Galactic Civilizations:  The Altarian Prophecy


posted 1/18/2005 by Tyler Sager
other articles by Tyler Sager
One Page Platforms: PC
The single-player campaign is a nice change of pace for GalCiv. This 9-mission campaign focuses on the mystery behind the Altarian people, and why they look almost exactly like Humans. The missions are a nice mix, requiring some changes in play style to meet the victory conditions. The first few missions were fairly easy, but the difficulty ramped up quickly toward the middle. One mission in particular still gives me nightmares, and I still haven’t been able to complete it in the manner suggested in the briefing, even at the lower difficulty settings. In addition, the Altarian Prophecy campaign highlights some of the new campaign features made available. Missions can now begin with allies already in place, different levels of technology achieved, and entire fleets already built. In addition, there are now more goals and triggers possible for the pregenerated missions. For example, now conquering or losing a single planet can be a victory or loss condition.

All of these features can be used in the most exciting part of the Altarian Prophecy—the mission editor. Now missions and entire campaigns can be created by the fanbase for common consumption. I fiddled a bit with the editor, but didn’t get too far because, well, I’m just not that good at designing these things. But the door is open for those more creative gamers out there to wow us all with maps and campaigns all their own. If all this isn’t enough, there are also several custom rulesets to try, each with a unique twist on the traditional GalCiv game.

With Galactic Civilizations II on the horizon, Altarian Prophecy is the perfect thing help bide the time. In fact, Stardock is offering a free mini-campaign download entitled “Prelude to War” for Altarian Prophecy owners, setting the stage for the next installment. Until the sequel arrives, however, we now have even more GalCiv goodness, adding more addictiveness and content to an already insanely addictive game.

A wonderful addition to Galactic Civilizations. Altarian Prophecy has more units, technologies, events, and wonders, in addition to a much appreciated mission and campaign editor. While there’s nothing completely new here, GalCiv fans will certainly be pleased.

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