User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 104 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 87 out of 104
  2. Negative: 12 out of 104

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  1. Mar 7, 2012
    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
  2. Jun 4, 2011
    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.
  3. Feb 13, 2011
    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 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.
  4. Oct 28, 2011
    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.
  5. Jul 30, 2013
    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 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
  6. Oct 28, 2013
    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 of random, interesting events...

    It's just such a joy to play, pick this up some time!
  7. Nov 19, 2014
    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, 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.
  8. Oct 29, 2012
    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 better other than updating its graphics which are still fine. Expand
  9. Jul 19, 2013
    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!
  10. Mar 25, 2014
    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).

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.