With so many choices in games available these days thanks to digital distribution, it can sometimes be hard to settle upon a choice of what to play when you happen to have an afternoon free to yourself. 4X is an extremely popular genre, and there's no question that there are hundreds of 4X-style games available on Steam and other platforms.
Today, I want to talk a little bit about what sets Galactic Civilizations III (called GalCiv from here on out for brevity) apart from many of the other 4X games on the market right now. Let's get into it!
Right off the bat, anyone who opens up a game of GalCiv will notice just how absolutely massive this game is. It is one of the largest space 4X sandbox games ever made, and the game showcases this in more than just map size. The amount of options you have as a player when setting up your game - from number of planets to how many and which races you'll be sharing the galaxy with, and more - is just so vast.
You can be as particular as you want with your settings. Don't like that victory condition? Turn it off! Tired of your opponents surrendering before you get a chance to crush them beneath your heel? Turn on the option that forces them to fight to the last breath. You can adjust resource frequency, planet frequency, and whether or not pirates are constantly beating down your proverbial door. If you're just starting out, you might find it helpful to adjust the game's pacing and the amount of crises that occur.
The nice thing about GalCiv III is that you can start a game on a massive map and play across the span of a few days, or play a smaller-sized map just to fill an afternoon. Scale in this case doesn't refer to how large or small a map is, but rather how many options YOU as a player have at your fingertips when sitting down to play.
The Ship Designer
From our earliest games here at Stardock, we have always had our modding community in mind. Many of our developers got their start in games through modding hobbies, and we like to be able to support that within our games. GalCiv III is unique in that it has a ship designer built into the game, allowing players to make changes that are both cosmetic and functional.
Ship designing can make or break a victory. Looking carefully at the types of weapons and defenses that are available and applying them to ships in order to directly counter your opponent's forces will grant you a huge advantage during a game. If you're like me, you'll be exceptionally excited to change your ship's colors into cool, eye-catching combinations.
If ship design isn't really your thing, don't worry - there are thousands of community-created designs on the Steam Workshop. Trust me, you can get lost browsing the ships for hours, there's just so much there.
The Civilization Designer
This particular feature was added in one of our expansions and then later rolled into the core version of the game. The Civilization Designer lets you create your own civilization from scratch, complete with traits, attributes, logo, leader photo, and more. You can modify existing civilizations to create some for yourself, or just like with the ship designs, you can browse all of the player-created civilizations over on the Steam Workshop.
The traits that you apply to your civilization will dramatically affect how they play. You'll start with points to spend on positive traits, but if you're willing to take a few negative traits as well, you'll be able to add more points to your pool in order to take more traits. It's a delicate balancing act, and it's really fun to try new combinations of traits and attributes to see what works best!
When you create your civilization, you'll also be prompted to select what ships they'll start the game with. Not only can you choose ship style and designs, but you'll be able to determine if your civilization will start with scouts, or perhaps a colony ship, or maybe even something with more guns. The choice is yours.
My favorite thing about the Civilization Designer is being able to write a description for my civilization. I can add paragraphs of text talking about the civilization's background, origin, play style, and more. If you want to share your civilization with the community, you can upload it to the workshop! You can learn more about the Civilization Builder here and here.
What sets GalCiv III apart for you? Share your thoughts with me!