Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. 100
    Pretty much everything you could ask for in a turn based space strategy game: great AI, great diplomacy model, a ship designer, easy to understand techs, multiple races, multiple custom options, good graphics, solid interface, and a replay value that is through the roof.
  2. 100
    Galactic Civilizations II doesn’t quite share the spit and polish of its terrestrial alternative, but it more than makes up for it with endless customizability and brilliant gameplay.
  3. GalCiv 2 features all of the accessibility and addiction of the higher profile Civ IV, but it also boasts an arguably superior A.I. and a killer theme. Even non-fans would be well served to check this title out—it’s that good.
  4. It is clear that the development team used the development cycle to full effect and have created a fantastic game, with all the components coming to together expertly.
  5. An incredible 4X space-based strategy title, sure to cause sleepless nights and groggy mornings. For those with “one-more-turn syndrome”, this one will consume your world.
  6. When it’s all said and done, Galactic Civilizations II strives to be an in-depth strategy game that creates a unique universe with an AI smart enough to compete. It not only meets that goal but surpasses it with ease.
  7. Fun and enjoyment wise nothing has touched Galactic Civilization II this year and we’ll be surprised if that stance changes in December. Stardock and Paradox have without doubt created a hugely enjoyable and highly customizable space simulation that deservers every ounce of your attention.
  8. We’re impressed with how simple the game has stayed while adding so much depth.
  9. Galactic Civilizations 2 is this galaxy’s best space strategy game.
  10. Just a fantastic strategy game that no fan of the genre should pass up. It is refreshing to see a title that can challenge your mind while entertaining you to no end.
  11. The bottom line is if you’re a turn based gamer (it’s 3:00 AM and you’re telling yourself again, "Just one more turn..."), Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords is not something you are going to pass up easily.
  12. The AI is the best seen thus far in any strategy title and the complexity and depth of the game will keep gamers coming back for just one more turn.
  13. One of the best strategy games I've played recently. The depth of gameplay offered is truly remarkable and the AI is good enough to almost make me forget that there is no multiplayer (almost).
  14. A strategy gamer's dream, boasting a rare mix of depth, customizability, humor, and replayability.
  15. 90
    "Master of Orion" is dead. Long live Galactic Civilizations II!
  16. For fans of the genre, this is pretty much the only game you need, or will do for a long while, while for those who are just curious, now is as good a time as any for a little experimentation.
  17. A truly great game. However, it's not for everybody. Let me warn you, I've been playing this game now for about a week, watched all the tutorials and I am yet to come close to winning a game, it's that hard.
  18. This empire-building strategy encompasses everything that makes the genre great.
  19. 90
    Thanks to the great A.I., there's no question of the game's longevity.
  20. The core gameplay is so well done and the mechanics are so clean. Thanks to the great A.I., there's no question of the game's longevity.
  21. Galactic Civilizations II may not lead to a resurgence of space conquest games, but as long as it's available, the renaissance can wait. [May 2006, p.53]
  22. Stardock has created a deep, intelligent, yet not too serious strategy game that’s going to be the best of its class for quite a while.
  23. 87
    The AI in particular is one of the high points of the game, providing an experience that's as unpredictable and challenging as just about any we've seen in games of this type.
  24. It’s perfect for laptops since it doesn’t require a CD to be in the drive. The replayability of the game is almost infinite.
  25. The missions are a neat addition to the series but the game truly shines when you get into the single games - with the wide array of scenarios that you can choose from and small settings you can tweak, you'll be playing different games for a long time to come.
  26. Great looking and fun, albeit a little shallow in the space combat and resource management departments. [April 2006]
  27. It might sound trivial to criticise the lack of a good in-game tutorial, but when each game takes hours to play out, discovering which technologies are most useful by trial and error can be a painful and tedious process. [Apr 2006, p.76]
  28. The overall game is very solid, and it really is pointing out excellence to say that the only complaint is a faint lack of anything new. Galactic Civilizations II is an extremely well developed game.
  29. My initial impressions of Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords wasn't very favorable, but as I invested more time in it, and really dug deep, I realized that this is indeed a highly complex and addictive strategy game. [May 2006, p.70]
  30. It’s fun, it gives you a lot of options for how to play, and the interface is clean and easy to use. But it doesn’t look or sound great, you’re not given any control in combat, and the lack of multiplayer means you’ll have to rely on playing computer-controlled opponents, which is never a good thing (even if there are a lot of AI options, as there are here).
  31. A thoroughly welcome development of an established game style, and is well worth your money.
  32. You sense that this is going to be some people's game of the year. Hell, with the amount of actual game here, it's possible that could be in a purely literal sense: in that they won't bother playing anything else because this will happily occupy all the time you care to throw at it.
  33. In all, Galactic Civilizations II is worth a play for any genre enthusiast, and exactly what stranded Master of Orion fans have been waiting for. [Apr 2006, p.131]
  34. If you’ve ever wanted to have your own little personal Star Wars at home, do yourself a favor and pick up Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords.
  35. GalCiv2's sandbox mode is a control freak's delight.
  36. It is the definition of value in gaming as far as I’m concerned even if you’re not completely sold on the genre.
  37. It's not all bad - a few neat touches will bring a tear to old-skoolers' eyes, such as the random random generator for invasion battle odds. It's not enough to wow those spoilt by "Civ IV," though. [Apr 2006, p.95]
  38. There's so much in this game to like, I almost feel like a jerk having to complain about its myriad bug issues, but a final release with this many problems just isn't acceptable. If it were any other type of product, from a television to a pork chop, I'd return it to the store.
  39. A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, this kind of last-generation gameplay would relieve the daily tedium. Now it's in danger of adding to it.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. JeffD.
    Oct 9, 2006
    4
    I completely fail to see what all the fuss is about with this game. The gameplay is unbelievably repetitive, with nowhere near the number nor I completely fail to see what all the fuss is about with this game. The gameplay is unbelievably repetitive, with nowhere near the number nor variety of nooks and crannies that, say, Civ IV has. The technologies are bland and lamely-named (most of them are just SomeTech I, SomeTech II, SomeTech III, etc.). Worst of all, the writing is *horrible*. I don't expect strategy games to have writing on the same level as a good CRPG, but this is some seriously derivative, borderline-nonsensical stuff. I don't think they even bothered to run the "story" through a grammar/style checker -- and heaven knows whoever wrote for this thing could use the help. All in all, this game is very much like a slicked-up re-hashing of the sorts of games that we used to play on Apple IIs and Commodores -- minus the charm and excitement of those old games. Pick it up when it hits the $4.99 bin, maybe, but otherwise, avoid. Full Review »
  2. BrianY.
    Jun 20, 2006
    9
    Old time strategy gamers like me who fell in love with the MOO series knows how disappointing it has been waiting for something to even come Old time strategy gamers like me who fell in love with the MOO series knows how disappointing it has been waiting for something to even come close to the Microprose classics. Well Galactic Civilizations II comes prett darn close to filling the void. A nice technology tree, awesome AI, customizable ships, and a great 3D strategy engine helps you relive the glory. One thing missing is tactical control of starship battles as they are played out only in cinematic view. The technology tree is also a little bland as Laser I-IV are as creative as they can get. On the plus side it is a constant design challenge to use equip your ships with the proper defense and weapons. Ship design is also a great feature where your options as far as cosmetic are limitless. Your ships on the starmap actually look like the one you designed too. The 3D starmap is a direction these games need to go where you set at what level you see the model of your ship or a color coded icon from a GOD's eye perspective. Diplomacy is also more fullfilling as the AI is truly the best I have seen in these type of games, MOO included. As far bugs, I have encountered very few bugs, and none that detract from the game. There practically weekly updates so the you know the publisher is on top of their game. Full Review »
  3. ChristopherPowell
    Apr 23, 2009
    4
    I tried to like this game, I really did, but I have to concede and say this game just isn't that interesting. It does almost everythingI tried to like this game, I really did, but I have to concede and say this game just isn't that interesting. It does almost everything right, but misses the crucial "fun" part of the game. Slow, unimaginitive, stylistically devoid, ugly (particularly the race portraits), bland, and ultimately, just boring. There's a critical lack of cohesion between all the aspects of the game, making playing a chore. I'd rather play any of the Master of Orions than this. Terribly overrated. Full Review »