Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 11.04.2018

Review for Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue on PC

One of the 'Big 3'of large production 4X space strategy games, Galactic Civilizations III by Stardock is the oldest of the other two (Stellaris and Endless Space 2) but has stayed in the running with constant updates. The most recent DLC is called Intrigue, which gives a large expansion to the more 'macroscopic' elements of the game. Providing more ideology choices, new perks, and an entire government system, it gives some much needed new aspects to play with.

Intrigue has been a long time coming, with players having been promised a big overhaul of the current game, as well as new elements to expand the experience. This expansion gives a wide range of various things the team has improved , giving a much needed new life to Galactic Civilizations III.

The biggest changes are a vast expansion of the ideology questions that routinely pop up. Previous to this, they were somewhat rare and it was very common to have many of the exact same events, such as whether to save or torture a foreign pilot. In addition to these, there are various on-going crisis story sections that are dealt with the same way but provide more of an inclusive narrative to the experience; in this case, it was dealing with space monsters.

Screenshot for Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue on PC

The other big change is a government system now. There are 25 different governments, all of which have to be researched that give different bonuses to enacting. These vary quite widely, and can range from massive production boosts while sacrificing science, to heavy influence, to special ships the player can control (similar to the previous expansion, Mercenaries).

These have other major differences, as well, only some can declare pre-emptive war, hard colony limits, and even may affect the ideology of the player. Included is a new 'Galactic Market' that players can buy special resources from, but only certain governments are allowed to access it. This aspect is one of the better parts of the expansion as they truly feel unique due to the intensity of the bonuses.

Screenshot for Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue on PC

Other parts of the game have also been overhauled, such as the way food production is handled, population limits, and so on. To some degree, the tooltips help explain what is going on, but many other times it is very confusing as to what contributes how. The game is in need of a simple tool or UI showing if a building giving a straight +5 is better or worse than a +10% building, especially as later colonies can have over 20 various + and % modifiers occurring to them.

There is a lot going on as far as various techs, and different racial traits, but unfortunately it can be very hard to decipher what a player may be getting when they pick certain traits. In short, the game desperately needs an updated wiki online or something in-game explaining in detail what certain techs, bonuses, or effects various starting perks actually provide.

Screenshot for Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue on PC

The grind in the middle and late game can be brutal given how many ships and colonies are controlled. One interesting idea provided to counter this is the 'Commonwealth' option. This turns various colonies over to the AI; they still give the player resources, but are no longer managed by the player, and it is a great idea in concept to reduce a lot of the drag. The nature is still impossible to get around, though, of how many ships and things need to be tracked the later into the action you get.

Galactic Civilizations III has a lot of heart in it, and this expansion gives a lot of new content for players. It still has some issues to iron out, mostly on dealing with the grind, and the impenetrable fog of how things are calculated, and what sort of 'bonus tech/buildings' players actually get for various selections, but a 4x player will definitely enjoy what this has to offer.

Screenshot for Galactic Civilizations III: Intrigue on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The Intrigue expansion breathes a lot of new life into Galactic Civilizations III with new story elements, governments, and other minor additions. Some of the problems still exist, such as the very vicious mid/late game grind it often falls into, and while changes were made to help this, it is still present. Those who have had little problem with the action up until now will find the new content a welcome addition.


Stardock Entertainment


Stardock Entertainment





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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