September 22, 2010

Civ V review

Filed under: Gaming, History, Technology — Tags: — Nicholas @ 07:55

No, not by me . . . my copy hasn’t arrived yet. It’s from the Guardian:

Fans of Sid Meir’s seminal strategy game tend to be purists — one reason why 2008’s Civilization Revolution was so panned by some for slimming down the formula in just about every respect.

Yet for all its limitations, the console version addressed many of the problems that the old PC franchise had ignored for too long, and the proof is here for all to see. Civilization V returns to Civ IV‘s epic scale but combines it with CivRev‘s emphasis on simplicity and clarity. As a result, this is probably the best (or at least the most user friendly) version of the game since the original and certainly the best-equipped for the now-obligatory multiplayer mode.

The first thing PC owners will notice is the interface. Heavily influenced by CivRev, it’s a thing of minimalist beauty designed to display information clearly and succinctly. This also has the effect of allowing pride of place to the new-look World Map, which is now a thing of shimmering beauty as your empire develops into a tableau of fields, factories and road networks. Zooming in and out is smoother than before and it makes the game annoyingly easy to keep playing.

If nothing else, it should keep me occupied until Guild Wars 2 is released.

Update: Just got an email from Amazon.ca, providing me with a bonus code for the “Cradle of Civilization Map Pack”. I ordered this long enough ago that I don’t even remember what this might be (or, more likely, it was added after I pre-ordered).

Update, the second (at 23:15): Yep, my copy arrived tonight. While I was in town for an appointment. Can anyone explain why they bother to ship you a DVD-ROM when you have to download the game through Steam anyway? Because it’s peak time somewhere in North America, I’ve been downloading for over half an hour and just got to 47%. At this rate, I’ll maybe get half an hour of gaming before I turn into a pumpkin . . .


  1. Spent four hours playing it last night. A thing of sublime beauty.

    Comment by Publius — September 22, 2010 @ 08:17

  2. Only four hours? Clearly it’s not up to the “gotta play just one more turn” levels of the Civilization II branch of the family.

    Comment by Nicholas — September 22, 2010 @ 10:09

  3. That’s odd. It took me 30 minutes and at peak time too. The Steam thing is frankly just annoying.

    As for “only four hours,” my boss is the old fashioned type. She insists I kind of show up on time. Otherwise I would have played right through the night, like I did when CIV II came out. But back then I was a teenager and could survive on coke and pizza. Happy days.

    Comment by Publius — September 23, 2010 @ 08:33

  4. Being self-employed, I have the liberty of telling my boss to go to hell. My client, on the other hand, has similar expectations to your boss. It’s been a long time since I stayed up that late gaming on a weekday night.

    Comment by Nicholas — September 23, 2010 @ 09:01

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