5It'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 »
3This 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 »
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 »