User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 116
  2. Negative: 12 out of 116

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
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.