Galactic Civilizations 2: Dread Lords
List Price: $29.99

Our Price: $4.98

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Product Description

Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords has incredible space-based strategy action, where you fight to defend humanity! The reckless humans have formed an alliance for their mutual defense against the rising power of the evil Drengin Empire. Meanwhile, the Drengins gather an alliance of their own and begin exploring the furthest corners of the galaxy for ancient weapons that may give them the uppher hand. But humans and Drengin alike are about to learn that there's far deadlier things in the universe than each other. Take command of a spacefaring civilization and guide it toward galactic control! All-new map system where players can make strategic use of planets, asteroid fields and other interstellar objects State of the art 3D engine with vastly improved graphics and visual effects than the original

Features:
  • Direct your people's military as you battle to control the galaxy
  • Deep strategic elements as you establish your place - Ccolonize planets, establish trade routes, fight wars, research new technologies, sign treaties, build up a planet's industry & economy
  • Research and design new ships -- full customization lets players create completely unique ships
  • Create entire fleets and develop them strategically
  • Multiple planets to explore and colonize - pick and choose what your planets will be used for

Customer Reviews:

  • Brain Cells beware, this game will kill allot of you.
    Nothing like a good strategy game that will wipe out brain cells when you're depressed and/or lonely.

    This game is exceptionally fun and Very inspiring, keep the name Stardock in mind.

    Stardock the makers started off a very small company with good ideas and exceptional programmers, the company is the game, unlike Ubisoft, Atari and other mega-giants who don't even know there product or care to support it, Stardock takes a personal interest.

    The fanatics generated by the open-ended nature of this game have thrilled me with Babylon V and Star trek revisions of the game which easily could be sold as stand-alone expansions.

    The selective complexity of the game remains just good enough to be entertaining and fun while remaining simple enough to play in short or long periods, the AI for strategy gets an A+.

    The real fun in the game comes in MAKING your own starships, interfacing with a common language like XML to create scenarios', designs and storylines (limited),

    The premise is the same as all good strategy games; grow your civilization, arm yourself just enough to achieve your goals and win a victory based on your choice. Be a war monger and blast all your enemies to pieces, be a diplomat and form a galactic alliance of coerce your enemy to surrender to your superior way of living etc...

    The 3D battles are like 1980 television show CGI effects, but truly a treat, again remaining simple means you are not on the helm of a ship targeting enemies but rather arranging to win the battle by combining arms and fleets to get the upper edge what strategy is all about, and then if your really good not one shot has to be fired, but then you miss the cool effects.

    It's a game priced well, from an exceptional company (a 3d0 replacement possibly).

    Pros:

    Very compatible with most machines and graphic cards,
    Fast and multi-tasking so you can commiserate life's pointlessness while you destroy the universe.
    Excellent support and community structure, FREE add-ons.
    A true desire to work with there users rather then leech them out of some more small change.
    No CD in drive 24/7 needed to run

    Cons:
    New release does not work on my older p3, even though it is loaded. (Intel Graphics)
    I can't tell what version, what upgrade, what release I should get or have or should have, there sales teams needs a little bit refinement
    (Which is sort of backwards since everyone else sells you the Brooklyn bridge and there tech teams is the clod)


    All in ALL it's worth the money you won't be disappointed
    Duftopia...more info
  • Fun, Bug-free, Turn-based Strategy Game
    I have found only one tiny bug in this game and it has never crashed in 50 hours of playing, but I downloaded the 1.11 patch, I think it was, before playing. I easily downloaded the patch without installing stardock first but then downloaded stardock anyway.

    The game is much more fun than Civilization 4 and vastly better than Imperium Galactica 2 (a very simple, old, low-budget game that I played a lot).

    The best thing about the game is that you constanly have critical choices to make, especially early on in a game. It's very interesting and makes you think.

    This is a low-budget game though and the graphics are unimpressive. The land battles are pitiful.

    However, the gameplay is great!

    The developers obviously paid a lot of attention to game balance and gameplay so that players have lots of interesting and difficult choices to make.

    Luckily, the game is turn based, so you can think a while about whether you want to build a scout ship to check out the kinds of weapons and defenses a potential enemy is fielding, whether to go to war, or whether to put off military research for one more turn, hoping you won't be attacked soon. It's just a lot of fun to make tough choices and watch how they pan out.

    There are loads of statistics in this game (like the manual says, "My God, it's full of numbers.") and you can see almost all of them, (at least if you do some espionage spending).

    This is the best turn-based strategy game I have ever played, though it's a low-budget game.

    Enjoy!...more info
  • The Bottom Line
    This game is without doubt the best turn based 4X game I have ever played. Allowing me to design and create my own ships with different weapons and defenses made a dream come true. The people behind this game, Stardock, are developing an odd reputation, because for some reason they actually care about their customers, many of these reviews were written nearly a year ago, and since that time the game has been pacthed and changed.

    If you enjoy strategy games (turn based or RTS) and are not afraid of using your head, try this game out, there's a great demo out that can give you a taste.

    I started with the purchase of this game, I then bought the expansion Dark Avatar, and because of the amount of support the company has shown me and their products I pre-ordered the second expansion Twilight of the Arnor and Sins of a Solar Empire. Now that Sins of a Solar Empire is out I can say that I will continue to pre-order Stardock Entertainment products as whatever team they have creating video games over there are clearly gamers themselves and put plenty of common sense into their games, which is a lot more than most companies can say.

    Try the demo, see for yourself. I went for it, and have nothing but good things to say....more info
  • Already on Version 1.4 and it seems to be getting worse..
    Seems like this game is beyond the programming skills of the authors. Initially, it was really buggy, and the first update seemed to get better. However, it has been getting worse, and is most buggy with the latest update. Ships stop en-route and just do nothing. Often, when ships are supposed to automatically go to a rally point from a planet upon completion, they just stay next to the planet. Many, many crashes. They have some serious issues managing a software project.

    The interface is very pretty, but very clumsy. Things that you'd think would take a few seconds take several minutes of tedium. This game will give you carpal tunnel.

    Overall, an OK concept, with lots of nice customization features. I like the look and the focus of the gameplay. But I don't think there's much in the way of reality in the way space combat takes place. Seems to me that a ship travelling in hyperspace (or faster) wouldn't be able to be intercepted by a ship travelling even faster in the opposite direction. Besides, it's just too damned buggy. I wouldn't count on this situation getting better anytime soon....more info
  • Galactic Civilizations
    I bought the first galactic civ when it came out. The second was even better. You can make custom ships and reaserch new technologies and there are even more races to choose from. I like these game for replay value. Not the same boring thing. In the first I go into the xml and add new stuff such as technology and new stats and so on. It is too easy. Both galactic civ one and 2 are a safe bet for a fun stratagy game. ...more info
  • Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords
    This game is somewhat difficult to get into because a lot of information as to how to manage your civilization is somewhat intimidating. But once the initial shock wears off it is a real good game. There are 3 or so interface sliders that work together managing the economy, and once these are mastered its smooth sailing. The game provides a good challenge as the AI plays well, and the game has a "just take one more turn" feeling that can get you up late at night playing. I recommend this game....more info
  • Spiritual Successor to MOO2
    Master of Orion 2 was probably the last really good game that has been released in this catagory. MOO3 was a bit of a flop -- it was far too automated with far too many "false choices"...ways you could design a spaceship that simply were not as efficient as hitting the button that let the computer design the whole thing for you, instantly.

    GalCiv2 brings back everything that was good about MOO2, with modern graphics and appealing decisions to make with just enough automation options to keep the endgame from becoming tedious without ever "playing the game for you".


    The main thing I want to talk about, though, is the AI.

    Historically, games like this have the computer opponet cheat. You have 1 colony ship, they have 3. How? Because the computer cheats. The developers couldn't come up with a good way to make a smart computer opponet so they compensated by having it cheat instead.

    GalCiv2 doesn't do this (unless you want it to, which I don't advise).

    The AI is pretty fantastic. Set computer opponets to an "intelligent" level of difficulty and they will fight you with all the same restrictions you have. They have to scout, just like you. Their ships cost just as much as yours. Their factories produce just as quickly as yours. The only advantage they have is one of efficient micromanagement.

    It's not completely infallible, it sometimes does silly things, but it's good enough and smart enough to trounce you most days without any need to cheat.

    I find this to be much more appealing. I like a level playing field.


    Beyond this, the game has all the usual componets. You research technologies you want from a large and diverse tree. You colonize planets and build factories and research facilities and so forth. You design starships with your latest technology including a fairly optional ability to customize the "look" of your ships. There's diplomacy and war and espionage and random events and all that.

    The only thing really missing is tactical combat, although whether we really miss it is arguable.


    In the MOO series of games, lots of time was spent on tactical combat -- how your fleet is going to attack the enemy fleet. You move the ships around on the screen and tell them who to attack, etc.

    In GalCiv2, this is all handled automatically, similar to the Civilization games. They do take it one step further by providing you with a nice "tactical battle" view, though, which takes you through a full 3-D enactment of the battle but it's just a viewer. You aren't ordering your ships to do anything in this mode, you're just watching it unfold like an episode of Babylon 5.

    The bright side of this, I suppose, is that it doesn't take you all year to complete a game. Like Civilization, your focus is on research, developing your worlds and playing a strategy game. You won't be spending hours of your time stuck in a tactical battle between ships....more info
  • Could Have Problems
    The game's support for high-res video systems is poor. If you're running a res higher than 1400x1050, you'll get hash when starting the game. Their help files do nothing but warn you to update your video driver to the latest version. Their online support is in a Forum layout that is mostly from other users who likely won't have the same card or problem you're having. No where in the Readme's or help files does it tell your where you can modify the video settings prior to starting the game. You will have to go into My Documents\My Games and open the Prefs.ini file. Locate the resolution settings and change to the approprite numbers then save it. Make sure to have your display settings changed to match before trying to start the game. Max res for a desktop is listed in game as 1400x1050. If you're using a Widescreen monitor, max res you should set both the Prefs.ini and your display settings to is 1280x800. If you try to go any higher than those, you'll get a hash or blank screen....more info
  • Above average game
    This game is ok. Lotta tech to research. Lotta differant ship designs and payload. But i like Star Trek Birth of the Federation better. The starports on this game dont protect the plants and that can get kinda annoying. ...more info
  • Disappointed.
    While the graphics are superb and it has the potential to be an awesome game, the internal workings are so obscure that the game was simply not fun.
    In fairness I tried and tried it again and no matter what level of play I tried it was an hour long non-event that would climax in my utter destruction without explanation.
    The lack of instruction (unless you count the biblically large instruction manual that seconds as an anesthetic) and the suprisingly intelligent enemy which will bypass all logical tactics to directly ruin your game make this game as fun as it is action packed.
    Sorry, this had potential but will only disappoint....more info
  • great support
    i wont bore you all with recounting the games features, other reviewers have allready done that part.

    i will say a few words about the games state as of 5/10/06. the game shiped in what could only be called a late build beta. the game was also clearly broken up so that they could get more cash from expantions that should have been added in the original (spying comes to mind off hand)

    there system of patching is broken up into two ways of doing it. the first way is to use their "Stardock central" thats not hard to install and it makes updating a snap. but some people have issues with it being 'spyware' i guess, but it never shows up on my adware scan or my nortons scan so *shrug* i guess its not all that troublesome. though i too dislike adding crap to my computer that i dont really know what it does.

    the second way to get patches is to do it the long round about way of having to create accounts then add serial numbers then create another account and so on, and more often than not it dead ends with no account having ben created (i tryed this way first though i should have known better after my experiances with GS I) its basical such a pita you either toss up your hands in frustration and just install SD central or you dont patch.

    now the up side.

    while the game was shiped in a late beta state, the people at SD are outstanding in their support for their games. i played the original GS and they gave 120% to game support, and im not talking just fixing bugs but im talking about the fact that they talked with and listened to the customers and actualy built the game that the customers wanted in the end. there is a very free wheeling forums system where ideas are tossed out and battted around and the people at stardock the actual people that code the game are involved in the threads. and from time to time 'beta patches' are issued (via stardock central) to try out some of the ideas, if they work then they are incoperated into an 'official patch'. you can skip all the beta patches though if your not interested with that, and many of those builds just dont cut it, things didnt work as expected or what have you, so reverting to a pre patch build is as simple as clicking uninstall.

    say what you will about having 'spyware' on your machine, but since i can play GS w/o the disk, and once you sign up with SD central you never need that disk again. even should you buy a copy from the shelf once you use SD central you can just D/L the whole game from there and toss your disk if you should choose too. not to mention the support you get with patching, and new content being added sometimes every day, as well as being able to actualy take part in how future patches will be enabled i think its a fine trade off.

    pros

    ability to create a totaly random universe as well as the ability to set size from tiny with perhaps 5 stars all the way up to huge with 200 stars. each star having anywhere from 0 to 6 planets each (depending on your settings) and each planet having its own quality rating from 3 up to 60+. no map is ever even close to the same.

    the ship builder lets you design your own custom ships, ranging in size from tiny to huge (5 sizes total) starting with a basic hull size and adding wings, struts, bumps and bulges galore. as well as the meat of the design such as weapons and armor as well as engins and special componants like extended life support and better sensors, and things like troops moduls and trade modules. the ability to design your own freighter and actualy put guns on it is priceless in my opinion.

    the customer support: the game design team is truly commited to their game. its not just a finish on time and in this price range and move on to the next flop, they fix any issues with the game. from major things that are glaring flaws to the minor misspelling of a word or two. it gets fixed. and in todays world of ship now patch once and forget the rest. the support at stardock for their games is also priceless.

    cons

    it didnt ship in very good condition. all the major flaws have been listed allready such as crashing alot. i run a top of the line alienware machine and the game when it was shiped would crash atleast once an hr. however there have been 2 major patches and perhaps 6 minor patches since then and the game for me atleast is now very stable. it takes some pretty obscure set of circumstances to make it crash now. there is even a little tool you can D/L from SD central that will let you fire off an e-mail to stardock with a crash report. very handy that. it lets you become involved in fixing issues instead of just making posts in various forums about what a pos something is.

    the game isnt very deep. once you have played through the game 6 or 7 times and have a firm grasp on what each building and tech does, your choices are either crank up the AI so that it cheats so much not even the designers could beat it , or you have to start doing the 'what if' rout. such as 'what if i play a whole game with no weapons research' or what if i try to win using only my home planet on a huge galaxy. there is a campaign but its very restrictave and if you want to beat it you need to do everything in the exact right order. no tactics involved its build X building and X ship at Z time or loose.

    customer support: while i like the idea of a game having great support i can see how people wouldnt want to play what could be called a beta game. the game changes alot, atleast the first one did and this one seems to be on the same path. most of the early changes ARE bug fixes but once those are gone the people at stardock keep right on adding content and changin sometimes whole game mechanics but rest assured that all the changes are driven by the customers that take part in the forums. the company never changes anything just for the sake of change its allways in part driven by customer demand.

    end result:

    i enjoy the game for what it is. its not an epic game but its very fun if you enjoy TBS games. and the support is amazing. though some have issues with stardock central and the idea that its spyware i think that perhaps they are over thinking it. ive had SDC on my computer for years now and have had no issues with it at all. its just there. it doesnt auto install either, you have to actualy install it yourself and it is possable to patch the game without it, you just wont be able to get any of the 'beta builds'. its up to you.

    if you enjoy TBS games then give it a shot. its not that hard to learn and its not that hard to master and it will give you a few months of fun. well worth the cash in my opinion. ...more info
  • tired and repackaged
    This game is nothing more than Gal Civ I repackaged with (slightly) better graphic. It plays basically the same - you don't need the tutorials at all. If you played the first game you can play this right out of the box. It was a big disappointment. After four days of having the game, its now just click, click, *Yawn*, click, click, *Yawn*, click......more info
  • A wonderful game experience
    Thoroughly enjoyed this game. It was relatively easy to learn but hard to master. A good challenge for a good amount of time. Really enjoyed the ability to customize many aspects of the game, from how the galaxy is initially setup to how your ships look when designing new ones based on technology breakthroughs. For anyone who enjoys space strategy games this is an excellent choice. ...more info
  • Good game, but doesn't take enough risks.
    Like a lot of you, I really liked master of orion 2. Not only did a lot of cool elements come together, it had a kind of goofy charm with characters, artwork and whatnot.

    Then came gal civ and gal civ 2. Better graphics, some small tweaks, but basically the same song and dance.

    Remember the glut of RTS games that came out in the 90's? Gather resources, build, create army, fight. Some were better than others, but weren't they all just variations on a theme? How about first person shooters?

    Gal civ 2 is a good species of a game archetype, but not particularly exciting or different compared to moo2. I also find the atmosphere a bit sterile. There's no "oomph" to it, for lack of a better word. Very sedate.

    Again, not a bad game at all, just a tad ho hum....more info
  • Great Game
    I think GC II is a awsome game. I liked GC so I was real excited when they released the second game. The two main things that I like about GC II are 1: The player can play as any of alien races in open play or create a custom race. 2: Players can create their own custom ships, so you can play with new ships every time you play. ...more info
  • I want my money back!
    DON'T BUY THIS GAME. Whoever said that this was a worthy successor to Masters of Orion II should be killed. This game is awful! You don't get to DO anything. Neither the fleet combats nor the ground combats are interactive--all you get to do is watch. The micromanagement gets old if you have more than a few planets and the technology-tree is difficult to use. Considering how little you get to do, you might as well go watch T.V. instead. This game is garbage. I wish I could get my money back....more info
  • worth a try
    Strategy element is nice but there is really no tactical control - there is no real control over the battles and that is what is missing most from this game....more info
  • Nice but buggy
    was a nice game but with a higher end system it was real buggy with a few lockups...more info
  • Solid Turn Based Space Game, move over MOO!
    Galactic Civilizations II is a solid game in its own right and worthy of any space empire building fans. Similar to the Master of Orion, Stars! or Imperium Galactiac series this one stands on it's own.

    Thankfully, a few turn based games still exist today and this one while not quite as good as Civiization IV, is worthy of quite a bit of your playing time. I was able to jump right into the action without a tutorial and only a few minutes of thumbing through the manual.

    Game mechanics are quite simple and you can easily get engrossed for hours at a time. The developers have streamlined planet upgrades to make building as simple as a few clicks and once you achieve newer technology, they auto magically upgrade the buildings for you.

    I liked the additional options on planetary conquest that start to appear as you gain technology, like orbital bombardment and shock troops. Each of which can give your troops a greater chance of success at the risk of weakening the planet's inhabitability or structures.

    A few of my complaints would include the location of the minimap in proximity to the "end turn" button as I've hit tried to click on the minimap edge, only to find I had submitted my turn and the Ship Designer. Don't get me wrong, the designer is extremely flexible and it allows for some pretty nifty customization, however after having played Stars! I found the UI a bit clunky. I also didn't see that I would ever spend the time using the extra 'fluff' components to change the looks of my ships as the editor doesn't retain any components as you upgrade to the next version of the ship. This to me would be more frustrating than the added value.

    Those aside, I'm glad that I purchased this product and will surely get a few more long nights worth of entertainment out of it. It is nice to see that fresh ideas, turn based games and small publishers actually can put out a quality product.

    Hopefully more games like this will pop up in the future!...more info
  • Buggy Mess
    This game crashes to desktop an amazing amount of times. The technology tree was large and interesting (ala MOO2) enough I decided to play through the crashes. I could not however, play through the horrid bugs and exploits that allowed you to win at the higher levels of difficulty. The worst example is building galactic privateers, which protects your freighters from attack...the enemy fleets chase around after your invulnerable freighters and after some trigger (I didn't bother to try and find out) your home planets (and the enemies) become invulnerable to attack by troop transports. With your worlds invulnerable, you cruise to a tech victory. Long story short: game uninstalled, disk thrown away....more info
  • Definitely A MOO Killer!! A++!!
    Definitely A MOO Killer A++!!
    No Multiplayer was included because the developers felt it didnt warrant the 30% of the game budget, so instead they focused highly on the singly player aspect of the game and they included Ship customization and other cool stuff. The ship customization is awesome, you can create all kinds of different and cool ships, shields, engines, weapons and much much more. you can even attempt to create your own personal X-wing look alike fleet and send them into battle and watch the action unfold. The game has nice graphics, and alot of stuff to research! This game definitely was insipired by the MOO series. I bought the game Digitally (download) and i am 100% satisfied with what i expected. The developers did say if enough peeps wanted multiplayer they could easily create an expansion to include it in the future. The Tech Support is superb, and the game runs nicely.. if your a fan of the Master of Orion Series, check this game out you wont be disappointed.
    ...more info
  • Excellent Game and Excellent Company
    Since others have already reviewed the features I'll just say that Stardock, the creator of this game, is one of the nicest companies I've ever dealt with. Unlike many large companies with far more resources, they actually care about their customers and improve their games well after release.

    They value player-feedback and over time add updates to improve the AI, increase playability and even respond to what players really want. To top it off you don't even need to use the cd-rom anymore after you install the game on your hard drive, this is very nice and shows they care about the user's experience.

    These are just some things to take into consideration. Most games, once released, don't get significantly better over time. With this game new updates are constantly released improving it, so if you buy the game now be assured it will only get better and more challenging in the future. Oh, and this is probably the best space strategy game made in the past 5 years. There may not be as much immediate excitement as in a game like Doom III however, you actually have to use your head and think.

    ...more info