So dumbed down your grandmother could play it
Okay here are two different reviews:
1) YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED A CIV GAME BEFORE
Game is pretty cool, a lot to do and discover in the world of civilization. Graphics are somewhat up to date and it's a fun learning experience. Not the best strategy game you've ever played most likely, but a solid outing nonetheless.
2) YOU HAVE PLAYED OTHER CIVS AND ARE POSSIBLY A CIV FANATIC LIKE MYSELF
If you've played any other Civilization game to date, you will almost instantly notice that the game has been dumbed down SOOOO much it possibly brings tears to your eyes.
- You can no longer manage your economy, taxes, luxuries, culture, religion, research, espionage, or just about anything else. The only things you can manage are your cities and units.
- Diplomacy has been dumbed down as well. You can no longer trade techs or maps, and there is very little reason to conduct diplomacy besides trading luxury resources to keep your empire happiness.
- MANIFEST DESTINY? THINK AGAIN. Oh how unhappy the happiness in this game will make you. Happiness is not city based anymore, rather it is now on a universal +/- scale for your ENTIRE EMPIRE. On any difficulty above Prince (I usually play on Emperor/Immortal) your happiness cap will SEVERELY LIMIT your ability to expand around the world. You will most likely be stuck to a handful of cities for a long time and you will have to carefully and painfully slowly expand so that your precious happiness doesn't drop.
THE RESULT? Somewhere around 40-60% of the world map will be unsettled depending on your map type. ON IMMORTAL DIFFICULTY, EVEN THE AI WHO IS CHEATING THROUGH HIS NOSE STRUGGLES TO EXPAND ACROSS THE MAP.
- WANT TO MAKE A BUSTLING DEMOCRACY THEN SWITCH TO FASCISM LATER IN THE INDUSTRIAL AGE? I THINK NOT BISMARCK. Once you pick your Civics you're stuck with them until the end of time... literally. And it's not like civics are easy to get, late game with large empires it takes 100s of turns to get enough culture.
- Single Unit tiles is good and bad depending on your perspective. Ultimately though, it makes it very difficult to position your 8 units every single time you want to move across the map and makes invading other empires/cities more of a chore than fun.
- A LOT OF FUN.... for until you're in the middle ages. Then the game drags and drags and dragssssssssssss like no tomorrow. WITH SO MUCH OF THE MICROMANAGEMENT STRIPPED FROM THE GAME, there is almost nothing to do besides choose what buildings to make in your cities. If you're not constantly declaring war on your neighbors then expect to spend most of your turns STARING AT YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN HOPING SOMETHING INTERESTING HAPPENS. USUALLY DOESN'T UNLESS YOUR HOUSE CATCHES FIRE.
- WANT A CULTURE VICTORY? TOO BAD GANDHI, THAT 4TH CITY IS GONNA COST YA... the game. Different victory types in Civilization have almost always been choose what you want to do early/mid way through the game and stick with it. But with this civilization, you damn better well have a strategy set if you want to win. This makes the game oh so much more boring that it was before.
- Despite it being the year 2011 now, the AI of Civilization is still almost as woefully bad as it was in CIVILIZATION I ON DOS. The AI is AMAZINGLY STUPID, and all ramping up the difficulty does is MAKE THEM CHEAT LIKE NO TOMORROW. AIs will outresearch you, make far larger armies in less time, build wonders in half the time you do, and YOU WILL STILL ALMOST ALWAYS STOMP THEM. A travesty for modern gaming. Don't even get me started about diplomacy, the majority of the AI leaders are schizophrenic on their best days when taking their medication.
I'm sorry but this ISN'T CIVLIZATION. Empire Total War has far more depth than this current outing and that REALLY PAINS ME TO SAY THIS because I've always far preferred Civilization to the Total War series. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE THINKING WITH THIS GAME, it's more suited to be played with on an arcade stick much less on a PC.
WILL EXPANSIONS SAVE THIS DISASTER OF A GAME? It could, but it's going to need something absolutely BRILLIANT, and judging by how bad this game is I have my doubts. Fingers crossed though....
BOTTOM LINE: I REALLY DON'T RECOMMEND THIS GAME IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM
SINCERELY: AMAZINGLY DISAPPOINTED LONG TIME CIV FANATIC :(