I'd love to rule the world.
And now I can, or at least I can try to with Sid Meier's Civilization V.
The latest installment in the popular empire-building series comes from 2K Games and developer Firaxis Games.
The beauty behind Civ 5 is that while it offers as much complexity that any strategy fan could ask for, the game proves quite accessible even for those new to the genre.
This is accomplished both through a smooth, transparent interface and in-game advisers who present information on game mechanics and on what moves to make.
In Civ 5, players start with one unit from a civilization in its primitive stages. Use that unit to found a city. With the city, create new units. Players also need to make decisions about what structures to build, a form of government, what research to conduct and how to interact with the neighbors (diplomacy).
Starting from the Sticks and Stones Age, the civilizations eventually reach the Nuclear Age.
There are 18 playable civilizations, ranging from America to Siam to the Iroquois to the Egyptians. Each civilization comes with its own particular attributes.
Ultimately, the goal is to expand your empire until it is the greatest on the face of the Earth.
There is more than one way to win Civ 5 - militarily, economically, scientifically and culturally. I suspect most players find the military option the most fun; who doesn't want to conquer a neighboring country?
While striving for world domination, players need to keep track of revenues and resources. They also need to keep an eye on how happy their ungrateful people are.
New elements in the Civilization series are:
- Hexagonal tiles
- Ranged bombardment
- New, improved game engine
- Elimination of unit stacking
- Introduction of city states
- Inherent city defenses (cities can defend themselves without needing a combat unit garrisoned in them).
Ranged bombardment means a unit, such as artillery, can conduct attacks from behind a friendly combat unit. It also means, naval units can sit offshore to strike either enemy land units or enemy cities. It's a great addition.
City states offer the player more strategic choices.
During a game, an AI-controlled city state may offer your empire a deal. Wipe out a barbarian tribe for it and the city state will be your friend. A friendly city state can provide your empire with various economic and military benefits.
Of course, players also can attack city states. After a successful attack you can raze the city, annex it or install a puppet government.
The playing area and the animations in Civilization V look great. And the leaders of the various civilizations can be quite amusing in what they say. Civilization V does not lack a sense of humor.
Pick it up and take your turn at being king of the world.
Civilization V from 2K Games is available for the PC. System requirements are Windows XP or later, Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and DirectX 9 capable video card. Visit www.civilization5.com.