Why Galactic Civilizations 3 Is Worth Revisiting on Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass has a huge variety of titles across all major genres, with the strategy section being no exception. There are several quality offerings available, including those tied to major franchises, such as halo wars and Gears Tacticsas well as independent hits like stellaris and Before We Leave. However, the newest addition to this roster is up there with the very best in its class.

Widely seen as one of the best 4X space strategy games ever made, Galactic Civilizations III improves upon the systems of the first two Galactic Civilizations games, almost perfecting them. Between its conversion to a hex-based tile system and the addition of many new features, the game is the culmination of years of development and refinement for the genre. Despite its 2015 release, the nature of the game’s design makes it feel as fresh as ever, a pleasant throwback to the turn-based strategies of old.

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Game Editing Features Allow Players To Design An Immersive Experience

overview of galactic civilizations iii campaign map

The base game features 11 playable factions of various human and alien races, with a further 18 added in the major Crusade expansion. Each faction has a distinct personality type that dictates how interactions with other races will play out. Each faction also has abilities and traits that offer different bonuses in specific scenarios. These make each of the default races feel unique and allow individual playthroughs to feel fresh every time. The artwork for the races is also some of the best in any sci-fi strategy game, offering a mix of classic alien fare and over-the-top comedic visuals that contribute to the game’s overall tone.

However, if none of these appeals, GCIII allows the player to create entire custom races using the in-game creation tool. With the player able to alter traits, abilities, personality, overall appearance and faction leadership, GCIII is the best at immersion-based game editing. The game also features a starship designer that completes the sense that a player’s civilization is genuinely their own.

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Galactic Civilizations III Takes Influence From Successful PC Strategy Games

Ship detail screen from galactic civilizations iiii

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.

Overall, there is very little not to like about GCIII, making it an ideal choice for Game Pass subscribers on the hunt for a new strategy to sink their teeth into. The game offers an outstanding balance between accessibility and challenges at higher difficulty levels. It also offers some of the most immersive diplomacy gameplay to be found in any space strategy. With many other great options already available, Galactic Civilizations III is another excellent addition to the Game Pass platform, especially for anyone looking for a slightly more relaxed experience than what RTS titles like Warhammer III offer.

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