I’ve never played any of the Civilisation games before this but when I saw Civilisation V on Steam I couldn’t resist giving it a go. And I’m so glad I did. For those not in the know, Civilisation V is a turn based RTS, where each nation takes turns to move their armies around the world map spreading influence creating new cities to add and expand each of their empires.
I was always lead to believe that the Civilisation games were difficult to get into and hard to master. I was afraid it was going to be needlessly complicated and I was going to get lost in rows and rows of micro management tabs for my cities and armies. But I was so wrong. I can’t compare to previous games but this game explains all the basic concepts very well, without the player being left feeling like a donkey being lead by a carrot. Your four advisers (Science, Military, Foreign and Economic) are a great source of information if you ever lose track of what you should be doing, but without becoming overly annoying and popping up every thirty seconds. They give you up-to-date information on what’s going on in your empire and overall make it very easy to manage.
Of course for the hardcore Civilisation fans you don’t need to listen to the helpers. You can if you choose to delve deep into every aspect and micro manage everything from the type of crops your city trades to the amount or resources being diverted to research and advancing your civilisation. This is what makes this Civilisation game so accessible; any level of gamer can jump right in and start playing.
There are multiple ways to achieve victory in Civilisation V. You can win by Military Conquest by eliminating all the other factions. The player may focus on scientific research and become the first to assemble and launch a spaceship, winning a Space Race victory. Diplomatic victory requires support from other civilizations and city-states in the United Nations so you have to play nice with your neighbours. In the culture system of Civilization V you have to expand all the social policy "trees", the cultural victory involves filling out five of the ten "trees" and completing the Utopia project and to top it off you can also win by having the highest overall score by the year 2050 AD.
The only thing you have to be wary of is the way that time itself speeds past in a blur. You sit down for a quick twenty minute game and when you finally log off it’s been six hours. I can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing and of course there is the online multiplayer where you can play against people around the world. (Warning: Not for the beginners, I got my ass handed to me on a plate you’ve been warned!)
I’m very glad I decided to play this game, and I urge anyone with some free time over the summer to check it out. You can pick it up for €29.99 on Steam, and in my opinion it is well worth your cash.
8/10 - Kevin Newman