Stardock just recently announced that Galactic Civilizations 3 is under development.

GalCiv 2 was an interesting beast, a space 4x that did a few things differently, and felt different as a result.  For one, there was not really any ship customization.  Different ships became available with different techs, and that was that.  The 4x game I knew and loved best was always Master of Orion 2, and the customization in that game was a fun minigame, even if it really wasn’t all that necessary.  Thus, GalCiv 2 was a big shift.

GalCiv 2 also made a big deal out of customizable space stations, which sat in the middle of nowhere and extended your borders.  These were as important, if not more important, than planets, and made the game feel a whole lot different.

At this stage of things, who knows what new things GalCiv III will have, and how well they will be implemented.  However, one thing that I think it a pretty safe bet is the AI.  GalCiv 2 offered a powerful and scalable AI that made the effort to really take advantage of extra processing power, and it looks like they’re going the same route with GalCiv 3, as evidenced by their 64-bit-only stand.

I will likely buy the game, and play it through once or twice.  However, I wonder if anything it does will be able to overcome the general malaise I have recently felt towards 4x games.  I have found that the basic goals of expansion and conquest just don’t motivate me in the way they used to, and minus those, there’s not really much reason to play the game.  Whether it is through theme, or challenging tactical gameplay, or deep and interesting strategic decisions, GalCiv 3 is going to have to bring something really new to the table to win me over.