Stardock Corporation has released a new playable demo for Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords, the sequel to the hit turn-based strategy title of the same name.
Galactic Civilizations II design lead Brad Wardell says the developer has accepted an apology from Russian copy protection firm StarForce over an incident that saw pirated copies of the game linked from StarForce's forum.
The success of the last Galactic Civilizations was hailed as a David and Goliath situation, where Galactic Civilizations managed to out-perform the money-draped Master of Orion III. In the towering Goliath corner, a team whose art department was "only" five people. In the David corner, a whole development team less than five people. While the details of the victory were somewhat less than stirring - in the same way the Biblical David and Goliath story would have been less impressive if David's victory was secured by Goliath walking onto the battlefield, immediately throwing himself off a cliff while punching himself repeatedly in the face - GalCiv was exactly what the space-exploration empire-building beard-sporting kids wanted. A big, complicated, dedicated, intelligent game of universal domination.
And lo! It was good. And lo! It sold. And lo! Here's its sequel.
Conceptually, it's thankfully very similar ground, which is to be expected. (After all, Stardock's savvy enough not to introduce things like wandering off to have a look at what's in that field over there design-geographically speaking, which was part of MOO3's failings.) Playing one of the game's space races, you get into a race in space to dominate the universe, however you choose. From your initial planets, you send out colony ships to take over uninhabited worlds, develop your available landspace, build armies to conquer, merchant transporters to trade, engage in simple-yet-powerful diplomacy between your peer group, and research the proverbially sprawling tech tree.