on October 17, 2010
I have played Civilization IV for several years and so bought this latest version.
I find that this version requires a very capable computer to run well, but other than that I have had a hard time not playing it every day!
It is a little simpler than Civilization IV and has fewer interactions with other nations, and is consequently easier to play overall. Really not any advance in game play over previous versions, however.
Recommended for those who do not have Civilization IV - not so much for those that do as they will see few advantages to owning this version.
on April 25, 2012
I played both Civ3 and Civ4 before this. Civ5 is just as addicting as the others in its series, and I welcomed the new additions such as the combat system and social policy tree. Taking away unit stacking made combat much more realistic and rewards players in using strategic savvy in their unit placement. And its just epic being able to hold off a larger AI army by holding a single mountain pass. Unlike most fans, I actually found Civ4 to be the most horrendous of the Civs (did not like the religion system among other things), and I felt Civ5 was something of a reconciliation for me. One thing I didn't like about Civ4 was the drastic overhaul from Civ3. Civ5 isn't necessary less different from Civ3, but for me it had a closer feel of "grandeur" that I was use to in Civ3.
Problems I have with Civ 5 is the reduced pace of unit/building production, which took away the large armies and fully-furnished megacities I was use to in Civ3. It forces you to manage and watch your economy and city growth. The new tile stats and bonuses are also drastically reduced, add the new road maintenance and it makes it much harder to make money. In that respect, Civ5 offers a more challenging gameplay, which for me is a good thing. Civilization bonuses are really much out of balance in Civ5, some of them are pretty useless, while others have overpowered bonuses that might make players more incline to play the same civs over and over again.
At 25 bucks, yes I would definitely recommend you purchase this game. Beautiful graphics, amazing music soundtrack, and DAYS of addicting fun. I played through maps for 18 hours without sleep before (you really need to be careful with any Civ game for that matter :P).
on November 1, 2010
I bought this game based on reviews from the majority of gaming publications and from the reputation of this games predecessor (Civilization IV and it's two expansions - Warlords and Beyond the Sword).
That was a big mistake, I feel cheated, and I wish I could get my money back.
Six weeks after being released, the game still has a whole slew of technical issues. The one that affects me personally is the following. Since the game's release I've started five different games and haven't been able to finish any of them. After around 50 turns into each game, I encounter a bug which causes the game to persistently crash when loading my saved games.
The game has been streamlined to be marketable to a wider audience. Many of the concepts from it's predecessors have been dumbed down. The most glaring of these is the tech tree which has been drastically shrunk - so much so that you are likely to research every single thing in any play-through. This really reduces the game's re-playability - you end up doing the exact same thing each game, it gets boring very quickly. Another issue with the tech tree is that units become obsolete faster then you can build them (a unit may take 13 turns to build, but the technology that unlocks a vastly superior unit can be researched in only 4-5 turns).
The game also has terrible balance issues. For an in-depth exposition of those, please follow this link ([...]). In short, the optimal winning strategy involves building a sprawl of tiny clone cities which don't differentiate from each other in any way. City placement doesn't matter because terrain resource bonuses are negligible. There are only three terrain improvements, and you generally only build one of them (trading post) because the others are mostly useless (mine) or rendered redundant (farm) by another game aspect (maritime city states which provide food to all your cities). Building production and maintenance costs far exceed the usefulness of said buildings so apart from 3 or 4 basic buildings, you don't need to build anything else in your cities. How fun does making the exact same city over and over again sound? Sure, you can spice things up by building more unique cities but the game will punish you for doing so because it deviates from the optimal strategy.
Finally, the AI in the game is abysmally stupid. To quote one of the few negative reviews of this game, "The game's AI can't play the game it was designed for". The military AI will simply march it's vast army of units single file to be slaughtered by a few well placed units of your own. It simply cannot cope with the strategic aspect of the new one-unit-per-hexagonal-tile design.
Patches may be released to address these issues in the future, but many of the game's design problems are deep-set and are unlikely to be fixed.
My final advice to would-be-buyers is to wait a year and then check online to see if the technical issues have been worked out and whether the game's balance problems have been addressed.
Don't repeat my mistake and buy it on the reputation of Civilization IV. This is a much different game with a whole slew of problems at the moment.
The working relationship between a game designer and his publisher is never a simple one. So I would not know where exactly to place the blame, Sid Meyer or 2K GAMES. But in the end, it does not matter. Because it is simply sad to see a great gaming franchise came to this.
THIS IS NOT A CIVILIZATION GAME
A great number of major features of this beloved series have been simply removed. A fellow gamer called this "Civilization For Dummies" and he is absolutely right.
There is no trading maps or technologies. There is no claiming resources outside your borders by building a colony. There is no need for transport ships as, apparently, units are now all..amphibious (and they need 15-20 turns to cross an ocean!). There are no city-growth milestone requirements (granary, aqueduct, refrigeration). There is no culturally conquering an enemy city (detonating a "culture bomb" by consuming a Great Artist will only get you extra territory tiles but no cities). There are no spies nor health/pollution balance. And there are no armies (please read on).
Someone please tell me what was so wrong with armies that had to be yanked out? Napoleon almost conquered Europe with one army. Germany almost conquered the eastern hemisphere with three and the US still holds a two-and-a-half armies doctrine. How can a turn-based game be called Civilization unless one can emulate, well, a real civilization? Building an army, seasoning it on minor conflicts and then going for the enemy's capital was one of the most fun parts of any Civilization game. Why Sid, why?
YOU MAY BE ABLE TO LAUNCH INTO SPACE YET CANNOT CLIMB MOUNTAINS?!
Movement should be hindered by rough terrain. Units that have 3 or 4 moves on the plains should not be expected to do more than 1 or 2 on a mountain, right? Well, no. Mountains seem to be those magical places no unit can climb or pass through (not even ...helicopters of jet fighters!). And I cannot see how this makes for more complicated strategic decisions than timing your movements, claiming the high ground and having a bonus for elevated artillery?
A major issue for me, this was what really ruined the game. For some unfathomable reason units cannot be stacked. A worker can coexist with a military unit but that's it. Artillery and shock-cavalry are very vulnerable to attacks and (with the new hexagon layout) one would need ...six defensive units to protect a single artillery battery.
As a result, units keep getting on each other's way (especially when ordered to move for distances that require more than a turn), they refuse to even pass through friendly units (!) and the "tactical" considerations that result from this are trivial. And whenever besieging an enemy city, one has to endlessly maneuver his units around it (while exposed to its bombardment) whereas wounded units are never easy to withdraw.
You cannot even garrison more than a single unit within a city. Not that it would make a difference, since the garrisoned unit is not automatically awaken to fight back when the city is under attack(!), the city is left to defend itself.
CAN YOU REALLY COMMAND WITHOUT A...CENTRAL COMMAND?
The economy is nose-diving into the red and you want to reduce the percentage going into research for a while to avoid having units of yours deleted one by one? The fickle people of your civilization are unhappy and you want to placate them by increasing their entertainment allocation? You have discovered conscription and you want to upgrade all your musketeers into recruits? Well, TOUGH LUCK! There is not central command screen to do so. Only advisers that you have to thank for...annoying you.
You have very limited control of your cities resource distribution and zero control of your national economy. And units have to be hunted down and upgraded one by one.
Speaking of the economy, when are we going to see a Civilization game where one can run and manage a national debt?
NO FREE EYE-CANDY IN THIS UNIVERSE. NOT EVEN A STALE ONE.
The game does look new and polished and the units are well designed but not cutting edge and not without a steep hardware price. If you expect anything comparable to STARCRAFT II crispiness you will be disappointed - at my 1280x1024 resolution it is not easy to discern roads from railroads.
The system I am running my copy consists of a P7 920 on a MSI Eclipse with 3GB of RAM and an ASUS nVIDIA GTX-260. Even with an 18-months old PC in a WinXP environment (I refuse to forgo my game collection for Win7), apparently I cannot even try the highest DX9 settings (the game crashes at launch) but I managed to optimize them with a mix of high and medium. Even then, whenever I scroll to a different location of the map, I can see the image fleshing out, just like zooming in a Google-Earth map.
So one can only wonder: why should one need a Cray to run a Civilization game at full?
STEAM OF WAR
The game requires OnLine Activation (and rumored perpetual reactivation every few days) and has to be tied to a STEAM account. Effectively this means that the game is a piece of rentware the buyer never really owns and yet it is sold at full price. I realize that to some people this may not be a serious issue so, in case you are wondering, I deducted a single star from my overall rating of the game because of its DRM scheme. To every other gamer however, you can now make an informed decision.
This was a major disappointment. I never though I'd say this but I while playing the latest Civilization game I caught myself wondering if they would ever make...CALL TO POWER III.
New gamers, steer clear of this mess, this is NOT what a Civilization game plays like.
Seasoned gamers, we know better than to call this a Civilization game.
Sorry Sid, EPIC FAIL.
on October 19, 2010
I find the new Civilization is slow and just doesn't have that edge which the 4th version had. Dropping religions the game was to my mind a big mistake. The game feels static. I love the civilization series and have played all of them but I did feel the 4th version was a high point. This version also had a buggy install which forced me to download the "Steam" gaming site. At 4.6 gig over a stillite link in the north this was tedious to say the least - especially when no one was able to help me at the Steam Web help line and I had the disk with the full game in my hands.
Having said that I do like the new combat system but that isn't enough to save this for me. Save your pennies and buy the Gold Version of Civ 4.
on October 22, 2010
I've played every Civ game in the series and loved them.
I could write about the basic problems with game mechanics and the overall lack of depth in the playstyle, but really the most glaring problem is the quality of the game at release. It's bugged, and it's very incomplete. If you are lucky enough to get it working without a major graphics problem (that is far from a given - I spent about 6 hours fiddling with settings to make it playable), you will soon discover that the game has a string of bugs (problems with turns taking forever to end, crashes at 70 cities, infinite resources, impossibility of declaring war in certain situations to mention a few of them). As I write, they are preparing a patch to update it. But even if they fix the most glaring problems, there is still all the other "stuff" underneath that is going to take a lot longer to fix - the amazingly stupid AI, the very poorly implimented multiplayer experience to name the two most obvious.
My advice is: pretend this game isn't released yet. Come back in 6 months, or even a year, and pick it up at a reduced price. By that time they will have patched and improved it and you will get a better game for cheaper. If you buy it now, you will be paying for the privilege of being a beta tester.
on September 23, 2010
First of all, you can't buy a hard copy of this game. You can only get a virtual copy because you MUST AUTHENTICATE WITH STEAM. Pure idiocy. A stupid mistake on development's part. THIS IS NOT CLEARLY INDICATED WHEN YOU PURCHASE THE GAME, BUYER BEWARE, YOU HAVE ZERO RIGHTS WITH STEAM. If Steam cannot connect when you want to play, you will NOT be able to play this game despite Amazon stating 'one time activation'. That is an outright lie. On top of that, if this game does not work on your system you will not be able to get a refund due to the STEAM policy agreement.
This is an OK strategy game overall, the graphics are a bit childish, but the standard gameplay is there. Old Civ fans will find some familiar points here and there but one thing is very clear, this is NOT a real rendition of Civilization. It takes many steps backwards:
For one, they stripped the game of religions and some trading elements (tech trading, a big part of all the civ since 2, is gone), and many of the concepts have been dumbed down. A lot of the micromanagement that would usually appeal to many hardcore Civ3 and Civ4 players is long gone. They added 'social' purchases with culture points, making it like a science-style system, but this is a clunky system, as once you invoke a social change in your civ by purchasing it with culture points, you can't ever change it. You're stuck with it until the end of the game. That's a BIG issue with me... what the hell civilization ever kept one way of thinking through its entire evolution? Very bad decision.
The AI in this game is terrible and poses no challenge whatsoever even on higher difficulty levels. To compare, in Civ4, changing difficulty level could affect AI behavior, including what kind of attacks it could 'think' about performing (small scale amphibious assault, basic 'rounded' stacks, etc) just don't happen anymore. The AI just blindly rushes how it wants, without any real logic, it will often place archers and artillery front line against your 'heavy' units, making it easy to steamroll through without any difficulty. The only likely source of challenge will come from going head to head with other human players.
The ability to 'choose' a style of victory and focus on it is pretty much moot, in Civ5, the only real victory that is feasible is military. The ability to go for real religious, diplomatic, cultural victories are more or less impossible, and attempting to get a scientific victory always leads to war. Any other victory is pretty much an illusion more so than a reasonable possibility in this game.
On top of all of this, the game is VERY buggy, crashes often, and has finicky issues like 'endless' decision popups, endless-loop animations and many Crash-to-desktop bugs and freezes. This was tested on multiple machines of differing builds, so it's not localized to one machine.
Overall, the game looks nice, plays... strangely, but overall it is NOT an impressive product. For hardcore Civ (and especially Civ4 fans), this is a complete regression to an inferior product. For strategy gamers in general it is, overall, a good-if-lackluster game.
I am disappointed. VERY Disappointed.
on November 11, 2010
Normally I am not one to write reviews of products I have purchased and used for some time. This game however is so poorly designed that I feel I have to warn everyone (especially "CIV Fans") NOT to buy this game! Like many fans of CIVILIZATION 3 and 4 I looked forward with great anticpation to playing the next challenging level of this series. There in lies the big disapointment! This new game is neither challenging nor an upgrade from the likes of CIV 4, or CIV 4 - Beyond the Sword. It seems like the producers, in an effort to rush out some sort of product by the release date, significantly "Dumbed-down" the game play of CIV 5. Gone are many of the elements that made CIV 4 - Beyond the Sword so enjoyable and re-playable time after time (e.g. Religion, Corporations, Civics, etc.). Game play itself (what little I have managed) is clunky, time consuming, with far too many menus occupying valuable board space. But perhaps the most annoying problem with this new release by Sid Meier's is the fact that is was knowingly released choc full of bugs! The game simply does not play properly on a vast number of systems (both high and low end PCs). I have personally experienced seemingly random Crashes and lock-ups of the game. Somtimes I can play for 50, 60, 100 turns before the game suddenly freezes my entire system. Other times CIV 5 crashes after just 3 turns (and usually before you can save your game)! I have the hastily released patch applied and have even tried many of the "Fixes" suggested on the 2K forums website. None of these have worked to resolve the major crash problem. Hey, I'm not a programmer and should not have to "Fix" the bugs the Sid Meier's people released with this inferior product!! Overall a disapointing waste of $55.00. I will not (actually CAN NOT) play this game again, and would reccomend that anyone seriously thinking about buying this product wait a year or so for ALL the Bugs to be ironed out by those at Firaxis. As others have said, Sorry Sid, you blew it big time on this pre-mature release of your flagship series. Next time .... Write a good game; beta test; patch; more testing; Release; then earn your money (NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!!).
on October 20, 2010
Worst game release Ive ever played! Ive played stage 1 beta's more polished then this. If your a fan of Civ you'll know #4 came out pretty badly as well but this one takes the cake on trying to get your money first then finishing the game development later. Hold off a few months on purchasing this one.
on October 2, 2010
Really, really sad that this was released. All the great work to bring the game to what Civ4 presented... only to be tossed away. It is clear that the developers did not even look at what made Civ4 a success. All the key features of the game are gone. Great graphics... but not worth buying. The history of Civilization will be clearly defined by this release as an absolute failure.
No longer an epic feeling game. The music and feeling is gone. The diverse methods of playing have been dumbed down to almost what you would fine on the Wii or playstation.
Nothing wrong with Steam. Program works fine. Loaded fine. Updated fine.