Civilization IV's epic journey to retail is almost at an end. Nearly two years after it was first announced by Atari, and one year after it was bought by Take-Two Interactive, the PC game has gone gold. Published by Take-Two's 2K Games subdivision and developed by Firaxis, it is rated E for Everyone and retails for $49.99.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Civilization puts players in charge of a nascent nation in the Stone Age. As the game progresses, they must help their people develop from a primitive collection of villages into a modern state through various technological advancements, cultural achievements, and military conquests. But unlike previous installments in the series, Civilization sports full 3D graphics and animations, as well as an all-new game engine.
This time around, the civilizations available to players are the Arabians, Aztecs, Chinese, Egyptians, English, French, Germans, Greeks, Incans, Indians, Japanese, Malinese, Mongolians, Persians, Romans, Russians, and Spanish. As always, each civilization starts the game with its own set of bonuses and technologies, as well as unique units like the Americans' Navy SEAL and F-15. Civ IV also gives many civilizations the option of choosing between two historical leaders--one warlike, one peaceful--for the first time.