Steam Cloud is off.
Same pattern - launching game shows graphic issue, verifying cache shows 6 files fail to validate.
So I uninstalled the game, deleted all folders, turned off opt-in for 1.4, uninstalled and - voila!
The planet icon shows up at right and in the lower left, the background is lighter and the blue color is the familiar 'Terran Blue'. Compare and contrast with:
I did save the GC3 folder from Documents and it has some log files from the last 'bad' launch. Let me know if you want to see anything. But it seems pretty clear that 1.4 broke the game for me, graphically.
After the successful launch of a new game, just for consistency, I attempted to verify the cache. Again it said, "Six files failed to validate."