Galactic Civilizations III often feels like a small step forward for Stardock’s excellent sci-fi 4X series.
The AI, while it seems unfairly buffed at higher levels, is competent, fallible and – most importantly – convincingly human. I’ve seen empires built on trade collapsing when their power seems too tricky to keep in check and every other AI civ pulls out of agreements and decides to annihilate them.
It’s almost always satisfying to take part in the frantic period of growth at the beginning of a game, to watch these species make their mark, and then fall into various kinds of conflict with one another.
It might be the most important decision of all because playing on a small or medium map is a completely different experience to the eventual micromanagement mire of the largest simulations.
I always rush toward the biggest possible map when I’m playing a new strategy game.
They’re preposterous and the decision to give players the ability to pack such enormous galaxies with starfaring species is bold.