In Galactic Civilizations IV, players take the role of and all-powerful leader who leads a spacefaring civilization. They 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.
In addition to 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.
The addition of the civilization creator, leader events, more command ships, and tons of other improvements and updates offers a more robust gameplay experience. Players can now experience Leader Events, a dynamic new system that adds to the already massive scale of Galactic Civilizations IV. Leaders now have their own stories that evolve across event chains and quests that range from marriages that shift power dynamics to outbursts of crime. This system adds to the immersion by bringing more authenticity to the civilizations that players will manage across a full campaign.
The Civilization Creator gives more flexibility to playing Galactic Civilizations IV, offering both new and veteran players a chance to showcase their creativity and by designing a civilization fully built with their own playstyles and strengths in mind.
Galactic Civilizations IV adds three new multiplayer modes, a cinematic battle viewer, new events, additional policies, and new galactic achievements. Players can create their own civilizations, complete with customized citizens, art, personality, ships, and more. You can also play as the created civilizations, or challenge themselves by making their civilization an opponent and battling against them. Leaders now have their own storylines, event chains, and quests, and Governors may also ask for help when something is going wrong with their worlds.
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 an 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 doesn’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.
Explore the galaxy. Seek out new star systems and discover the exciting potential of the subspace realm.
Meet new civilizations. The universe is teeming with civilizations both advanced and primitive. Set opponents’ difficulty and technological advancement.
Colonize new worlds. Thousands of worlds to colonize, most awful but all colonizable…if you dare.
Discover new technologies. Invent new technologies, some are easier than others for your species to grasp.
Recruit and mentor citizens. Each citizen is unique with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Shape your government. Determine which citizens to place in positions of power and what planets you wish to see governed while taking care not to be defeated in a coup.
Choose your destiny. Choose the type of civilization you want to be through your actions and choices.
Adventure awaits you. The galaxy has a rich, ancient history that you will discover through missions and events.
Interested fans can purchase Galactic Civilizations IV through the Epic Games Store for $39.99.