Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 100
    The new mods alone, including space-based and mythological scenarios, are enough to keep a dedicated player occupied for days, and the new civilizations and systems introduce so many new layers to the gameplay that Civilization IV is practically a new game entirely.
  2. Where Beyond the Sword will really win you over is with the new scenarios and mods. There is some truly wonderful stuff in here.
  3. Beyond the Sword is unquestionably one of the best expansion packs I’ve ever played, and not just because the original release is so strong. The amount of content it adds, and the quality of those additions, is top-notch. This kind of massive depth, smooth polish, and unending replayability is what PC gaming is all about.
  4. Between all the wrinkles in the main gameplay, all the scenarios which completely change or add to it, and the fact that this comes with little to no system requirement increases or, well, anything that doesn't add to the gameplay, Beyond the Sword is little more than another stop on Sid Meier's traditional formula but is so much fun precisely because of this.
  5. Another brilliant add-on for an excellent strategy game. The new content is well designed and makes the somewhat dull endgame more interesting. Also the mods and scenarios are quite nice, some being actual games in their own right. [Sept 2007]
  6. Basically, Beyond the Sword is more of a director's cut of the fantastic original game than the usual expansion grab bag of scenarios and units. [Oct 2007, p.68]
  7. Civilization fans have yet another great addition to their addiction in Beyond the Sword.
  8. One of the most ambitious game add-ons you're likely to find and the vast majority of these changes are welcome ones that add significantly to the experience.
  9. 90
    Apparently, Hannibal’s scientists have been busy, and my spies have been lacking, as I had no idea that Carthage possessed nuclear capability. If I had, I wouldn’t have sent in a mere blimp as my first act of war.
  10. It’s almost a new game in terms of the amount of content, but it’s also the same game in terms of gameplay experience and sheer fun.
  11. 90
    Apart from a few quibbles (large maps still load at a glacial pace and the A.I. still builds cities right on top of yours), BTS takes a strong game with some serious flaws and turns it into a fantastic game with a couple of minor flaws. No small feat, that.
  12. 90
    A fantastic expansion and worth every cent, Beyond the Sword offers plenty of new content to properly upgrade the world of Civilization IV. A must buy for fans of the game.
  13. This is a monster expansion for a monster game; a total must-have that breathes new life into what is now a fairly old game.
  14. 90
    That these additions make the experience deeper and richer and way more fun can be considered nothing less than a "Wonder."
  15. 89
    Beyond the Sword makes an already phenomenal game even better.
  16. Yet another love-letter from Firaxis to their fanbase, and as good a reason for living as chips. [Oct 2007, p.72]
  17. With its expanded Epic Game, 12 new scenarios, tons of mods from the community, 10 new civilizations, 16 new leaders, corporations, espionage, random events, 5 new wonders, enhanced space victory, Apostolic Palace diplomacy and enhanced AI, this is the best $29 you'll spend all year.
  18. Beyond the Sword's additions are primarily to Civ IV's core gameplay, so the expansion doesn't make a huge leap forward in terms of graphics or sound.
  19. For Civ IV fans, Beyond the Sword is a must-own game.
  20. The addition of new units and other things is not so great but the new ways to start out your game and change the style and tempo create a whole new interest to the core game. Sadly, Firaxis didn't improve the graphics or sound that much in this latest expansion and they should have, at least for some of it.
  21. 82
    Beyond the Sword shows signs of how you can stuff too much into a game not initially designed to hold so much content. I look forward to Civilization V with great anticipation and till that game graces the world I will continue to play the fully expanded version of Civ IV which now graces every computer I regularly use.
  22. The best Civ expansion ever? Yeah, why not?
  23. 2K wasn’t exaggerating when it called Beyond The Sword the biggest Civilization expansion ever, but it failed to mention that it’s also its most innovative and entertaining expansion too. [Sept 2007, p.112]
  24. Doesn't broaden Civ IV's appeal any, but a must-have if you have any Sid Meier love in you. [Oct 2007, p.80]
  25. Many of these elements seem like an experiment gone bad, as opposed to a decent new addition to the gameplay. As a result sometimes it seems you'd be better off just playing the original.
  26. Beyond the Sword presents a lot of additions to what was already a great game. It's a good expansion, and capitalizes a great deal on fixing some of the weaknesses of the original.
  27. The new elements it adds feel more like a patch than a genuine expansion whilst the mods are hit and miss - and you can already get the best ones for nothing. Would I want to go back to playing Civ IV without what Beyond the Sword adds? No. But should I have to pay this much for the privilege of balancing a game that, by the very intent of this expansion, its developers clearly feel needs it? Again, no.
  28. 60
    We like Beyond the Sword because it makes the vastness of Civilization 4 just a little bit bigger. Getting to play the Dutch and Portuguese is worth a lot, but we wish all the expansions could have the cunning to make us look at the game in a new way without losing the rich complexity that make us love it in the first place.
User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    Incredible game. The series really reached its high point here. Incredibly fun to roleplay and totally immersive. Something we cannot say at all about it's suck-sessor number 5. I would truly recommend this game to anyone that loves a deep, complex, enriching turn based strategy game. Full Review »
  2. BalazsC.
    Jul 7, 2008
    10
    I would easily give this a 11 out of 10. This expansion seriously beats the warlords in my opinion and even that was excellent.
  3. RyanT.
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    Honestly the real reason I purchased civ 4 was because of my intense love of paratroopers from civ 2. Civ 4 was excellent, but no paratroopers! BtS reintroduced paratroopers, much to my delight. Excellent game. Full Review »