There are some titles – books, songs, movies, games – which are pure classics and will always endure the time and will feel fresh as when they were created.
The Civilization series are easily one of the most famous PC game classics. Spanning for already more than 20 years they continue to entertain – build on their basics and bringing new additions to the gameplay, sound, presentation and graphics.
I won’t lie to you, guys – I love turn based strategies, I’ve spent hundreds of hours with the Heroes series, but for some unknown reason I’ve never tried any of the previous Civilization games until last week. Some time ago Evgeni bought off Steam the Game of the year edition but somehow I was not very sure if I would like it and skipped the sale. A month later I got it for free but haven’t even consider trying it out, God knows why. Last week I got its expansion – Gods and Kings and after much advertising by Evgeni that it is like playing a really complex board game, I said to myself “Whatever, let’s try it out” and clicked on its icon.
Was this double click a mistake? Before you throw the torches to burn me down, I will say – yes, to some degree it was one of my biggest gaming mistakes of recently. Why? Because it totally ate my spare time! For the last week or so I’ve already spent more than 20 hours in it. And for the sake of my sanity – I should take a break, but if I knew how… This game is epic and damn addictive. Probably most of you have already played it and I know you are laughing at me right now, and you might be right. But somehow I feel it is for the good when there is a such gem out there and you find it in the right time and fall in love with it.
As it has been already 2 months since Evgeni is out of town and for some reason the rest of us haven’t played a single board game since, Civilization came just in the right time for me. Because it is Risk, Catan and probably many other board games plus a lot of small additions all together.
But this articles won’t be a review. I won’t be really able to cover any aspect of its complexity in any written or verbal form I posses. Instead – I will share with you what I like about it.
The thumbs go up for:
– Board game likeliness – if you love playing board games and your friends are not around, this game comes first – it is played on turns, it looks like an animated board games and it feels like a board game. Of course on a PC you can achieve much more than on any table with PCs’ calculating power – so imagine the most complex and developed board game, but instead on the table, you play it in front of PC.
– Complexity – previous point leads straight to this one – it is fun and engaging, it is complex – player has a lot of things to pay attention at, lot of things to consider and unexpected events to adapt to. Fortunately you can play against/coop AI and real people. Speaking of which I must say that:
– AI – is awesome. It is clever, it is manipulative, it adapts to what and how you do. Expect to do very well and competitor civilizations to fawn, just to see you weak for a second and they will strike just when you don’t expect. Or be aggressive and expect to be constantly denounced. At least this is what I experienced in just 2 games so far. And the one I played with Greece was completely different from now what I am experiencing with England, because of game’s:
– Variety – tons of different civilizations to chose from, random maps and random randomness – expect every game to be, feel and play completely different from the previous one.
– Tactics – are result of its complexity – there are several ways to win, chose yours and try out. Be sure to adapt to your opponents and change tactics on the move. Be sure to try to follow always your strategy though as it will be hard to change from culture to militaristic approach and probably will lead to losing the game at any point.
– Sound and graphics – pleasant! Of course not the best out there but for a turn based strategy they do their job. Music is fantastic and there was not a single moment it played on my nerves, but on the contrary – I even let it play until I was doing some house work and game waiting for me on the background.
The thumbs go down for:
– No, they won’t go there for this game. Period!
I still wait for Evgeni to join me and try its multiplayer part. I can’t judge it just from reading or watching online reviews. Hopefully he will decide to come along soon and we will have some unforgettable fun times.
Now, I am considering playing for an hour or so. Hopefully will be in bed before dawn, because the phrase “please, just one more last turn” sounds like really written from someone playing Civilization.
My final verdict for Civilization V: 10 out of 10.