Space-faring 4Xer Galactic Civilizations IV has been announced by Stardock, and it’s due out in 2022. The new deep space strategy game expands on the series’ template by a number of factors, bringing multi-sector maps and a huge cast of characters to what was already a chunky series. Here’s what we know.

It’s biiiiiig. What would have previously been a whole game map for you to play on is now just a sector amidst a galactic battle, according to Stardock: “Galactic Civilizations IV introduces star sectors. Each sector is akin to a map in Galactic Civilizations III. Most of these sectors are similar to tiny to large GalCiv III maps that represented a section of the overall galaxy that the player was trying to conquer. Now, there can be anywhere from one to dozens of star sectors to explore.”

With such an expansion of game size comes key management features to help you deal with your empire. By default, planets aren’t managed but instead just provide resources to you. You can designate a planet a core world, which will change it from a resource node to a more functional (or potentially dysfunctional) world under your direct control. Each core world requires a governor, who’ll provide a number of bonuses, like better diplomatic relations or research.

As the game expands, you’ll have to deal with other civilisations while keeping tabs on your own. You could build up a leader of your own so much that they decide they’re powerful enough to rebel against you, but a balanced system of leaders and resources will enable you to play through to the end game without having to deal with too much micromanagement.

Combat is far more involved, now, too. Rather than confining battles to a single turn, fleets might survive the initial assualt resulting in either more violence or a change of tactics to resolve things. This extends to planetary invasions, too. You’ll have to work harder to take over a world, which will resist according to its population and defensive capabilities.

It’s up to you how hard you go. The morality system is now based on ideologies rather than whims. As Stardock put it: “Galactic Civilizations IV has a 4-axis system: Collectivist, Authoritarian, Individualist, and Libertarian. Player choices in the game will give them points in one of these four areas allowing them to unlock new ideology perks that give them new features and bonuses (as well as penalties).”

Like every GalCiv, there’s a whole book’s worth of detail to go into. The official site has a lot more information. To make sure it keeps on the right track, they’ll be running an early access program later this spring that starts in the alpha stage of development.

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