Over the past several days I have questioned several of the design decisions made in the creation of Civilization V, not as a matter of blind loyalty to earlier versions or as an attempt to undermine excitement for the game, but rather as an expression of my desire to preserve that (sacred?) feeling of immersion that one got while playing alternate histories in the Civs that came before. I have also asserted that I would wait and play the demo, which launches on the 21st of September, the same day of the game launch in North America, before purchasing. After thinking about the situation for about a week now I have actually reconsidered that stance. For every disturbing supposed shift toward simplification there seems (and I emphasize the uncertainty in that phrasing) to be another new and interesting system that may behave in ways that someone who has not played the game at length can neither predict nor completely grasp beforehand. To be honest theres a lot of stuff in this game that Im just curious about from a game design / mechanics perspective and as a game player I need to experience it, even if I dont care for the overall experience (heaven forbid). If nothing else, this game deserves an honest look and Im going to give it that because you can tell that people have poured themselves into its creation and tried to breath new life into a very old franchise. So heres the plan. Since I have sort of unwittingly established myself as a skeptic of certain mechanics, systems and the games connection with realism, I am going to show a little faith, (as some in another thread suggested) and Im just going to preorder and buy CiV. Im going to buy it no matter what I hear between now and the 21st and play it for several hours on day one. After doing so for several hours I will come here and I will write a skeptics in-depth review of the game. While there will be no shortage of such write-ups from the press and from other fans, mine will give you the authenticity of someone who had a lot of concerns but who took the plunge and tried the game anyway. So if youre interested but wary or if you just live in a region of the planet that isnt lucky enough to play the game on the 21st, look for my review several hours after launch. Rawr.