Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 53
  2. Negative: 1 out of 53
  1. Jul 31, 2012
    100
    The rarest of all expansions: the one that's better than its base game. [Aug 2012, p.58]
  2. Jun 21, 2012
    92
    Diplomacy, espionage and religion are extended this time and multiply the options of the game, which still has an amazing ability to keep us addicted for hours, trying to conquer the world.
  3. Jul 6, 2012
    90
    All of these little changes go a long way to help make the game feel different. It's still that same great Civ experience, but it adds a lot more and does some smart things to change up the balance.
  4. Jul 3, 2012
    90
    If you love Civ (and if you are reading this, the assumption is that you do), buying this expansion is simply a must. The people that are waiting for a sale before buying, I pity, because they don't know it yet, but they are playing half a game.
  5. Jul 2, 2012
    90
    The classic Civilization quirks still remain - completely illogical backstabbing AI players included! - but the game now provides a much richer toolbox for budding conquerors.
  6. Jul 2, 2012
    90
    Religion and espionage alone do not a revolutionary gameplay experience make, but combined with the strategic combat overhaul and a generous helping of new content, it all adds up to far too much time spent playing into the wee small hours.
  7. Jun 22, 2012
    90
    Civilization V: Gods and Kings is an eminently worthwhile collection of big and small changes that enhance an already amazing game.
  8. Jun 19, 2012
    90
    Gods and Kings enhances the base game immensely, so much so that I can't imagine playing Civilization V without it.
  9. 90
    With its slew of new features and mechanics, Gods and Kings make a great addition Civilization V world. So if you are looking to come back, or a reason to start creating your empire once again, Gods and Kings can be purchased with confidence.
  10. Jun 18, 2012
    90
    An excellent collection of new content and concepts for one of the world's favorite strategy games, once you play Gods & Kings you won't want to go back.
  11. Jun 18, 2012
    90
    Gods & Kings is a very complete expansion pack. The added espionage and the new and improved religion system make this game a lot better. Civilization V has become a lot deeper with this DLC and almost all of the original problems have been fixed.
  12. Jun 18, 2012
    90
    Religion is a great add-on that makes Civilization V an even better game.
  13. Jun 18, 2012
    90
    Gods & Kings feels like what Civilization V wanted to be all along. It doesn't so much "expand" the game as evolve it. Strategic combat finally feels strategic, and the diplomatic game, enhanced by religion, espionage and a few new tweaks, finally matters.
  14. Jun 18, 2012
    90
    Gods and Kings is one of the best DLCs ever released for a strategy game.
  15. Jul 24, 2012
    89
    With the clever religion system, the renewed combat and the extra content, Gods & Kings is a must have for fans of Civ 5. The small number of new scenarios is a small letdown though. But at least the ones included kick ass, especially the steampunk scenario.
  16. Jun 18, 2012
    86
    If you are a fan of the Civilization series you probably will enjoy Gods and Kings even though it feels like a light effort at expanding the original game.
  17. Jun 18, 2012
    86
    Civilization V: Gods & Kings, is an extremely interesting expansion pack, and mostly neccesary. It corrects one of the biggest mistakes within the original game: Trying to understand the development of civilizations while ignoring the importance of religion in its early years. Espionage and faith fit perfectly with the other contents included in the game as if they had always been there. But while religions play a very important role in it, intrigue seems too simple and has very limited options. No lover of Civilization V should fail to install this first and hopefully not last expansion.
  18. Jul 2, 2012
    85
    Civilization V: Gods and Kings has a serious price tag, but it does bring the Civilization veterans some great features. The addition of religion, espionage and new nations, gives Gods and Kings the well-known 'just one more turn'-feeling.
  19. Jun 22, 2012
    85
    A very good expansion pack with a strong comeback of religion and a very entertaining steampunk scenario.
  20. Jun 20, 2012
    85
    Gods and Kings is a strong expansion overall, but it fails to live up to the series' own pedigree. Religion adds so much subtlety to advanced strategies that, by comparison, espionage comes off as a half-assed attempt to add back an old mechanic.
  21. Jun 20, 2012
    85
    Despite a few setbacks, the new Civ V add-on has to be considered a very good one. Introduced novelties improve gameplay by adding some depth and color. Constant spy fighting and religious competition are the elements that were missing and now the game is complete.
  22. Jun 20, 2012
    85
    A pretty good expansion which adds religion and espionage as new major features. Both of those expand the game in an interesting way, and in addition there's the usual add-on stuff of new nations, wonders and military units. [June 2012]
  23. Jun 18, 2012
    85
    My enthusiasm for Civ V has continued unabated for a full year now, and this expansion adds new fuel to the fires of conquest that still burn in me. Despite the days of playtime I've put into the base game, I can't imagine going back after a few rounds with Gods & Kings. I strongly recommend this expansion to all Civ V players – though you may need to jump a difficulty level to account for how powerful the new toys are.
  24. Jun 19, 2012
    84
    Quotation forthcoming.
  25. Jun 19, 2012
    84
    If the only aim of Gods and Kings were to recreate the complexity of older Civ games without upsetting the gameplay balance of Civ V, that would be a lofty goal. But Firaxis has gone beyond that: They've added complexity without unbalancing the game and without making Civ V more daunting for newcomers. Firaxis has walked a very unstable tightrope without falling to the ground.
  26. Jun 25, 2012
    82
    Despite its faults, Gods and Kings scores high on the entertainment-per-dollar scale and the allure of building a civilization from sticks and stones to ships and Gatlin Guns never wears thin.
  27. Jul 12, 2012
    81
    A grab bag of game systems to bring new life to Civ V. Definitely worthwhile, and almost certainly holier than thou. [Sept 2012, p.76]
  28. Aug 3, 2012
    80
    An expansion with focus on religion. It features many well needed changes.
  29. Aug 1, 2012
    80
    Gods & Kings adds some fun and interesting things to the game, but leaves the core gameplay intact. While none of the additions tries to revolutionize the Civilization V formula, each of them still manages to improve it, which makes Gods & Kings a good catch for those already hooked on the basic game.
  30. Jul 31, 2012
    80
    Spies and religion are back and they are notable additions to the game, even if the latter was treated superficially and is nothing more than just a set of bonuses for your people. [September 2012, p.58]
  31. Jul 28, 2012
    80
    Despite its modest amount of improvements, Gods & Kings is an excellent reason to come back to Civilization 5.
  32. 80
    So the bottom line is that, depending on how much you love the franchise, Gods & Kings can be seen as a sum of natural improvements for an add-on or a breath of fresh air for the series as a whole.
  33. 80
    Gods & Kings does not make Civilization V a new game, but a better one. You can´t ask more out of an add-on.
  34. Jun 30, 2012
    80
    The expansion Gods & Kings doesn't feel like it changes a lot, since the extras have been integrated seamlessly into Civilization V. The game is more complete and balanced than ever. The additions make for a more calm and pleasant playing style, which works perfectly for this turn-based game. With nine new civilizations and three unique missions, you'll have enough new content to be busy for hours on end.
  35. Jun 29, 2012
    80
    Gods & Kings focuses on improving the already great experience that is to be found in the main mode of Civilization V. By adding a number of new civilizations and reinstating the concept of religion, Firaxis has made the game more diverse, especially for players who prefer not to take a militaristic approach.
  36. Jun 25, 2012
    80
    You'll still find AI that makes terrible decisions, or find yourself waiting forever while the game ponders through the turns for the other civilizations. But the addition of several new scenarios and tons of new units can help you overlook that fact until Civilization VI inevitably comes out.
  37. Jun 25, 2012
    80
    Civilization V: Gods & Kings is a strong addition that expands and enhances the game in many aspects.
  38. Jun 22, 2012
    80
    Gods & Kings finally brings back the concept of religion into the IP that the previous title had dropped. It also offers new interesting features such as espionage, some modifications regarding its combat system, and introduces new civilizations and three specific scenarios. A new content that doesn't change anything in terms of gameplay, only proposing features that could have been in the original game. If it doesn't bother you, then it will be easy for you to play Civilization for hours!
  39. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    To put it succinctly: it is more Civilization V to add to your copy of Civilization V. If you still have even a flicker of a desire to play more Civilzation V, that news should be all you need to justify picking up Gods & Kings.
  40. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    Some areas still need more fleshing out, and there's some things that haven't been touched on at all here that could do with some work, but Civilization V is certainly better with Gods & Kings, and there is plenty of new content here to justify the cost.
  41. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    The rippling effects of the Espionage system, Religion's modifications to the early and mid-game, and the abundance of changes and other bits of new content more than justify the price of the expansion. While it might feel a little lackluster in the short term, the amount of variation it will add to the hundreds of more hours we plan on putting into Civilization V will undoubtedly prove worthwhile.
  42. Jun 18, 2012
    80
    Gods & Kings doesn't tear down and rebuild Civilization V, but instead acts as a gentle overhaul that rounds out and deepens many of the game's core systems. Gods & Kings won't be enough to silence the non-believers, but this expansion will certainly rekindle the attention of those faithful to Civilization V's streamlined focus.
  43. Jul 9, 2012
    70
    Quite a decent expansion pack that's been trying to look big. However, this expansion was made for a bad game, in which only a half of things actually work, and whose potential wasn't fulfilled even over rich history of the series. A value of this expansion pack is not worth its price. Even though the original game is bad enough, the expansion pack is helping to overcome this problem - mainly because of its great religions.
  44. Jun 28, 2012
    70
    A nice addition to a great series, Gods & Kings offers a lot of new content, but neglects to fix all the problems of the original game.
  45. 70
    Gods and Kings sets out to add depth to the Civilization V experience, but ultimately changes little. Despite the two big features, religion and espionage, adding more choices and possibilities, this is still largely the same game you played two years ago.
  46. Jun 19, 2012
    70
    Gods & Kings is Civilization V with a few new things to do, and a lot of new civs and units. Does that disappoint you, or excite you? Then you have your review.
  47. Jun 18, 2012
    70
    Civilization V: Gods & Kings improves the original experience with new content and balance, but the package lacks any major features that make it feel like an expansion rather than content DLC.
  48. Jun 18, 2012
    70
    A strategy smorgasbord rather than a focused expansion of any one area.
  49. Jul 16, 2012
    65
    Most Civ players will find the changes too minor and the original game complex enough that an expansion isn't necessary.
  50. Jun 18, 2012
    65
    Global happiness just doesn't work, and I don't know if fixing this is even possible, considering that so many other gameplay systems depend on the mechanic. The A.I. still doesn't provide an adequate challenge in combat, nor does it appear to even understand the rules.
  51. Jun 22, 2012
    60
    The new additions are all positive but, apart from the reintroduction of religion, extremely trivial - which makes this an interesting test of the Civilization faithful.
  52. Jul 2, 2012
    50
    So should you part with $50 for this little addition? Frankly, no. Wait for discounting, because it's currently much too overpriced for what's on offer. Neither the religion or espionage change the game that much, and Civ 5 is still suffering from the same malaise it did before Gods & Kings hit.
  53. Jun 18, 2012
    40
    This is the same disappointing strategy game it was a year and a half ago, except that it now has two finicky and mostly unimpressive systems shoehorned in.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 397 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 60
  2. Negative: 8 out of 60
  1. Jun 24, 2012
    5
    It's still Civ 5. Depending on what you think of Civ 5, that'll either be a good thing or a bad thing. For me it was a bad thing. The new systems don't feel well integrated. Religion in particular is built around yet another pool of points that you gather up from buildings, then spend on stuff. You know, like every other system in the game. You pick some buffs, then you can pretty much ignore it. Since diplomacy is so schitzophrenic you can ignore it for that purpose, and it spreads on its own (eventually), or you can use a missionary or great prophet to speed it up. Great prophets have no other real use then spreading religion, unlike other great people (who you can buy with faith later, likely added because the points would be virtually worthless once the religion is buffed up otherwise). Spies are really limited in what they can do, and since tech stealing is so prevalent you'll want to use a couple to defend against it pretty much all the time. That makes the whole system really limited and passive. If you thought Civ 5 was a great game already then you'll enjoy this, but IMO Civ 4 did both of these systems better. Full Review »
  2. Jun 23, 2012
    3
    This expansion adds two very interesting features which made Civ 5 much less entertaining than its predecessor. However, as far as I've gone into this game, it feels like the Social Policies when announced: interesting but actually severely lacking. It doesn't bring back the challenge from Civ 4, it's just another bunch of dumbed down features, fitting for a dumbed down game.

    In a few words: don't even bother if you were disappointed with Civ 5.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    I went into this with low expectations. I heard that the expansion didn't fix any of the AI problems or add anything really new to the mix. I'd like to explain why that's wrong. You start of the game and you off the bat see that there are 9 new civilizations to meet with. They are all well done in how they look and sound besides maybe the Mayans which are a tad lackluster. Religion is the most paramount thing in the beginning. You start off by making a pantheon, which later leads to creating your own religion. The only thing that I would have liked with the religions is the option to import a picture of my own instead of picking one of the main religious symbols for already held religions. At first, it seems as though religion does nothing. This made me really disappointed for a while, until later when I had converted whole countries over to my side and they were steadfast allies through thick and thin. However, places that already have a religion to spread will become very upset if you spread yours in their land. I'll come back to that near the end of the review. After you play with religion for a bit, spies come out of the woodworks. The spy menu is one of the reasons this isn't a perfect expansion. It looks and feels like a facebook game in the way it's handled. This would bother me much more if it wasn't for the fact that, once you get used to it, it's kind of nice to not have to manually tell the spies where to go. (They are spies after all. You should just tell them where to go and what to do.) They can steal technology and tip off players on oncoming death by war. Which leads me to my favorite parts of the expansion. The diplomacy seems to be more deeper. When someone says to not build more lands near them, you can promise not to. After a certain period of time, when it is seen that you are not spreading your lands about, you will get an increase in your relationship with them for staying true. However, on the other side of that coin, if you were trying to force your funny named religion onto other people who didn't want it, swore that you wouldn't do it again, then did it again because you have a short memory span, then they will be very upset. The best part of my play through was getting tipped off by my best ally, Attila, that the Sweeds were trying to attack one of my main cities. At first I wasn't sure if it was trickery on his part or if he was just trying to help. The first time I ignored him. Later he comes back and warns me that they are planning total war with me and I should prepare. This time I took what he said into consideration and build a basic combat unit in each of my cities. Knowing the combat system from vanilla Civ 5, I was positive that they'd send a single unit in, I'd smash its face in, then they'd beg for peace. Then war was declared.... I look up upon the city that Attila had warned me they'd strike, and there were two generals manning trebuchets, three long swords man, a musketman and archers following suit in the background. I pissed myself. I scrambled to find an ally near me and took comfort in Theodora to protect me. It seemed nice of her, seeing as I broke promises to her and surrounded her lands full of cities that kept trying to convert her. While she fought with me, she actually came over. I was surprised at the amount of competence in the AI for a change. I attacked Swedens trebuchet and it retreated; smart move on the AI once again. After a while though, I guess my ally learned that she could have my lands with the help of Sweden and no longer have to put up with forced conversions. She turned on me, and for the first time in Civ 5, I lost my city. Bittersweet moment there. The new combat 100 point system is much better. An example would be a warrior attacking a tank no longer does 1 damage out of it's very minimal amount of life and threatens it's stability. It makes it much more balanced and worth it to upgrade. Altogether, I have to say that the game is a must-buy for any players of Civ 5. PS Dido might have a stupid name, but her voice whenever she makes a deal with you is adorable. ... Maybe it's just me. Full Review »