18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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!!!).
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
Civ 5 is powered by a virtual entity called Steam. Unlike previous versions of civilization, the hard copy is not enough. I don't know whether the faults and defects belong to Sid Meier or to Steam, but my version of the game is unplayable causing my display device to crash consistently. Before you buy, read the other reviews here. I didn't and am I sorry. I have always loved Civ but this experience means the end of the line for me.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2012
bought the game hours ago, disc just prompts a steam install requiring a key, key worked fine, steam install DOES NOT WORK. very poor steam customer support, email only, no replies, not to mention no solutions for other people with my problems. game is probably great, but if you're trying to buy it legitimately, you're going to get screwed.
31 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2010
I'm about as big a civ fanatic as there is, and if you're on this page, you have a good idea what that means. I've wasted literally thousands of hours on civ since civ 2. That ends here.
Where to begin...it seems everything is wrong with this game. Examples: the older civs had "civics", and you needed to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each civic, and alter them according to your strategy. Now, civics have become "social policies," but there are no cons - just every so many culture points, pick a new social policy, which is just a bonus of one kind or another. No thought or strategy involved, just "it's time, have a bonus." The city screen is unbelieveably ruined. It used to be so efficient; you could see and do everything from one screen. Now, every detail you need from that screen is 2-4 clicks away, hidden from view, and when in view, nowhere near as readable as it could/should/used to be. Where once there were simple white circles telling you which tiles your citizens were working, now it's black and green discs that hide the tile itself. Setting up a building queue, which used to be so simple, is now click on the first item you want, the game automatically exits the city screen, you re-enter, click "shows queue", and "add to queue", then add items, which are all on a long vertical scroll, no horizontal space saving as before. When done, it's a click to get out of the build queue, and another to exit the city screen. Sounds simple, but is MUCH more cumbersome than previous versions, for no reason at all.
Although technically there are still several ways to win(science, culture, diplomacy, domination, etc.). the fact is that you will always be at war. Period. There is no diplomacy in this. No matter how you act towards your neighbours(or how they act towards you), they will attack you. Every single time. With no warning or reason. This is a war game, 100% of the time, and that is all there is to it. And war is different in this one. Now there's only one unit per tile allowed. Sounds simpler and less cluttered? Try moving your armies around one tile at a time, one unit at a time. It takes FOREVER to get anything done. And you will have to move a lot of units. You try to move them a long distance across your continent, but no, if at any point two units need the same tile, even 10 turns apart, they both lose their automation and need new orders.
How about the fact that you HAVE TO install Steam, and HAVE TO set up a Steam account. Read the user agreement you have to agree to to play this game: you consent to them collecting personally identifiable information from your hard drive - your name, physical address, email address(es), what is installed on your hard drive...do you need more? If you do not agree to this, you can not install the game, let alone play it. Ever. Note it does not mention this above in the product description. It mentions steam activation, but not constant steam spying and bloatware running constantly if you want to play the game. And beacuse of this, once you take the plastic off, there are no refunds, no selling it used, nothing. And if Steam goes down while you want to play, too bad. If steam decides to automatically update, you lose your saved files, and can't play til its done. You can disable this in the Steam options, but it'll probably happen before you can get to those options!
Beyond this, the software is nowhere near finished, and at least half the people who install it, even on very high performance machines that easily beat the recommended specs, can't play it at all.
Look at the Civ Fanatics forums to see just how many people are not just disappointed but feel outright betrayed by just how bad this game is. I'd have given it zero stars if that were possible.
This is just downright disrespectful to its customers on so many levels. Do not buy.