For the uninitiated Civilization is and will always be the benchmark for turn based strategy games.Â The concept is to start as a tribe and grow to become a nation and beyond. As you develop you nation you pickup skills, traverse Ages and conquer new lands. Meanwhile living in an increasingly crowded land you have to deal with other tribes, nations and barbarians of the land. The only reason for the game to be turn based is that there are so many aspects of the game to manage, and in some of the older editions this could be either a selling point or another day at the grind wheel depending on your gaming style.
However in Civilization 5 they do things a little differently and you can either choose to be as involved as you would like in the affairs of your citizens. The interface is also slicker for letting you know about the important things going on in the neighbourhood. They also introduce cities, which are effectively single city nations or independents that can contribute or even work against your nation. Of course you can destroy these cities, take them over or choose to use these alliances in your favour.
Good for old and Good for new So does the game deliver? It certainly would be up there in terms of the Civilization franchise as being the most complete version. While the diplomacy side of things felt a little clunky, many other aspects of game play were greatly enhanced. Now to be fair its been a while since i have played with the Civilization franchise, however i still found it easy to pick up and run with. If your new to the game you will be getting on the elevator near the top, as this is game that has learnt from the past and has kept all the good bits intact. One aspect i really enjoyed was the issue of land ownership. Without managing ownership of the tiles (hex spaces) you can end up with very fragmented nations, and a very tribal feel to your empire. This is in my mind a great feature when land grab races occur with other nations
A quick summary for fans :
- You no longer need to load cargo ships, once a tech has been discovered units can traverse various hex’s (like astronomy aiding ocean navigation).
- The game feels a whole lot quicker, but that still does not seem to reduce game time.
- Non nation Cities (AI) now appear and can make for powerful allies (or enemies)
- The graphics detailing looks great, and as you traverse ages the entire map evolves. Areas outside of cities take on a life of their own as your nation builds.
- Empire management is in, micro management is out (options are still there if you want to go back there).
Uhoh Bugs….. Yeah… unfortunately there are a few little issues with this release. Installation can be a little troublesome, even the forums are starting to fill up with reports. However these issues are being actively fixed, so no major loss there. But there are still a small handful number of glitches in the game. Now i wouldn’t normally pick up on these, but they can be somewhat a real deal breaker. In my case a faulty treaty system which wont allow me to declare war against an empire i previously had a treaty with (which had loooong expired). Should it stop you from buying this game? No… i don’t think so. While being highly frustrating i can say that the development team are responding rapidly to bug reports with updates coming out very quickly.
Woo Hoo MODDING… And lets get down to brass tacks, this is some complex software right here. Not only have they delivered a stunning looking game, they have also put an intense amount of detail in to all aspects of gameplay. One feature i am pleased is to see promoted is Modding. Lets be honest we all would like to develop the mighty nation of New Zealand armed with sharks and lasers attached to their foreheads (just me?? oh ..) and now you can with the Sid Meier Civilization 5 SDK tool downloadable from Stream.
Worth It? Simply put.. Yes.. Get that order in for your RedBull shots, grab a comfy chair, say good bye to your loved ones for a weekend and enjoy the best edition the Civilization saga has delivered yet… Now if you will excuse me i need to go deal to the Persian empire who is building up troops on my borders…