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Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor

A little piece of us dies every time we praise a game that doesn't sell like hot cakes while titles that we tear apart have sales figures that smash through the ceiling. Galactic Civilizations II scored extremely well with critics when it debuted early last year. The follow up expansion, Dread Lords, was also well received and scored several editor's choice awards. The series is considered to be the king of 4X strategy.

So why isn't the latest Galactic Civilizations expansion, Twilight of the Arnor receiving as much hype as other nine-out-ten caliber titles? Why aren't gamers queuing up en masse to get their pre-orders in as they were for say, BioShock?



Above: We lose hours of sleep staring at menus like this all day. But many gamers can't or won't

"It just goes to show how much the success of a game really is about distribution and publishing," said Brad Wardell, president and CEO of publisher and developer, StarDock Corporation. "A few years ago Masters of Orion 3 came out. But it actually sold [well] even though its average reviews [were low]," continued Wardell.

It makes sense, and our Bestselling Crap feature seems to prove it. Larger publishers can afford to bombard gamers with ads, ensuring exposure and hype. They can afford to make the next Spider-Man or Harry Potter game that'll be almost guaranteed to suck and sell based on their popular licenses.

If you're not already a fan of the franchise, chances are good that Twilight of the Arnor won't convert you, and there are plenty of aliens that need an ass-kicking, Nazi controlled towns that need liberating, and terrorist plots to thwart as an alternative. But if you're a fan of old school turn-based strategy with a knack for details, then we suggest you give the Galactic Civilizations II demo a whirl before Twilight of the Arnor releases this November.

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