This new Galactic Civilizations will represent a complete overhaul for the series, as pretty much everything is getting rewritten or improved. Galactic Civilizations II will introduce a single-player, nonlinear campaign, which is a new feature for the series.
You'll still be able to play random games against the computer, but you can now pursue the campaign storyline, which pits the young races of the galaxy (including humanity) against the precursor races.
The campaign will have a branching mission structure, so the story will adjust depending on whether you win or lose a mission. The other big news is that you'll no longer be limited to playing the human race, as you can now play all the races included with the game or you can even create your own race in the game-setup screen.
The most obvious upgrade is the new 3D graphics engine that powers the game. Gone is the top-down, 2D graphical look from the original game and in comes a fully 3D engine where you can pan the camera around, zoom in and out, and admire the new 3D-rendered ships and planets.
There are a couple of interesting facts about the new 3D engine, one of which includes the ability to design your own ships (and if you have software such as 3D Studio, you can create whole new hull designs for the game).
Each planet is truly unique, thanks to a random map generator that creates a one-of-a-kind surface for each planet in every game. This new look isn't just for aesthetic reasons, either, as you can zoom out for a tactical view of the galaxy, which gives you the big picture a lot better than the zoomed-in view.
And if you're worried about your hardware not being up to task, Wardell says that the game will automatically scale the graphical settings, so if you have an older machine it should still run well.
The year is 2225. The reckless humans have formed a coalition to defend themselves from the rising power of the evil Drengin Empire. The galaxy is about to be set ablaze but there is something far worse out there than each other and it's waiting in the shadows
Here are some key features of "Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords":
· Play as the Terran Alliance or as one of 9 alien races -- or create your own
· Design your own ships both in how they look and how they function
· Sophisticated diplomatic engine makes sure politics takes a center stage as well
· Watch your designed ships and fleets do battle in GalCiv II's state of the art 3D engine
· Play stand-alone games with randomly generated galaxies, preset scenarios, or a multi-mission campaign that provides the back story for the game
· Advanced governors and empire management ensure that the late game won't bog down, even on gigantic maps.
· No CD copy protection. Once you install, you never need your CD again. You can even use the included serial # to re-download the entire game from us years from now.