Most of you prolly won't know what I'm talkin about, but a lot of people like to 'get into character' when gaming. Not just CRPG's like NWN, WoW, etc, but any game that lets you get into a persona including the Civ series. This Civ breaks that immersion a lot, more than any other. Cos of all the CHEESE. I like Civ4, it's the best 'game' of the series so far in many ways. But it's also the most noobed down cheesiest civ ever. Gameplay mechanics and balance mechanisms to make the game 'fair' and protect people from potentially cheating (dear god no end of the world) have caused this, and it is unfortunate. CHEESE 1)Diplomacy - cheese factory. Forget about it. You can have Civ X on the ropes, d-day army at their capital's gates, and they won't give you a single tech unless they are the ones to offer it first (like 50 games of Monarchy later and I can say that is 100% true). They won't give you an inch with anything. The RED system to protect people from ruining their game by exploiting seemed okay at first, but I've since come to the conclusion it is so illogical that it dumps you right out of any possible immersion. The whole dilpo system is to set up a conspiracy where 'everyone else' understands that all deals to YOU are only okay if unfair - under any circumstances whatsoever unless they initiate. I can have 20 techs and 20k gold but Civ Z will not be persuaded to declare war on anyone regardless of our history, relationship or anything. I can have proven after 5 successful wars on Civ Y that I will wipe them out without a tribute, but they won't even consider it, except as a negative diplo notch. THEY all though will demand tribute ceaselessly even if I have just whooped them for last 3 requests, and now down to one city, doing so a fourth time guarantees their genocide. It's so ridiculous on every level of diplo that I honestly think it would be better even to leave the whole thing open to be set by player so we can use our own judgement as what would be fair. I'm good at diplo by 'game' standards and cheese it all up the way you are expected to trade and get everything I need in the wanky way you are sposed to. With all their animations and 2005 upgrade, it's ironic that the AI diplo is less intelligent and less real and less believable than ever before. CHEESE 2) The whole city siege scenario. It is well balanced. Granted. Full points to Firaxis. Kudos. The best balanced set up I can think of from any of these numerous types of games including CTP/AC/etc. But charging my siege, age after age, on the front line as suicide bombers in an eternal Al Quida stategy is another immersion killer. CHEESE 3) Nukes. Yeah nice one. I fired my first Nuke a couple days ago. Was a tight game and I seriously had to sacrifice my lead and much else to put it all into place to fire a Nuke at key capital before SDI and air shelters would be around. Even sent merchant 43 turn trip to get me the cash just to buy that Nuke instantly upon Manhattan Project completion. Was so pumped and fizzle. It did nothing. Direct hit on city centre - didn't kill a single one of the many units in THE tile it hit, didn't destory any buildings, didn't even leave any fall out, didn't cripple the population. My own forces - stupidly waiting out of city radius because they expected a NUKE, were slaughtered because by the time they got into city the entirely unkilled forces were fully healed of their minimal suntans anyway. Nukes in Civ 4 are not Nukes. They are not fun. They are not balanced. They are not realistic in any remote sense. And they are thus cheesed immersion killers that will suck every time you fire one. (Has anyone seen a picture of Hiroshima afterwards? That wasn't even an ICBM like Civ4). CHEESE 4) Sea sucks arse. You can't do crap with it. It's only purpose is to protect fishing boats. Cheaper to just make a lot of fishing boats and keep them in storage than make any navy. IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING. CHEESE 5) Air. Sucks arse as well. I realised recently that I don't even bother researching flight anymore. It's more hassle than it's worth, and the main point, ENTIRELY REDUNDANT. CHEESE 6) GP. Actually great people are a lot of fun. But they have many cheesy elements. Culture Bombs? Gimme a break. All the strats that you should do to win are CHEESEY. Save em up for strategic deployment. That's exactly what artists are known for historically. Save up your engineers too. Bam bam bam, 3 wonders out the door. It's cool, its fun, its stupid. Incidentally, while on topic of wonders - these wonder movies suck. Here's a secret - NOBODY OUT THERE IS GOING TO WATCH THEM A SECOND TIME. Have a play of Civ2 and see if you can figure out why they were cool. And what they did for immersion. JS Bach's cathedral, Hoover Dam, Manhattan Project, man they were rewards for getting your wonder. CHEESE 7) Contintents. Random Maps. They are cheeeeeesy. It'd be nice if continents resembled an earth variation like the other civs. Many games of continents later and I have concluded that the odds of an alternate Earth type feel to the layout is 1%, if that. And surely islands could've been scattered so they don't look like a tic tac toe chart EVERY TIME. CHEESE 8) Spies. They are cheesy for same reason air and sea is cheesey. They are redudant. The points you spend building Scotland Yard and spies, any time you spend at all - is all more cost effective to invest into military or anything else instead. They are limited beyond all other civ & civ-like games, are not actually fun, and do not add any sense of feeling to the user. I'm gonna stop here, but I have at least another 5 CHEESE's that rip me right the hell outta getting into character in this game. Civ4 is great. My favourite Civ yet. It's just a pity that to make it the most playable it was made so goddam cheesy. I don't believe it had to be. I dunno if it was laziness, or shortsightedness, or lack of imagination, but I think someone just didn't get it. Civ4 is a great game. It's just a shame.