The Crusade expansion pack adds new factions, spies, and powerful individual citizens that can take starring roles in your colonies. Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Bargain Bin
As the kingdom of Zhou burned to ashes around me on the map, I took a moment to reflect on what had been a bad year. A peasants revolt, a devastating war, cities lost to disease and fire, and an incurable case of bandits. Oriental Empires seems to have everything I want in a game – disaster, bad decisions and angry serfs. So why did I only get as far as the second X in this 4X strategy before I turned away, frustrated and fed up? Perhaps it’s because – as terrible as my year has been – I’ve lived it all before.
Galactic Civilization III [official site] felt to Adam in his review like a good starting point that years of DLC and expansions would ultimately make more interesting. That’s already happening: Stardock have released a Builder’s Kit DLC that includes new ship parts, a new ship type, and a labelling system so you can name all your fancy designs.
Lawks, has Galactic Civilizations III [official site] really been out for nine months? With early access blurring the lines, part of me feels like it’s both been out for ages and only just come out. Anyway, nine months is long enough for an expansion (that’s not- this isn’t some baby joke), so here we go! Mercenaries launched last night, adding two new factions and mercenaries who’ll do duffing for you.
GalCiv III is also now fancier for people who don’t have the expansion, as the latest update has brought things like improved AI and graphics to the base game.
RPS Feature Wave your Boba Fett fists in the air.
When last we left Galactic Civilizations III [official site], our very own Space General Adam Smith had looked out upon the twinkly stars of the heavens and proclaimed (paraphrasing), “It’s good, but in need of a few expansions, maybe.” And nobody defies the demands of a Space General.
Which is to say Stardock just announced the game’s first meaty expansion, Galactic Civilizations III: Mercenaries.
That’s not a typo in the headline. This patch is not for the recently released Galactic Civilizations 3, but for the nearly ten year-old Galactic Civilizations 2. Released last Thursday, version 2.20 incorporates a number of community mods into the base game, as well as making tweaks to its already formidable AI.
That there Galactic Civilizations III [official site] is pretty good, our Adam thought, though he noted it could do with an expansion or two under its spacebelt. It may have launched out of Early Access two months ago, but that doesn’t mean development’s done. Yesterday brought a patch adding two new difficulty levels (high and low: Incredible and Easy) along with Steam Workshop support for sharing your custom factions and ship designs and easily downloading others. Good news: people have already created almost heaps of sci-fi movie and TV ships and factions for you.
In other, slightly less warm news, a map editor has arrived, but as part of a £4 map pack DLC.
RPS Feature Stellar?
Galactic Civilizations III [official site] is the long-awaited sequel to the 24th best strategy game of all time. I’ve spent a week looking to the stars and planting my flag in every planet in sight in order to understand the changes that have been made, and the improvements and failures at the heart of this behemoth. Here’s wot I think.
If I’m going to blast off into the far reaches of the galaxy, I’d probably rather the technology be perfected first. There’s a lot to be said for going up in a multi-billion dollar fireball and raining ashes over the Pacific, but perhaps that’s not for everyone. By the same token, you might not be willing to attempt galactic conquest while a game’s on Steam Early Access.
If so, good news: Galactic Civilizations III now has a launch date for blasting out of Early Access and becoming a proper fancy full video game, whatever that is. Start a countdown: t-minus 22 days. Or May 14th, if you find that easier to understand; you probably do.
Tch, why conquer space for anyone else? Why march under the banner of the Krynn Syndicate when you could be The Confederacy of Ian? Who could stand up to the economic power of The Michael Empire? And imagine the terror enemies would feel lining up against the Aliciance fleet.
You can now make that happen in Galactic Civilizations III, as the latest update on its way through Early Access added custom factions, not to mention mod support.
Update: Stardock have now released a video showing the diplomacy feature in action.
When Brendan looked at Galactic Civilization 3‘s beta back in August, he deemed it not ready for consumption. It’s a 4X series that’s beloved for the anecdotes it creates for players through its personality-driven AI and the ability to conquer galaxies not just with superior numbers but by, say, destroying all the stars or broadcasting better television. None of that choice was in the game at that point, despite the £30/$45 price tag.
Now there’s a lot more of it. Beta 2 has just gone live, which adds diplomacy and trading and personalities and a ton of new ways to win the game, including through influence, alliances, ascension and research. The full list of changes is too vast to list here, but I’ve picked out a few below.
RPS Feature Should You Buy It Yet?
Gal Civ 3 has warped from Early Access alpha to Early Access beta, and brought with it more (but not all) features to the famous, 4X strategy game. Is it worth your time or money yet? We sent Brendan to investigate.
Picture the scene. You are a peaceful, religious race of extra-terrestrials, but you are inexplicably at war with the three rival civilisations that surround you. Your people love you for your mindfulness but they are upset that they don’t have more money to spend. Your desert planet full of shopping centres is deeply unhappy. Your planet full of scorpions is booming. Huge lettering drops from the sky! GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III.
You’ve gotta hope space isn’t the final frontier or we’re going to run badly out of places to set games once the current crop are released. Galactic Civilisations III took to Early Access in March in alpha and has now progressed to the beta stage. Along with a star cruiser’s worth of changes and additions, this means it’s come down to a more reasonable price. Space-joy all round. Stardock have put out a surprisingly funny new trailer to celebrate the chunky new patch notes.
Gal Civ 3 launched into Early Access in late March, but at the time the game was missing much of what made the 4X strategy game special, including diplomacy, colony management and ship building. Stardock are beginning to change that, and yesterday launched an update that added the freeform ship builder to the game. There’s a long, 40-minute archive livestream below showing exactly what you can do with it. Here’s the important part: you can now have animated parts on your phallic dong-vessels. Maybe it’s time to windmill into battle?
I feel like I’ve spent much of the last few weeks in space, either in Elite: Dangerous’ alpha or in re-watching Star Trek: Voyager, and I am more than ready for some strategy set among the stars.
Galactic Civilization 3 seems poised to sate my appetite. GalCiv 2 was a game that effectively let you defeat its personality-rich AI by broadcasting better television than them, and as the new GalCiv 3 video below suggests, most or all of its best features are returning.
“Human-like AI that doesn’t cheat and plays by the same rules as human players” shouldn’t be a boast, surely. It should be a given. HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING, VIDEOGAMES? But still, this is one of the claims made by Arkavi / Iceberg’s upcoming scifi 4X game Star Lords. That’s a name which has me wishing for a turn-based Guardians of the Galaxy game, and probably has Arkavi and co hoping Marvel don’t catch wind of this.
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The great tragedy about Galactic Civilizations III being announced today is knowing how unlikely it is that Tom Francis will write a book-length diary about it, as he so marvellously did for GalCiv2, what with him off being a highly talented indie developer now. At least we get the game, at long last. It is, as the name might suggest, a sweeping, interstellar strategy colossus rife with potential for epic victories and epic disasters. And it is announced, as a somewhat Mass Effecty trailer reveals. Interestingly, it’s going to be “exclusive to 64-bit PCs.” So if you’ve only got a 63-bit one, I’m afraid it’s time to upgrade.
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