So I played the Demo and....

Jul 21, 2003
Adelaide, South Australia
I actually like it-well, overall I like it. Obviously the Demo isn't going to give me the full game experience, but what I did experience I enjoyed overall. Specifically the things I liked were:

Combat: Though I've yet to experience the full joy of 1upt, I'm already enjoying the new combat mechanics-especially how experience is gained & how promotions work.

City-States: Oh yeah, this is definitely the feature that changes *everything*. I really have enjoyed my dealings with the city-states so far, though I really wish there were more missions you could do to win their favor (& that gold was less important in that role-but I'll deal with that a lot more later ;) ).

Social Policies: Although in some ways I don't think they're as good as Civics (particularly how the abilities stack) I definitely like the fact that Culture has a use beyond expanding borders.

Natural Wonders & Ruins: I must say that this-along with City-States, gives much greater impetus for exploration than before. If there is one thing I'd change is that the benefits accrued should be greater if you discover these things with Scouts rather than other units!

Golden Ages:Although I do have issues with the lack of City-based happiness, I do like the new Golden Age system.

The flexibility of system requirements: To be honest, I didn't think the game would even work. Sure I've got it on the lowest settings, but that it works so smoothly is definitely a plus in my book.

Graphics, Sound & Music: Even on the lowest settings, the game looks & sounds absolutely beautiful. Sure its still a little "rough around the edges", but I wouldn't accuse it of being 'unfinished' in that regard.

Addictiveness: OK, so I started playing & said "I'll just play a few turns to see how it feels." Well, an hour & a half later & I still had to really make an effort to end the game. So, whatever else can be said about the game, that "one...more...turn" feel is still definitely there.

So what didn't I like about the game?

Tile Yields: I have to agree with those who're saying that tile yields just feel too low. Not so much base yields, they seem OK, but the yields from resources & improvements don't seem good enough for the amount of effort you need to expend to acquire them. Except the Trading post, which seems overpowered by comparison!

Gold: OK, now I think they've swung too far in the other direction & made gold *too* important. In the early game, cultural acquisition of tiles is much too slow as compared to acquisition via gold &, as I said above, it would be great if there were more varied missions with which you can win influence with City-States, in order to downgrade the importance of gold.

Missing stuff Sorry, but I just can't deny that a number of things they've removed I'm seriously missing-even if I thought they weren't well implemented in Civ4. The absence of Health, Cottages, Religion & Culture Wars are a problem for me-though not enough to make me not want the game. Have to say, though, that I don't miss the slider one little bit-though it would be nice if trade routes could provide yields other than gold ;)!

So overall, I can honestly say that Civ5 is a very worthy addition to the Civilization Franchise, & that my fears of it being "dumbed down" or a war-game were totally unfounded. At the moment it certainly sits *very close* to where Civ4 Vanilla sat, for me, 5 years ago-& I certainly hope that future patches & expansions make this game an even more enjoyable experience.
If I had to give this game a score, I'd probably give it a 7.5 or 8 out of 10 (Civilization 4 was an 8.5 to 9/10 for me ;) ).
I hope to do a walk-through of my demo game over the next few days, so keep an eye out for that :)!

Man am I glad health isn't in the game anymore. Always hated that whole idea. Combining the growth of cities with happiness is just SO much more streamlined. Loving that change.
Top Bottom