Civ V is a mixed bag for me, its a game that needed to happen, and it succeeds on so many levels, it also has a few debilitating flaws that really just need to be patched. Any Civ players that complain about depth just do understand the mechanics yet. By gutting the bloated, contrived and useless features from Civ IV, it gets to focus on the core game design, and it makes massive strides with it. There are two things that give Civ fans the impression that its simplified: 1: The AI is horrible, making the game way too easy, people assume this is another Civ Rev because they do as well as they did in Civ Rev. 2: The elements of strategy in Civ IV were obtuse and obvious. In Civ V, they're streamlined and subtle to the point where they act as cogs rather than levers. Whiners boot the game and don't see any sliders and buttons to finetune their empire, and so they assume that those elements of strategy don't exist. They do, and they require more thought than they ever did in Civ IV. Take happiness, for example. Happiness is, as you're all aware, now a global value. It no longer pertains to specific cities. Alot of people are assuming that means that its become simplified and doesn't have the depth or importance it did in Civ IV. I was a good Civ IV player, I've beaten my fair share of games on Monarch, and I know I have a more than solid grasp of the mechanics. I'm going to say it now, happiness in Civ IV really didn't matter that much. It was somewhat inconsequential, and it was city specific. It enabled me to specialize some cities in normal growth, and create military focused cities that were perpetually unhappy because I forced slavery every few turns to pump out a military. That does not enable strategy, nor is it sensible or realistic. There was no longterm thinking or important decision making to make with that kind of game mechanic. On the other hand, Civ V's happiness has a fascinating balance to it, it's undeniably more important than IV's, and its much better integrated. Happiness structures are initially expensive yet maintainable, they still require you to have other methods of increasing happiness, such as luxury furs and social policies. However, not managing to secure those alternative methods of happiness forces the player to purchase more expensive, high maintnence structures that can cripple your economy. If you let happiness go unchecked, it can totally devaste your Civ with a potency not seen in IV. Because of this, you're forced to claim, trade, forcefully take, or buy luxury resources, otherwise, you either sacrifice your economy or your growth. Happiness forces the player into thinking about resources, engaging in diplomacy, working with city states and occasionally occupying foreign cities. That is miles beyond most of the "more complex" systems I played with in Civ IV. AND YET, people whine that Happiness has been simplified.I think alot of people love to jump to stupid conclusions. Also, thats only the beginning. The new economy is also miles beyond IV's, and the lack of a slider for science and culture/ makes managing an economy much more interesting. If anyone wants, I'd happily go into depth about how much more complex V's economy, resources, diplomacy, science, city specialization and especially combat is. Thats not to say V doesn't have issues. -The AI really is atrocious, and its the element of this game that allows a player with very little understanding of the core mechanics to dominate on Prince difficulty. -The Multiplayer NEEDS work, really, IV's was shot to hell when it was released as well, but I thought that Firaxis might have learned its leason. -Barbarian encampments spawn in stupid places directly outside my field of view. -Leader traits are very specialized, and sometimes very annoying. The Japanese one in particular is just really irritating. -The game isn't very well optimized from what I can tell, If I can run Metro at full, then why am I running V at a mix between Medium and low and still getting framerate problems. -Where the hell is the map editor? I eagerly await the first few patches, because to be honest, the game does need patching. However, I have no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest Civ game since Civilization II.