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My totally unbiased and definitely not paid for by 2k review

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Afforess, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Veshta

    Veshta Warlord

    Jan 6, 2009
    I am curious why you give a point for mods/tools when the mod-browser doesn't work and the tools have yet to be release .. I thought you were evaluating what's there and not what's missing :D

    Wonder are quite poor on the whole with a few whoppers mixed in, entirely agree.
    Love the GP special building solution, if only I could be sure to have access to a resource that might appear under one in a later era ..
    Food/Happiness system works OK'ish but you have no real control over it other than ticking 'prevent growth' and assigning specialists when needed. Needs the ability to fine-tune an empire.
  2. Guardian_PL

    Guardian_PL Emperor

    Nov 4, 2006
    Can we please have this thread sticked?

    Mr Afforess, you're full of win.

    Just finished my second game on Large Emperor with Greece and seriously, the AI is a joke. It's like they saved the labour time on the AI development saying "oh well, they'll probably play online anyway, if not it's their problem, and the rest of the daft fans won't even notice that there's a problem with the AI since they'll be killing Archers with their Giant. Death. Robots!" :rolleyes:

    ...I'm just sad that regardless of difficulty (I'll try Immortal and Deity now, but I think I know what the outcome will be already :sad:) I'm winning easily my two very first games of the new installment - I mean what gives? I've struggled for aaaages to win in Civ4/Civ3/Civ2 on King...

    Did anyone else noticed that not once we could read a word "organic" here? :D

  3. jagdtigerciv

    jagdtigerciv Prince

    Sep 27, 2007
    I agree. Great, honest review. Good advice for Firaxis too. Rare, this past week, to see some meaningful critics/praises of Civ5 other than "consoliz'd" and "dumbed-down".
  4. JimMac99

    JimMac99 Warlord

    Jul 11, 2003
    Belfast. N.Ireland
    Dale, I know there are lots of things that you are not allowed to comment about, but what the report that the AI in the press review build was stronger than the release build? Would you understand why a reviewer might say this? :)

    Oh yeah, a great review Afforess. :goodjob:
  5. Teperi Blaze

    Teperi Blaze Warlord

    Sep 24, 2010
    I haven't even got my copy yet, so this information is great to know.

    I imagined a fantastic game, but several mature reviews, this included. makes me understand a bit what I'm in for.

    By miles, your mini-biased review should make it a sticky, it is full of information and greatly explained.

    Thank you! :)
  6. timmey_o_tool

    timmey_o_tool Chieftain

    Mar 31, 2010
    Hey, great review. Just one suggestion for diplomacy.

    I would like to see multi-civs deals. I mean, declaring war on some super power alone is bad, with one ally it's better, but for real chances to win you would need 3-4 civs. But this is hard to achieve, as in the negotiation is only with one civ at the time.
  7. Guardian_PL

    Guardian_PL Emperor

    Nov 4, 2006
    Suggestion of mine - please do sth to the AI so it'll stop spamming Trading Posts everywhere, including riverside tiles. I've seen bazillions of AI cities having nothing but Trading Posts everywhere, with farms only on the grain resources :crazyeye:
  8. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Fantasy Warlord

    Oct 11, 2002
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Good review! I agree with all of it, especially the constructive criticism. I hope Firaxis will heed your suggestions.

    Mostly, I like the game as is - I've been playing every free minute since it released in Europe on Friday - but there is definitely room for improvement, most of which you've covered nicely.
    Unlike the Firaxis bashers I see on these forums, I'm trying to keep a sense of perspective. Yes, the game has some flaws - but which game nowadays doesn't? The proof of the pudding will be in how Firaxis supports the game and fixes those flaws - or gives out the SDK to allow the modders to fix them instead.
    Compared to the far more basic flaws that plagued Civ4 on release (crashes, memory leaks etc.) I'm quite happy with Civ5 - it's lots of fun right from the start and can only get better!
  9. ZenithSD

    ZenithSD Chieftain

    Feb 15, 2010
    I tend to agree with most of the OP's points, however the new combat system feels downright stupid, at least for myself. I play mostly Earth maps, and i find it weird when my archers can fire at troops on the other side of the Adriatic or Red Sea. It's simply way too tactical for a game that focuses on the strategic part of history.

    Another issue i have with the game is trade routes. If you got cities on the banks of the same river, they're still not connected. That is with the sailing tech obviously. Again, it feels stupid when you see trade routes being established by harbors between cities on different sides of a continent but not through a river over 4-5 tiles.

    City states. While at first i thought their introduction was a brilliant move, their actual implementation was horrific. So basically an empire has to pay tons of gold to get in the good graces of a lesser civilization? While it might be true in some cases in the past few decades(See Marshal Plan, or the current US aid to Pakistan and the likes), most of the times throughout history it was the weaker civ paying tribute and trying to please the stronger one. The way the game is designed, city states behave more like spoiled brats than civs in your sphere of influence.

    City Growth. Even in the later ages, with hospitals, granaries and medical centers built, in relatively food rich areas it's still really really slow. Basically the only way to get a big city is to found it early. In the effort to make the game less frustrating early by having to stop a city's growth thus feel like wasting food, Firaxis made the game more frustrating overall. Not to mention that i was hoping Civ was gonna simulate the population boom since the Industrial age, yet me capital had 13 pop in the classical era and 21 pop in modern era. This applies to just about every feature in the game. You get all the goodies(carrots on a stick) relatively early, while making the game less and less rewarding the later it gets.

    I could go like this for like 5 more pages, but the my main issue is the whole feel of the game. It just feels arcadeish, more like an abstract RTS such as Starcraft rather than a simulator. I totally like the light hearted and cartoonish design, with humor sprinkled here and there so don't get me wrong, i didn't expect a complex and historically accurate simulator that would be so tedious that would no longer be fun to play. However so far i got so many issues with the game that i'll just wait for some mod. Firaxis should really have gotten some ideas from Ryhe's civ4 mod.
  10. Takeda

    Takeda Warlord

    Mar 11, 2010
    Little Canada

    so you give the game a -1.5 overall?
  11. Nutteria

    Nutteria Tzar

    Sep 23, 2010
    Also revamp the luxury resource +happyness.There should be flavors for different civs that grant +2 happynes for sertain resources while all the rest giving +3 instead of +5.

    At the moment grabing extra furs is way more cheaper and easy then building Colliseum.Luxuries must add falvour and civ specific bonuses more instead of a flat +5 from everything.

    Beef up the military policys .Currently they are quite underwhelming comapred to what you can get from the rest.

    Last but not least defensive structure cost should DECREASE with every subsequent building AND add to the totall HP pool of the city.Currently even a 100 defence city can fall to 2 barrages from 3 cannons due to lack of HP upgrades.
  12. beholder2

    beholder2 Chieftain

    Sep 27, 2010
    Paris - France
    Hello !

    At last a review on Civ5, and not a review of "What civ 5 is missing from civ 4". I appreciate !

    I agree with most of the points.
    My principal problem is, as you, the difficulty to see something well on the map. I don't think it's a graphic problem, just that colors/UI are not well thinked. I dislike the new system in town (the coin's one) : it's difficult to discern which tile is used or not, and what are my choices.

    I would add/discuss with others points :

    1) Do you think it is well balanced to be able to sell all luxury resources to IA so early in the game ? I mean... selling ivory or gold for 200-300 randomly to an IA... Just insane. And they always accept it. With this gold you can randomly buy good tiles/buy workers/be friend with a CS.
    And that the point where I don't understand you in your review : the power of of CS. You prefer destroying them and building your own city. But if you invest the gold in it (ok it's better with some leader like greeks) : you will often have strategic resources, luxury resources (OMG you sell one to be friend with a CS to get back one...) AND food if you aim at a sailing CS (but you might do this). This last point is the power : you don't need to bother for food in your town, just click on "focus production or gold", and you'll have tons of food with CS.

    2) I'd prefer seeing the effect of each action with IA in diplomacy. At first point because I don't remember all, and second thing because I think diplomacy should be at last interesting, compared to civ 4. I was extremely bored in civ 4 because, at the end, religions and behaviours were the only matters that really counted, and that was always THE reason to attack you. Modifiers were too high. And it was just impossible to be exactly in the same configuration as 2 others IA. So you might expect to be really friend/ally with one IA (with a completely stupid combinaison of configurations) but all others were at war with you because you don't do slavery anymore at 1850AD, or you were not christian etc...
    At second point because it's IA. It has to act according to a specific rule. And you have to know the rule... So you have to know the exact current state with an IA.
    If I don't want to know want does another player is planning, I play multiplayer with real guy :)
    So... It should be a game parameter in order to please both !

    3) Remove the military upgrade from ruins. It should be xp, but not improving the unit unless you have the appropriate technology. A scout->Archer is just too much OP

    4) First troup improvement is useless. We should have more choices than just +20% on open filed o +20% on accidented tiles. Adding a "tree improvements" like the "science tree" would be very useful too.

    edit : idea of improvement :

    I think it would be great if you had some bonuses when being in a specific age. For example : behind in a specific age give you bonuses for building wonder from this age, and malus for others. So it could be a strategy to not advance on the next age in order to build faster a specific wonder. It would add a real strategy to the existence of ages, instead of just a changement of cities display
  13. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

    Oct 30, 2005
    Beyond the Veil
    I agree with the review on everything except city states. It is NEVER worth conquering maritime or cultural ones. The food bonus from maritime city states in the mid-late game is so enormous that is worth far far more than even a couple of brilliantly situated cities. Pretty much all higher level strategies depend on either constant war and/or spending all of your gold on maritime city states.

    This is made even worse by the fact that the AI virtually never tries to become allied with city states meaning that you dont have to compete with them for influence.
  14. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

    Jul 7, 2007
    Do you not mind how awful the AI is? I"m honestly really confused how someone in that position could be anything but frustrated and/or embarrassed.
  15. Markstar

    Markstar Warlord

    Jan 24, 2001
    I would also like to say "good review" (was thinking of writing my own as well)! :goodjob: Imo you could have also addressed the UI and game performance a little, since it is even worse in Civ5 than Civ4.

    Here are a few points of my own (in addition to yours, Zeniths and the other suggestions (some of which can also be found in other threads):

    • Make the cultural requirements per level fixed. In my current game I have a total of 4 Policies and the end of the game, simply because I expand quicker than I can make cultural buildings. :crazyeye:
    • Improve/fix the UI:
      • [Fix]Sometimes, when clicking on a city, you only get a limited build queue and have to go back to the city to look at it and add items to the queue
      • Make the building queue available without having to check the box
      • Allow drag & drop ordering of items in the queue
      • Show full city screen when selecting "Choose Production" (right now I find myself constantly building going back to the city to add something to the queue)
      • Make building queue longer
      • Show which tiles are being worked in the normal map view
      • Don't "scroll" to new events -> gets annoying over time
      • Introduce option to disable unit animations
      • Show unit destination on hover/click
    • Remove crossing river penalty later in the game
    • Improve worker speed later in the game (its quite slow even with improvements)
    • Improve game performance (not likely to happen): I play on a 3.2GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, Radeon 4870 1GB, Intel SSD and just loading the game takes 2 minutes on low graphic settings. Also time between turns is forever on larger maps, even from the very beginning.

    That's it for now. Like most my top issues are lack of worthwhile improvements/wonders and horrible AI, but overall I was pleasantly surprised. As a longtime Civ-addict, I know that the games were always (well, except the first one) bug-ridden and not of overly good quality (sometimes until the end - for example, the Great Scientist in Civ3 never worked as promised and was a major announced feature of Conquests).

  16. Dale

    Dale Deity

    Mar 14, 2002
    I said I was still having fun. Besides, the AI IMO is about the same standard as Civ4 vanilla release AI. I think people forget how crap the Civ4 vanilla release AI was and keep comparing a new Civ5 AI to a 5 year old and seriously developed Civ4 BtS AI.

    You're right, there's many things I can't comment on. :)
  17. LegioCorvus

    LegioCorvus Prince

    Aug 9, 2009
    Good review.

    I also find myself enjoying Civ5 less and less the more I play. I definitely think it has potential though, and I like a lot of what they've done that's been popular to complain about (such as Steam). There is definitely a lot to iron out, but it's hard to find between the posts of wailing anguish.

    Like you said, I want to like this game.
  18. Keipher

    Keipher Chieftain

    May 14, 2009
    Terribly interesting and agreeable review. Best review I've read to date. I agree the game has great potential, but first it needs those tweaks. Can't wait for the mods and expansions. Gr8 formatting.
  19. Jamesds

    Jamesds Great Scientist

    Mar 14, 2002
    Highlands, Scotland Uni: St Andrews
    Thank you, that was a well-written, balanced and interesting review to read. I've not played long enough in my first game to notice some of the exploits, but I do agree with most of your review. Especially regarding the AI letting their military be cleared too easily and the fact that unit maintenance isn't explained at all. City production is also a let down, and mid-late game when you're at peace it can be somewhat boring without things to build often enough. The main problem for me is gold - it's so scarce, you hardly want to build improvements just for the small savings that will incur. The fact many of them don't reap much reward for the many turns it takes to build them doesn't help.

    New games require new strategies, and like I said I'm only on my first game, but I do feel that with production being very low and gold being so scarce come mid-late game there needs to be some modification in at least one of these. I could cope with less production if there was more gold that gave me the opportunity to buy things here and there, but they both seem rather imbalanced at the moment, not optimal for good gameplay in my opinion.

    But in saying that, I am enjoying Civ5 for what it is, and I'm sure with tweaks and the odd revamp here and there it'll turn out brilliantly. Good luck on the modding front :goodjob:


    I like this :lol:
  20. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

    May 11, 2009
    Excuse me but i have to disagree with the review at some point.

    First of all you speak of the barbarians as a challange... No way, at King difficulty and above i had little problems with them in the most of the games, they were sparring partners for my troops, a good exp machine.

    Second have you spoken of the idiotic mantainance of the troops, i agree but it is even worse, because i created an army of doom sometimes without drawbacks of sort...

    And combat have a big problem: the map is on world scale, when the troops and their mechanics are like a Panzer General scale, if you understand the problem. And how many time i have to play tetris with them. When i start a siege of a city protected by mountains is a pain in the ass and also if a neutral force has its troops in the way, as often happen, it is another big issue...

    I don't want the stack of doom, but an army-like option as in Call to Power is so stupid?

    The speaking of general happiness it reduces a lot the micromanaging, because you don't need to build in a spacific town (like civ IV) the necessary building to raise up the value. Same for culture buildings.

    The only real management of the single city is food, to speed up the grown.

    The other thing I don't feel good is the city expansion by gold and the fact that you can't take over others tiles by culture like in the previous games (so basically it is a warlike game).

    And you don't point out that the game is unbelanced, with some leaders way too powerful, if you use the socials like a combo... Speaking of mecenatism and Alexander, or Nobunaga with Honor and Autarchy....
    While others a super dumbed down like Iroques...

    I don't wanto to point out the worse Ai ever seen in a Civilization game, but thinking of the stupid moves i have seeen at high difficulty level (non the cheapest King), like attacking a city-state with allo of his troops with no reserves and no siege machines...

    In my dreams this game could became great, but now is only a decent strategic game with a name not worth of...

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