You can say that we liked Sid Meier's Civilization IV. It was, after all, named our Best PC Game of 2005. Civ IV is easily the best chapter of the franchise since the original Civilization, and it rewrote many of the underlying rules of Civilization to deliver something that was both fresh and familiar at the same time. And after selling more than a million copies worldwide since the game's November release, Firaxis and 2K Games have announced the first expansion to Civ IV, aptly named Civilization IV: Warlords. So what's in Warlords? We've got the first details.
Warlords is about warlords, or, more specifically, some of the greatest military minds in history. Like expansion packs for earlier Civilization games, Warlords will be packed with scenarios that let you focus in on specific moments in history. There are six scenarios covering Chinese unification in 350 BC, the Peloponnesian War around 430 BC, Alexander the Great's conquests around 330 BC, the Rise of Rome around 300 BC, the Age of Vikings in AD 800, and Genghis Khan's rampage in AD 1206. "Warlord" also seems to refer to the new great leader unit type in the game, so imagine seeing many of the aforementioned famous warriors show up in one form or another.
If you don't want to play around with the new scenarios, you can stick to the tried-and-true Stone Age-to-Space Age gameplay of the regular Civ game. Warlords will introduce six new civilizations that are playable in both single-player and multiplayer. And, as you'd expect, this means that you'll also see new leaders, new units, new resources, and new wonders of the world, as well. Unfortunately, most details on those are scarce, but from what we've seen so far, it appears that some of the new leaders include Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, and it makes sense that they'll augment the existing leaders for England and Russia. Meanwhile, we can expect further details to be revealed over the coming months.
Given the popularity of Civ IV, things look good for Warlords. Firaxis has been working on the expansion for quite a while, and we can probably expect that it will introduce a slew of general improvements to the core game, on top of the ones that Firaxis has already delivered via existing patches. Warlords is on track for release sometime this summer, and we'll keep you up to date with developments.