Civilization V – Impressions

There was an insane sale offering many, many popular titles at extremely low prices on Amazon recently. They called it the “May Mayhem” and if you missed it, it sucks to be you.

Since I already mentioned I’m quite a broke person living in Croatia, I couldn’t really buy any of the games there.  I could, however, “buy” them. You see, there’s this thing called Amazon MechanicalTurk, which allows you to do simple micro jobs and get paid in Amazon Payments credit. The catch is, it only works with special MTurk Amazon Payments accounts which can’t be used to pay on line, only to add to your gift certificate balance.

This is what I did. I didn’t extensively work on MTurk because, basically, it would suck as a job and pay extremely little. What I did do is that every time I was waiting to do something else on line, I jumped to the site quickly and did a single well paid micro job like a 5 minute survey or something. In any case, I acquired some credit and used part of that to get Civilization V when it was on sale for $7.50. I played the game for 10 or so hours up to now, so I think I’m qualified to talk about it for a bit.

Is Civlization V better or worse than Civilization IV?

It’s… different. I feel they have improved on some aspects, but failed at other aspects. I love the new hex grid. It allows for more detail and more realistic presentation. I love the fact that there’s one unit per hex now. It allows for more tactics during war as well as peace, since positioning your civilizations defences properly helps you prepare better for surprise attacks by your enemies. I love the fact that you aren’t encouraged to place a road/railroad on each and every tile within your borders.

Civilization V - Map With Armies

The feature I absolutely love is the “one unit per tile” rule Civilization V introduced.

I don’t like how little “luxury” is in the game. You complete your spaceship? Oh, here’s a short in-game animation above your capital of your ship launching and that’s it. No CGI, no video, nothing. Built another wonder? Oh well, a picture will fade in the screen with the info text overlay above it. You won the game and would like to see the replay? Nope, here’s just a text log of what happened in the game.

Now, I haven’t gotten any DLC for it yet, so I don’t know if any of my issues were fixed, but even if they were, that only brings me to the last point. What’s up with this huge amount of DLC content? Why? Why does it have to be this way? Why can’t we get a game, and then expansions? I mean, I know why. The answer is simple. It brings in money. People buy it, and it’s good business. I just hate that it’s good business. I wish it weren’t.

So is it better than Civilization IV? No, definitely not. Is it worse? I’m not sure. It’s good enough and that’s all it is. I’m still going to play it every now and then, just not as often as I did with Civilization IV. Who knows, maybe Gods and Kings will make it all better again.