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Galactic Civilizations 2: Dread Lords
Posted: 12/3/06 by Chris Stavros | Comments (14)

As the 23rd century dawns, mankind is on the verge of a long sought dream, moving out among the stars. The old ways of using interstellar jump gates to end the problems of distance have been replaced by an invention of man, hyperdrive. Equipped with these new engines mankind spreads his wings to the stars, only to discover the galaxy has other races also looking to expand. This is the premise of Galactic Civilization 2 Dread Lords.

Galactic Civilization 2 (GC2 for short from now on) is a turn based strategy game about colonizing planets and diplomatic interaction with other space faring races. Players must explore the always different galaxy, study important technologies, design and build starships, colonize new worlds, as well as capturing enemy worlds and defending their own planets. They will also develop their own planets to produce the tools of empire, food, money, technology and starships.

Play begins with a few basic selections, such as picking a race. Each race has different attributes and bonus factors and there are a few bonus points you can assign to gain more advantages. These are displayed easily with drop down windows that clearly explain the cost and what the advantage gives you. These advantages stay with you the entire game so choose wisely and you can tailor your game playing style to gain the maximum effect from these choices.

You will also be asked if you would like to change the name of your civilization, your leader's name, as well as your race portrait. You can also change the look and style of your starships, as well as their colors and also change the default color of your civilization. The first time playing they recommend the Terran Alliance since we know something about being humans. You can also adjust the size of your galaxy, how many habitable planets it may have, as well as possible trade resources. The size of the galaxy determines the number of alien races, and you can pick these as well, or let the AI do that.

The game opens with a short intro movie and you can begin to make decisions. The map is grayed over and you can see your homeworld and the star it orbits, and a few planets. You have one colony ship and your fleet flagship at start so you can begin exploring and colonization right away. You will have to set out blindly to find new world at first and there are bonus asteroids to uncover that also give advantages.

The game map has several viewing modes as well as nice zoom features. If you change the view options it will show where other races are as well as resources and star systems but this is something like a cheat to me as it removes the random factor. Each race has a sphere of influence that shows on the map as colored borders but you can move through space without hindrance from them. As your starships travel over the map the gray is removed and exact details are revealed such as habitable planets, star system names and what race if any lives on a particular planet.

   
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