Galactic Civilizations III: Sandbox space strategy - Games Weekly

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Galactic Civilizations III: Sandbox space strategy

Space strategy title Galactic Civilizations III is poised to capitalize on the success of its predecessors. With many of the core elements of the franchise being maintained, this is the first time the turn-based series heads into the multiplayer realm. From humble beginnings on a home planet, players expand to new worlds, research powerful new technology, engage in diplomacy and war, and create awesome starship designs from scratch.

As with many 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate), victory through military might is probably the most obvious way to win, but other routes to victory via influence and research are available if you’re looking for a non-violent solution to the galactic conflict.

A single-player campaign featuring the story of the Terrans (Humans) clashing against the might of the Drengin Empire is available in the full release, but for now players can engage in skirmishes during the Early Access phase.

Choosing your race is extremely important, as each one comes with a number of unique elements, including racial traits that have a significant effect on gameplay. Terrans, for instance, come with abilities that make them likable and mobile, while sentient artificial beings the Yor are unlikable but can repair ships easily and have a boost to production. In addition to special traits, race determines what areas can be colonized and come with unique ship equipment, planetary improvements, weapons, defenses, and even terraforming abilities. There are six different races currently available in Early Access, with two more on the way.

Players start each standard game with a colony, survey ship, and a colony ship. From there the space sandbox offers quite a few possibilities as the player chooses how to expand and develop. Allocation of time and resources, like many other 4X games, is critical to ensuring that you maintain a powerful presence in the galaxy. One of the coolest parts of Galactic Civilizations III is freeform ship design, in which players can construct ship designs piece by piece, part by part, to create exactly the sort of spacecraft they have in mind to tackle specific goals. It’s really fun to make your own cosmetic creations, but having full control over functional aspects of the craft from engine, weapons, sensors, and everything under the hood is something that core players will spend hours and hours on. If that’s not your thing, there’s nothing wrong with using templates and moving on to the next space battle or colony.

Galactic Civilizations III beta access is currently available on Steam, with many new features rolling out on a regular basis as we continue teching up toward the release.

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