Galactic Civilizations 4 Review: A Great Space Strategy Game

Galactic Civilizations 4 Review: A Great Space Strategy Game


As I moved my fleet across the local galaxy – concentrating on my mission to colonize an advanced planet called Ogma III – I saw a Yor Collective ship in front of me. No doubt its pilots had their own plans to establish a colony before I claimed the world myself. This is by far the best location for a new world I’ve found in the field and I want it. Since Yor is grumpy at me for refusing to trade with them anyway, I have no problem attacking until they beat me.

I command my fleet to fly over the Yoel ship and click on it, watching it explode in a brief animation of fire and wreckage.I will soon realize all Neighboring races are now unhappy with me. I can only hope that I have fully prepared my civilization for an all-out interstellar war destined to be of epic scale.

This isn’t the first time I’ve accidentally started a fight in Galactic Civilization 4, and it probably won’t be the last. Sometimes destroying an opponent’s innocent colonists is the inevitable result of progress. Yor likes to call us humans essentially “meat bags”, not the best neighbors, but at least they’re not threatening to spawn in my “many holes” like the new face of one of the 4X Festron Hunt games .

Even for those with extensive experience in the genre, Galactic Civilization IV offers players a lot of Digestion. Its civilization inspiration can be seen in the basic hex game mechanics and war strategy, while the narrative elements are reminiscent of Crusader Kings. It’s a beast of its own, however; compared to CK’s sci-fi brother Stellaris, GalCiv IV’s campaign is more structured than a free-form grand strategy game. Although it takes a while to warm up, Stardock’s new space game finally strikes a balance between exploration and resource management.

The fourth iteration of the series introduces many new features, including governors, commanders, and in-game missions.Players will not play within a single realm, but will explore, expand, exploit and destroy many department. Rather than a civilization-specific feature, the game promotes the growth of organic empires in one session. There are powerful ideological options, and while these can be better balanced, it takes a lot of trial and error to shape your country.

Even for the experienced, Galactic Civilization 4 leaves players with a lot to digest

GalCiv IV also looks much better than its predecessors. The graphics are fantastic, and I especially like the realistic character animations that reflect how the historical civilization’s own leader model brings life and personality to diplomacy. The various UI elements can feel clunky at times, but for a game with such depth, the effort is certainly appreciated.

It took me about ten hours of gaming time before I found my pace. This is mostly because I don’t always understand the consequences of my choices, so I often do random things that end up holding me back.For example, I’m often not sure if I need to focus on being tall and building only the best colonies on the best planets, or building vast colonies Every Earth becomes possible while waiting for terraforming technology. It turns out that the best strategy is somewhere in between.

Fortunately, GalCiv IV is very forgiving when played at its default difficulty settings. Maybe that’s why it’s so fun to jump in and explore. There’s an in-game advisor — already nicknamed “Space Clippy” after years of guiding Microsoft Word’s animated assistant — but beyond the most basic concepts, I didn’t find them particularly useful.

Stardock’s new game strikes a balance between exploration and resource management

As with most complex strategy games, the more one plays, the more they understand. Even after so many hours, I’m still struggling to figure out how to optimize my core world. But like space exploration itself, it’s trying to understand the unknowns that make it all so interesting.

The ultimate victory proved elusive, even on easy difficulty. I find simulation and exploration more engaging than working towards any one specific goal. I enjoy myself most when I have room to grow, building my civilization until I feel confident enough to attack my enemies. I really appreciate the developer’s focus on eliminating the tedious endgame discomfort that often plagues 4X games. Galactic Civilization IV addresses this problem primarily through the concept of prestige. Players earn prestige throughout the game, but can also complete challenges (called galactic achievements) to speed up the process, which can be a shortcut to winning what often turns into a long, long finish line in other games.

Stardock has a lot of experience with the 4X genre, so it’s no surprise that the team is able to take what they’ve learned and repeat the series’ past success. GalCiv IV, for example, has 18 fascinating civilizations with plenty of options for player customization. The most dedicated players can even design custom ships for their fleets and upload image assets for their own matches. This complements a long list of galaxy generation options, which includes everything from adjusting competitor start distances to AI behavior and win conditions.

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There are also some wonderful details from real life. For example, you can choose to play as a silicon-based lifeform.Just exist This type of life is a controversial topic in scientific discourse. So when playing such a species, it does make me laugh to see a dissenting AI cast doubt on my civilization on this exact topic.

For those unfamiliar with the series, even moving to a more approachable design, Galactic Civilization IV will be a tough entry. Seasoned space 4X enthusiasts may catch up faster, but there’s still a learning curve. No matter what you do, the rewards of mastering all these new systems are worth it, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Some narrative content in the game can be somewhat repetitive, especially across multiple sessions. I also sometimes find it tedious to manage leaders and match their traits to appropriate roles. The game assigns bonuses to diplomacy, governance, ministries, and commander ships based on the leader’s traits. There’s a sense of realism sometimes just having to scroll as much as you want, but that’s a feature I’d like to see expanded in the future.

Even moving to a more approachable design will be a tough entry for anyone unfamiliar with the collection

Ultimately, the aspect I struggled with the most was getting a good understanding of how all the different decision points fit together. At least in easy cases, the consequences of hasty decisions don’t seem to be as dire as they are in higher difficulties. It would be interesting to try harder modes to gauge how much micromanagement a top game requires. Nonetheless, the lower difficulty options ensure that players can have fun even while feeling the game’s systems and potential.

It’s easy to generalize Galactic Civilization IV as a “space civilization.” But the reality is that different types of 4X games handle these common mechanics differently. GalCiv IV does a great job of finding the fun of the stars, and is a game that offers a truly unique experience every time you play it. It definitely has “one more turn” magic, and with the entire galaxy as your playground, the possibilities are endless.

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It’s only going to get better as Stardock has made a lot of noise about supporting mods heavily, and given the creativity of these communities, we can’t wait to see what players come up with. Meanwhile, as I prepare for the upcoming war, it comes back into my gameplay – I need to turn my attention to upgrading my ships and building my defenses. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to protect my “many holes” from damage.

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Kirsten Bennett
Kirsten is a passionate writer who loves games, and one day he decided to combine the two. She is now professionally writing niche articles about Consoles and hardware .