Community Review: Civilization V

Community Review: Civilization V

Community Review: Civilization VWhat’s better than one person doing a review? A whole community! Civilization V is out, and we’d like to know what you think. Considering picking it up? This is the thread you need to see. Already played it? We need your thoughts below!

Civilization V takes a long time to play. Even on its Quick setting, a singleplayer game will easily take up an entire night. But now that we’ve had a weekend and a bit to at least get some first impressions on it, we want to hear what you think.

As I said on 5 inch Floppy, my early Civ days helped form one of my gaming pet peeves: die rolls.

When an archer attacks your fortified city, with walls, with a knight inside, you shouldn’t lose. If the British longbowmen at Agincourt can consider themselves lucky, then that one in-game archer should buy himself a lottery ticket.

But the combat system has been thrown out. Cities can defend themselves now. And among many other changes, religion has been replaced with a cultural system that more resembles a tech tree, allowing you to pick bonuses that compliment your playstyle.

To some, these changes are no-brainers. They needed to happen, and are a much better alternative to the religion race we had before. But some may think that the revamping of Civ’s culture system, and overhaul of its combat system, makes it very un-Civ.

I found the hexagonal system to work very well with only having one military unit per tile. It emphasised positioning more, and on maps where I started near a chokepoint, there was a very clear line of battle. My empire’s border existed militarily, as well as diplomatically and culturally.

But even after bumping up the difficulty, I couldn’t enjoy taking on the AI. It would still make silly decisions, like launching a massive offensive doomed to fail within the first turn. And after bringing a friend in to play an empire that the AI had previously been commanding, there was strong evidence that the AI is a dirty, rotten cheater.

Community Review: Civilization VSo right now I’m in the situation where I’d rather play multiplayer, but gathering people for the amount of time it takes to play a game of Civ is a hard task. What are everyone’s experiences getting people together for this? How do you manage the slow crawl of turns in late-game?

Do you think the franchise has changed for the better? Or has it changed so much it should have been a spin-off?

Civilization games have always had a theme of balance – does the new culture system genuinely allow you to play the way you want?

And of course, the question you’re asked in every Community Review: would you recommend it to your fellow Kotakuers?


  • If you could hurry up and tell me if I’ve won a copy, I’d be able to help out. Until then, nope, sorry, can’t help. 😛

  • i think you mean Agincourt, not Waterloo in the fourth par.

    to my knowledge there were no longbowmen at Waterloo.

    • Hah, Waterloo. Why on Earth did I type that? This is more embarassing than when Xerxes lost the battle of the Alamo to Sparta’s EMP cannon. Anyway, fixed.

      We’re judging the comp as we speak, making sure to put certain images through the “legit” test, and hopefully should have the post up within the hour.

  • Ok, whilst saying so will obviously open myself up to lots of criticism from die hard fans, I missed out on playing CivIV for whatever reason, and Civ3 was a long time ago for me (or at least feels it).

    That being the case, I have had a couple games of the latest iteration (single player)over the weekend and had a lot of fun… I guess I am no expert, but I didn’t feel like it was unbalanced, and I cant remember enough about Civ3 to make a comparison RE religion vs. culture.

    But as I play games for enjoyment, it ticked my boxes. Although I am sure in years to come I will lament the loss of so many hours of my life…

  • I played Civ 4 to death, and I am pretty sure I will be playing Civ 5 to death as well. I can understand why some people may not take to it, but if thats the case, they can stick with Civ 4 – as its not like shiny graphics were ever the main draw for Civ anyway.

    The new combat system is my favourite aspect – ranged combat now actually feels like ranged combat.

  • I have thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve played so far. However I’ve yet to complete an actual game. First one on the 2nd easiest difficulty became predictable and I got bored with it.

    And then in my last game I got steam rolled by France and Russia. Does the AI actually cheat? Because I have no idea where they’re getting so many units from otherwise.

    • In the game where we had a real player take over for the AI, he had a massive military and no workers, while being the richest empire in the game.

      Smells fishy to me.

    • Firaxis has been nice enough to put the manual online. ( )

      From it:

      “Prince” is the middle level. On that level neither you nor your AI opponents get any particular
      bonuses. On levels below Prince you get bonuses in happiness and maintenance costs,
      and you get better results from Ancient Ruins. Barbarians are less aggressive and less smart
      on lower levels, as well.
      On levels higher than Prince, the AIs receive increasing bonuses in city growth, production,and technology. They may also get additional starting units and free techs to boot.

  • Absolutely loving it so far. The single unit per hexagon took some getting used to and I feel like I am more willing to sacrifice units as I can no longer move another on top to defend it from attackers – Might as well take that extra swing at the city and wait for him to die on the AI’s next turn.

    Also loving City States – The whipping boys/bestest buddies of my nations. Easy expansion through them, easy unit additions (even if you gift them right back to stay Allies), easy opt-in to disputes when I feel like flexing my armies.

    Culture victory has been tough and I haven’t quite got it yet – mostly because I allowed Bismark and Montezuma to provoke me once more to battle and switched over most of my production to military goals.

  • Game is awesome. BUT
    – AI needs work
    – Multiplayer needs work

    Civ4 didn’t shine (in my eyes) until Civ4:Warloards so I’m not worried.

    AI cheating… I’ve never understood the problem of the AI getting some help. It’s AI, your never going to get it to human levels of clever so putting it on the same playing feild means it has no chance. The main question is ‘is playing against the AI fun?’ yes or no.

  • Loving the hex based combat. Vastly superior to Civ IV’s.

    Love the city states too.

    Where are my wonder movies??
    Also thought the normal maps were a bit heavy, but maybe thats just me.

    Would have loved to see the build your own castle/throne room feature from Civ 1 given a revamp. Oh well maybe Civ VI 🙂

  • I’ve never played a Civ game. Ever. Could someone give me a rundown of the premise of the game, and the type of gameplay it entails? I would greatly appreciate it 🙂

  • A great game. Worth to be called Civilization.
    A started playing civ with civ3. I’m a warlike player in civ3, I like to conquer, and civ3 combat system is unmatched in civ series in my opinion. I’ve never played civ4, cause I heard (and read) how they screwed the warfare so I wasn’t even interested in “civil” gameplay additions. Combat system in civ5 is spoiled even more. It has only one advantage – minimum of frustration, but it’s dull and totally unrealistic. The other bad thing in civ5 is diplomacy. It lacks options. E.g. you can’t trade technologies.
    There are a few changes though that make me love this game: hexes, one tile a time city expansion with possibility to buy a tile, city-states, social policies system, limited resources, road maintenance cost and trade route income. They are not just great, they are beautiful. Simple and adding a lot of fun.

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