Much like its predecessor, Galactic Civilizations II
places you in a war of galactic conquest. You begin with only a handful of planets from which you send out fleets to discover new planets to colonize. Once discovered, you can claim it as your own and begin colonizing it, or instead attack and rid it of its current inhabitants. You can also delve into a massive technology tree, engage in diplomatic missions between other races or boost trade between your merchants. At any given time, there’s a lot to do, so if anything, Galactic Civilizations II
never gets boring (unless of course you don’t like strategy games to begin with).
After your initial starting off point, what happens during the game is really up to you. There are a few events that will happen every now and again, but you’re in control of your own play experience for the most part. This is where Galactic Civilization II’s core strengths come into play; there are numerous strategies available that lend themselves, well, to nearly any play style. Aggressive players can pursue a military course and create an unstoppable war machine, while others can pursue a more neutral, diplomatic course. Strategies even allow you to go so far as to allow you to destroy an entire civilization through economic warfare or other under-handed means. The number of options available are as vast as the galaxy you’re battling for control of.
Because of the multiple strategies, gameplay is extremely dynamic and always changing. This requires your strategies to be highly adaptive since a race that is your ally could suddenly turn on you at the drop of the hat. Sure, those trade deals involving weapons seemed like a good idea at the time, but how does it feel when you’re being destroyed by a military juggernaut you helped create? Pretty lousy, eh? Well, just wait until the A.I. begins to taunt you and tell you how much you suck.
Best of all, every time you play the game, something new will happen which provides for near infinite replay. Once you learn all the game’s intricacies, this is a game you could still be playing years from now.