PSA: Civilization 5 DLC now available on Mac

Posted on February 12, 2011

Rejoice, citizens of the Grand Kingdom of Macintosh! You’ve been forced long enough to live without the premium, downloadable Civilization 5 content that’s been available to your cousins of the Land of Windows for ages. The DLC, which unlocks new civilizations for various prices — except the Mongol expansion, which is free and installs automatically when running the game through Steam — is now available for all Mac users.

You can grab the “Mediterranean,” “Mesopotamia,” “Asia” and “Americas” expansions for $2.99 each (or $9.99 as a bundle), or the “Babylon Civilization pack” and “Spain and Inca pack” for $4.99 a pop (or $7.99 for the pair). Our position on which one you should buy first should be well known by this point, but if not, here’s a hint: You should buy the civilization responsible for the music of both Bruce Springsteen and Menudo. That’s a cultural powerhouse if we’ve ever heard one.

JoystiqPSA: Civilization 5 DLC now available on Mac originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 11 Feb 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Stardock hires Civilization V lead designer and respected sci-fi author to work on Elemental

Posted on January 06, 2011

Stardock today announced that they have hired John Schafter, the Lead Designer on Civilization V, and that he will be working on saving the troubled Elemental: War of Magic before starting up his own project within the company. Stardock have also hired fantasy and science fiction author Dave Stern to work on storytelling across all of Stardock’s games.

John Schafer recently parted ways with Firaxis after finishing work on Civilization V, and will be joining Stardock to help out with the game’s rehabilitiation and future expansions. After that he’s set to start his own stand alone project, of which no details have yet been announced.

Dave Stern may be familiar to many as the author of several Star Trek books, and the man behind novelisations of Tomb Raider and the Blair Witch Project. He’ll be casting a writer’s eye over the storytelling in Stardock’s projects, starting with Elemental: War of Magic

This is pretty great news for Elemental, which recently received it’s first major update since launch, and is still being heavily worked on behind the scenes as Stardock try and overcome the game’s disappointing release. For more information check out our Elemental: War of Magic review, and our updated impressions collected after patch 1.1.

[via BigDownload]


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Civilization V Cradle of Civilization map packs are out now

Posted on December 04, 2010

A series of maps that were originally included in the Civilization V digital deluxe edition have been released as DLC. The four map packs include a series of real maps designed by Firaxis, which can be played with historically accurate Civilizations or random leaders. The maps can all be tweaked in the World Builder so players can make their own scenarios on the new terrain. The packs cover the Americas, Asia, the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia. They’ll cost £1.99 / $2.99 each, or can be bought in a bundle for £6.30 / $9.99. if you’re interested the packs are available now on Steam.


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New Civilization V patch in the works

Posted on November 12, 2010

Firaxis have set about outlining the content of the next big patch for Civilization V. The next batch of changes are going to concentrate on improvements to the AI and diplomacy, and contains fixes you’d only ever see in a Civ game, like “adjust Napoleon to make him more likely to go for culture”, and an “update to tactical AI pillaging code”. You’ll find the complete list of changes are below.


  • Worker AI improvements .
  • Update to tactical AI pillaging code. Additionally, always check to make sure it’s not trying to pillage in an enemy dominance zone.
  • AI victory emphasis improvements (more efficient end-game when focusing on Science and Diplo victories).
  • AI should colonize other continents regularly.
  • AI will emphasize production of an Ocean going explorer unit when the time comes.
  • Adjust Napoleon to make him more likely to go for culture.
  • More aggressive second wave expansion (mostly off shore) after initial empire building and consolidation has occurred.
  • Optimization when finding routes (pathfinder improvement).
  • Multiple tweaks and bug fixes.
  • AI will now build ranged and mobile units more in line with the flavor settings.
  • Multiple defensive AI tweaks.


  • Cities heal more quickly.
  • Only allow one upgrade per unit from a goody hut.


  • Tweaked the single-player score list to hide the civs of unmet ai players.


  • AI’s attitude towards you is now visible in the diplo screen and diplo drop-down.
  • Added info tooltip for an AI leader’s mood. Lists things that are making an AI player happy/upset.
  • New diplo system: Declaration of Friendship (public declaration with diplomatic repercussions).
  • New diplo system: Denounce (public declaration with diplomatic repercussions).
  • New custom leader responses (Serious Expansion Warning, Aggressive Military, Luxury Exchange, Borders Exchange, Gift Request).


  • Parent category counts now include counts of child categories.
  • Selecting/deselecting a category now automatically selects/deselects it’s children and its parent.
  • Tweaked category name truncation to better fit names.
  • Hide categories w/ no children and a count of 0.
  • Added support for fallback languages (if mod is not translated, fall-back to English so text keys are not showing).


  • Fixed save format which causes saves to increase the memory footprint of the game drastically when loading frequently over the course of the game.

There’s no ETA for the patch just yet, but the devs are keeping the patch list updated over on the 2K forums.

[via Bluesnews]


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The Mongol Hordes & Babylonians Come To Civ V via DLC

Posted on October 18, 2010

New DLC for Civilization V will be available for download October 25, and the upcoming content includes two packs: The Mongols Civilization and Scenario Pack and the Babylonian Civilization Pack.

Ride with Genghis Khan in the Mongols pack and try to rule all of asia in this free content pack. The Babylonian Civilization Pack, meanwhile, slips you in the sandals of Nebuchandnezzar II (c. 630-c. 561 B.C.) for only $4.99. As the King of Babylon you’ll try to spread your empire with advance Bowmen at your disposal.

Previously, the Babylonian Civilization Pack was only available as part of the game’s digital deluxe edition.

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Top 10 Civilization V mods

Posted on October 14, 2010

Civlization V hasn’t been out for long, but there’s already a wealth of user made maps, mods and scenarios available. Here’s our pick of the best from the early rush of Civ V mods. Whether you want to rebalance the economy, change the pace of the game, or play on a huge, scale version of the planet Earth, there’s something for you in the selection below.

Civilization V has a great mod browser built into it. It helps you search for the highest rated mods as voted by the community. All of the mods on this list can be downloaded and installed from inside the game, but you can follow the links for information on each one.

1. Dale’s Earth Map

Civilization V has plenty of nations, each imbued with their own sense of personality, but the game’s randomly generated worlds means you’re never playing on the actual countries they represent. Dale’s True Start Map Pack adds a decent world map with a built in scenario that puts every nation in its right place. For some, playing on a carefully modelled facsimile of our own planet takes the surprise and discovery out of the exploration element of the game, but the more you play, the less familiar the world becomes until you’re looking at a vision of what the world would look like with the Songhai Empire as the dominant superpower.

2. Queen of the Iceni

This mod adds the Celts as a playable faction. Led by Queen Boudica, the Celts represent a menacing military threat. Their two specialised units include a Gaelic Warrior, who operate much like traditional Warriors, but move more quickly over difficult ground, and the Sons of Morrigan, a special unit that gains health every time it defeats an enemy unit. Combine these guys with Boudica’s Battle Fury trait, which grants nearby units extra attacks in combat, and the Celts represent an excellent choice for players of a military mindset.

3. E3 Combat Scenario

This is the professionally designed scenario used by Firaxis to demonstrate Civ V’s combat and diplomacy at E3. If you don’t feel like clawing your way up from the the dirt and just want to jump straight into a well developed world then this is the map for you. It puts you in charge of Ceaser’s forces, poised to kick off a massive war with surrounding nations. There’s a variety of techs already on the map, from cannons to attack helicopters, so it’s a great way to get to know a lot of different units without having to put in all of the time and effort associated with researching and building them.

4. R.E.D. modpack

R.E.D. has been around since Civ IV, it stands for Regiment and Ethnic Diversity, and aims to give all the units in the greater variation. It also addresses some of the more ridiculous scale problems that combat can throw up, such as a squads of twenty foot tall infantrymen fighting tiny tanks, or 18th century Ships of the Line dwarfing Aircraft Carriers. The new units aren’t precisely to scale, so you’ll be able to see them easily on the map, but they’re a bit more realistic. A load of formations have also been added, so your units won’t always line up in exactly the same way, making your units seem a bit less like mass produced counters on a board.

5. Economy Mod

Many players have found that Civ V’s economy growth and research speeds are out of whack, with players often reaching Medieval tech decades before they should. A small team of modders has set about rebalancing the entire economy of the game with this mod. Tech costs have been increased and building costs reduced to slow down research rate and bring technology in line with the level of infrastructure in your empire. This mod also incorporates a couple of UI tweaks, the best one being DireAussie’s build order overhaul, which improves the UI for putting together build orders, and adds some useful shortcuts to help you manage your cities’ production more easily.

6. Legions

One of the very first mods to appear, Legions removes Civlization V’s insistence that military units occupy separate tiles. The inability to stack several army units on top of one another has added a whole new tactical element to combat in Civ V, but if you couldn’t care less where your archers should go, and the formation of your troops when attacking a city, then this mod will handily remove those restrictions.

7. World War X

If you think that diplomacy is just a load of useless chin wagging, and define ‘peace’ as the bit when you build your forces up before crushing everything, you might want to check out World War X. It’s an all out war mod that ramps up the aggression of the AI, lowers the cost and build times of all military units and turns the world into a snarling bear pit of angry, tooled-up nations just spoiling for a fight.

8. Copasetic UI Update

Civilization V’s UI is already miles better than the previous games. Where once you had to wade through a world of menus and construction screens to get anything done, now everything is a few clicks away. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though, and modders have already gone to task on the slick new system, adding more information to the interface, and streamlining the experience even further. The Copasetic UI update from Cope makes a few small but extremely useful changes, such as having city labels showing how close a city is to expansion and, in poorer towns, the number of turns left until citizens start starving to death.

9. Larger Scale Mod

If you’re bothered by the one unit per tile stacking restrictions, but don’t want to use Legions as a workaround, there are other mods out there devoted to making Civ V a less fiddly game by increasing the overall size of the game. Db0’s Larger Scale Mod aims to allow more space between cities, giving units more room to manoeuvre and allowing for larger empires in general. Happiness penalties have been reduced, so an average empire can cheerfully exist with a dozen cities. City defences have been buffed as well, which makes military victory that much harder, and gives all nations more opportunity to expand.

10. Useful Extras

And finally, here’s a few smaller mods that have proved popular with the community. They may seem menial, but they fix a few niggling problems with the game, and add some useful extra UI tidbits to make managing your empire easier. Searching for these in Civilization V’s in game mod database should turn them up fairly quickly, and they’re a breeze to install.  First up we have the second most popular of all the mods in Civ V’s mod database is the Simple Clock mod, which simply adds a clock at the top of the screen, making it easier to stop yourself from playing until two in the morning. The Luxury Resource Display mod gives you another version of the strategic resource display that lets you see luxury resources instead, useful when your capital city starts demanding fur, or uranium, or something. Last but not least there’s the surprisingly popular Simple Spacebar Mod, which lets you end turns with a tap of the spacebar.

For more Civilization V mods check out the in game database, and the ever expanding list of projects over at Civ Fanatics. If you fancy creating a scenario yourself, check out our map making guide.

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The Best Of Big Download: September 27 – October 3

Posted on October 04, 2010

It was a little slow for PC game news at first, but that whole Team Fortress 2 item trading, selling and buying update came out of left field! Let’s go over what else happened in PC gaming news and downloads for the past seven days:

Exclusive features


Continue reading The Best Of Big Download: September 27 – October 3

JoystiqThe Best Of Big Download: September 27 – October 3 originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 03 Oct 2010 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Civilization 5 Mod Tools Have Been Released

Posted on September 29, 2010

The modding tools for Civilization V have been released through Steam and can be had by all owners of the empire-building game (via CivFantatics).

To install, simply navigate to the “Tools” section of your Steam game library and find “Sid Meier’s Civilization V SDK” in the list. Install that. Create stuff. Profit*.

2K Games has also set up a wiki for users to populate with all types of tips and tricks when it comes to modding the game. Mods can be viewed and managed from within Civ V for easier organization.

*Profit not gua…
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Civilization V Official Strategy Guide

Posted on September 23, 2010

Play Civilization V to win! “The Civilization[registered] V Strategy Guide” from Brady Games will help you learn how to follow the most efficient paths and how to deal with City-States, new for Civ 5. Includes maps that pinpoint critical locations for you along the way.

Get the guide today!

Click the graphic below or click HERE

Sid Meier's Civilization V Video Review

Posted on September 23, 2010

Find out if Kevin VanOrd can be the first to fly to the stars in this video review for Sid Meier’s Civilization V.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

Sid Meier’s Civilization V Video Reviewwas posted by JimM on Wed, 22 Sep 2010 17:36:08 -0700

Sid Meier's Civilization V Review

Posted on September 23, 2010

Excellent tactical battles and a slick interface make the latest Civilization another wonderful addition to a classic franchise.

Score: 9.0 / superb

Get the full article at GameSpot

Sid Meier’s Civilization V Reviewwas posted by Kevin VanOrd on Wed, 22 Sep 2010 17:36:22 -0700

Five Tips To Step Up Your Civilization V Game

Posted on September 21, 2010

There’s a lot to learn about Civilization V, even if you’re an old hand at conquering the world. (You read our review, right?) Once you get a handle on the basics of settling cities, conducting diplomacy, and maybe get a war or two under your belt, it’s time to start thinking about the next level. Here are a few tips to get you past Prince difficulty.

Trade those luxuries! Luxury resources like silk and wine keep your people happy. The happier your empire is, the quicker you trigger Golden Ages. However, there is one more thing that luxuries do: sell for lots of cold, hard cash to the AI. Hit F4 to pop into the diplomacy screen and see who has money in the bank. Click on them and see which of your resources they’re interested in. You can generally get 200-300 gold in cash per luxury, or trade straight up for a resource you don’t have. The ideal situation is to trade away luxuries you have multiples of – you get no benefit from having more than one of each type. However, I find myself doing much better when I trade every luxury I possibly can without going into empire-wide unhappiness (which quarters your growth rate, which sucks). You can also extract some value by trading away strategic resources like horses and iron, but I wouldn’t advise sending those to anyone you share a border with for obvious reasons.

Sail those waters! This one doesn’t apply so much to Pangaea-type maps, but if you play on any other type of map you should prioritize building a few triremes early and caravels when you can. Discovering new city-states and rival empires can pay massive dividends, especially if you’re trading those luxuries like you ought to be. I find myself beelining for caravels more often than not just to discover new lands across the ocean with new people to sell things to. Yes, even at the expense of delaying my industrial revolution for a few turns.

Build those units! However much military you think you need, double it. Seriously. Barbarians can and will wreak havoc on under-defended empires, and you take a serious diplomatic hit with rivals if they think your military is weak. I know you want to build that water mill, but consider a spearman instead. I don’t feel comfortable unless I have at least two relatively modern units per city in my empire, and that’s if I’m not at war or feeling like starting one. You should have one city pretty much cranking out military full-time, constructing only the essential buildings for their mission: Granary/Barracks in the early game, extending out to Armory/Forge/Factory later on. Skip cultural, scientific, and happiness buildings.

Specialize those cities! This one is old hat for Civ IV players, but the concept of city specialization is even more important in V. Buildings start to cost a lot of hammers to build in the Renaissance era, to the point where you couldn’t possibly build everything everywhere even if you wanted to. You may want to build Factories everywhere because production is key, but do you really need a Temple in every city? Or a University? No, you do not. You need more riflemen. Napoleon isn’t going to conquer himself.

Raze those conquests! Conquering new cities is a glorious and effective way to increase your empire’s moxy. The problem is that occupied people are a pain in the behind to keep happy. Adding a single conquered city to your empire can send your entire civilization into unhappiness, which sucks for a number of reasons. Rather than use your entire productive output feverishly building Colosseums and Theaters everywhere, why not burn the uncooperative bastards’ homes to the ground? Worked for Rome. The point is that denying a resource (in this case, a city and all its production and territory) to your enemy can be just as effective as gaining it yourself. And if you’re not building Theaters, you can build more riflemen. Because you need more riflemen. And probably some cannon. Mmm, cannon.

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This Week in New Releases ? Final Fantasy XIV and Civilization V Video Feature

Posted on September 20, 2010

This week brings a host of PC titles including Final Fantasy XIV, and Civilization V.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

This Week in New Releases – Final Fantasy XIV and Civilization V Video Feature was posted by sampsona on Sun, 19 Sep 2010 04:00:00 -0700

Weekend Discussion

Posted on September 18, 2010

Halo: Reach. Civilization V. PlayStation Move. Tokyo Game Show 2010.

Could a gamer’s life get busier? Oh, yes. We’re not even into October. There are still a ton of titles hitting retail before 2010 rings its final bell. (And let’s not even talk about how busy the first few months of 2011 will be.)

Let’s enjoy it while we can and hope everything works out when we pull out our wallets.

  • Alice O’Connor: I imagine I’ll continue to work my way through the Halo: Reach campaign, grumbling all the way. Monday Night Combat shall be my palate cleanser.
  • Brian Leahy: This weekend I’ll be playing Halo: Reach–three achievements left!—and Civilizat…

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Evening Reading

Posted on September 17, 2010

Our Civilization V review is up! Have you pre-loaded the game yet? Getting ready for many a late night at the computer taking that “last” turn?

Gaming News o’the Day

Links from Morning Discussion

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Civilization 5 Review

Posted on September 17, 2010

Firaxis is changing up a lot of things with the fifth main installment of its legendary Civilization franchise, following up on the highly successful Civilization IV. There are likely to be changes that alienate some fans, but overall, these changes breathe a new life into the series. If you haven’t been following the preview coverage of the game, get ready for some major shifts in Civ.

The biggest changes are within the game’s combat system, which now disallows stacking units. In previous Civ games, combat was about throwing large stacks of units against other stacks of units, then having the math add it all up and declare the winner. It was boring and not…
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Civilization 5 Gameplay Walkthrough Video is 13 Minutes of Goodness

Posted on September 17, 2010

I know the wait for Civilization V is killing you, but this 13-minute, narrated gameplay demonstration should help pass the time until Tuesday. In it, Firaxis Games’ Peter Murray discusses various changes made to the game since Civilization IV.

Shackvideo users can use the HD Stream.

You can also pre-load the game on Steam in preparation for the unlocking on the 21st.

2K Games has also streamed and archived around 2 hours of playtime in the game, which can be viewed here .

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Evening Reading

Posted on September 14, 2010

One mission left on my solo Legendary playthrough of Halo: Reach. While I didn’t have time at the review event to put real time into Legendary, it’s been a rewarding and challenging experience. Each checkpoint feels like an accomplishment.

I’ll stop talking about Halo: Reach eventually, but it’s going to be a while. Maybe until Civilization V comes out… which can now be pre-loaded on Steam, by the way.

Gaming News o’the Day

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Sid Meier's Civilization V Updated Hands-On – Exclusive Multiplayer and Editing Tools Report

Posted on September 10, 2010

We get a close-up look at Civilization V’s extensive editing tools, and then jump into multiplayer with the creators of the game itself and get horribly slaughtered.

Civilization V is the fifth chapter in the beloved turn-based strategy series, and it’s one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. And it’s going to be here soon. We recently had a chance to visit the home of developer Firaxis to get an in-depth look at the game’s editing and modification-making tools, and then we hunkered down for a multiplayer session with Firaxis staffers who have played the game much more than we have, which is why they beat us so badly. That’s what we keep telling ourselves, anyway.

[ Watch Video ]

Civ V’s development team discusses the multiplayer, the editing tools, and the future of Civ.

Our visit to the studio space began with a tour of Civ V’s worldbuilder and other editing tools, which were built on the core of Civ IV’s scripting and code base but have been streamlined and made much, much more user-friendly. The tools let you create maps of all sizes in the game, up to the “huge” size of 128 by 80 tiles (which we can tell you from experience is really quite huge).

The worldbuilder itself is remarkably easy to use, since it can generate a new map in a matter of minutes. While you can painstakingly build a giant map tile by tile, you can also use the random map generator to create one of the game’s basic map types (Pangaea, archipelago, and so on) and use a paintbrush tool to change any and all of the terrain on the map (so you can add a nice schmear of forest through your pregenerated desert with a single stroke of the mouse). The worldbuilder also has numerous “ploppers” that let you drop down resources, starting cities, city-states, initial units, ruins, barbarians, and whichever other features you prefer, with a single click. You can even adjust the starting fog-of-war level to clear however much, or little, fog from the map’s starting state you like, essentially to create a scenario where the “known world” extends only so far.

And you can easily tweak your own custom maps after saving what you’re working on and then exiting the tools, firing up the game, and loading up the map to play it immediately. You can also use the game’s “tuner” tool in-game, which lets you change in-game values and units in real time over the course of an actual game (making it a powerful cheating tool as well…but who’d ever cheat in a game of Civ, right?). Of course, if you prefer to go more in-depth, you can dig into the game’s mod tools, which are, like Civ IV’s, based on LUA and XML scripting languages contained in configuration files that can be freely edited.

Civ V’s mods can take pretty much any form, from small-scale tweaks, like reskinning the user interface, to full-on total conversions, such as the test mod we saw in progress: “single large units,” a tactical mod that starts all players with a preset handful of military units, which appear to be gigantic on the world map, and that plays less like a game of traditional Civ and more like a game of chess. As it turns out, you can set Civ V’s mods to work directly with other mods (or to be exclusive of other mods), and as we’ve mentioned in our previous coverage, Civ V will let you search for mods using an in-game browser so that hopefully the work of diligent mod-makers can be found and played by more-casual users who might have otherwise been intimidated by having to search for them on the Internet, download them, and install them separately.

We then prepared ourselves to do battle in a four-man multiplayer match with several Firaxis staffers, including lead designer Jon Shafer, who, for the record, is a bloodthirsty monster and is not to be trusted in a Civ V multiplayer session. Civ V’s multiplayer is powered by Steamworks, with all that software’s accoutrements, such as Steam-based chat, friends lists, and support for voice chat that can be called up at any time. The actual in-game multiplayer interface is extremely clean and simple to use and resides entirely in the upper-right corner of the screen, where you can send chat messages to all players (or to a single player), keep track of each player’s relative score, and even do a little wheeling and dealing to trade resources and other diplomatic goodies with each other. However, multiplayer is decidedly different from single-player, especially if you’re up against aggressive opponents. While Civ V has many intriguing new strategic nuances, such as neutral city-states that can be joined as lucrative trading partners and a new cultural victory condition based on unlocking social policy trees, you’re probably not going to want to spend all your time building peaceful wonders of the world if your buddies are breathing down your neck a dozen hexes away or so.

Our first match took place in the ancient era, and our indecision and lack of focus led to a horrible death. We played as China, a warlike nation with the powerful Chu-No-Ku crossbowman (which can fire twice, instead of once, like the standard crossbowman) and a national leader who produces great general units more frequently than other nations do. Great generals are one of the game’s great people (along with great engineers, scientists, merchants, and artists), and they provide combat power bonuses to any allied units standing within two tiles, and China’s great generals provide a larger combat bonus than the generals of other nations. But like all of Civ V’s great people, these legendary units can also be expended within your national borders to immediately trigger a prosperous golden age, in which your nation produces more gold and more production resources.

We originally had a vague idea that we’d focus on cavalry units (which in Civ V, like in previous games, have more land movement points than infantry units) and hopefully get a great general or two on our side to rush our opponents’ capitals. What we ended up with was a starting location with a whole bunch of spices and cotton and some nearby grain fields, and by the time we’d finished researching animal husbandry to cause horses to appear on the map, the beasts were sadly nowhere near our fledgling empire.

[ Watch Video ]

Watch the full demonstration of Civ V from this year’s E3.

We switched our focus to researching economic advancements, such as the pottery technology (a tech that, as usual, lets you build food-storing granaries in your cities), which leads directly to the calendar technology (which lets you use worker units to build money-producing plantations on top of luxury resources, like spices and cotton). But just a few turns into the game, we bumped into another Firaxis staffer’s holdings. We maintained a polite distance and since luxury resources like spices and cotton still contribute to the overall happiness of your nation’s population, we even swapped some of our luxury resources with our neighbor for the sole purpose of mutually promoting our respective nations’ happiness level. Yes. Yes…that should stick.

We’d already trained a scout unit to check the lay of the land, and through blind luck, we found a set of ruins (Civ V’s version of the “goodie hut,” which grants you a random bonus when you walk over it) that granted us a settler unit to build a second city, which we settled next to some deer and more grain. Since we had a cordial relationship with our nearest neighbor, we decided to invest in our population in the short term, focusing on building out our city with granaries, game trapping camps, and farms.

We took advantage of the early gold windfall of having so many nearby resources by building a worker unit to build as many civic improvements as possible. We then switched back to military development, this time creating a barracks in each city (these structures grant 15 bonus experience points to new land units, advancing them a level as soon as they’ve been commissioned in that town), with the intention of unlocking iron working as soon as possible to reveal the iron resource on the map and unlock the swordsman, one of the most powerful military units of the ancient era. In the meantime, we’d fended off a handful of barbarians successfully and had also earned enough culture to start unlocking some social policies. We invested our first fistfuls of culture points in the “honor” social policy tree (an early-game military policy that initially gives you combat bonuses against roving barbarians and then unlocks other advantages, like bonus military experience and a free great general). This policy is an easy choice for China, given the nation’s more-powerful great generals.

We’d killed off all marauding barbarians nearby, had a great general in our retinue, and had even created our first swordsman when Mr. Shafer and his legions of Persian swordsmen showed up. He moved in on both us and our neighboring ally at the same time, ruthlessly deploying clusters of upgraded swordsmen to crush both our armies simultaneously, growing even more powerful with his initial conquests because his own battles caused Persia to produce a great general, which he immediately traded for a golden age. Persia’s golden ages last 50 percent longer than other nations’ and also grant military units +10 percent combat strength and an additional movement point, so our lone swordsman was no match for Shafer’s battalion of golden-age-powered swordsmen, despite our great general’s combat bonuses. Within a dozen or so bloody turns, it was all over, and since we’d played the game on a “tiny”-sized map, set to the speed of “quick” (which drastically reduces the number of turns it takes to produce units and structures and to research new techs), the entire match ended in about an hour. Of course, you can set multiplayer parameters to start at different time periods (such as the modern age, where all players can bring paratroopers and tanks into battle in just a few turns), so you can most likely shorten the duration of a multiplayer match to an even tighter time frame…though you still may not want to plan it around your lunch break. Just in case.

In our defense, we will again point out that Shafer is the lead designer of the game, and therefore he has memorized optimal building and research orders, regardless of any opening circumstances. After he slaughtered us, he allowed us a peek at his computer screen, which revealed that the designer had been building up a sizable nation of four cities of his own. Though none of his citizens were particularly happy with the choice of aggressively expanding, the sheer size of the designer’s holdings made it more likely that he’d have iron nearby once he had researched the iron working technology (he had plenty of the stuff, in fact), and his ruthless warmongering meant that he had generated at least a great general or two, which would lead to lengthy golden ages that superseded the public unrest. Rest assured, this is not an easy thing to accomplish by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re Civ V’s lead designer, you can apparently find a way. “My policy in multiplayer is simple,” Shafer explained. “No mercy for anybody.” Plus, we had a cold that day and our neighbor’s cat had gotten sick a week ago, so we were still kind of sad about that, also. You can see we had a very plausible excuse for losing. Yes…very plausible.

Civilization V will arrive very soon in both a regular edition and in numerous different preorder editions, including a boxed collector’s edition at retail stores and an online version on Steam. These two editions are largely similar; both will come with the game’s soundtrack and an art book, except that the boxed collector’s edition will have collectible figurines, while the Steam version will not have figurines but will instead have a scanned version of the art book, plus an exclusive new playable civ, Babylon. Maryland’s official Civ V day is September 21. Many sleepless nights await.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

Sid Meier’s Civilization V Updated Hands-On – Exclusive Multiplayer and Editing Tools Report” was posted by Andrew Park on Thu, 09 Sep 2010 17:01:06 -0700

Sid Meier's Civilization V Interview: Sid Meier

Posted on September 10, 2010

We talk to Sid Meier about his philosophy on making games and what’s new about Civilization V.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

Sid Meier’s Civilization V Interview: Sid Meier” was posted by takeshi on Thu, 09 Sep 2010 17:00:52 -0700

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