Jan 8, 2006

PC Review: ‘Sid Meier’s Civilization IV’

You can call it Civilization, Civilisation, Civ or even Sid Meier’s Civilization. Fact is that even if you called it Bertha it would still be the best turn based strategy franchise ever. Some –the true fanatics that is- would even go as far as calling it the best gaming franchise ever. And now it’s even better. Not in a radical revolutionary way, but more in a polished thoughtful way.

For the three (3) of you who haven’t heard of Civilization before, let me explain. It’s all about guiding a nation through history in an intuitive turn based fashion. You’ll start from the stone Age, research yourself to literacy and the Bronze Age and keep expanding, building and fighting until your civilization reaches the stars or global domination (or, of course, until you get pulverized). On your way you’ll build wonders of the world like the Pyramids, you’ll explore and tame the land and maybe even lead a workers’ revolution. By the time you reach Civ greatness though, you will be nothing more than an empty shell of a human being. You’ll be thousands of hours closer to your death. This game is the greatest and most addictive time sink ever created.

Beside the three (3) aforementioned weirdos, the rest of the world should be happy to know that moving on to Civ 4 is definitely worth it. This seems to be the best Civ ever, even though no one can be absolutely sure unless two or three more years pass. Civ 4 sports a brand new 3d engine that can run decently on almost any modern PC or Notebook. It also features a new simpler but more tactical combat system, a never seen before government system, new religions that actually play a role (monasteries, prophets and missionaries are included), a faster game engine, decent (playable) multiplayer, new Wonders, Great People (something like wonders… but… ahem… in the guise of people), a richer tech tree, a beautiful soundtrack and an amazing attention to detail. Mr. Meier has also included the necessary modding tools that guarantee a torrent of interesting mods and free expansions.

A great game all in all. Great but obviously not groundbreaking. Civilization 4 is an excellent Civ, but even a moderately experienced player wont need to open the manual (the printed and not pdf manual that is). Civ is still an absolutely brilliant game. Just don’t expect to be surprised.

That’s an (eight) out of (ten).


  1. You've obviously NEVER played on a map larger than tiny, or ever reached the final stages of the end game!

    This game is a beautiful CONCEPT which is in reality a TECHNICAL NIGHTMARE which can NEVER be fully realised due to the source code used to produce the game.

    Highly reminiscent of Java in fact.

    Whatever anyone says about this, it's basically a game IDEAL that cannot be realised (or at least only PARTIALLY).

  2. Riiiiiiiiiight...

    No offense, but you obviously never read the damn review. Just hopped to the score, huh?

    Doesn't matter... You made an interesting point though... The concept is excellent but impossible to fully realise.