The latest Civ expansion rolls into town and makes everything better. A worthy expansion.
What is completely new?
-Trading caravan system
The trading system is great. I mean it's probably the most interesting option in terms of economic management that you can find around. Helpful both to get some money rolling in and to help grow your newly founded cities or to boost production to get out that wonder ahead of everyone else.
Lets agree to disagree on how good they are based on how you like to play. If you're a bloodthirsty warlord, Assyria may be your style. If you like quick expansion, go for the shoshone... overall, something for everyone.
-new cultural victory
Now you use "tourism points" to win a cultural victory. Tourism is not depended, until late game, on your cultural output. Without a doubt, Brazil has been tailored to be the best nation to win a cultural victory with now simply because it focuses greatly on tourism. I feel like this system really limits you in your game winning strategies. Scientific coupled with military victory seem to be the best and most enjoyable options now. Before, I loved making cultural victory... now, not so much.
This may be a personal option, but if before I loved going France for my cultural cravings, the fact that it got shafted this game really bad makes me hate cultural victories overall. But you shouldn't trust me on this issue alone, check it for yourself. maybe it will float your boat.
Also, arheology is an interesting feature. Though if you don't plan on going for cultural win, you might as well not care.
-Diplomatic system integrating world congress and expansive diplomatic options.
Yeah. Starting from the Renaissance with the development of the Printing Press, the world congress happens. If you are the host nation, you will LOVE this option. It's the 2nd best thing thing in this expansion after the caravan system. And playing with factions like Greece really pays off earlier if you're quick at making friends with city states.
What has been modified/revamped?
-Some old civilizations have been modified. France I feel, got shafted. Others got modified to integrate the new caravan system.
-More religion options (Christianity now is Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant)
-The entire social policy tree has received an overahaul with the appearance of a few new social branches, 3 ideologies which were previously social policies but have received a massive overhaul. Not that the social policies are important for cultural victory anymore. At least, not really. Piety really received a massive overhaul.
-Better AI system.
I suggest playing on King for a good, fun game. Prince is just potato difficulty. King is the best of both worlds. Capable AI to do war if it comes to it and also relatively peaceful neighbors if they aren't montezuma or Japan (montezuma is still a massive dirtbag).
-New wonders and wonder requirements. 9 wonders now require you to adopt their specific social policy. +3 wonders for each ideology (order, autocracy, freedom... communism, fascism or freedom)
Hanging gardens -> needs you to adopt tradition (just 1 point, not completed tree)
Pyramids -> Liberty
I like this system. If you play as a greedy Egypt, you may hate it. But then again, if you are playing against a greedy Egypt, you have a chance to snatch 2-3 wonders in the ancient/classical era. Better plan properly.
Overall I give it a 8.5/10.
It gets a 5 because it didn't ruin everything and improved on the old.
+1 for the caravan system
+1 for the diplomatic system with the world congress and all that
+1 new civs
+0.5 for the overhaul of the cultural victory. I'm not saying it's all good.