The benevolent space lords at Stardock have announced a release date for their much anticipated title Galactic Civilizations III. This latest addition to the 4X space-conquest genre has been in Early Access for only eight months and is now set to release on May 14th. So far, the title has received 'mostly positive' user-reviews.
Galactic Civilizations III will include a majority of the features and gameplay elements from its predecessors. Naturally, the title will also benefit from updated graphics and scope, as well as a handful of shiny new features.
- Multiplayer, specifically PVP. (Co-op does not appear to be in the works at this time.)
- Extremely high quality AI. (Apparently, moving to a 64 bit platform is going to enable the implementation very smart, and hopefully fast AI.)
- A new battle viewer that will better showcase ships and weapons.
- A new single player story.
While I'm looking forward to this addition to what I consider one of the greatest 4x franchises of all-time, I do so with just a little trepidation. Less than a month from release and some of these features have yet to be implemented. A handful are listed as "future updates," including the fancy AI. I'm uncertain as to whether these features are going to make it to launch, or if they are to be added somewhere down the line.
Another caveat is that Galactic Civilizations III will be compatible with only 64-bit operating systems. While this will probably not be a problem for most gamers, it may come as a blow to those expecting to run this title on more outdated systems. GalCiv has typically been enjoyable on a large variety of PCs, but this 64-bit OS requirement will diminish that perk, if only a little.
If you are new to the GalCiv universe, GalCiv III will likely be an excellent place for you to start. I expect it to be the most graphically advanced and engaging GalCiv yet. For those that don't know, Galactic Civilizations has always been a very full-featured IP. There are many ways to expand your empire and win the game. The title even includes an incredibly detailed, but easily accessible ship-builder. Many have enjoyed blowing hours of their time building custom fleets. A lot has always been possible with the ship-builder, from borg-like vessels to insectoid ships. It's a favorite feature for many fans.
With just a couple of weeks to go until launch, many are eagerly awaiting the game's full-release. What about you readers? Have you played the Early Access version? We'd love to hear your impressions as well as your hopes for the title. Please leave these in the comments below.