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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 140 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. PhilB.
    Aug 8, 2007
    Excellent add on. This series just gets better and better.
  3. BP
    Jul 20, 2007
    The best Civ ever just got better. So much more variety and diversity. So many different units and buildings to choose from in each era. I was quite scared that they might ruin something good but once again came through with flying colours. Expand
  4. BillB.
    Jul 26, 2007
    Civ4:BTS best CIV expansion ever.
  5. JeraW
    Nov 3, 2009
    An excellent expansion, though with the modifiable aspects of Civilization IV already being supported by the company through user created content, a bit pricey. If you play Civ IV regularily, a solid buy. If not, wait a few months till it lowers in price. Either way, it's doubles the playtime you would normally get out of Civilization IV no matter who you are. 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. JohnS.
    Aug 30, 2007
    There are a lot of good things to like about this expansion, but unfortunately for me, even after the recent Aug07 patch, I am having problems with playability of asian civilizations with workers not working at all. I am looking forward to the next patch, which will hopefully fix my woes. Other than this 1 major problem, I have loved the added features, corporations and increased espionage. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews