One of the most famous and enduring series in gaming history, Civilization has charmed millions of players since Sid Meier’s classic first hit PCs in 1990. But in going back to the drawing board and tweaking some basic features, the developers have created one of the best turn-based strategy games ever unleashed.
Although the game doesn’t alter the pure Civilization experience – with players still attempting to rule the world, starting with the Stone Age and continuing right through to the Space Age – the action has been tweaked to make it more satisfying and realistic; the combat, for example, is deeper and gives more advanced forces a definite advantage over primitive armies, while a new border system also allows for more defensive and methodical gameplay as the constant threat of ambush has been removed.
The addition of religion to the mix also brings an extra layer of strategy to the proceedings, helping players in a hurry to rapidly expand their burgeoning empire, and with a host of head-to-head options such as play-by-email, internet and LAN play, Civilization IV is a worthy addition to the series and one of 2005’s most fiendishly addictive titles.
Reviewed by David McComb