I have mixed feelings on this game.
From a more short term point of view, the game is awesome. What i mean by this is someone who wants to get the game, and play a couple matches, there is enough new and exciting content to make it worth it.
But if you are looking for that game to match or rival Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri (that you still play after years), then this isnt it.
In my opinion this game could be awesome. But the amount of bugs, glitches, broken and missing systems outweigh the positives, and that is why im giving it a negative review. Its like a computers game version of a 'tease'. "Here is all this awesome stuff...that i will fail to deliver." The AI makes single-player play only a short term option.
+ Each Faction has unique technologies and unique playstyle
+ Each Faction has unique units (changing factions forces you to change combat style)
+ Each Faction actually feels distinct and plays differently
+ Beautiful world design with unique concepts
+ Detailed Civilization Statistics easily accessed during the game.
+ Customizable Races and Units
+ Customizable Maps
+- Unique map system that is cool but doesnt allow you to see the whole world at any one time
+- Quest system, while a positive at first glance, is poorly done and alot of quests 'break' easily, quest count is low which leads to lots of repitition
+- Unique 'Winter' system, while a positive at first glance, effects everyone the same and only slows the game down
+- No naval system for people that like water maps. I just turn water levels way down.
- No Key Rebinding and limited shortcuts
- Issues with crashing. Ive had more crashing with this game then i have had with any other ive played in last couple years.... and from the forums it sounds like i dont even have the worst of it.
- Lack of documentation. Tutorial is extremely poor. Wiki is extremely poor. Even asking questions on the forum, no one knows how certain things work.
- There are a lot of little bugs/glitches that really annoy you when playing, that when reported are either ignored or written off as "low" priority. These are the bugs that want to make you pull out your hair after the 50th time they happen.
- The diplomacy system is -extremely- basic. Flavor text and AI messages are completely wrong and doesnt make any sense. There really is not any sense to AI actions and they are easily exploited.
- The back story behind each of the factions really doesnt matter. It has no influence on gameplay. You can go through the whole game without reading any of the story. It is not important and deosnt affect the game.
- The battle system IS unique. But in a negative way. Lack of unit control and poor programing lead to ENDLESS frustration
- A full unit stack (6-9 units) can kill (literally hundreds) of weaker units and take tons of cities without taking major damage. There is no 'fighting your way back' in this game.
- Taking cities is waaaayy to easy.
- The final tier of techs is totally ridiculous. Like to play conquest games? First person to get the tech that gives double damage and double health to all units wins!!
- As soon as one person gets a clear advantage there is no reason to keep playing the game. There are no events in mid-late game that shake up gameplay or distinguish one game from another. After turn 200 or so every game blurs together in tedium.
- I dont know if i get on at the wrong times or the game is just dead, but i never see more then 1-2 multiplayers games active. Usually zero.
Major Negatives: *** The AI is totally incompetent in just about everything.***
- It cant fight in battles. Having units mindlessly standing around for slaughter is common.
- Makes no diplomatic sense. Never fights empires that are threats. Easily bribed.
- It cant build 'strong' armies. Unit diversity? Nope. Trying to counter my archers with archers of their own? Nope. Just build masses of cavalry units that have a bonus against archers but get killed before they can reach them.
- AI technology selection doesnt make sense (Dust based civilization skips 3 dust boosting techs)
- Kinda stops playing if they lose majority of empire. Never see more armies from them or any switch from horizontal to vertical gameplay.
- Doesnt play to victory type. Playing conquest victory? Every AI empire is fine playing an economy based game as one empire slowly takes out empires one by one.
Basically AI sucks. And the multiplayer open lobby is empty. Which really leaves no reason to get the game.