Sid Meier's Civilization IV®: Beyond the Sword is the second expansion pack for Civilization IV - the 2005 PC Game of the Year that has become a worldwide hit. The expansion focuses on the time periods after the invention of gunpowder and delivers 11 unique and challenging scenarios created by the development team at Firaxis as well as...
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (650 reviews) - 97% of the 650 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 24, 2007

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Packages that include this game

Buy Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition

Includes 4 items: Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, Civilization IV®: Warlords, Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization, Sid Meier's Civilization® IV

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About This Game

Sid Meier's Civilization IV®: Beyond the Sword is the second expansion pack for Civilization IV - the 2005 PC Game of the Year that has become a worldwide hit. The expansion focuses on the time periods after the invention of gunpowder and delivers 11 unique and challenging scenarios created by the development team at Firaxis as well as esteemed members of the Civ Community. Civ IV: Beyond the Sword also includes ten new civilizations, sixteen new leaders, five new wonders, and a variety of new units that offer even more fun and exciting ways for players to expand their civilization's power as they strive for world domination.
  • Expanded Epic Game: Adds a massive increase of new units, buildings, and technologies to the epic game with a tremendous amount of effort focused on the late game.
  • New Game Scenarios: 11 new scenarios custom-designed by the team at Firaxis and some members of the Civ Fan Community.
  • New Civilizations: 10 new civilizations, such as Portugal, Babylonians, and Netherlands and their associated unique units and buildings.
  • More Civilization Leaders: Sixteen new leaders, both for the new civilizations as well as additional leaders for existing civilizations, including Hammurabi of the Babylonians, Abraham Lincoln of the United States, and Sitting Bull of the Native Americans.
  • Corporations: A new game feature similar to religion allows players to found companies and spread them throughout the world. Each corporation provides benefits in exchange for certain resources.
  • Espionage: Now available earlier in the game, this feature offers players many new ways to spy on opponents, stir citizen unrest and defend government secrets.
  • Events: New random events - such as natural disasters and pleas for help or demands from their citizens - challenge players with obstacles that must be overcome for their civilization to prosper.
  • New Wonders: Five new wonders await discovery, including the Statue of Zeus, Cristo Redentor, the Shwedagon Paya, and the Mausoleum of Maussollos.
  • Expanded Space Victory: Winning the race to Alpha Centauri will now require more strategic planning and tactical decision making.
  • Apostolic Palace: The United Nations is available earlier in the game, providing a way to win a diplomatic victory earlier. In addition, new resolutions 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 one to experience many of the new features of the expansion in a shorter amount of time.
  • Advanced AI: The greatly-enhanced AI now relies more on smart play and less on handicap bonuses to remain competitive, providing a more consistent challenge throughout the course of the game, both economically and militarily. The ways in which the AI attempt to achieve victory have also been expanded.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum: Windows 2000 (plus Service Pack 1 or higher), Windows XP Home or Professional (plus Service Pack 1 or higher), or Windows Vista; 1.2GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor, 256 MB RAM, 64 MB video card with hardware T&L (GeForce 2, Radeon 7500 or better), DirectX 7 compatible sound card, 1.7 GB of free hard drive space, DirectX 9.0c (included)
    Recommended: 1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent (or better), 512 MB RAM, 128 MB video card with DirectX 8 support (pixel and vertex shaders), DirectX 7 compatible sound card, 1.7 GB of free hard drive space, DirectX 9.0c (included)
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.4.11, 10.5.6
    • Processor: PowerPC G5 or Intel
    • CPU Speed: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 2.5 GB free disk space
    • Video Card: (ATI): Radeon 9600 Video Card (NVidia): GeForce FX 6600
    • Video Memory: (VRam): 128 MB or higher
    • Media Required: DVD-ROM Drive
    • Peripherals: Macintosh mouse and keyboard
    • Supported Video Cards: NVIDIA GeForce 6600, 6800, 7300, 7600, 7800, 8600, 8800, 9400, 9600, GEFORCE GT 120, GEFORCE QUADRO FX 4500 ATI Radeon 9600, 9650, 9700, 9800, X600, X800, X1600, X1900, HD 2400, 2600, 3870
    • NOTICE: Intel integrated video chipsets are not supported.
    • NOTICE: Apple original CPU’s only, CPU upgrades not supported
    • NOTICE: This game is not supported on volumes formatted as Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive) REQUIRES THE FULL VERSION OF Civilization IV for Mac OS X TO PLAY
Helpful customer reviews
80 of 84 people (95%) found this review helpful
43 people found this review funny
2,475.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2015
Let my game time speak for itself
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24 of 32 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
53.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2015
Pros:
✔Classic Civilization experience
✔Sound design. Sounds is great, music is even better. Baba Yetu for example
✔Visual design. This is the best mix of realistic and cartoonish style
✔Gamespy is finally gone. You can play with steamworks now
✔Large mod community,that is still alive

Cons:
✘Units can stack. This is the weak spot of Civ IV. You can stack like thousands of units in one tile. War becomes pure madness
✘Sometimes AI is too stupid. Building forts on oil. Yeah right, this is gonna work. What?Fish for uran?Sure!

Well, the age of this game has passed. Civ V now taking its place. But still, if you fan of Civ series, you should definitely check this out.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2015
I have played "Civilization III", "IV", "II" and "V" (in that particular order). "Civilization V" is my favourite, but "Civ IV" has also a lot to offer and it's worth playing not only for nostalgic value. Everything what I'm saying relates to "Beyond the Sword" expansion and I highly recommend to purchase all the expansions, because, without them, the game is incomplete and you have limited mod and civilization options. (Actually, I don't understand, why people play vanilla versions. For "Civilization" games, it's usually like this: they release an incomplete game with some gameplay faults, which is substantially improved with following expansions – not only in terms of content, but also in terms of mechanics. I believe this will be the case with Beyond Earth, as well.)

Here are some things that "Civ4" does have that "Civ5" doesn't, and things that "Civ4" is better at (well, imo, at least):

+ More customisation options (e.g., no limitations regarding how many civilizations could there be per map size; an option to assign leaders to different civilization, for example, Ghandi as a leader of Russia).
+ By far better interface (except, for one thing - when you are offered research/tech choice, you need to make decision right away - you can't examine your empire first. You can change it afterwards in the same turn, but, anyway, it's not very convenient). Apart from that, it's more easy to review the overall state of your progress. For example, howering over a tech gives you a detailed explanation of what you can achieve with a tech (units, wonders, bonuses for discovering first, etc.), why it's important and where it leads. Also, in "Civ4", there is the option to see the network of global politics or what a particular leader thinks of other leaders or what he wants or is willing to trade. I also prefer "Civ4" icons over "Civ5" icons.
+ Unit appearance is different for each civilization and religion (and not just in terms of colour). For example, Korean swordmen will have different swords than European swordmen, a Buddhist missionary will have a different outfit from that of a Christian missionary.
+ Cool wonder animations.
+ Civics (ideologies) are available much earlier in the game, you can change them more easily and they are not linked to culture points. In "Civ5", many of the civic system functions are transfered to relligion system.
+ Map trading
+ Cultural victory is actually a feasible option contrary to "Civ5", where it is possible only in rare occasions.
+ Inbuilt World Builder (In "Civ5" it's available only from the "Workshop")
+ Workers can build forest preserves (that add happiness)
+ The rather unique "Afterworld" scenario and "Final Frontier" mod (which both feel like and actually are completely different games – full-conversion mods, if you like).
+ Vassal states (you can push other leaders to become your vassals).
+ No lag on large maps, since it is a much older game and requires less system resources.

+/- Random events instead of city state quests
+/- Workshops and windmills are tile improvements instead of buildings.
+/- Religion doesn't have that much impact as in "Civ5". But it does have a considerable impact on diplomacy.
+/- Culture bombs work in the same way as great general citadels.
+/- Different great persons may discover different technologies.
+/- Corporations - spread them like relligion and each corporation will have different effects. "They are mechanisms that can add substantial production to a city, at the cost of higher maintenance costs. Thus, in essence they convert gold into other basic goods (food, hammers, science, and culture)." [From Wikia]

However, there are some aspects in which "Civ4" falls behind "Civ5":

- Square tiles. Hexagon tiles are far better for strategical gameplay and layout.
- Unit stacks. I know that I will be condemned for this and for a while I missed the stacking option in "Civ 5", but, when I got used to it, I must admit that one unit-per-tile limitation actually improves the gameplay a lot. With this limitation it matters much more where you put your units. You can manage your army more easily. The city placement has a bigger impact on your attack/defence strategy. And, finally, if you play smart, you can save more of your units (sometimes even win the game without loosing any unit), whereas in "Civ4" you are bound to throw your units into the battle as cannon fodder. "Civilization 5" feels like chess in that matter. And I prefer it that way.
- Ranged units (Archers, Crossbowmans, etc.) don't have a "ranged attack" option. It is available only for siege weapons ("bombard").
- No city states. I actually like how city states provide bonuses, quests and influence the diplomacy. I think it's a better mechanic than influence points. Although, on the other hands, AI leaders in "Civ5" are completely irrational, their attitude sometimes doesn't make any sense and there is little you can do about it, whereas in "Civ4", you can at least change your civic/relligion or influence those of the AI leader.
- "Civilization 4" is harder than "Civilization 5" (although it might be a good thing for some players). In "Civilization 5", I feel comfortable on "Emperor" and with a bit of luck I can manage "Immortal" on smaller maps, whereas I struggle on "Noble" in "Civilization 4". Perhaps, it's because I haven't played "Civilization 4" in years and hadn't developed any strategy when I did.
- Technology trading. This actually makes the game rushed, unbalanced and it's much harder to make that technological gap between you and AI players. Although, there were moments, in "Civ5" multiplayer, when I wished there was this option. But, now, I see that research agreements are actually a much more balanced mechanic. Luckily, you can turn "technology trading" off in "Civ4".
- "Civilization 4" pushes you to expand early (as mush as possible). "Civilization 5" pushes you to build army early (expansion is less crucial than in "Civ4)". I don't like any of the two, but, I think, that the fact, that AI civilizations are expanding so rapidly and that you need to keep up, makes "Civilization 4" unbalanced - it's hard to maintain positive stats and to manage the cities and units. In "Civ5", you can win with less units, less initial cities and the overall pace is slower, which allows you to build your empire in a more balanced way. "Civilization III" had the same problem btw.
- No "Steam Workshop" support. But you can still use 3rd party mods.

There are probably some more differences that I forgot, but, in the end, I would like to say that "Civilization 4" is a great game and offers many things its successor lacks. For that reason it's worth purchasing it even today – not only for nostalgic value, but also for the different and fun experience it offers.

My overall rating: 9/10

Also, my personal feeling is that "Civilization 5" is better in its strategical aspect, whereas "Civilization 4" is better in its "God game" aspect – just to fool around on easier difficulties.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
334.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2015
Most amazing game of all time.

I easily have several thousands of hours maybe even tens of thousands in all civ titles together playing it since civ 1.

But civ 4 is the best in terms of depth, replayability and strategies. Its not as dumbed down as civ 5 and has many ways to win the game not just war.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
146.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 25, 2015
Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword

The following review will focus first on Civilization IV as a whole, then on the expansion "Beyond the Sword".

Civilization IV
Civilization IV was the first game of the Civ-series to go 3d, for better or for worse. The graphics are in fact atrocious compared to the newer Civ 5, and even Civ 3, with its 2d isometric graphics and heavy reliance on shades of brown. But as any fan of the TBS-genre will tell you; graphics are secondary to everything else.

You may ask yourself "why invest in Civ 4 when Civ 5 and BE is out?". Well, apart from having better graphics and adding (and taking away) certain features, there aren't many differences between these games. Some of the most important differences (or improvements as some will call them) are the limitation on movement and stacking in Civ 5. One may argue that limitations compared to older versions are negative, but the point would be moot when faced with "the stack of doom". So yes, at first glance, the newer games are better. There are however saving graces for Civ 4: Plenty of advanced and interesting mods, as well as a (more) stable multiplayer, the latter of which is laughable in Civ 5.

Beyond The Sword
BtS is arguably the largest expansion to any of the Civ games, and a must-have if you want to use mods, as most of them now require it to work. It adds quite a few new features, including, but not limited to:
  • Ten (10) new civs, as well as 6 new leaders for existing civs.
  • Corporations: The religion of business.
  • Random events: FUN
  • Lots of new game rules and options, to help customize your experience.

In conclusion: If you like the civilization-games, but don't care about graphics, or don't like the limitations of Civ V, or like Civ but want it to be more advanced with certain mods, or just want to be able to play multiplayer for more than 10 minutes without having problems; i would suggest grabbing Civ IV with BTS as soon as possible.
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