I don’t know if I made it clear or not in my Top 20 Favorite Video Games list, but I am quite a fan of turn based strategy games. Starting with Age of Empires 2 I have always enjoyed testing my empires might against several others for global supremacy. I was turned on to Civilization V by my two roommates Ben and Stephanie when I moved in with them a few months back. After some coercion by the two of them I caved and played a game with them and soon after that I found myself on Steam purchasing my own version of the game to play on my own time. After several hours of gameplay I think I can safely say that Civilization V might just be the most intricate and complicated turn based strategy game that I have come across in recent history. This can be both a blessing and a curse, but we will get into that in a second.Civ V is a game based around the major civilizations of the world. Starting as far back as the ancient era and then building your way from learning how to make pottery to splitting the atom and going to Mars, Civ V is watching human evolution happen before your very eyes. Some things come earlier than they should and some areas continue on into the modern age that should have died off years before.
Gameplay is Great
Gameplay is very detailed. It expands in the realms of food production, science, culture, and faith. It focuses on all aspects of what makes a civilization… Well a civilization. How well you are maintaining your empire and how it is effecting other empires… And how those empires might be affecting you as well. Most strategy based RPGs do a better job with some aspects than others, but Civ V is pretty good across the board when it comes to what goes into establishing an empire.
You Will Lose Hours Playing with the Mountains of Content
With the map expansions, the multitude of civilizations to play as, and the different ways that one can achieve victory. You will lose hours to even days on end playing Civilization V. There is just so much content to explore and so many different ways to play and strategies to implement that it is hard to not get pulled into the game for hours.
When I first played I started out as Egypt. But as the gameplay went on and I saw the other civilizations I was competing against, I wanted to play as all of them as well just to see if I could do as well with them as I did with Egypt. Which Civ would I be the best at? Would one emerge as my personal favorite? How much does the map go into my gameplay? There are just so many possibilities that you almost need to try them all out and see which one you like the best.
Genius! I cannot believe that more turn based strategy games do not let you play on just one computer! I can understand they want to sell more units, but man it gets on my nerves so many times when the only way to play a game like this is to have multiple computers when you are all clearly sitting in the room together. The multiplayer feature is a great addition to the game and it can be fun either competing against your friends or uniting for a team victory.
Victory is Not Easily Explained
The game is very interesting because you have multiple ways that you ‘win the game’. Militaristic victories, cultural victories, diplomatic victories, scientific victories, and so on and so forth. I do love this because I’m usually not the type of guy who likes to build big massive armies and play the game ‘my cock is bigger than your cock’. So having ‘cultural victories’, ‘diplomatic victories’, and ‘scientific victories’ is really cool for people like me who like the politics of turn based strategy games more than the combat. The only problem with that is that all of the ‘victories’ are really ambiguous. Playing the first game with Stephanie and Ben, I had no idea how to obtain victory only that I was doing a pretty decent job at it. But how I was going to win is still up in the air.
For God’s and Kings Cultural Victory seemed the most cut and dry. Finish 5 social policy trees then build the ‘Utopia Project’. Simple enough. But then with Brave New World this idea got changed drastically as now you had to win a cultural victory with tourism and influence over other nations. In a way I kind of like it as all the victories have real world basis behind them, but sometimes you have to lay out how you actually win the game in more plain text than what Civ V does.
If you are a fan of turn based strategy games than Civilization V is a must own. It is a mix of awesome concepts and rich and interesting characters. Sure the victories can be a tad bit ambiguous and if you are more of a person who enjoys the combat of turn based strategy than you might want to look towards games like Total War to get your fix. But even if you are a die-hard combat junkie, you would still want to pick up Civ V. You will not be disappointed.
Final Score 4/5
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