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Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords Gold Edition Includes Dark Avatar Expansion PC Review - -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.0
Value 9.1
Developer: Auran
Review Date:
February 2007
Kyle Sadukis
Classification: M15+


Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
Gold Edition
Includes Dark Avatar Expansion

We have previously covered this awesome game and now Auran releases the gold edition of the title, which includes the Dark Avatar expansion pack which allows a host of new features, worlds and creatures to engage in interstellar strategy that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Not only that but many of the “faults” in the first game have been significantly enhanced graphics and other gameplay elements. 

This entire package is one that makes one of the best space strats of all time even better so make sure you get out there and enjoy. 

For your ease of navigation, we include our original review of Dread Lords. Enjoy! 

The year is 2225. The reckless humans have joined the other galactic powers who now race for control and domination in the galaxy. The evil Drengin Empire has plans to wipe out the humans and their allies but as they will all discover, there is something far worse in the universe than each other...

Galactic Civilizations takes place in the 23rd century and mankind has just begun its leap into the stars and encountered a wide variety of alien civilizations who are also attempting to expand their empires. These races were once subdued by the ancient Dread Lords who mysteriously vanished centuries ago, allowing the lesser races a chance to explore the cosmos. 

The game takes this plotline and incorporates it into a turn based strategy where players must interact with several other civilizations all vying for control of the galaxy. Galactic Civilizations is essentially a galaxy sized game of Risk where players must manage their territories and attempt to gain control of all other civilizations. 


  • Play as the Terran Alliance or as one of 9 alien races -- or create your own

  • Design your own ships both in how they look and how they function

  • Sophisticated diplomatic engine makes sure politics takes a center stage as well

  • Watch your designed ships and fleets do battle in GalCiv II's state of the art 3D engine

  • Play stand-alone games with randomly generated galaxies, preset scenarios, or a multi-mission campaign that provides the back story for the game

  • Advanced governors and empire management ensure that the late game won't bog down, even on gigantic maps.

  • No CD copy protection. Once you install, you never need your CD again. You can even use the included serial # to re-download the entire game from us years from now.

Thankfully there are several different ways to actually beat Galactic Civilizations which allows players to achieve military, diplomatic, technological, and cultural victories. Military victories are achieved by either wiping out the other civilizations or forcing them to surrender. Diplomatic victories occur when players are able to establish good relations and communications across the galaxy while cultural victories are obtained by exporting a civilization’s culture to other races and becoming the envy of the galaxy.

Technological victories are achieved by advancing so far in the game’s technology tree that a race actually achieves a higher state of existence and leaves temporal existence entirely. Each of these victories requires a different strategy to win and choosing which victory to strive for at any part of the game is the most important decision players will face

The graphics in Galactic Civilizations won’t win any awards, but certainly don’t detract from the game in any way. The galaxy is rendered in full 3D, with moons rotating around planets and impressive looking stellar clouds in the background. Players are able to zoom the camera out until the galaxy looks like a chessboard, or zoom in on a particular ship they are interested in. 

Combat also looks impressive with laser beams shooting across the screen using appropriate lighting effects. The cutscenes in the game are fully rendered in 3D using the game’s engine and are quite impressive.

In conclusion Galactic Civilizations II is an impressive title that featuers some extraordinary realistic A.I that offers gamers hours and hours upon of gameplay value as each turn is randomly generated. The only downside to the title is the lacklustre tutorial that features several videos of how to master the game but apart from that, check it out!



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