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| Civilization IV Review for contest (9 comments )|
by: Joluha (4) | Posted in cluster AMD Contest Group
Posted 67 months ago ( edited 67 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Sid Meier’s Civilization, a turn based strategy game, came out in 1991. Since then, the game has undergone several overhauls resulting in the release of several sequels, as well as spin-off games. The title has also developed a large fan-base with cult-like followers, innovative modders, and thriving web-communities. The point of the game has always been the same: “Build an empire to stand the test of time.”
This review will deal specifically with the newest Civilization IV (2005), not with any of the expansions currently available. For those who don’t know, Civ IV plays like the popular board games “Risk” and “Axis and Allies”… only on steroids… times infinity. You develop your civilization and compete against AI and other humans for world dominance. The complexity of the game and all of its subtleties of strategy is pretty amazing. For many, the game’s mess of charts may be way too complicated to be fun. There’s much to be done in terms of the diplomatic negotiations and understanding the international implications, micro-managing your cities, collecting various luxury resources for your people, maintaining your cultural influence to keep your strategic resources, choosing when, where, and how to attack your enemies with your military units, and balancing your research, military, and city cost. However, the tutorial does do a pretty good job of explaining things. The Civilopedia also helps veterans and newbies alike master the intricacies of the game.
Though it is slow and time-consuming, the game is surprisingly addicting, thought-provoking, and intensively strategic. With the Civilopedia (a sort of in-game manual) you can read many in-depth and mostly historically accurate descriptions of world leaders, civilizations, major technological breakthroughs, and unit types. I know, I know… where’s the rocket launchers, where’s the head shots, where’s the quick adrenaline rush. This is for the strategist, the master-minds who dream of taking over the world, crushing other armies, and subduing all other races (evil laughter). It’s also for the idealists who want to build the most advanced, cultured, civilization with engineering marvels and world wonders.
For the veteran Civilization players, the most notable new feature is religion. Religion can increase your culture, gold, and diplomatic influence. The Great Leaders of Civ III have been changed to Great People, including merchants, artists, engineers, prophets, and scientists, each with their own ability as well as general Great Person abilities.
Negatively, the game is a resource hog. This often affects multiplayer play, resulting in severe lag or even lost connections later as the games gets more intense (complicated). The map and scenario editors are extremely unwieldy and inflexible. If you plan on making a respectable scenario, coding will help. Luckily, there is plenty of help and tutorials from the web community.
If you’re an action junkie looking for a quickie of adrenaline, this isn’t the game for you. If you’re looking for strategically intense, epic struggle of wits, this game is the best of the best.
|9 User Comment(s) • 2 root comment(s)|
| Bjorn (17) Mar 27, 2008 - 04:00 am|
|» Missing several key areas|
The most obvious comparison would have been with the predecessor. This is not version 1.0 of some new game. It is the 4th take (12th or more if you could all the incremental versions (Civ1, 2, 3 & 4 all had multiple add ons which sold seperately). And, I think when a new version of such a long lived series is released you can not just look at it by itself, how it compares to those it replaces must be considered.
In this lastest version there are a number of things which are new (compared to Civ3). Many are better, equally many are worse.
For example: Combat is broken, but AI is better. Your options to tune what units can do is much better but the method to do so if far more cryptic, error prone and even more importantly many key options are gone.
Religions, corporations and improved diplomacy make for more varied play styles.
The look of the game is quite different. Civ3 was 2.5d (quasi 3d, but not really), while Civ4 is 3d.
Other games which it can be compared to do exist. There are other 4x games such as Galatic Civilizations, the old (but still great) Master of Orion.
You mention religions but did not mention what if any impact they have in game.
If you mention it, you should at least briefly explain it. A single sentence is enough.
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| exe3 (551) Nov 07, 2007 - 05:21 am|
|one issue I found with this review was that it was too informal, you used loose terms and words far too often,|
but the big issue was that you compared genres, that's a big no no in my book, of course your not gonna have fast paced fps action (with rocket launchers :P ) in an rts, stick to comparing other games of the same genre eg:
"Don't expect traditional base building or fast paced game play like CnC3 or Supreme Commander. Civ4 is an in depth game more akin to something like Sim City."
I haven't played the game myself but you get the picture :)
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| Joluha (4) Nov 07, 2007 - 11:00 am | Edited on Nov 07, 2007 - 11:04 am|
|I appreciate the feedback and constructive criticism. I purposely chose a hard game to review because I wanted to test my reviewing ability.|
Like Kessandra said, the Civilization series in itself is unique and theres really no other game to compare them to(at least that I've played or heard of). That's why I tried comparing it to board games, since the original Civilization was largely based on a British Board game(according to Wikipedia).
In terms of my informality, that was my decision as the author to establish my relationship to the reader. No where in the contest rules did this say it was supposed to be a "professional review". In my experience, a friend's review is much more useful and accurate to me than a "professional's". So, in order to express my ideas better, I took on the voice of a peer or friend. I purposely did it this way to engage the reader.
Also, the whole reason I brought up the fps was to put the game in context. I thought giving it a numerical rating would be inappropriate, because most people I've encountered either loved it or hated it. This was my alternative in order to recommend the game to some segments of the audience while not recommending it to others, since I thought a rating could be misleading.
More comments and feedback on my review or on my ideas about review style would me much appreciated. I want to make this as good as possible so alternative methods to deal with the identified problems would be greatly appreciated as well. Thanks guys!!
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