Galactic Civilizations 3 gets governments and crises in the new 'Intrigue' expansion

A new Galactic Civilizations 3 expansion called Intrigue brings what sounds like a touch of Civilization to the 4X interstellar empire-building game. It adds 20 styles of planetary government, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, new special events called Crises to deal with, a new "Commonwealth" status and options for your outer worlds, a Galactic Market, and a Galactic News Network that will deliver word of treaties, war, and other important current events. 

"In Intrigue, once you settle your second planet, your people begin to demand some sort of government that recognizes that you have a significant offworld population. This adds a completely new element to the Galactic Civilizations that fans know and love," Stardock CEO Brad Wardell explained.

"You could rule democratically, but then you need to make sure to win your elections. Or you could just enslave your working class under an Owner Aristocracy, and the opinions of your people don't matter. You just have to deal with some potential civil unrest." 

Governments and crises won't just enrich your empire and annoy your citizens: They can also lead to rewards including new ships included with the expansion that aren't obtainable through other means.   

Stardock also released the GalCiv3 3.0 update, free for all players, adding adjustable tax rates, tourism, farming, and a "substantially increased" likelihood of extreme worlds, which sounds like it might actually be a good thing. "Certain species can now colonize particular worlds without tech," Stardock explained. "For example, carbon-based lifeforms can settle on a corrosive planet, but synthetic life cannot." 

The full rundown of the Galactic Civilizations 3 3.0 update is available on the Stardock forums. The game is also on sale on Steam until 1 pm ET on April 13 (that's tomorrow) for $14/£11/€13, while the Intrigue expansion goes for $20/£16/€20.   

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.