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Galactic Civilizations IV

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Stardock
Release Date: 2022

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'Galactic Civilizations IV' Rolls Out Alpha Version Through Early Access

by Rainier on June 10, 2021 @ 1:01 p.m. PDT

Galactic Civilizations IV is a space 4X strategy sandbox game series that takes the best of what its predecessors had to offer and adds to it with many new and exciting features.

As the all-powerful leader of a spacefaring civilization, the player must seek out new star systems and discover the exciting potential of the subspace realm. There are thousands of worlds to colonize and dozens of civilizations - both old and new - to encounter.

Galactic Civilizations IV aims to vastly increase the game’s scope and depth by introducing AI characters, star sectors, ministers, central control, a much bigger technology tree, and more.

To go along with the greater depth in the way civilizations are handled, the game’s galactic scale has been vastly increased. Free-form ship movement is one of the features that has made Galactic Civilizations stand out from other space strategy games. In previous games, players set up the map size and it would generate the stars and planets for the player to explore and colonize. Now, each of these maps becomes a sector which is connected to other sectors through what Stardock calls “Subspace Streams”. These streams are unknown by the player until the proper technology is researched. As a result, the exploration phase of the game continues throughout the game.


Stardock released an Alpha version of Galactic Civilizations IV into Early Access today. As the all-powerful leader of a spacefaring civilization, the player must seek out new star systems and discover the exciting potential of the subspace realm. There are thousands of worlds to colonize and dozens of civilizations - both old and new - to encounter.

Because of the dramatic changes from previous Galactic Civilizations games, the early access program for Galactic Civilizations IV will start at the Alpha phase rather than the more typical Beta phase, so that player feedback can be incorporated early.

"Great games are built on player feedback," said Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock. "We have always valued our community and encourage them to participate in the process as we develop new things. Putting Galactic Civilizations IV into an Early Access period during its Alpha phase allows us to hear what our players have to say now so we can deliver the best game possible later."

Interested fans can join Early Access through the Epic Games Store.

To deal with the much greater number of stars and planets from previous games, the concept of “AI governors” has been thrown out and replaced by the Core world / Colony World metaphor.

Much of the game deals with the player carefully balancing their personal power versus that of the leader characters they’ve recruited. Leader characters are what unlock many features of the game - from research, to planet management, to diplomacy - but they also have their own agendas and individual stats that can lead them to do things to the player (or to each other).  Moreover, the player can bypass their leaders and issue executive orders using control points.

Acquiring control points typically involves actions that result in reducing the loyalty of various leaders. Thus, the player has to carefully balance their desire for control with getting along with their leader characters.

With the entire galaxy now being part of the game, Galactic Civilizations IV includes several new canon alien civilizations to play as or against each with their own unique abilities, lore, and features.

Popular features from the previous versions of the game have also been greatly improved, including ship designs, planetary invasions, combat, diplomacy, research, planetary improvements, and more.

The Galactic Civilizations games have traditionally included a campaign that introduced players to the lore surrounding 23rd century Earth. Players could play the campaign, or they could play the sandbox game that was relatively devoid of story-driven elements. Galactic Civilizations IV won’t include a campaign. Instead, the lore is brought to the sandbox game via a quest-like “Missions” feature that players can choose to take. What missions come up depends on the specific conditions of that particular game. For example, many of the missions are the result of the individual backstories of the leaders. Since each civilization has their own set of leaders and what leaders appear changes from game to game, each play-through should feel like its own epic.

Galactic Civilizations IV is currently scheduled for release in 2022.


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