On the plus side, Poncratius, I'd guess that the bulk of the bugs and gripes are in by now. That said....I suppose I should throw my match onto the bonfire of posts and list a few things as well. Most, if not all, of these items have been mentioned by others as well. I've been playing the series since the first one, in the days of overnight sessions in the college computer lab. While I know that fundamentally there will be some diminishing returns on a new Civ for me because of that (new versions can never be a truly 'new' game and shouldn't be), this is still the first Civ that actually felt like a step back. It's by no means all bad, and had I never played a Civ game before, I'd probably like V quite a bit better. This one is enormous in size, requires a fairly powerful machine to run well, yet arguably offers less than any prior Civ in terms of the game itself. A list of my personal issues with the game, not in any particular order, follows. Some of these many others may agree with, some I may be alone on. Some of these, like 1upt aren't all bad, but are lacking in something. 1) Starting up. The first* hint that things might not be so great. I know there's only so many ways that water and land can be represented, but 3 vague options plus an Earth map seems pretty darned limited. The advanced setup helps a bit, but it's just as vague and clunky as it was in IV. Still, these are minor issues in the grand scheme. (* looking back, the 'first' hint would be 2 extra click boxes before starting up as the game can't seem to remember DirectX selection) 2) AI. There's little I can say about the bad AI that hasn't been said in depth, save to add one anecdote that combines several of the many known issues. Spoiler : Fairly early in my first campaign I was on a relatively narrow landmass with the Arabian Empire to the north. Despite having plenty of room to expand in the north, the AI chose to put a city to my south, hemming me in. In itself, not a bad move for limiting an opponent's growth and one I could respect, but in the AI's hands it was just giving itself enough rope to hang itself. A short while after founding that city, the Arabs up and declared war on me and moved into my lands with a fairly strong army. Much stronger than I could field, but the AI basically threw the units away with melee range archers, etc. Not just the military units either, but the AI decided it was the best time to send unescorted workers through enemy territory to that southern city. It did this 3 turns in a row. Not sure if it would have kept doing this as the AI completely gave up after the failed attack, giving me all but 2 cities (the capital and that unconnected southern city), all of its gold, a sizable per turn cash amount, resources and the keys to the princess' chastity belt. 3) 1UPT. A decent enough idea, and a good alternative to stacks of doom, at least in theory. Unfortunately the AI is pretty much completely incapable of working with it. In addition it fails the player as well with increased micromanagement moving units and giving new orders to units whose go-to pathing broke due to another unit crossing its path. I think short stacks (2-3 units) would have been a better choice, eliminating SoDs as well as many of the more annoying quirks of 1UPT. 4) Graphics. Much has been hyped about the pixel counts and improved graphics, but those are things that I feel are secondary to this type of game. Clarity is much more important and too many things are vague or tough to make out even at high resolutions. Some nearly-built or slightly-damaged improvements such as trading posts look nearly identical to a complete one. I'd far rather have a lower resolution but clear, easy to scan map then one that's technically higher resolution but hard to read at a glance, especially with such limited zooming. For that matter, I'm not impressed with the tile graphics even outside of the Civ setting. Crayonish roads and the lifeless ugly, ugly static watercolor-blob forests. Fishing boats that cast their nets inland and lighthouses are apparently built on the ocean surface at times. The units and leader screens generally look nice, as do some parts of the map, including the cities, but clarity is much more important. 5) City balance. This is the only Civ game that feels hostile to the builder playstyle. Roads that actually hurt your civilization financially. Even a 10 city civilization with all financial buildings, minimal army, minimal road structure and decent trade can't stay in the black if the cities are built up. Not that a large percentage of the buildings are even worth building. Unfortunately, if you decide that you want to get rid of one, too bad because.... 5a) You're stuck with it. Can't destroy buildings. Can't raze captured city-states or capitals. Can't change social policies. 6) Too many things removed. Religion, espionage, most diplomacy and trade options, corporations, sliders. Even if some of these were imperfectly realized before, simply yanking them out isn't an improvement. Civics replaced by the weaksauce Social Policies. (best described by another as 'yay, my civ gained another level') 7) Automation. Handy only if you want all of your improvements destroyed and replaced by trading posts or explorers who seem go out of their way to enter the territory of City-States, thereby angering them. 8) Diplomacy. Does it actually exist or is it just random? If i can grit my teeth through another game I think I'll just flip a coin for responses. I don't think it'll make a difference. City-states are a nice idea, but the diplomatic implementation is as wooden and generic as with the identical-seeming nation-states. 9) End turn. When religion, meaningful diplomacy, corporations, espionage, and the incentive to build are removed, unless actively at war, too many turns are simply clicking end turn and waiting to do it again. It makes too much of the game feel like the worst part of IV, namely the anticlimactic post-launch waiting for the ship to reach AC. 10) Clumsy interface. Whether it's the convoluted way to reach a city's build queue or badly presented information, such as resource or diplomatic reports, the interface just isn't very friendly. 11) Ambience. In addition to the gameplay itself, I've always loved the little things about the series that helped with the immersion. Music that fit the era, world wonder movies, and most of all, the recap at the end. This current ending with the one screen and a few tabs is pathetic. I half expected the text to end with "but the princess is in another castle." Wow, that was wordy. In the final analysis, I suppose that the franchise is just another victim of consolization, much like the Total War series. (As an aside, I love Civ's dropdown alerts each turn...straight out of the TW games) Civ V is not a bad game in and of itself, and did improve on some issues from IV, but overall it's dumbed down and feels too much like it was rushed out the door with a "screw 'em, it's good enough...we'll patch it later...maybe" attitude. Still, I would have probably mostly enjoyed it had I never played any Civs before. On the plus side, at least it wasn't a disappointing remake of the greatest 'Civ' game, Alpha Centauri. Thanks for your patience in reading a too-long post.