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Thread: Sid Meier's Civilization V

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    HEXUS.gaming Steven W's Avatar
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    Sid Meier's Civilization V

    If anyone has the game and fancies reviewing it check the sticky thread in the forum and post your review below.

    Reviews will be published on the front page of gaming.

    If anyone is really keen to review it and hasn't got the game, send me a PM as I may be able to send it your way.

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    My first game's review. So here goes nothing...

    Civilization V
    Platform: PC

    Two series in the recent history of PC gaming have had black hole type abilities to distort time; Championship/Football Manager and Civilization. Today I’ll be talking about the latter series with its newest instalment, Civilization V. This review is based only on an (intense) weekend of playing it but I have wasted many an hour on its predecessors, and there will be a lot of comparisons made to Civ 4. So it’s time to dust off the settlers and workers and get to work on grid-like world. Wait a minute, what’s happened here?

    Six vs. Four

    Probably the biggest change made for Civ V is the move from squares to hexagons as the tiles for the world. This is nothing new for turn-based games, and I remember Blue Byte (IIRC) using it for their games way back on the Amiga (Historyline and Settlers comes to mind). It actually makes the game seem a bit more natural. You no longer feel like you are exploiting the game by going diagonally across squares. The terrain looks better without having four different types meeting at one point like you can get with squares. It also of course changes the classic “17 square fat cross” of city layouts of past incarnations.


    How Civ looks with hexagons

    This brings me onto another game play change: city expansion. Whilst culture is still used to expand the city radius, it’s done in a more creeping manner of one tile at a time rather than the circumference expanding at one. Also added is ability to now buy tiles for expansion. This allows you to focus your expansion towards certain resources, and it is now not unusual to see “fingers” emanating from your cities. It also gives territory a more chaotic look rather than the structured feel before.


    The pink tiles shows where the city might expand into when the culture meter fills up. Alternatively you can buy tiles. The further out, the more it costs.


    Here I've expanded to reach the sheep resource. This tile is also a natural choke point between the mountains.

    LIFO!

    The other major change has been to remove the ability for units to stack. More precisely, units are split into Combat and Non-combat, and they do not stack with a similar unit. This means you can still use one unit to protect a worker for example, but you can no longer put some pikemen with you siege equipment to fend off mounted units. “Stack of doom” is no longer possible! It also means you can no longer use a stack of workers to improve a tile in one turn.

    A couple more minor changes also add to the way combat is now played out. Firstly, the default move for units is now two tiles; this means terrain can actually slow your units down. Secondly, ranged units can now actually fight at range. Archers and siege weapons can attack two tiles away (later in the game, you get artillery which can fire three) and are also affected by terrain (you cannot fire over hills for example). Transports have also been eliminated with land units able to “embark” and cross the seas on their own. However, a navy is still required to protect them.


    My land army crossing the sea to invade!

    All this combined changes the way combat is now played and allows for some real strategic battles. A small army at a choke point, helped by their terrain can have a real hope of holding out against a larger army. There’s almost a game in itself now with the combat element alone. The “rock, scissors, paper” of the units in Civ V can now be exploited much better. You also get a better overview of an enemy's armies at a glance without having to worry what other units are stacked on a tile.


    A few well placed units with an upgraded defense should prove to be a tough nut to crack!

    What else is new?

    Obviously, the graphics have been improved, but with a game of this type, it is not that critical. The leaders of each nation are now fully animated, usually in a surrounding that is appropriate for them (Queen Elizabeth on a throne, Alexander the Great on horseback etc.).

    The UI has also been given a bit of an overhaul. There's a lot of information to show in a Civ game, and the UI does a good job showing it. A list of events that need to be brought to your attention for that turn are brought up as icons on the right-hand side just above the "End Turn" button. This allows you to set new research goals, pick a new policy and so on as needed before ending your turn. The only slight problem with it might be the build orders in the city screen, which could be streamlined a little bit to make it less “clunky”; especially when creating a queue.

    Espionage, religion and corporations from Civ 4 have gone (for now), and “civics” is now replaced by “policies”, which are mini tech-trees and are advanced by the empire-collected culture. A small amount of the micro-management has also been removed as happiness has been transferred from individual cities to empire wide. Happiness also now affects how often a Golden Age occurs. However, some micro-management is added and you now have to set the priorities of each city yourself (or allocate civilians manually) as the empire tax rate from Civ 4 is also removed. This results you having to go around each city if you want to move the focus from production to money for example.

    Finally, city-states have been added. These are single cities that are not there to win like the other civilisations, but instead can either be conquered or be bribed to become your allies. They also set you certain goals during the game which if you complete, increase your favour with them. Becoming allies grants you certain benefits, but the “favour meter” decreases over time, so it can seem like they are more like gold sinks than anything else. Fortunately you can turn them off if you so wish.

    Conclusion

    So after all these changes, is it still Civ? Definitely. It’s evolved certainly. The combat changes may not be to everyone’s liking as more thought is required and may be detracting from the focus of some people’s goal of simply building up cities and an empire. The change to hexagons can only be seen as a good thing in my opinion. The AI is decent enough, although can be exploited a little bit here and there, normally through the new “no-stacking” system allowing to you to corner them and prevent their progress whilst at peace! Ultimately though, everything is still there as it was before. Play-styles should still transfer for the most part from previous versions as you strife for the usual victories (Space, Culture, Diplomatic etc).

    I haven't played multi-player, so cannot comment on that aspect of the game.

    Score: 9/10
    Worth buying if you're a fan. If you're not sure, then might be worth waiting until it's in a Steam sale.
    Last edited by Gerrard; 30-09-2010 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Added info about the UI

  3. Received thanks from:

    matty-hodgson (30-09-2010),Steven W (30-09-2010)

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Excellent review, surprised it's your first.

    I'll put this up on the front page on Monday. Do you want your real name credited to it?

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Nah, forum name will do.

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Brilliant review that Gerrard, nice one!

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    hmm I never played any of the civ games, I might download the demo on steam

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    just spent £30 ... on the biggest let down ever.

    i loved civ 4, but civ 5 is a massive step backwards. no longer can you fight proxy wars, as religion has been removed.

    if it aint broke don't fix it. can't wait for someone to mod the game and put religion back

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Quote Originally Posted by j1979 View Post
    just spent £30 ... on the biggest let down ever.

    i loved civ 4, but civ 5 is a massive step backwards. no longer can you fight proxy wars, as religion has been removed.

    if it aint broke don't fix it. can't wait for someone to mod the game and put religion back

    I have played a fair bit of Civ 5 and have many hundreds of hours logged with Civ 4 and I have to say I honestly do not miss the religion at all.

    What I do miss however is multiplayer as Civ 5 does not support saving in multiplayer games which makes it completely pointless to even try starting one (even if I think I might have only had a 1% finish rate of multiplayer games).
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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Meh i hate the mp in the new game. Its extremely buggy and slow. I got bored of sp in the first two weeks of release so haven't actually played the game in well over a month.

    When MP is fixed me and my friends will no doubt start playing it again.
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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Agree.

    CIV 5 is pants.

    Don't get me wrong...it's an OK game if it hadn't been for CIV IV.

    CIV IV has so much more to mess around with. CIV 5 is more like a watered down console game.

    When CIV IV came out it was pants too...the expansion and various mods made it what it is. Hopefully this will be the same for CIV 5, cos at the moment it is unplayable to a seasoned CIV IV player.

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Thanks for the posts.

    Was going to buy Civ V today - but after reading this, i'll just stick with Civ IV.

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    i would wait until all the expansion packs are out and then some say 6 to 12 months for all the Bug fixing to be done. Maybe then the game will be worth buying.

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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    I wouldn't to be honest, been quite addicted to single player since I finished mass effect 2 and I am of the opinion that it is a better game than civ 4. It might appear simplified but there is a lot going on there. The combat is so much better than civ 4, far far more tactical.
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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    Pity Multiplayer is a laggy and buggy joke.
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    Re: Sid Meier's Civilization V

    If anyone still has CIV IV installed, get on Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn mod. It's everything CIV 5 should have been! I'm in total awe of it. You don't realise how good it is. The features it adds....to many to list...but one of my favourite is the 'revolutions' part of it in which a CIV you have subjugated can rise up against you...hell, even your own cities can rise up against you...new units, new leaders...it's amazing....AND THAT IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

    It's just a shame CIV IV is slow even on the best PCs, it just doesn't take advantage of more than 1 core apprently and only uses 4GB of RAM I think.

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