The long-running space 4X strategy game series, Galactic Civilizations, is preparing to introduce its fourth installment, the Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Edition (GalCiv IV), to the Steam platform this upcoming Fall.
Developer Stardock has emphasized significant updates and improvements since its last major Steam release – Galactic Civilization III – eight years ago. GalCiv IV had a prior release on the Epic platform, where it received mixed feedback from the strategy game community, particularly regarding certain gameplay mechanics. In our own Galactic Civilizations IV review, while praising the game overall, we noted that the game’s decision system didn’t always feel like it was leading somewhere.
This new Supernova edition, according to Stardock, addresses prior critiques, expanding the gameplay so much that its scope could almost be likened to a sequel. Notably, the team from GalCiv II, including Brad Wardell, the original designer for the first two editions, reunited for this project. They have shared that GalCiv IV: Supernova has undergone more comprehensive content and code revisions than the transition from GalCiv III to IV.
Supernova Edition features
- Turn-based Gameplay: A reminder for enthusiasts, the Galactic Civilizations series operates on a turn-based mechanism, akin to the Sid Meier Civilization series.
- Strategic Battles: The Supernova edition introduces long-range weaponry, allowing ships to engage in battles from multiple tiles away, a departure from the previous mechanic where combat only occurred when two fleets occupied the same tile. Additionally, Military starbases now offer area protection.
- Varied Victory Paths: While the series is known for multiple victory paths, GalCiv IV introduced the Prestige victory. In response to feedback, the Supernova edition integrates a Cultural Progression tree that culminates in unique powers, enhancing gameplay dynamics.
- The Vault: An innovative feature where players can store artifacts and items discovered across the galaxy by their Flagships. These can then be utilized for various in-game advantages.
- Advanced Ship Design: A hallmark of the Galactic Civilizations series, the ship design feature has been enhanced, allowing even more intricate customization, beyond the previous weapon classes, to address the challenges of a diverse universe.
While Stardock is yet to announce a specific release date for Supernova on Steam, it’s mentioned that on the Epic platform, it will be available as an expansion pack. However, given its extensive features and improvements, it might be more apt to describe Supernova as a comprehensive re-envisioning rather than just an expansion.