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Galactic Civilizations 3

Being the third instalment in a franchise that's been around for nearly twenty years, there's a lot of backstory and lore to get into before a new player can get lost in the deeper narrative of the game. To give a very, very brief history lesson: There were two ancient space-faring civilizations known as the Drengin, and the Arceans.

Galactic Civilizations 3

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These civilizations eventually built stargates that allowed them to travel much farther distances in mere moments. What started as a mutually beneficial relationship soon turned into war, with the Drengin using the stargate technology to attack the Arceans. After pushing their forces back, the Arceans set about searching the galaxy for other forms of life.

This hyperdrive technology was quickly used by all civilizations as a means to conquer the rest of the galaxy, building colonies across all planets as fast as they could. This inevitably led to conflict between the civilizations, leading to the events of the first game.

Continuity aside, it perhaps doesn't sell the new game too well that, more or less, the same races that have graced dozens of like-minded games are available for selection here: There's the plucky and versatile humans as a matter of course, war-mongering lizard-monkeys, fascist mechanoids and stone-faced traders to describe but a few. It's a good thing Stardock has injected each with a sense of humour because although broadly asymmetric in terms of traits and abilities, there are in fact just seven returning civilizations and only one that's new, meaning five have either been retired or deemed surplus to requirements. However, as thin a selection as that may seem, it really isn't, for any apparent lack of racial diversity is more than made up for with the capacity to allow for up to 128 custom civilisations simultaneously being active in any one game, either in single or multiplayer. Coupled with the ability to run 'insane' sized maps with hundreds of planets means that the scope for a vast and enduring interstellar war is almost unprecedented.

Galactic Civilizations is a series of space-based 4X strategy games set in the far future where humans have started to colonize the stars. Earth has united after discovering the existence of alien civilizations and has invented a faster-than-light technology called Hyperdrive. Galactic Civilizations has always focused on the exploration, expansion, and inevitable conflict that arises from multiple civilizations all vying for the same thing: total galactic control.

The player begins with only their home planet and must research new technologies, explore the known galaxy, colonize new worlds while keeping their people at home happy. At the same time, players engage in trade, diplomacy, intrigue and war with alien civilizations.

Throughout the game, civilizations gradually develop culturally, allowing players to select unique traits that set them apart from others. The cost of these traits varies based on the player's actions and choices made during gameplay.

Besides traditional power levers like adjusting taxes, players can now select from a range of policies to influence their civilizations' functions. Opt for coerced research to accelerate technology gains, or implement mandatory conscription for more soldiers during wartime. These policies grant players unprecedented control over their civilization's development.

Population is represented by citizens with diverse strengths and weaknesses. These citizens hail from various planets and can create multi-ethnic societies in a galactic sense, as different species come to inhabit the same planets. Each species has unique natural abilities, making them suitable for distinct roles within your civilization.

Sectors allow you to experience a truly epic story, all told through your decisions and choices throughout the game. They give the map a truly galactic feel. You can also select the number of sectors you have on a map when you set up a new game, giving you control over the scope of your playthrough.

Play Galactic Civilizations III for longer than 10 minutes and it becomes clear that it takes cues from some of the most successful PC strategies of any era. The game makes use of systems pioneered in Sid Meier titles, from as far back as the oft-forgotten Alpha Centauri. This includes colony management similar to the aforementioned Stellaris, technological trees, and a similar style of diplomatic relations between competing civilizations. Where the technology and game engines of the time often restricted those trailblazing titles, GCIII manages to take these foundations and streamline them into a simulation of functional societies.

The developer of GCIII, Stardock, builds upon time-honored traditions with adaptations that offer something new to even seasoned players of the genre. For example, the game's Ideology system acts as one of the defining factors in how a given faction behaves. With three possible paths, Benevolent, Pragmatic or Malevolent, available to civilizations, this feature and others like it offer another layer to the game, making it stand out from other similar strategy games.

Stellaris: Utopia will go big for construction and social engineering. Megastructures like Dyson Spheres, ringworlds, and outlet malls will be all the rage for advanced space-faring cultures. Utopia will also give players new tools to use in their galactic bureaucracies including rights for citizenship, traditions to ease expansion, and bonuses for rapid exploration. The expansion will also allow would-be emperors to guide their factions through evolution.

There is a remarkably consistent pattern of evolution in the Universe, in which physical evolution leads to chemical evolution, followed by biological evolution, social evolution, and cultural evolution. In this process, matter becomes organized in increasingly complex ways, and more able to make use of free energy in the environment. In view of this evolution of dissipative structures, of which cells, humans, and mankind are examples, it seems unlikely that technological civilization is an aberration in the Universe, but rather an inevitable step in the process. Whether mankind is the first occurrence of this evolutionary stage is not known, but the assertion that this is so is unjustified. The subsequent level of organization is or will be a galactic civilization. 041b061a72


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