More Reviews
REVIEWS Boss! Review
PlayStation Vita owners looking to exercise a little frustration can look to this rather low-fi title about creating a monster and destroying everything in your path.

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.5 ReMIX Review
Part 2 of Square-Enix and Disney's cooperative compilation cash-cow is ready to milk the series for another go, but does the milk taste sweet or is it spoiled?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Release date: Out Now

Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 12/07/14
RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Preview

Duke_Ferris By:
Duke_Ferris
02/02/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Strategy 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Stardock 
DEVELOPER Stardock 
RELEASE DATE  
E10+ Contains Language, Mild Fantasy Violence

What do these ratings mean?

From the earth to the moon to the nebulae...


The war fleets have been recalled and your tanks are slowly rumbling home. Your game of Civilization IV has come to an end, and the world has been unified under your Aztec empire. Now what? Start over in a grass hut with a stone club?

Pretty soon, you won't have to, because Galactic Civilizations II: The Dread Lords takes over right where Civ IV leaves off by blasting your ever-conquering ass directly into deep space.

Well, sort of. Stardock's sequel to the critically-acclaimed space strategy game doesn't have any specific ties to Sid Meier's baby, but it certainly has similar appeal. Ten fledgling races (including those scrappy humans) have discovered interstellar travel and escaped their local gravity wells. There are new solar systems to explore, planets to terraform, anomalies to investigate, starbases to build and fleets to construct. As agriculture and pottery are assumed to be mastered, the technology tree instead begins with the ion drive and ends up in scientific breakthroughs to make the gods jealous.

click to enlargeLike Civ, the game is a turn-based affair with multiple paths to victory, from the technological win to cultural domination – assuming, that is, you're not the sort to just shoot everyone else and crush them under your iron starfleet. In fact, in the game's non-linear Human campaign, failure is an option. Miss a goal or stumble on a mission and the story continues down a different path. We've been fans of this kind of space branching since the great action game Colony Wars. It's great to see it embraced again.

In Galactic Civilizations II's numerous Sandbox modes, you can play as any of the ten races and explore the randomly generated galaxy any way you choose. Technological advances and the colonization of distant planets will bring you more wealth and resources, allowing your ships to roam farther and farther into the void.

Interstellar anomalies and precursor artifacts can lead to unique technologies to benefit your chosen race. Many other situations will present you with a choice. Discover a primitive species, and you can try to live with them, or you can enslave them. When cultures collide, the result can be peaceful trade and an exchange of ideas, but keep a phaser in your back pocket because interstellar war and planetary genocide is equally likely. Your actions will influence how the other races feel about you; some will respect strength, while others will respect harmony. It all feels pretty open-ended.

click to enlargeWhile the graphics are simple, clear and iconic, they are also impressive thanks to a brand new 3D engine that can scale to any resolution. Ship battles are animated, and you can zoom and rotate the entire universe from a galactic scale, down to a close-up of a single ship.

But certainly the most innovative new feature is the starship designer. Rather than being locked into set ship designs, you can custom design your ship's looks and abilities however you like. Put in big engines, and you might not have room for those fancy guns, but you can outrun other ships. And what you can outfit depends on where you've gone on the technology tree. Focus on lasers or missiles for firepower, specialize in miniaturization to fit more modules on your ship, or emphasize on hull design to just have a better ship to begin with. The possibilities are endless.

In designing a sequel to the cult-hit Galactic Civilizations, Stardock hasn't rested on its laurels, instead attempting to up the ante on just about every aspect of the game. Looking for life beyond Sid Meier? It should be arriving on a starship early next month.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords