User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 113
  2. Negative: 12 out of 113

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  1. Feb 13, 2011
    10
    Turn based strategy means a game where winning is based on complex thought and not reflexes or the speed of the PC or connection. This is a complex strategy based game. As usual in strategy games, there is a very long campaign based on a story line and skirmish capability. The skirmish capability is outstanding, allowing the user to play the role of any of a number of races withTurn based strategy means a game where winning is based on complex thought and not reflexes or the speed of the PC or connection. This is a complex strategy based game. As usual in strategy games, there is a very long campaign based on a story line and skirmish capability. The skirmish capability is outstanding, allowing the user to play the role of any of a number of races with different strengths and technological abilities. With some race customization capability and different star systems, this allows for a huge amount of variation in game play.

    Games can take many hours to play out. The game allows saving status and resuming. The biggest weakness for most people is the lack of multiplayer support. This game is only turn based with one person playing against one or more computer opponents. Alliances are allowed, either in up front game definition or on the fly, by negotiation between players. A multiplayer option would be nice, but is difficult to implement because the length of game play is often too long for keeping a group together.

    After downloading, there is no need for an internet connection to play the game and no disk is needed to play. This is particularly a plus for PCs without (soon to be obsolete) optical drives. I appreciate a game that cares about convenience for the user over awkward and annoying copy protection schemes.

    Reasonable graphics performance requires a midrange graphics card. Playability suffers a little with too slow a PC, though not nearly as much as reflex based games.

    The detailed, race based technology trees add complexity and affect strategy choices. Impressive ship customization options add to thought required and entertainment value. While a detailed analysis of the science may poke holes (population growth etc), the game is quite sophisticated and presents an interesting hypothetical future. Unlike many "strategy" games, the simple solution of massing a huge army and only then attacking does not work. Unlike many games, there is an ongoing maintenance cost for ships that are in operation. Maintaining a very large standing fleet hurts the economy and future military capability. To win requires a strong economy, manufacturing capability, technology and, of course, fleet. Much more realistic than most games. Also something that many political leaders do not pay enough attention to in the real world.
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  2. ChrisW.
    Jun 28, 2008
    10
    I won't berate those who've given this game a mediocre score -- it definitely isn't for everyone. Most video games are fast-paced, point and shoot affairs. The TBS genre caters to a very specific niche -- those who harbor fond memories of board games like Axis and Allies or Risk. That being said, for those who appreciate these types of games this is a must have! As a fan of I won't berate those who've given this game a mediocre score -- it definitely isn't for everyone. Most video games are fast-paced, point and shoot affairs. The TBS genre caters to a very specific niche -- those who harbor fond memories of board games like Axis and Allies or Risk. That being said, for those who appreciate these types of games this is a must have! As a fan of similar games (Civilization, MOO, Alpha Centari, etc.) I have to say that this is one of the best I've played. As you can see from the reviews above, most professional game critics agree with me. I won't try and list all the virtues of this game (the list would go on forever); I'll simply limit myself to some of the most outstanding: - Unique races with unique technology trees (this makes the game more believable and adds to the replay value). - Awesome A.I. (the best I've seen in any strategy game, period). -Beautiful starship design and customization (nothing is more fun than watching a ship you designed mop the floor with your enemies). Again, this game is not for everyone. An average PC gamer (let alone TBS fanatic) will probably spend a little time getting through the learning curve and getting his clock cleaned, even with the A.I. turned down to easier levels. Nevertheless, once you figure out what you're doing a victory in this game really does bring a lot of satisfaction. Perhaps the biggest reason to buy this game is the company that produced it -- Stardock. No other company is as responsive to customer feedback, and Stardock will release patches and improvements for about a year for any game it makes -- even after sales have tapered off. While it is obviously in the business to make money, games like this are clearly a labor of love, and it shows. If you have any interest in serious strategy I can't recommend this game highly enough. Expand
  3. Oct 28, 2011
    9
    Loved this game. I would hate to hazard a guess how many hours I put into this horribly addictive game. Should come with warning saying " if you want to have any type of life do not play" highly highly addictive. You will be up to 5 oclock in the morning with this game. Must play for space sim strategy fans.
  4. JamesB.
    Jul 30, 2008
    7
    I find the game, like the Civs, too slow to develop a really fun war. I almost always win by technology victory.
  5. JonW.
    Nov 6, 2008
    10
    I think that this is a suberp game. I understand that there is a lot frutsration towards turn based games, however this game is exactly what it sets out to be. And what it sets out to be is the ultimate in resource management, fleet strategy, creative ship design, and compelling and competitive artificial intelligence. Be warned, this isn't a game that you are going to firing up at a I think that this is a suberp game. I understand that there is a lot frutsration towards turn based games, however this game is exactly what it sets out to be. And what it sets out to be is the ultimate in resource management, fleet strategy, creative ship design, and compelling and competitive artificial intelligence. Be warned, this isn't a game that you are going to firing up at a frat party anytime soon, however if you enjoy really poring over the details of your empire and carefully picking your battles then this is without question the ultimate expression of a eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate title. Again though, if you don't like chess, then you will definately not like this game. There are minor balancing issues with the individual races however Stardock has released several tune ups to the game as well as several new pieces of content to the game post release. Truly an example of an independant labor of love in the gaming industry. Expand
  6. GatorB.
    May 27, 2008
    9
    I have yet to play the original game or the 1st expansion, but I'm pretty impressed. I'm a huge Civ4 fan, and this plays along the same guidelines. It will suck hours out of a day. Only problem is that they do not have a manual for ToA (only the first two installments). ToA makes many changes, to the learning curve is a little high. Hopefully the guide will be out soon.
  7. dissection
    Jun 14, 2008
    10
    Twilight of the arnor definitely is one of the best expansions i have seen for any game. The new tech trees add so much depth tio the game. You have to adjust your strategy in all aspects to the needs of your race, which really gives an unique feeling to every race in the game - a thing that i really wished to have in this kind of game. Normally changes that big in gameplay stay on your Twilight of the arnor definitely is one of the best expansions i have seen for any game. The new tech trees add so much depth tio the game. You have to adjust your strategy in all aspects to the needs of your race, which really gives an unique feeling to every race in the game - a thing that i really wished to have in this kind of game. Normally changes that big in gameplay stay on your wishlist, but Stardock really did a greaat job with fulfilling the gamers wishes. Besides i have never seen before a game where players are that involved in the design, you can go to the SD-homepage, give your suggestions and get direct contact with the developers. Twilight is as good as it is, because those that play the game also helped in creating and improving it. And it is not over yet, some improvements waiting in upcoming patches. Dread Lords was very good, Dark Avatar great and Twilight just did what the developers intended: To create a game that can be played for the long time we are waiting for GalCiv III without getting bored by it. P.S.: Just some comments to statements others made here. A 4X game may not be the type of game, anyone is enjoying. If as a matter of taste you do not like Football you cant just barely say, Football is a bad sport. In its genre the game is excellent, if you do not like the genre - do not blame the game that you dont. The devs did their best with it and if you like 4X you will like this game. If there ever has been a real sequel to Master of Orion II, this game might be the most likely one. Expand
  8. CaptainChaos
    Aug 11, 2008
    9
    Turn Based Games rule!! It's too bad there aren't more on the market with the glut of RTS simulations out there. The overall franchise is an excellent successor to MOO2 (I would even comment on MOO3) for those of us patiently waiting for a space 4x game. My only gripes are that StarDock should publish tech trees so we can plan, the espionage system could be better and the Turn Based Games rule!! It's too bad there aren't more on the market with the glut of RTS simulations out there. The overall franchise is an excellent successor to MOO2 (I would even comment on MOO3) for those of us patiently waiting for a space 4x game. My only gripes are that StarDock should publish tech trees so we can plan, the espionage system could be better and the economic system is very difficult to figure out until you play a few times. Expand
  9. [Anonymous]
    Jun 10, 2008
    9
    If you liked GalCiv2, you need to get the expansion. Improved graphics, new techs, new units, better AI, new campaigns, everything one could ask for from an expansion. While the game itself may not be good enough to be one of the highest rated games in years, even if just because it doesn't have multiplayer, it is undoubtedly the best expansion pack in years.
  10. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    great game and i dont understand some of the reviews here, saying 10 for graphics and 3 for turn based, why are people that dont like turn based games playing turn based game an giving them bad rating becaue of that??? the reason its turn based is the reason why m and many others like these kind of games, it gives you time to think and plan and they are supposed to take forever to play,great game and i dont understand some of the reviews here, saying 10 for graphics and 3 for turn based, why are people that dont like turn based games playing turn based game an giving them bad rating becaue of that??? the reason its turn based is the reason why m and many others like these kind of games, it gives you time to think and plan and they are supposed to take forever to play, not just jump in to play one game or something like that. if you like turn based strategy games then try this one out, you wont regret it Expand
  11. JeremyE.
    May 13, 2008
    9
    I can't claim this is the best game ever produced, so my vote has to be a nine (I don't think I've ever seen a game I'd actually rate a 10), but the fact is Twilight's additions to the already amazing GalCiv2 franchise are nothing short of revolutionary. Maybe I live under a rock, but I have never seen a 4X with so much differentiation between I can't claim this is the best game ever produced, so my vote has to be a nine (I don't think I've ever seen a game I'd actually rate a 10), but the fact is Twilight's additions to the already amazing GalCiv2 franchise are nothing short of revolutionary. Maybe I live under a rock, but I have never seen a 4X with so much differentiation between races/factions/civilizations. Separate tech tree per civ, terror stars, ascension victory, better AI (how is that even possible?), tournaments, insanely large maps, awesome modding tools, incredible new graphics overhaul, nicer UI, and more. For "just an expansion," this blows away anything I've ever seen - it's a whole new game if you ask me, and a great one at that. Expand
  12. Jun 4, 2011
    9
    Fantastic game. Stardock truly outdid themselves. Years of hard work from this middle market company have truly paid off. Can't wait for Gal CIv III which I am sure will come out in a couple of years. :) I'd give it a 9.5 if I could but there are no fractions so I'll round down to a 9.
  13. Leo
    May 30, 2008
    10
    More of a new game than an expansion pack!
  14. Jason
    Sep 13, 2008
    7
    I really haven't gotten all that far into the game because it's hard for me to get into. The complexity of the game is staggering, even after watching all of the tutorials. Trying to just earn enough BCs (or billions of credits, I guess?) is difficult and when I had to raise taxes to actually make a buck or two, the people (naturally) get angry. So, you have to cut production I really haven't gotten all that far into the game because it's hard for me to get into. The complexity of the game is staggering, even after watching all of the tutorials. Trying to just earn enough BCs (or billions of credits, I guess?) is difficult and when I had to raise taxes to actually make a buck or two, the people (naturally) get angry. So, you have to cut production down which means that technologies take forever to research and things just don't get done. It is an interesting concept, however, and the ability to set up a spacial empire sounds like a lot of fun. I'm sure if I actually could get into it more, it would be a really fun game (which is why I gave it a 7 instead of a lower grade, since the game is largely unexplored). I think the slow start-up is really what gets me the most. When you compare it with Civ IV, Civ goes much faster (and perhaps too fast) and you can get into the game much easier. Also, the tutorial never covers the "Wonders" that are being built all around me. All of the sudden I would see this notice of a galactic wonder being built and I had no idea how I could even build one. Expand
  15. AndrewG.
    May 29, 2008
    10
    If you don't like turn-based games... don't buy this, or review it. It's the best of its kind.
  16. Aug 28, 2012
    3
    Maybe I just don't like 4x strategy games? I tried hard to get into this game, but it just all felt so pointless. There is a total lack of a compelling story in any of the game modes. Looking at the gameplay itself, everything felt like a tedious grind to me. Turn based strategy games can be a lot of fun (I've really enjoyed random stuff like Blood Bowl or the Romance of the ThreeMaybe I just don't like 4x strategy games? I tried hard to get into this game, but it just all felt so pointless. There is a total lack of a compelling story in any of the game modes. Looking at the gameplay itself, everything felt like a tedious grind to me. Turn based strategy games can be a lot of fun (I've really enjoyed random stuff like Blood Bowl or the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series), but other than the enjoyable music, Galactic Civilizations II just didn't "grab" me at all. Expand
  17. RichardS.
    May 20, 2008
    3
    I first started playing galactic civilization games in 2003, at the time it was fun and it passed time somewhat enjoyably. Stardock has released their second expansion to the title five years later and it's a poor job. For starters, the game isn't even officially released. They have a system where they say that the game is "Generally available" and mask the fact that anyone who I first started playing galactic civilization games in 2003, at the time it was fun and it passed time somewhat enjoyably. Stardock has released their second expansion to the title five years later and it's a poor job. For starters, the game isn't even officially released. They have a system where they say that the game is "Generally available" and mask the fact that anyone who examines its development can see that it is still a beta. The races AI isn't fully finished, the ascension victory is a poor addition in it's current state, and there's a gamebreaking issue where the technology costs keep exponentially increasing and renders a fundamental gameplay element unmanageable. This is an idiotic move by Stardock and is a business move because they admit it's not done yet, but they want the money up front. Next off is the additions to the game in terms of what the AI says, they now have even more insulting responses aimed directly at the player. I imagine the developers thought these lines were funny, but the player has to read these belligerent responses over and over and it just doesn't add anything. The general feel of stardock's attitude towards this game at this moment is apathetic. They said they'd only support it after 2.0 (It's official release), if it'd make them any more money which gives the impression they aren't passionate about making this game the best they can make it. The AI has gotten better, the new techs are nice, and there are general improvements to the interface and graphics in the game. It's overall, much more unstable, and I had it crash about five times in a session, with graphic errors on the side. Stardock doesn't deserve any praise for this game. It's a shame it's scoring so highly. Please avoid this game until it's patched, or better yet, don't buy it at all. You can spend your days on better things. Expand
  18. EdB.
    May 27, 2008
    2
    Guess I too am in the minority on this one - i find it boring. And I love a variety of games - inc. all the civilizations. Perhaps thats it - the fleet graphics are cool, but its a bit too confusing and just too long and just not that fun - plus it takes forever to play - shelfware.
  19. Dec 28, 2012
    2
    As much as I wanted to like this game, it was far too easy and the AI very insufficient and easy to manipulate. I could win every game easily with any victory condition I wanted. There were some good points. Being able to design your own ship was a big plus, and the tech trees were good too. The beginning was challenging, with trying to get your race profitable before your starting moneyAs much as I wanted to like this game, it was far too easy and the AI very insufficient and easy to manipulate. I could win every game easily with any victory condition I wanted. There were some good points. Being able to design your own ship was a big plus, and the tech trees were good too. The beginning was challenging, with trying to get your race profitable before your starting money ran out. But apart from that, not much else was good. Expand
  20. Jul 30, 2013
    9
    My favorite 4x space game. Deep strategy that lets you choose how to develop your empire. Will you win by conquering, or by becoming the scientifically most advanced? Send in the troops, or build cultural starbases? There's a huge amount of customization, from making a custom race to a gigantic tech-tree. And being able to design and setup your own spaceships, that's what really propels itMy favorite 4x space game. Deep strategy that lets you choose how to develop your empire. Will you win by conquering, or by becoming the scientifically most advanced? Send in the troops, or build cultural starbases? There's a huge amount of customization, from making a custom race to a gigantic tech-tree. And being able to design and setup your own spaceships, that's what really propels it into greatness for me. On top of that, it still looks nice, and the interface is more than adequate. Bored by Endless Space? Try this! Expand
  21. BalazsC.
    Jul 7, 2008
    3
    A "could be nice" game, but its suffering from serious playability issues with large empires and its also shallow. Technologies have no real substance to them. Too many xyz I, II, III, IV, V, ... kind of technologies on the tech tree. All in one, the game i think has like a handful of really unique technologies and the rest of the tree is filled with improvement versions. Thats a sign of A "could be nice" game, but its suffering from serious playability issues with large empires and its also shallow. Technologies have no real substance to them. Too many xyz I, II, III, IV, V, ... kind of technologies on the tech tree. All in one, the game i think has like a handful of really unique technologies and the rest of the tree is filled with improvement versions. Thats a sign of lazy game design for me. The only real positives i could think of is the good AI (nothing you cant achieve with some advantages to the AI in other games) and stardock's approach to patching their game (this is really unique and gives much of the 3 points i give to this game). Total: 3/10. Weak game that gets lots of hype because of the nice developers behind them. Expand
  22. Jan 1, 2013
    4
    Steam Winter Sale 2012/13: Outdated graphic. Tooltips or ingame help? Supports only one language (english). Crashes randomly. No link to or use of the community patches. Master of Orion 2 is still the master of this genre.
  23. EricC
    May 25, 2008
    5
    yes space and stradgie, you'll find your self 5 hours later wondering why.
  24. MeestYk
    May 27, 2008
    6
    10 for wow graphics, -3 for boring turn-based,-1 overrating this game by smucks (mag reviews). Look for true excitement elsewhere. TB games are for grandpas.
  25. Jul 10, 2013
    1
    It was time to choose a new game. I carefully reed and analyse the metacritics. So I was sure to make a good purchase. I choose GC2. First, I had problems to install the game. I began my first game in EASY mode. Early in the game, some pirates take one of my planet between two turns. Took me many many turns to got the technology to take it back. It was just returning to normal when anotherIt was time to choose a new game. I carefully reed and analyse the metacritics. So I was sure to make a good purchase. I choose GC2. First, I had problems to install the game. I began my first game in EASY mode. Early in the game, some pirates take one of my planet between two turns. Took me many many turns to got the technology to take it back. It was just returning to normal when another gang of pirates arrived. Some professionals this time. Their vessels were arround 100 times stronger than mines. I took between 300 and 500 turns to got the technologies to built some presentable units to face them. By that time, they had destroyed almost everything I had and moreover, almost everything others had, in the galaxy. Some starships were hidden in the corners of the maps. lol. But I was finally ready, built 4 pairs of huge destroyers. I was wipe out in a single attack, and they had lost nothing. Just a bit damaged. They were still 20 times stronger than me. Soon after, they finished me. Pirates won the game -I had no fun at all. Even not interested to try another game. Those pirates stole me 19,99 dollars. Expand
  26. Mar 24, 2014
    3
    All Flash, no bang.
    Nice graphics overlay simple, not at all deep, game-play.
    It's a step removed from a point and click adventure.
    Desperate groupies try to hold this shallow title up to its better predecessors, and it's very irritating to play it and find out earlier games are miles ahead (in strategy and game play) of this game.
  27. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    A brilliant turn based 4X strategy game that still has no competition. The balancing of the game is awe inspiring. I had to stop playing this game and uninstall it because it took over my every weekend and every afternoon and I was starting to lose contact with friends. I don't believe there will ever be a GalCiv3 because quite simply no-one can think of a way to make this game betterA brilliant turn based 4X strategy game that still has no competition. The balancing of the game is awe inspiring. I had to stop playing this game and uninstall it because it took over my every weekend and every afternoon and I was starting to lose contact with friends. I don't believe there will ever be a GalCiv3 because quite simply no-one can think of a way to make this game better other than updating its graphics which are still fine. Expand
  28. Oct 28, 2013
    10
    A true masterpiece of a game, will keep you coming back longer than any other game. I dare say it is superior to Master of Orion. There's a huge amount of customization, ranging from completely modifiable races, to a map editor and the most utilitarian starship editor in a game.The game fully supports mods, which increases the already immense replayability tenfold. Tons of humor, tons ofA true masterpiece of a game, will keep you coming back longer than any other game. I dare say it is superior to Master of Orion. There's a huge amount of customization, ranging from completely modifiable races, to a map editor and the most utilitarian starship editor in a game.The game fully supports mods, which increases the already immense replayability tenfold. Tons of humor, tons of random, interesting events...

    It's just such a joy to play, pick this up some time!
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  29. Nov 19, 2014
    9
    This game has some of the best A.I. you will ever find in a turn based strategy, which is a good thing since there is no multiplayer feature. Unfortunately I feel the need to point out that if you're a fanatic TBS player like myself, it still holds no challenge (unless you let it cheat) once you figure the ins and outs of the game. The music is average, the graphics are excellent, andThis game has some of the best A.I. you will ever find in a turn based strategy, which is a good thing since there is no multiplayer feature. Unfortunately I feel the need to point out that if you're a fanatic TBS player like myself, it still holds no challenge (unless you let it cheat) once you figure the ins and outs of the game. The music is average, the graphics are excellent, and the gameplay is utterly fantastic.

    Galactic Civilizations 2's ship editor is one of the most impressive I have ever seen. No need to take my word for it, just use google and look at what other people have made using it.

    The planet micro management portion is quite interesting, with each planet having a chance to have certain tiles that give a % bonus to production/research/etc that makes each and every planet worth colonizing in the long run. That crappy 4-5 quality planet that you'd normally ignore in search of something better? It might just have a 800% production tile that makes it outstrip every other planet in the sector when it comes to building your war fleets.

    Speaking of war, that's the one part of the game that keeps me from giving galactic civilizations 2 a 10 out of 10. When it comes to combat, it really is a matter of rock/paper/scissors in terms of defense and offense. You have lasers, missiles, guns and a corresponding defense for each. All combat boils down to is who has more weapon 'points' that isn't covered by their enemy's defense points, and how many ships you have. It doesn't get more complicated than that, which is a real shame. One need only look at games like Master of Orion 2 to see how it could have been done better. A turn based combat system that actually let you control the ships would have opened up entirely new avenues of fun and possibility.

    All in all, a great game with almost no bugs (I have been playing it for well over a year and the only issue I ever encountered was a strange bug where I loaded a save and all ships had 1hp and 1 movement) that could have used minor tweaking in a few areas to truly be the game of the year instead of just great.
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  30. Jul 19, 2013
    10
    One of the best turn based strategy games ever! I really cannot express how amazing this game is, it's only downfall is the cinematic combat, but even that is awesome! I would recommend this to everyone who loves strategy!
  31. Mar 25, 2014
    10
    Instead of spending a lot of time to say WHY this game is GREAT, I'll just make a USEFUL review.

    Look that the NEGATIVE reviews (only EIGHT as of march/2014). They are of people that either: A) say that they don't like 4x B) say that the game is too long (do you REALLY expect to conquer a GALAXY in a couple of hours?) C) say that the game is bad because it only supports one language:
    Instead of spending a lot of time to say WHY this game is GREAT, I'll just make a USEFUL review.

    Look that the NEGATIVE reviews (only EIGHT as of march/2014). They are of people that either:
    A) say that they don't like 4x
    B) say that the game is too long (do you REALLY expect to conquer a GALAXY in a couple of hours?)
    C) say that the game is bad because it only supports one language: English, although the review is in English.
    D) says that he likes the old games better
    E) reviews Galactic Civ II badly by saying that Stardust is not a complete game (may be he got the game in the bundle on steam, where both games came together). Man, THIS IS NOT THE GAME YOU ARE REVIEWING.
    F) give irrelevant runts and never justify his grade

    So, if not even the people that gave bad grades to the game could justify those grades, I can guarantee you that the game is worthy 10x the price asked today (US$ 10).
    Expand
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 100
    The technology trees alone make it impossible for someone who's sampled Twilight of the Arnor to ever go back to just playing Dark Avatar. Add to that impressive customization tools, new gameplay dynamics, better AI, graphic upgrades, new ship-builder components and completely re-done flavor text and hundreds and hundreds of smaller tweaks, fixes and changes and what you have is an absolute triumph and a new standard for turn-based-strategy games.
  2. 91
    There are no two ways about it: if you like space strategy games, you have to play Galactic Civilizations II. And if you play Gal Civ II, you have to play Twilight of the Arnor.
  3. 100
    It caps the mini-trilogy with a flourish and makes us very, very eager to see what the next proper release in the franchise will have to offer.