GALACTIC CIVILIZATION III is probably the ultimate space exploration world building strategy game available. Races are very different from one another with plenty of personality. There are those who will become trusted friends as you aid each other's growth in the cold reaches of space. Then there are others who truly are a menace to all and you will learn to despise utterly with furrowed brow and frothing mouth wishing to throw their entire race into a black hole though GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III gives you many choices not to and to be better then that.
Thanks to the amazing tutorial and tool tips GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III is extremely easy to get into with its layer upon layers of world building and space exploration depth. You can also just go through the mountain of options available on the screen pressing buttons to see what they do in a very intuitive way which rewards with plenty of easy to understand results. Its pretty incredible to see a strategy game with so much detail making everything feel realistic and alive be so easy to get into without insulting the intelligence of the player.
I love the environments in outer space with terrifying black holes which when you zoom in you can hear the eerie howl of some deep mysterious void. Gas clouds which can effect ship instruments in and outside of combat. Relics and space wreckage which hold useful salvage and important scientific discoveries from other races etc etc etc.
You can design and build ships once you have a ship yard constructed along with space stations which are very important playing multiple roles as planetary defense and a source of resources among many other commonsense purposes which i have not seen done in other games. Commonsense that is the word i think of most when playing GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III from the design and purpose of ships and space stations to the way a world can evolve and grow along with interactions with other races it all seems to promote rational thinking instead of a bunch of psychotic races out to destroy everything and everyone. There is a certain calming reassuring quality about this as one does the best to live a happy life in space while dealing with warring races and space pirates which if you play your cards right you will have many an ally at your side to help keep the peace.
Graphics are excellent capturing a beautiful awe inspiring jaw dropping view of the universe and all it has to offer. User interface is a joy to use and i have yet to feel frustrated or confused interacting with it. Ships span a huge variety of styles from dashingly heroic to malevolently menacing. Combat which can can be viewed from a top down or cinematic camera angle is a thrilling and tense affair as you see battles play out before your eyes. Be sure though to repair your ships if they stay out too long in space eventually even small pirate encounters will leave it a hulking wreck which may never make it home. Hmm i wonder if they have a derelict towing service :D
When discoveries are made or something of importance has been built or a major goal achieved the player is rewarded with intensely gorgeous videos just like the good old days of CIVILIZATION and ALPHA CENTAURI with all their eye candy when something important was achieved. I was in science fiction bliss seeing all this futuristic mysterious inspiring imagery play out before my eyes. Watch out BLIZZARD someone might just take your CGI video crown away when it comes to artistic quality and presentation.
Music and sound effects hit the spot with plenty of action packed rhythms along with relaxing soothing moments of meditative harmony of the sounds of the universe. It makes me question if Stardock Entertainment shot a satellite out into space to capture all the sounds of the universe for GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III.
If your a fan of space exploration and combat and such classic titles as the CIVILIZATION series, ALPHA CENTAURI, STAR DRIVE 2, GRATUITOUS SPACE BATTLES 1+2, SID MEIER'S CIVILIZATION BEYOND EARTH and SID MEIER'S STARSHIPS then GALACTIC CIVILIZATION III may very well be the game that satisfies in ways you never thought you could be satisfied by a video game.
Oh and did i mention GALACTIC CIVILIZATION III is also supporting modding :D