Another Civ I veteran here I've played 3 games of V so far. The first game was exciting, played as Napoleon on a world map. Ended up taking out some city states blocking my path to Hegemony. Then settling in for the long game and built the Space ship. Was an interesting learning experience, and the French culture ability was quite useful. Second game as Bismarck I harvested dozens of barbarian units to knock over all my early rivals to find I had basically bankrupted my civilization and happiness. Third game tried to be much more circumspect as Bismarck and watching India and England pull ahead. This version does seem dumbed down, which is not the same thing as stream lined. The Nation specific abilities are in no way even (Germany basically gets punished for theirs) City States are a money sink if you wish to deal with them. So I have ignored them in these last 2 games. Cities need to specialize. Combat is pretty cool. But the game does seem lacking in gravitas. I feel like this is Civ for my son's generation, and perhaps that is why some of us are not that enthused and others are loving it.