We launch the Sumerian empire in part 1 of our video featuring Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.
Civilization V: Gods & Kings Trailer
You may or may not know that the expansion for Sid Meier’s Civilization V will be released next week on June 19th. The Expansion, Gods and Kings will bring a lot of gameplay points back to the series that fans were begging for. Here are some of the key features:
Expanded Epic Game: The core game experience has been greatly expanded with the addition of new technologies, 27 new units, 13 new buildings and nine new Wonders.
New Civilizations and Leaders: The expansion features nine new civilizations including Carthage, the Netherlands, the Celts and the Mayans, each with unique traits, units and buildings. Gods & Kings also adds nine new leaders including William I, Prince of Orange, Boudicca and Pacal the Great.
New Game Scenarios: Three new scenarios let gamers experience the medieval period, the fall of Rome, and embark on a new adventure in Empires of the Smoky Skies, a Victorian science-fiction scenario.
The Return of Religion: A first for Civilization V, players seek out Faith, choosing a Pantheon of the Gods and creating Great Prophets to found and spread their customized religion across the world.
World Domination: The fight for world domination is more dynamic than ever. Gods & Kings features a reworked combat system and AI that places more emphasis on a balanced army composition. Additionally, the navy is now split into two different ship types, melee and ranged, making coastal cities vulnerable to a surprise naval attack.
Enhanced Diplomacy and Espionage: Establish embassies at foreign courts for closer ties or clandestine operations. As the religions of the world start settling in and the world moves into the Renaissance, spies can be unlocked to establish surveillance of foreign cities, steal advanced technologies from your strongest competitors, or garner influence with City-States through election rigging, or even a coup.
City-States: Two new city-state types have been added, Mercantile and Religious, adding new gameplay to a greatly expanded quest system to further the narrative of the game and making diplomatic victories more challenging.
Check out this trailer on the expansion including commentary about the game from Dennis Shirk, Producer, and Ed Beach, Lead Designer.
A game I fondly remember playing again and again, burning the midnight oil and gaming the night away because of it, was Sid Meier’s Civilization, released by MicroProse Software in 1991. This retro MS-DOS based game had it all: outstanding gameplay, a well-executed concept, and superb graphics (for its day), and was yet another hit from Sid Meier and his team.
Players started with a single settler (a covered wagon) at the dawn of civilization, chose a location to found their first city, and from that built an empire as the game timeline progressed to the Space Age. Sometimes you’d find another computer player right next door, and either had to keep the peace with non-stop diplomacy, or – more times than not – send in the troops to crush them like the insects they truly were. Up to six other civilizations were out there to discover, and they all had to be dealt with, one way or another (either the Americans, Aztecs, Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, English, French, Germans, Greeks, Indians, Mongolians, Romans, Russians, or Zulus.)
Yet this wasn’t just yet another military simulation; players had to build their empires by monitoring the happiness of their citizenry, providing improvements that would encourage growth in their cities, establish trade routes, and pursue technology advancements through scientific research. Neglect anything for too long and the consequences could be dire: fall behind in the technology and your troops might be like the Polish Cavalry facing the Blitzkrieg on horse with sabres. Forget to keep your citizenry content and your cities begin revolting. Overlook trading with other empires and find your city improvement budgets limited. Limit your internal and external upgrades of your cities, and watch them spontaneously Neglect to build up your military might and watch as your cities fall to the armed might of your bitter enemies – or worse yet, random barbarians raging across the continent. A strong empire builder needed to be aware of all aspects of their empire!
But, wait, there’s more! This was an incredibly deep game. You start out as a Despot (where do I sign up?), but as the game progressed and new ideas developed as a result of technological improvements, other forms of government presented themselves. Each had its advantages depending on your goals and current state of your empire, but each also had disadvantages. It wasn’t a great idea to switch to Democracy in the middle of a military build-up or full-blown campaign, as your citizens tended to be on the pacifistic side. On the other hand, if you wanted to push the envelope on scientific development, ruling over your cities with an iron fist as King wasn’t a winning strategy either.
You could also gain serious advantages over the other empires by building one of the many Wonders of the World. These took a long time to build, using up many resources, but could be the difference-maker between victory or defeat. These Wonders varied by game era, and could become obsolete with new technological advances. Some had limited appeal and should only be looked at under a specific set of circumstances, however.
This game has not only stood the test of time, it has spawned many sequels: Civilization II, III, and IV, CivNet (the first multiplayer Civilization), Civilization Gold, and Civilization Revolution, as well as many similarly-themed games, such as Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Civilization: Call to Power, Colonization, and Master of Magic. And the franchise doesn’t appear to be running out of steam anytime soon. If you love retro games and you haven’t played the original Civilization, what are you waiting for?
For the three (3) of you who haven’t heard of Civilization before, let me explain. It’s all about guiding a nation through history in an intuitive turn based fashion. You’ll start from the stone Age, research yourself to literacy and the Bronze Age and keep expanding, building and fighting until your civilization reaches the stars or global domination (or, of course, until you get pulverized). On your way you’ll build wonders of the world like the Pyramids, you’ll explore and tame the land and maybe even lead a workers’ revolution. By the time you reach Civ greatness though, you will be nothing more than an empty shell of a human being. You’ll be thousands of hours closer to your death. This game is the greatest and most addictive time sink ever created.
Beside the three (3) aforementioned weirdos, the rest of the world should be happy to know that moving on to Civ 4 is definitely worth it. This seems to be the best Civ ever, even though no one can be absolutely sure unless two or three more years pass. Civ 4 sports a brand new 3d engine that can run decently on almost any modern PC or Notebook. It also features a new simpler but more tactical combat system, a never seen before government system, new religions that actually play a role (monasteries, prophets and missionaries are included), a faster game engine, decent (playable) multiplayer, new Wonders, Great People (something like wonders… but… ahem… in the guise of people), a richer tech tree, a beautiful soundtrack and an amazing attention to detail. Mr. Meier has also included the necessary modding tools that guarantee a torrent of interesting mods and free expansions.
A great game all in all. Great but obviously not groundbreaking. Civilization 4 is an excellent Civ, but even a moderately experienced player wont need to open the manual (the printed and not pdf manual that is). Civ is still an absolutely brilliant game. Just don’t expect to be surprised.
Civilization 5 coming Fall 2010
The latest installment of one of the best strategy games of all time, if not the best one will be out Fall 2010.
The Civilization games are the ultimate empire game strategy simulation games ever made. I have probably played these games more than anything ever. I can’t wait for Civilization 5 to make me lose sleep and make me forget to eat all over again. 😀
Sid Meier is an (evil) genius! 😀
UPDATE: This game sucked. Read the review here.