Galactic Civilizations III Alpha Preview
Galactic Civilizations III is in alpha testing, so many of the systems were not in place when experiencing this game. Because it is such an early build, take what I note below lightly.
I honestly have never played the Galactic Civilizations series before, but I have heard much of the games. I was shocked to find out that the last installment, Galactic Civilizations 2, came out in 2006. I played so much Starcraft back then, so I would’ve loved this game. Galactic Civilizations III has recently entered alpha testing on Steam’s Early Access, and as a gamer who enjoys the 4x genre, I will give you a breakdown of the popular sci-fi sequel so far.
GalCiv 3 has been available for alpha testing since late March, and so far it looks beautiful. Stardock Entertainment has really upped the quality since the last installment, showing off a gorgeous opening cinematic that reminds me of awesome sci-fi shows like Stargate and Battlestar Galactica. The crisp graphics of the galaxy maps made my surveying of the multiple solar systems quite enjoyable to see. Since this was my first time playing through a Galactic Civilization game, I made sure to do some research because it was quite difficult to understand the menus and units at first.
4x games are vastly deep in content, and you can win a game in multiple ways. In the alpha build, the only way to win was through complete devastation of your enemies’ units and planets. In addition, the only A.I difficulty level available was beginner, so confrontations were quite minimal in matches. This allowed me to look more into the various technology trees: engineering, civil, weapons, and defense. Looking at the vast majority of pathways to follow, I can see how big one game can really be. There is also a “Govern” feature where you can manipulate your whole civilization or individual planets to focus on certain aspects of production. With a cursor, you can decide if you want to focus mostly on manufacturing and research for the early game, or maybe just focus everything on wealth in the late game to rush unit production.
The customization of Galactic Civilization 2 is not yet implemented in the alpha, and that goes for both race and ship customization. On the other hand, the alpha does include a new feature, the Ideology tree, which is very reminiscent of the social policies in Sid Meier’s Civilization V. Throughout a normal match, you will encounter choices that a player has to make when first settling into a planet. These choices add points to one of three Ideology trees: Benevolence, Pragmatism, or Malevolence. Each one has various perks which can help support the type of play style you may have. When your ship surveys the map, they can also find artifacts that can adds points to either of the Ideology trees.
Stardock has also added a new race, the Iridium Corporation, which was one of the four playable factions in the alpha testing. Each race also has their own perks, whether it’s influence or manufacturing, that supports a certain type of play style. For instance, the Drengin is a warring faction that excels in military perks. If you want to win through galactic domination, the Drengin is the way to go. There looks to be eight factions in total for the final release.
In conclusion, Stardock Entertainment has a bit of a ways to go till the final release. Although I have to say that Galactic Civilizations III does look promising with what they have done already in this alpha build. I look forward to their progress, and I believe this may become a great contender for other strategy games when it does arrive.
Here’s a snippet of what’s planned for the final release:
[Source: Stardock Entertainment]