Sid Meier's Civilization IV PC

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 894 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 86 out of 894
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  1. tonys
    Aug 30, 2009
    5
    Another big fan of Civ 2 who cant play it on my new Vista computer. The main things I don't like about this are how slow it is to play, and the main gripe, the ridiculous numbers of units needed to conquer an enemy city, yet if the enemy has horse archer or elephant he'll take your city in one attack. In theory the idea of experience and strength/attack improvements is good, but Another big fan of Civ 2 who cant play it on my new Vista computer. The main things I don't like about this are how slow it is to play, and the main gripe, the ridiculous numbers of units needed to conquer an enemy city, yet if the enemy has horse archer or elephant he'll take your city in one attack. In theory the idea of experience and strength/attack improvements is good, but you get ridiculous situations of attacking a city and your tanks are getting wiped out by defending archers!!!! This is at Chieftan level, the second lowest. The graphics are pretty but I'd take Civ 2 any day as its better as a game. I almost feel I want to buy an old XP machine just to get back to Civ 2. The sounds and graphics are nice but this game has serious flaws. Expand
  2. EdomT.
    Jun 4, 2006
    5
    There are some gameplay improvements over Civilization 3 but the terrible interface, lack of city governor options and frustrating unit selection/command system makes this inferior to Civ 3.
  3. sd
    May 6, 2006
    6
    a boring frustrasting game... about half the thing u need to now are not taught in the tutorial!
  4. AlexV.
    Aug 20, 2006
    6
    Honestly, I expected more from the gameplay in Civ4 than in Civ3. The units are still horribly inferior, and when longbows can defeat my modern armor, I wonder how it was even possible in the first place. The combat of the game is horrifically bad in the sense that it still suffers from the technology differences. Civilization three was superior for its time, but Civ4, instead of being a Honestly, I expected more from the gameplay in Civ4 than in Civ3. The units are still horribly inferior, and when longbows can defeat my modern armor, I wonder how it was even possible in the first place. The combat of the game is horrifically bad in the sense that it still suffers from the technology differences. Civilization three was superior for its time, but Civ4, instead of being a sequel. Is more like a "Civ3 new and improved." Similar to the horrible sequels of the "Might and Magic" series where the graphics and gameplay were horrifically bad after every sequel, I hope Civilization does not fall into the same trap. Expand
  5. AlexW.
    Sep 3, 2006
    6
    Its hard to justify the pricetag for a game like Civ IV. In total it adds a few minor feature changes from Civ III, some worse and some bette. The engine is beautiful but excessive for the style of gameplay and problems running it are commmon even on game meeting the specs. Finally the game has serious holes related to balance, as well as strategic options. Any strategy hound would be Its hard to justify the pricetag for a game like Civ IV. In total it adds a few minor feature changes from Civ III, some worse and some bette. The engine is beautiful but excessive for the style of gameplay and problems running it are commmon even on game meeting the specs. Finally the game has serious holes related to balance, as well as strategic options. Any strategy hound would be better served by Civ III or Alpha Centari both of which while recieving less unanimous critical praise were far more solid games. Expand
  6. NathanF.
    Feb 4, 2007
    7
    I think that Civ III is a better game than Civ IV. I think the global view was not the best view that they could have added to the game. I much prefer the view for Civilization 3, the 3D view is tacky in my opinion. I wish they gave the option to use the view used for Civ 3.
  7. Trav
    Apr 21, 2007
    7
    It is a really good game, the graphics are great and there are a few "new" things that keep me entertained but in the end civ3 was more playable. Tech problems and slooooow turns towards end of game make this game frustrating. And I agree it does feel a bit like a re-hash.
  8. SP
    Nov 17, 2005
    6
    Vastly over rated, slow, boring, and half the time nothing to do but click end turn. I can't be the only one out there who thinks this surely?
  9. RichardL.
    Nov 29, 2005
    7
    Probably overrated, but still the only game out there which keeps you playing the same 'map' for hours., in a good way. Unfortunately the game crashes pretty often even with a good AMD system w/ 1gb RAM. I would have preferred more depth in the gameplay - the only way you can really affect your world is still through borders, miltary and city upgrades. I'm disappointed they Probably overrated, but still the only game out there which keeps you playing the same 'map' for hours., in a good way. Unfortunately the game crashes pretty often even with a good AMD system w/ 1gb RAM. I would have preferred more depth in the gameplay - the only way you can really affect your world is still through borders, miltary and city upgrades. I'm disappointed they removed many technologies and units, as a result the standard game is quite short even on 'epic'. For the non-civ fans, wait until the SDK is released when new, free mods (such as one based on SMACentauri) start being developed. Still, all this is unfortunately to be expected from a game offered via retail channels by a commercial developer. Expand
  10. UnzarJ.
    Nov 4, 2005
    6
    Lets you control cities without any immersive feel of actually controlling cities. The most addictive cartoon spreadsheet invented. At the risk of overusing the word "addictive", it's addictive, but burnout factor will come quick.
  11. J.J.
    Oct 31, 2005
    6
    "Kind to n00bs!" (Dumbed down to the extreme), hate the civics system, the interface is a mess... BUT IT'S CIV!!!! Feel really ambivalent about this one.. but if this is the way that PC gaming is going, I might have to stop playing games and get a life ;0)
  12. JohnC.
    Apr 14, 2006
    6
    I originally purchased this game for my 10 year old son. After spending $50 AND upgrading my video card, I found that this is the optimal age range for this game. While the variation from game to game may keep older people interested, long spells consisting of only "Click To End Turn" while waiting for things to happen will make you wish you just downloaded a Beta version.
  13. LeszekL.
    Oct 31, 2007
    6
    For the style of gameplay I enjoyed experiencing in previous civ games, I found this game made it difficult to impossible. I respect there efforts to project the series in a new direction, however, I'd rather spend my time with games that expand on the experience I enjoy, rather then engage in something new.
  14. AlessioP.
    Jul 27, 2007
    6
    Well, everyone has its taste... and i didnt like civ4, though i had been a huge fan of civ3. What did i not like? Hmmmm.... graphics was ok, altough i definitely prefere 2d in this kind of game... you know, everything is neater, clearer.... surely with mroe details than the poligonal images, that anyways are like 2s sprites, for what its worth. I didnt like some of the new adds.... Well, everyone has its taste... and i didnt like civ4, though i had been a huge fan of civ3. What did i not like? Hmmmm.... graphics was ok, altough i definitely prefere 2d in this kind of game... you know, everything is neater, clearer.... surely with mroe details than the poligonal images, that anyways are like 2s sprites, for what its worth. I didnt like some of the new adds.... religion, form of government etc were good, but the tech tree, the new type of terrain and similar... bah. Ok, it is civ after all... a nice game. But, for me, civ3 is 100% better. Expand
  15. marca
    Nov 21, 2009
    5
    Loved Civ 1 and 2, played Civ 3 quite possibly more than any game, so take it from me this is not a low score from someone who rarely plays such games....but Civ 4 is just well, meh....so disappointing. Graphically I actually prefer 3 in many ways, the units look bad, the cartoony leaders just shout out that they're dumbing the game down for more casual gamers....the religion aspect Loved Civ 1 and 2, played Civ 3 quite possibly more than any game, so take it from me this is not a low score from someone who rarely plays such games....but Civ 4 is just well, meh....so disappointing. Graphically I actually prefer 3 in many ways, the units look bad, the cartoony leaders just shout out that they're dumbing the game down for more casual gamers....the religion aspect is a welcome addition, but it wasn't long before I was playing mods to keep the interest going. I have since played Civ 3 a few times, but Civ 4 is gathering dust on my shelf. Galactic Civs 2 is my current game of choice for this genre. Expand
  16. LeeH.
    Nov 18, 2005
    5
    This is one of the few games that I disliked enough to take back. 1. I love the original Civ. But here we are at Civ IV and *nothing substantial has been improved*. There
  17. KevinP.
    Oct 26, 2005
    7
    Amazing game - absolutely streamlined and oh my god the multiplayer works! Finally! However, I've taken off three points for the two things that keep me from totally dedicating my life to this game: 1) lesser units can still destroy greater units, e.g. cavalry destroying an Apache helicopter, and 2) why are the units so large? Tanks and soldiers tower over cityscapes. I'd love Amazing game - absolutely streamlined and oh my god the multiplayer works! Finally! However, I've taken off three points for the two things that keep me from totally dedicating my life to this game: 1) lesser units can still destroy greater units, e.g. cavalry destroying an Apache helicopter, and 2) why are the units so large? Tanks and soldiers tower over cityscapes. I'd love to see a more realistic sense of scale, so that the game itself takes on a greater sense of scale. Expand
  18. GuillermoW.
    Oct 15, 2007
    6
    Civ 3 is funny and very playable, i had great time playing it. Civilization 4 has nice graphics and all that but, it is disappointing, and boring, it looks like a different game.
  19. Zhan
    Nov 15, 2005
    7
    Excellent new look and interface (with some glitches), and the best opportunities for modding and customizing. However, some of the changes to the rules and gameplay seem poorly thought out and/or lack imagination.
  20. JohnV.
    Nov 21, 2005
    5
    I know a 5 rating is kinda harsh but deserving for ruining the whole feel of Civ. Forget playing this game without at least 1Gig of ram. I'm a huge fan, play old Civ games all the time but this one I've only played 2x and go days between sittings. The game goes too slow early on then really fast at the end. Too many wonders, a lot of good old ones are gone in favour of alot of I know a 5 rating is kinda harsh but deserving for ruining the whole feel of Civ. Forget playing this game without at least 1Gig of ram. I'm a huge fan, play old Civ games all the time but this one I've only played 2x and go days between sittings. The game goes too slow early on then really fast at the end. Too many wonders, a lot of good old ones are gone in favour of alot of new American ones. A really good concept of armies from CivIII has been abandoned, what a shame. I prefer playing with the single unit option, the multiple unit option really bugs me. A real system hog, I remember playing Civ II as a regular windowed program, I must have played that game a hundred times. NOw I can't cross mountains..., forests provide greater defence than hills, why? Artillery can only bombard cities, that's just not right. Not enough time to build spaceship in harder games. Can't trade techs and resources at the same time, a real step backwards. The better graphics don't justify the sacrifice in system resource penalty. I've got to use a cliche here,... One step forward, two steps back! Expand
  21. davidm
    Dec 26, 2005
    6
    AI does almost everything for you -- and poorly. Don't like the interface, units too large, can't see the big picture, hard to control precise unit movements. Very pretty and has some of the features of the original civ(s), but, believe me, if this had been Civ I, there never would have been a Civ 4. A bloated, pretty, shallow monstrosity of an ending to the series. Overall,AI does almost everything for you -- and poorly. Don't like the interface, units too large, can't see the big picture, hard to control precise unit movements. Very pretty and has some of the features of the original civ(s), but, believe me, if this had been Civ I, there never would have been a Civ 4. A bloated, pretty, shallow monstrosity of an ending to the series. Overall, kinda sad. Expand
  22. Nov 9, 2010
    5
    My previous experience with this type of game was Age of Empire II, so maybe that gives me a bias. That game felt more fast-paced and fun. Civilization IV is as much fun as reading an encyclopedia: I may enjoy some interesting moments, but it's mostly just wading through details. This seems like a game that might be more enjoyable if you invest the time to learn how to play, but that's notMy previous experience with this type of game was Age of Empire II, so maybe that gives me a bias. That game felt more fast-paced and fun. Civilization IV is as much fun as reading an encyclopedia: I may enjoy some interesting moments, but it's mostly just wading through details. This seems like a game that might be more enjoyable if you invest the time to learn how to play, but that's not the experience I'm looking for and my review is reflecting that. If you expect to get in and immediately start having fun, with maybe a in game tutorial to teach you as you go, you're in for a disappointment. If you do want to learn the game and you really enjoy having a ton of control over your empire (the negative way of saying that: "micromanaging"), then you'll be rewarded I'm sure. They could have done much better with the nation's leaders. When Ghandi himself is constantly threatening to commit genocide on my people if I don't give him some iron, something has gone horribly wrong. Expand
  23. Jul 5, 2011
    6
    It's just not enough to justify buying it. After I spent $40 on it, I played ONE game and was already bored. It's not that it's a bad game, but I found it a bit less fun and a bit more tedious than Civ III, so I just went back to playing Civ III.
  24. Dec 30, 2012
    7
    I played it, not bad but certainly not great. I enjoy making colonies but rather dislike how numbers generally determine the battle thanks to the crappy combat system. The pillar of doom is extremely annoying as well.
  25. May 19, 2012
    6
    Civilization IV is a mediocre game at best... Diplomacy is average, combat is easily manipulated with huge STACKS OF DOOM, and micromanagement is rife in the cities... Honestly, the best thing about this game is the Rhye's and Fall of Civilization scenario that comes with Civ IV: BTS.
  26. Feb 3, 2014
    5
    Story: 3 out of 10, Graphics: 6 out of 10, Fun: 5 out of 10, Controls: 6 out of 10, Ease to Learn: 5 out of 10, Length: 9 out of 10, Re-play: 5 out of 10, Value: 4 out of 10

    Why some people love this game I will never know. I played it and tried to have fun with it but it was far too clunky, unrealistic, pointless, and offered poor overall execution. I have above average intelligence
    Story: 3 out of 10, Graphics: 6 out of 10, Fun: 5 out of 10, Controls: 6 out of 10, Ease to Learn: 5 out of 10, Length: 9 out of 10, Re-play: 5 out of 10, Value: 4 out of 10

    Why some people love this game I will never know. I played it and tried to have fun with it but it was far too clunky, unrealistic, pointless, and offered poor overall execution. I have above average intelligence and love strategy games, but this game offered non-sensible choices, poorly timed turn-based formatting, and no real sense of purpose.
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Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. 94
    While the game hasn't lost any depth or detail, every aspect of the design has been streamlined to make it easier for new players to jump in and less monotonous for veterans. Die-hard fans will definitely find that the game offers up so much more variety this time around.
  2. 90
    Firaxis shows an impressively consistent grasp of what to abstract and what to detail, and a remarkable talent for presenting large-scale strategic challenges in a format that's easy to digest.
  3. 90
    From the mellow sounds of Leonard Nimoy's narration to the polished world view that allows you to smoothly scroll from satellite view to up-close and personal, this is the consummate update of a classic.