Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 131 Ratings

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  • Summary: Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword is the second expansion pack for Civilization IV and focuses on the late-game time periods after the invention of gunpowder and delivers 12 challenging and decidedly different scenarios created by the development team at Firaxis Games, as well as members of the Civilization Fan Community. Firaxis Games delivers a massive increase in new units, buildings, and technologies to the epic game with additional focus on the late-game time periods. The expansion pack includes ten new civilizations, such as Portugal, Babylon and Netherlands and their associated unique units and buildings. Sixteen new civilization leaders including leaders for the ten new civilizations, as well as additional leaders for existing civilizations. A new gameplay feature allows players to create corporations and spread them throughout the world. Each corporation provides benefits in exchange for certain resources. Now available much earlier in the game, an espionage feature offers players many new ways to spy on opponents, stir citizen unrest and defend their government's secrets. New random events such as natural disasters, pleas for help, or demands from their citizens will challenge players to overcome obstacles in order for their civilizations to prosper. Five new wonders await discovery including the Statue of Zeus, Cristo Redentor, Shwedagon Paya, the Mausoleum of Maussollos, and the Moai Statues. Winning the race to Alpha Centauri now requires more strategic planning and tactical decision making. Apostolic Palace: The United Nations becomes available earlier in the game, providing a way for players to win a diplomatic victory earlier. New resolutions will also be added which will expand the available diplomatic options. Advanced Starts: A major fan request, this new feature enables players to "buy" components of a custom-tailored empire and begin play in the later part of the game, allowing them to experience many of the new features of the expansion pack in a shorter amount of time. Enhanced AI: The AI has received many enhancements, making it tougher to beat on the higher difficulty levels. [2K Games] Expand
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. 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.
  3. Civilization fans have yet another great addition to their addiction in Beyond the Sword.
  4. 89
    Beyond the Sword makes an already phenomenal game even better.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Jun 4, 2011
    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. Expand
  2. Apr 12, 2014
    The most fun I've ever had! I've been playing this game for a many years now, and all of the enjoyment is still there for me. I've enjoyed this expansion pack a large deal because of its new built-in [toggleable] modules and scenarios, which allow you to play this game ad infinitum without become the slightest bit bored; as you can completely change your experience [or the game] by applying them. I may be an extreme, but I recently re-purchased the game [without hesitation] after losing it, and in the past 4 months have played the game for just as many days [24 hours = 1 day]. I have not lost any interest in it at all. I guess I'll have to warn you that you may absolutely love this game. Expand
  3. Feb 26, 2013
    The pinnacle of the Civilization series so far. You feel like you are developing a civilization in an alternate world, but Civ5 feels like a board game in comparison. The game is very good as is, but there are also many mods that add more to it or even transform it into an entirely new game (e.g. FFH2). All turn-based strategy fans should own this. Expand
  4. May 22, 2012
    I really wanted to like Civilization V, it did not match the depth and complexity of the Civilization IV series. The graphics are dated, but that is about it; everything else is legendary. The opening music used in Civ IV somehow pumped me up, and made me feel like I can conquer the world. which is what this game is all about. Yet it is very difficult to do. I recommend this to anybody and everybody. Expand
  5. Dec 11, 2013
    "Beyond the Sword" is a great educational strategy game, I especially like the scenarios Earth18Civ and Earth 1000AD. Single player game is good for trying out a new strategy, but the real fun is playing it with someone together. Expand
  6. Nov 12, 2012
    I've played around 320 hours in total and I'm still playing, combat animations are not the best, but if you like turn based strategy game, recommend it. Expand
  7. CRL
    Jul 25, 2011
    For some reason I found this game much more enjoyable than the actual Civilization IV. It's intoxicating and a the new elements give what was, in my opinion, an average game in Civilization IV a new life. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews