Civilization IV

The Civilization series of games, originally designed by Sid Meier, puts you in command of a small, primitive tribe in the year 4000 BC. You then steer your tribe through 6050 years of history, competing with a number of similar tribes to become the dominant civilization on the planet. This has proved a very appealing concept and the games have been hugely popular.

I pre-ordered Civ 4 from Amazon UK. Because of the delayed release of the game in Europe, I received it on the 7th of November 2005.

I found Civ 3 rather disappointing and I played it less than its predecessors. Civ 4 is an improvement in some ways and will please most existing fans of the series, though fundamentally it's still much the same game, and if you didn't like before you probably still won't like it now.

My overall verdict is that it's a great concept that could have been a great game if well implemented. But it never has been well enough implemented, because Firaxis doesn't understand the idea of elegance in game design. In the early stages, it's a good game, but it gradually bogs down as you play on, and the victory conditions are poorly designed.

After some experience with the game, I now find that I get the most fun out of it by playing on the smallest possible map (Duel size), with low sea level to increase the land area, and the number of opponents increased from the default of 1 (on a Duel map) to 4. I still find the endgame is a drag. Maybe I'll edit the CIV4GameSpeedInfo.xml file in future to stop the game much earlier than 2050 AD. I've tried this already and it works.

Good points

Bad points

See also

Civilization Fanatics fan site
My old Civilization III page
My old Civilization II page