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Sid Meier’s Civilization V This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


When I first heard of this new version of the 20-year-old game, I thought it was more gimmick than innovation. They replaced Spain with some place called Songhai, and what? No Vikings? But when I played “Civilization V” after getting it as a gift, my opinion was swayed.

There are some fundamental updates that set this game apart from its predecessors. The interface is better, with nice graphics combined with a hexagonal grid. The hex grid allows for more realistic movement than its square variety, and cities can defend themselves, so no one can simply walk into a brand new city and claim it as their own (which was a terrible flaw in previous Civilization games).

There are many more wonders, giving the game a global feel. The international, much less Euro-centric gameplay is a step up as well. Sure, I would have enjoyed more civilizations, but the unbiased nature of it is better; there is no longer a “Native American Empire” – it is replaced by the Iroquois – and the additions of Songhai and Siam open the player up to the world, while keeping old favorites like Rome and America. The leaders also speak their native tongues; it is much more exciting to hear “Je suis Napoleon de France” than meaningless gibberish like in the older Civ games.

Another radical improvement is the addition of city-states. Like simple one-city civilizations, they may become allies or be conquered to gain resources and culture, an added dimension that's reminiscent of colonialism. Units may also “embark,” eliminating the use of transport vehicles. Some previously important elements have been omitted or restructured beyond recognition. For example, religion is left out, and changing governments requires culture, not research. Some features are hard to find, and the manual is completely digital, so the game must be stopped to access it.

All in all, “Civilization V” is a vast improvement over past incarnations, and a worthy buy for any Civ-style game lover. Gameplay is simpler, but not necessarily easier, as there are still difficulty levels to choose from. Fundamental changes as well as minute differences make this game new and fun for old and new fans alike.

The verdict? I give it a nine and a half out of ten. The only improvement would be more civilizations. When I can pillage York with a Longship as Knut the Great, I will give it a perfect score. However, it is a great game.

Fortune be in your campaigns!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Riley M. said...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 9:47 am
In the first paragraph, I had originally written "What?" in Old Norse. However, it seems "Hvat" is a word understandably lost to most English spellcheck programs.
 
Riley M. replied...
Nov. 23, 2011 at 10:17 am
Oh, and a Denmark Ci is available as a DLC. Having created the Danelaw, I can bump this up to a 10 out of 10.
 
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