After originally hitting Steam Early Access in Alpha form in March, Galactic Civilizations III has now graduated to a Beta build available through Steam Early Access or direct from developers Stardock. Much like the Alpha there is also a fee for access to the Beta, this is Early Access after all, which involves essentially preordering the full game at a cost of $44.99.
Galactic Civilizations III is a space-based strategy game built in the 4X mold of Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate. The game offers a serious amount of addictive fun, even in its beta form, especially when it comes to the desire to colonize just one more planet and push back the enemy menace. That's constant whether the enemy are in fact menacing, or they just happen to be occupying a shiny planet within easy reach of the empire.
The beta is of course not a complete experience and more features will be added into the game throughout the beta period and into release. Those features include such as diplomacy, trade and a new combat system. There are no limitations on playing full matches and players can also take it online for some multiplayer action against friends.
There’s still a while to go until the full Galactic Civilizations III drops in Spring 2015, and it will only be available on 64-bit Windows builds, but for anyone itching for some space-based 4X action then the beta is available right now for $44.99.
Editor's Note: Check out Matt's preview of Galactic Civilizations III's beta now!