It's being hailed in some quarters as a shorter version of TI3...it looks like TI3. It sounds like TI3. It kind of smells like TI3. But it's really sort of like reading the Cliff Notes to one of those Brian Herbert Dune books.
A couple of weeks ago we had a great discussion about "homogenous" design in the hobby and how designers are pulling ideas and mechanics only from newer games and from within the hobby. I think GALACTIC EMPEROR is a perfect example of what happens when that's the design model.
The thing is, the game isn't terrible at all. It's actually decent if you've got a group of 4 and everybody understands that they're not going to be playing TI3 in 90 minutes as implicitly advertised. It's better than RACE FOR THE GALAXY and a host of other Eurogames that I've played lately. But it's so completely uninspired and unoriginal that it's like settling for DOMINION when you could be playing GAME Z.