Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Civilization V is AMAZING!

I just got Civ 5 a few days ago, and it is a really great game, just as expected. i started playing Civ 4 about 2 years ago, and i have been a big fan of the Civilization franchise and also a fan of Sid Meier. here is an article about it from IGN:

Firaxis' Civilization V has been available for a little while now, and a number of editors at IGN have had a chance to check out the latest version of the most popular strategy franchise around. This includes those who've played the game before and those who've never tried Civilization and even generally don't deal with gaming on a PC. We've already delivered a review, where editor Anthony Gallegos said "Civilization V is one of the best turn-based strategy games I've ever had the pleasure of playing" and gave the game a score of 9 out of 10.

So what does the rest of the IGN staff think, even those who rarely deal with gaming on Windows?

Colin Moriarty, IGN Guides
So here's the thing. I don't really play PC games. Not at all. In fact, when I think about the PC games I played in my younger days, the only ones that really come to mind are staples like Doom, random games like Chip's Challenge, corny titles like Yoda Stories, and of course, the old standby on my $3,000 1996 Sony VAIO, Space Cadet Pinball. Otherwise, I was brought up on consoles. NES, SNES, et cetera. In my eight years writing guides for IGN Guides, I've not once written a PC guide. That's how deep this no-PC-gaming-slant runs.

Civilization V Video Review

One of the major problems I've encountered in PC gaming is that I never have a computer that's capable of running the best games. But recently, I purchased a new laptop that's easily able to play Civilization V at the game's lowest settings (which is totally fine for me). So when Charles had a spare copy, I grabbed it and brought it home to play it. After going through the frustrating installation process (bear with me – I don't do the PC thing very often), I finally got down to playing. And boy, am I glad that I did.

Civilization V is, in a word, fantastic. Now, I have no experience with the other four Civilization games (nor did I play Civilization Revolution), so I have no idea how this game compares to those experiences. For all I know, the other games were better, or identical, or whatever else. But that's all irrelevant to me. I was swept away by Civilization V almost immediately, regardless of my cluelessness as to the series' history. I love it. It's deep and engaging, and completely unlike many of the games I would usually play on my go-to console, PlayStation 3.

What's truly great about Civilization V isn't necessarily its insane depth (which is a great feature in its own right), but the fact that you can customize your game to your liking, to make the experience as deep or shallow, as difficult or easy, as digestible or incomprehensible as you'd like. I'm still working through my first game, as America, on a gigantic map rife with AI civilizations, and I'm having a blast. This past weekend, I easily dumped twenty hours into the game between Friday night and Sunday night. That's no exaggeration. As a huge football fan, I usually wake up at 8am PST to start watching ESPN Sunday Countdown. I sat on my couch, with my laptop in my lap and a mouse on the arm of the couch, from 8am until 4pm that Sunday. Then, after watching the Jets beat the Dolphins at Nate's, I came back home and played some more. I can't get enough of it.

What I'm really looking forward to is getting this first playthrough out of the way so that I can start to experiment with smaller maps, different civilizations, and higher difficulty levels. What really blew me away about this game, though, is how it opened me back up to PC gaming for the first time since the 1990s. And perhaps more intriguing, yet, is that Civilization V may very well supplant Mass Effect 2 as my game of the year (so far). We'll have to see how I feel when we vote in January, but in the meantime, I can tell you that Civilization V is, no doubt, the biggest surprise of the year, one that smashed me over the head like a ton of bricks. And as a result, I'll never ignore PC gaming like I have ever, ever again.

Gameplay Walkthrough

Mark Ryan Sallee, IGN Guides
In the spirit of full-disclosure and tarnishing my credibility, let me first make a few statements: I've never played a Civ game before Civilization V. I'm not into games with lots of menus and stat manipulation. In fact, I even dislike playing games on PC as a general preference. So if you've played all the Civ games religiously, love fiddling with small numbers, and get great joy from updating hardware drivers and configuring graphics settings, take the following with a grain of...no, grab yourself a ten pound salt lick and break out a thesaurus to spice up an inevitably vitriolic response.

I'm not enjoying Civ V, and I'll gladly to admit it's possibly due to my complete inability to understand the game. Civilization V thrusts players into a world of tiny icons, stacking menus, and unexplained resource management with distressingly little guidance. I was 120 turns into my first civilization before the game bothered to divulge the particulars of the various win conditions. The optional tutorials help a little, but the useful information is buried within menus and sub-menus, and even then is organized and worded cryptically. As someone who explains how to play games well for a living, I find the tutorial and general instruction in the game severely lacking.

Civ V's interface is rife with design inconsistencies and annoyances. I can't tell if the "Advisor Information" help screens are buggy or just incomprehensible. Stats like income and happiness jump around in mysterious ways. Civ devotees within the office suggest a number of possible explanations, but they don't apply. I want to understand every detail of the game, but it's not happening after ten hours of play. And I can't enjoy the game if I don't understand it completely.

Erik Brudvig, IGN Xbox
I'm a huge Civ fan, so my love for Civilization V shouldn't come as a surprise. There are a lot of changes and improvements in this installment, making it play drastically different from Civilization IV or its console cousin Civilization Revolution. Moving to hexes, adding city-states, totally revamping the culture system, and removing the option to stack units give this Civilization an identity all its own.

Even so, it maintains that addictive feeling that makes the franchise so powerful. The turn-based strategy is so deep and compelling that it's nearly impossible to stop playing. Just one more turn and you'll finish researching that next technology, or finish building a new wonder. Just one more turn to take down that opposing empire. Just one more turn…and then you realize that you've played for an entire weekend. Simple yet so complex, this is easily my favorite strategy game of the year yet released.

Dana Jongewaard, IGN Expanded Audience
I'm the first to admit that I suck at strategy games, but that doesn't mean I don't like playing them. Thanks to my suckitude, I always opt for turn-based over real-time (sorry, StarCraft II), and I was super-impressed both at how well Civ V eased me into the layers of complexity, and how skillful it was at letting me hide the layers if I felt overwhelmed. The scalability is really unbelievable, and even though hardcore fans may feel that the game doesn't offer quite as much as the last Civ did, I applaud Civ V for opening up an amazing game to a whole new audience. No matter what your experience level, you can have a good time with this game, which is an impressive feat for a long-lived PC strategy franchise.

Charles Onyett, IGN PC
What's really impressed me about this franchise is just how long it's remained relevant and, more importantly, fun to play over the course of nearly two decades. From the days at MicroProse to modern times and the various staff cycles at Firaxis, Civilization games have never really faltered. Take into account all the high quality expansions that have been developed across the years and the way the gameplay formula has been tweaked to present different versions of the same base game, and it's really an incredible success story.

Civilization has always been a satisfying turn-based strategy game, and though other studios have presented more complex games (take Paradox's stable of titles, for example), none have really been able to strike the balance between accessibility, depth, and the nebulous, ever-elusive fun factor that most developers out there try to infuse into their products.

With Civilization V, I was sucked in just like I always seem to be. I found the new combat system to be a solid addition to the franchise, making military encounters feel more meaningful while expanding my society that in some ways made up for some of the features removed since IV. The AI felt so far a little on the erratic side, but that didn't stop me from enjoying myself. It strikes me that this version is meant to be the most accessible yet, with gorgeous visuals for this kind of game and an irresistibly clickable interface. Like with IV, I have little doubt I'll be loading this one up on and off for years.

Watch the Launch Trailer

Nicole Tanner, IGN Expanded Audience
There are very few games that are so engaging that I will actually lose track of time while playing them, but Civilization V is one of those games. Even though I'm familiar with the series, and the core gameplay hasn't really changed that much over the years, this game still has the ability to keep me interested for hours on end. The sheer complexity and delicate balancing acts you have to maintain on so many levels make the game not only engaging, but extremely rewarding as well. I love being able to eventually obliterate another civilization that has been mean to me. On the flip side, I also enjoy the option of helping out others who have helped me. Even though I've only played a couple games, I'm sure I'll be playing Civ V far into the future.

Hilary Goldstein, IGN Editor-in-Chief
I played easily a hundred hours of Civ IV and V is even better. It might sound minor to someone who's never played a Civ game before, but adding hexes and removing unit stacking on each tile totally change combat. The combat is way more strategic and far more interesting than it's been before in Civ. It influences everything from where you set up your town to how you build troops to where you place your defenses.

The major issue with Civ V is that combat is pretty much where it's at. The AI is really aggressive, forcing you to build defenses. Playing a cultural or scientific path is not easy, because eventually you become too weak and one, two, maybe three of the warring cultures will totally smack you down. This imbalance takes some of the shine off an otherwise brilliant game.

Nick Kolan, IGN MMO Editor
The last Firaxis game I played was Alpha Centauri, and I adored it. I played it for hundreds of hours, slowly learning its ins and outs. It was like an elegant Aston Martin. Civ V makes Alpha Centauri look like a crummy Toyota that still has "Bob Dole '92" bumper stickers on it. It is simplified in all the right areas, while other areas are very fleshed out. I completely skipped any sort of tutorial and was lost for the first 10 or so turns, but by turn 50 of my first match, I felt like I had learned all the most important points and only nuances remained. By turn 150 it was 3AM and had to get up in 4 hours. This has been a pattern over many nights following. Civ V is ruining me.

I really recommend that anyone that likes strategy games should get Civilization V, and if you don't or have never played an RTS, you should really give this one a try.



  1. I torrented it... but apparently you need 2gb of ram to run it, and I only have half of that. I know my computer sucks shit but... it's old as fuck. As soon as I get my new computer this is the first thing I'm getting