Civilization 5 for the PC: Review

Great Balls of Fire, Civilization 5 has hit the shelves.

This is a great, great game. It always has been. And the fifth installment just makes it better.

The beauty of Civ 5 is that if you’re new to the Civ franchise, you’ll be able to jump in fairly fast, whereas if you’re familiar with the Civ franchise, you’ll quickly recognize the changes and adapt to them.

First, for those new to Civ, it’s a turn-based strategy game where you take on the role of leader of any number of different cultures, and guide that civilization from around 4000 B.C. up to the modern day. It’s massive and hugely complex and that can be a little off-putting, but if you follow the tutorial and listen to advice from your advisors, you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

For those familiar with the Civ franchise, here are some of the changes that Civ 5 is introducing:

* The map is now hexagonal-based
* You can no longer stack multiple military units (don’t worry, it’s a good thing)
* The game has discarded governments in favor of a massively detailed “Social Policy” interface, that allows you to adopt certain policies that you buy with culture points
* As hinted above, culture is now much more important and much more complex
*  There is no longer, as far as I can tell, a tax system of allocating resources (I could be wrong about this and just be missing it); instead you can choose how to allocate resources using focal points such as culture, growth, etc.
* You can now “buy” tiles for your city with gold
* There are more advisors, and they offer a great deal of more detailed advice
* “City states” have been introduced — small NPC civilizations that you can trade with, declare war against, etc.

Apart from those changes, it’s pretty much still Civ. However, the graphics have improved. Not a ton, but enough. Civ 5 also uses DirectX 10 or 11 — or if you’re still running XP, it runs under DirectX 9, although 10/11 are the preferred platforms.

Civilization 5 Screenshot

Civ 5 in all its glory...

Civilization 5 gets a rare 10/10 from me.

Now excuse me, but I have to take care of some meddlesome Romans…

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