Civilization V 3-Years Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* - November 27, 2013
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A necessary quality for a reviewer is the ability to critically analyze an experience and put as complete an impression as possible, into clear and succinct words. Whether the experience was good or bad, a reviewer must be able to accurately and thoroughly describe it, so someone reading it can surmise what their own experience will be like. This has the interesting side effect of being able to find good points in bad games and bad points in good games.
Why did I just write that paragraph? Because the game I am reviewing here is Sid Meier's Civilization V, a game I have put over 230 hours in over the past two years I have owned it (making it the third-most played game in my Steam library). As you can naturally guess from that statistic, I enjoy the game quite a lot. However, as I attempted to explain in the earlier paragraph, just because I, or anyone enjoys a game, that does not mean we cannot find issues with it.
Civilization V is a turn-based, 4X game, which is a variant of the strategy genre, characterized by large gameworlds, finite resources, and the ultimate goal of defeating enemies through conflict or diplomacy. Specifically 4X stands for explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate and a key part of all four is micromanagement by the player. Often the games of this genre will have an AI to assist you, but only a human player can take full advantage of each opportunity and resource.
When you play Civilization V, you are not just some species or race with certain advantages and disadvantages, trying to conquer the world, but a leader from humanity' history. Want to build a new Roman nation as Augustus Caesar? Give Napoleon or Alexander the Great another chance at the world? This game gives you that chance as you take a civilization from its beginning, through the technological ages, until finally reaching the future.
Originally released in 2010, Civilization V has received continued support since then through patches, content packs with new civilizations, and two large expansions: Gods & Kings and Brave New World. As you are actually able to play with or without those expansions, I am going to give them their own pages in this review, rather than mixing the mechanics they add or refine in with the base game's.
Does Civilization V stand the test of time, or should it fade into dust and memory, like many before it? Read on to find out.