladins.
- New, useful pieces go beyond just hunks of metal and glass.
- Whereas the Precursor Worlds DLC was tiny, this has even more than was planned. More pieces and tweaks have been made than were even revealed.
- Mercenaries are more creative than "JubJub the Bounty Hunter". For example, I bought 'The Starlab', which is a movable orbital station that improves planetary research rates.

How it could be improved: (Stardock pls)
- Ability to toggle or alter the Bazaar in custom game setup, for people who don't want the galaxy drowning in Boba Fett in long matches after getting the DLC.
- Bazaar salesman could possibly be a leader foreground. I know this is a very tiny thing, but it's also a tiny suggestion. I doubt he's the last remaining Korx outside the Syndicate.
- If the price was slightly lowered when the staff and tools have been paid off after the big update, you might even get more buyers.

I think that's it. Mercenaries doesn't make anything worse, and doesn't make many mistakes.

TL;DR Mercenaries doesn't change the game so much as expands upon it. Mercenaries should maybe be toggleable, but otherwise this expansion gives more depth and play time to a game which just got graphical and gameplay upgrades for free.

Not totally expecting this to be read, especially since it took so long to look at ships, generate new mercs e.t.c. that a ton of reviewers got in before me buuuuut I hope I helped someone decide on a purchase decision!
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165 of 211 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: February 18
I simply cannot recommend this expansion at this price point. Take for instance, the Age of Wonders 3: Eternal Lords expansion as a comparison, as it was also $20. It added many new and exciting gameplay mechanics, dozens of new units, new classes, new races, new items and vastly improved gameplay.

For the same price, Mercenaries adds a couple new races with only minor alterations to gameplay (even more of an issue considering how awesome some of the race-adding mods are), a new mechanic that is just an attempt to add heroes to GC3 (that the AI doesn't use well and really aren't too exciting), a new single-scenario "campaign", and well, that's it. Mercenaries isn't really shoring up any of the issues that core players don't like and it doesn't reintroduce any of the mechanics missing from previous iterations that a lot of fans have been asking for.

I'm having a hard time enjoying GalCiv 3 and this expansion has done nothing to make me want to play more. I like Stardock and appreciate their hard work, but this expansion is underwhelming and disappointing.

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79 of 95 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: February 22
Oh dear. Stardock I love you but this is overpriced garbage (£14.99 at time of purchase). All this expansion adds is the Arcean and Torian races (which were surprisingly not in the base game) and the Mercenaries function, which allows you to buy some mercenaries which have differing effects (+5 bc per turn / massive scanner / starlab) etc to customise your initial start. It's slightly novel but has very little effect on the base game and there is still no easy management of starbases or useful management of planets.

This is a really naff expansion pack and you will be disappointed. :/
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64 of 82 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: February 19
It's with great sadness (after recommending the Gal Civ 3 base game despite it's limitations and spending $100 as a Founder) that I cannot recommend the Mercenaries Expansion at this point in time.

The Mercenary ships looks great and have a variety of effects but the AI is extremely slow in buying them. Even on Godlike difficulty I end up with many more ships that all of the other AI combined. While the diplomacy system remains so remarkably easy to excessively exploit the AI (just do some diplomacy research through to Free Trade Agreements and beyond and you can farm cash, resources and techology at will) it's hard to see how Mercenaries can lead to anything except making the game even easier i.e. there is a domino effect once you get past the looks and scratch the surface.

Military mercenaries are useful early but you also can't upgrade them. As a result military mercenaries become quickly obsolete (even just with respect to movement speed), you'll have heroes driving around in 1980 lemons doing nothing, instead of moving over to your shiny new Lamborghini filled fleets.

The campaign isn't a campaign. It's just a standalone scenario which is effectively a tutorial for Mercenaries. The original campaign on Godlike is actually really tough and fun on higher difficulties, so it was a pity not to see a real campaign for an expansion.

The two new races are cool and there has been plenty of effort from Stardock in recent patches, but it's not enough to balance these issues and recommend. However, should these issues be resolved I would certainly consider changing my review to recommended, and hopefully Stardock will better engage with their community as IMO there is a growing misalignment.
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119 of 175 people (68%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: February 18
I received a comment to this review telling me to play the game before I review it. Checking the other DLC none of them list me as playing them. Not sure why, but maybe that's just how all DLC are.

Mercenaries is the expansion you get when you can your expansion and push it back a year to be a standalone expansion and only have 4 months on your timetable til release. This is really the core to why I can't recommend this. The price at US$20 is too much. In terms of the content it is the equivilent of the Snathi and Mega Events DLC yet it is twice the price. There is really no need to rush out and get this now rather you should wait until it is on sale.

However, if you don't care about being vastly overcharged I'll talk about the features.

The new features, which I guess makes this an expansion rather than just DLC, is the mercenaries. They are basically hero ships you buy from a market with a bunch of special abilities that boost combat, planetary production or starbases. This is done in a very basic way (see above). The Mercs are unique ship components and are tied to the ships you get them in. You can't upgrade them or move them outside their ship. They don't level up or any of the cool stuff that heroes do in games like Endless Space/Legends.

The other addition is two new races (or if you're a GC2 player returning races) in the Arceans and Torians. They are done well and come with new ships, parts and racial abilities. These are greater than the sum of their parts as they expand in custom race options and in the ship designer (which is still the best feature but has yet to see any love post launch).

There is also a "mini-campaign", which is in reality a tutorial scenario for the mercenary system. I know many people don't care about the campaign in this game, but this was a pretty big disappointment for me. There was a lot of talk by the devs about how they would improve and expand on the campaign. They even said the expansion would have 6 - 8 missions...unforunately that was canned and you can guess where I think that campaign has gone. That aside it's a reasonable scenario, but as with the vanilla campaign it's very basic and shallow. Probably is the feature that would be the least important to most players.

So the content is mostly okay, the problem is value. Mercenaries simply is not good value at full price
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110 of 166 people (66%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Posted: February 18
People are complaining that it's not got enough content, they are wrong.

It has two races with new abilities and tec trees, all balanced to the other ones.

There is also a never-before-seen-in-the-series mercinary section, plus a completly new campain.

They have also trickled down AI improvements, System Generation improvements and Graphics Engine enhancements to 'everyone' that owns Gac Civ 3, something that wouldn't happen without an expension such as this.

Is it fairly light? Maybe, compared to easier to develop for indie games. But this is a game that needs to be looked at differently. They are constantly developing and improving the game through patches, it's already so much better than it once was. And these patches are free.

This doesn't improve the game, this expands the game. Why is this okay? Because the improvements to the game will come to all players reguardless of if they own this expansion or not, and that is customer service!

Do you want more veriety? Get this expansion. Happy with what you have for now? Leave it be, you still get a fantastic game with the base.
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29 of 43 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: March 8
waste of money. few additions not worth $20
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33 of 56 people (59%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Posted: February 18
A great expansion pack that definitely spices up war with mercenaries running amok. Torians, Arcaens, and a host of other updates make this a must have if you want to experience the best space 4x out there.

The price is fine for dlc, not too cheap or expensive. More importantly Stardock is very involved with its community and feedback and puts out damn fine AI. Im happy to support devs like this as opposed to EA, Ubi, etc.

Galciv is a game you can lose hundreds of hours in and with that in mind, the entry price of a dlc that substantiaally improves on this experience is well worth the asking price.
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18 of 28 people (64%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Posted: February 18
This is an outstanding Expansion to the Galactic Civilization Franchise!

Mercenaries are an entirely new feature to the Gal Civ Universe which adds a new dimension to play and play style. Now you can sit back and research and hire mercs to defend your empire or, add them to your war machine and crush all before you!

Also are the returning races the Mighty Arceans and the Aquatic Torians. Both are welcome additions to the base number of races.

I truly feel Stardock outdid themselves on this expansion!

Well worth the price! Two thumbs WAY up!
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21 of 34 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: February 18
Before this recommendation begins I must say the reason which I have played enough to make this posting is because I was part of the Founders Elite beta. This means that I had a week or so before most others to try all of the content and provide feedback to Stardock.

The Galactic Civilizations 3 Mercenaries pack is the first "expansion pack"- a pack which adds a much more substantial level of content to the game then previously released DLC. So, how does it stack up? While the Mercenaries Expansion Pack is not overflowing with new content, what is there is very enjoyable to play and adds new dimensions to the game. The main content additions in this pack include two major civilisations (each with their own super abilities), a single map scenario and the most meaty addition of the marketplace.

So is this new content enjoyable? The two races are a welcome addition to the galaxy and slip in perfectly back into their old place amongst the stars. The Arceans provide a more neutral military answer to the traditionally evil Drengin, while the Torians act as yet another peaceful positive force in the galaxy. The scenario is short and barely touches on the main storyline of GalCiv 3- hopefully that will change in coming expansion packs since honestly it feels like calling that one map a "campaign" is just laughable. All they would need to do is update the way missions work- allow for technology to carry over from map to map, then work with smaller more objective focused maps with plenty of stories and events. What is shown here however was engaging and the AI certainly was a lot more talkative. The single map WAS well designed but it just felt like it was/should have been part of a larger story.

The final addition is the most meaty and thus requires a whole new paragraph to explore. The bazaar is a brand new feature which allows you to hire mercenaries to do your bidding. These pre-designed ships are chosen at random from a pool when you begin the game and offer unique powers/story based on which one you pick. Each ship comes bundled with a unique ability; such as one which increases the range of all your ships to 300- or one that lets you colonise a tier 0 world (and make it tier 16)- or simply one which is just armed to the teeth with more ships in carriers then you have ever seen before. These abilities provide many new and interesting twists to your games and provide incentives for peaceful/warlike races alike to rush towards these interesting ships. Each ship also has a backstory blurb- which I assume would be a positive for players such as myself. What really gets me is how well this addition "fits" with not only the base game but the other DLC. Having the Snathi steal a mercenary ship or using a fleet of armed mercenary survey ships to rush precursor artefacts- this expansion fits- even with the old DLC content.

Overall while it is not as meaty tech or story wise as an old school Stardock GalCiv expansion- Mercenaries will still provide many hours of additional gameplay and content to your existing games. While I really do look forward to the later more adventurous expansion packs I still think this pack is worth a look in.
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Recently Posted
Posted: September 4
This DLC which costs an unacceptable 20$ provides the game with 2 more races(Torians, Arceans) which should have been provided with the original game as was the case with Galactic Civs 2. It also has the mercenaries mechanism which is a dull and uninteresting addition that does nothing to fix the mess that this game is one year after its launch. I was really hoping that the DLC's would improve this game and maybe finally make it a worthy successor to the previous title but if the Mercenaries DLC is the best they can do then i am afraid this game should be written off as a total loss.
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Posted: August 10
The best expansion/DLC for GC3 so far. The mercenaries alone are worth the price IMO.

Yes, you get two new races (Torian and Arcean) and their two new tech trees, with campaigns, and those are great. And I have to say, the Torian and Arcean ship designs are the best; I use them for my custom factions I like them so much.

But the real gem here is the mercenaries.

The mercenaries have some ships that really add a lot of flavor to the game. They're require cash and resources to buy, so they are really well-balanced. And because of the resource costs, you can't just splurge and buy all you want early in the game. You really have to pick and choose. They come in three tiers that are unlocked as you reach the three ages, so there's additional constraints on the more powerful ships.

Some examples of mercs:

A survey ship that earns +100 credits for every anomaly surveyed. Nice to have at the start of the game, or later when a galactic event triggers and anamolies are scattered everywhere.

Ships that add +100% (or more) to Research, Wealth or Production. These ships are great when stationed on your homeworld or main wealth/research planets (or Precursor planets). The bonuses are fantastic and well-balanced with the resources required.

A ship that can colonize extreme worlds (Barren, Water, Frozen) before you have the tech unlocked in the research tree.

A ship that make a trade route that earns double. If it gets destroyed en route to the target world, it respawns back at your homeworld.

And my personal favorite: a ship that earns +5 Malevolent Ideology points every time it, or the fleet it's in, wins a battle.

And there's more. There's a whole host of combat ships with powerful offense/defense, etc. The only problem with most of the combat ships is that they are Escorts, which mean they get targeted first by your enemy's ships during a battle, so they tend to die first. You can offset that a bit by building Escorts yourself and having some in the same fleet, but it's no guarantee that your mercenary escort ship will still not be targeted first. I wish the mercs weren't listed as Escorts, but I think Stardock probably did it for balance reasons to keep them from being overpowered.

I guess the best thing I can say about this expansion: I can't imagine playing GC3 now without it.
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Posted: July 30
10/10 would hire The Phonz again.
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Posted: June 5
Played Galactic Civilizations III for awhile and it worked great, took a break for it and came back - need to buy the Mercenaries Expansion pack to play any multiplayer games now. Figured it was a decent game so I bought the gold bundle which is suppose to include the Mercenaries Expansion Pack but it still says I need the Mercenaries Expansion DLC to play any multiplayer games. Thanks for breaking the game without buying the DLC and double-thanks for not actually fixing it after buying the bundle.
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Posted: May 29
WAY too expensive for what you get. I'm afraid that these folks are turning into the money hungy price gouging Paradox...
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Posted: April 15
The starting price point is why I'm glad I'm an elite founder - getting all of these expansions for free. That being said the content update is good, even more so considering that Stardock is constantly updating the software long past release date. Already the base game is much better now than it was at release time. I don't think we've seen the end of what Mercenaries has to offer. Get it on sale if you don't have it, but don't ignore it if you want to to fully experience GC3.
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ezixen, last of my name
Posted: April 14
Rules, to be polite...
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Posted: April 8
How Bizarre?
I wish more gamers would buy this so as i can find someone to multiplay against. I think that the con is that theres not really enough here to call it an expansion, the pro is that it provides more depth to the game and is my favourite element as I dont have time to design ships and I like the slight edge it can give over other players in battles. I haven't found it to unbalance the game as players usually have to acquire enormous amounts of strategic resources in order to purchase ships in the bizzarre anyhow.
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Posted: April 8
A very average expansion, thats a bit pricey. I am still recommending it as with this expansion comes many free updates as part of the 1.6 patch and the following 1.7 patch (currently in beta). Other studios would bundle these free improvements with the expansion to almost force you to buy, but stardock gives you the freedom of choice. If you don't think two races are worth the price, don't bother buying or wait for a special. The core game is still getting better and better and feature complete.
Personally the two aces add enough new variety to just just be worth the price for me.
With 1.7 constructor spam has mostly been fixed and the game is now the best in the series in my opinion.
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Posted: April 4
Great game. Really ambitious, with huge future potential

The expansion is perhaps a bit light on content, but the devs are constantly pushing out updates for free that more than make up for this.

While they continue to do this, this game will just get better and better. And thats well worth $20
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