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: Very Positive (393 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 24, 2007

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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
16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
936.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
This is the best game in the entire catalogue of Sid Meier's Civilization, including the newer games Civ5 and Beyond Earth.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
49.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
This game will ruin your little aspie life. Your plants will wither, your pets will starve, and you'll probably get scurvy, and bed sores. Seriously, this is the wizard's glass, and when you look into it, it'll look into you, and find you wanting.

If you've already made the mistake of downloading this game, please contact me for a list of addiction counsling services in your area.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
255.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Taught me really how fun it is to destroy the environment as well as commit needless genocide to get just a little bit ahead.
10/10 Better than Watch_Dogs
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
130.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Pros:
+Fun and deep gameplay, lots of viable strategies and playstyles makes the game very accessible.
+The game is pretty easy to mod, and theres a huge, still living mod community.
+Mods are WAY better than Civ V mods, most mods are huge overhauls that add sci-fi elements, fantasy elements, make the game more "realistic", it's just great.
+Good variety of Civs, each with two traits, two uniques and two starting techs.
Cons
-"Native America" is a Civ, which is really dumb, the leader is Sitting Bull, a chieftain of the Hunkpapa Lakota, his unique unit is a Dog Soldier..a soldier class of the Cheyenne and his building is a Totem pole....which is a religious symbol for Alaskan (I forget which) tribes.
-The "health" system seems like an unneeded secondary lock on how big cities can grow.
-The "happiness" system is generally good, but can lead to some annoying moments.
-Traits aren't all that balanced, "financial" is just so good while "protective" is just so bad.
Full Review
Quite possibly one of the best games I've ever played. Games are long and difficult, leaders are very animated and expressive and the soundtrack is utterly fantastic (Netherlands and Greeces theme are such smoothing tracks). The leader variety is slightly greater than Civ V (but Civ V has more civs with more unique abilities), and each leader has two traits, like Abraham Lincoln is Philosophical and Charismatic while Montezuma is Aggressive and Spiritual, for the most part these traits are fairly balanced, but there are a few expeditions of just play bad traits (Protective is infamously underpowered).

Each Civ also has their two "uniques", unique units and unique buildings, unfortunately I don't really see these often being huge game changers with a few expeditions like Englands Redcoats, Ethipoias Omoro Warriors or Sumerians Ziggurats, this is probably cause the games combat is by far the worse aspect of it, units stack meaning most depth and strategy can be replaced with simply rushing enemies with strong melee units and hope to win, hope you built a lot of archers!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Adds a bunch of new Empires (Native American, Ethiopian, Ottoman,etc.) and new Leaders to existing empires (Churchill, Lincoln, Stalin,etc.) Adds new technologies and playable scenarios. Also adds the Espionage system which is poorly made but still interesting. Would reccomend for any avid Civ 4 player.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1,766.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Best game of all time
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
A classic. Few games are worth your time, this is one of them.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Simply the best game ever made!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
180.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
My favorite game of all time. Very deep, but very intuitive at the same time. Never gets old
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60.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Games are long and intense.
Potential for strategy and competition is limitless.
A little overwhelming, but such a grand game is worth the effort to learn the ropes at least a bit.
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43.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Civ IV: Beyond the Sword is the ultimate version of the now-classic Strategy title.

The game offers a turn-based look at history from the stone age to modern times, as is the case with all Civ games. What sets IV apart from the rest of the series is the sheer depth of the different mechanics that the player must manage to be successful. These include, but are not limited to: Economy, Military, Population, Health, Technology, and Espionage. With all of that work to do across the different eras of human history, it is easy to say that the turns you take in Civ IV will be longer than any other in the series.

How you deal with this fact is up to your personal preference. However, one thing is certain, Civ IV is extremely well streamlined, and even new players will be right at home with the mechanics with a modicum of perseverence. As someone who struggled with Civ III, I had fully grasped the mechanics of Civ IV by my tenth hour of gameplay: easy to learn, hard to master.

Ultimately, I recommend this game wholeheartedly to strategy fans. If you have Civ V, consider this the wise granddaddy of that great game. It is a wholly different and in some ways far more rewarding experience. If you have never played a Civ game before, Civ IV is a deeper choice, though if you are impatient and seek a more casual experience, the excellent Civ V is recommended.
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413.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
A welcome addition to the family.
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294.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Dispite time passed in Civilization series part IV remains a game with most options, great immersion and sufficient diversity via mods. Some extra technologies here, which make litte difference for newcomer, but playing vanilla version makes little sence now.
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3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
This game is excellent, simply put. Sure, it's really hard, but all games of the time were. When you got a game then, it was all about the single player. If it were short and easy, like most current games are, then it wouldn't have much substance and wouldn't be much fun. The controls take literally a minute to change to modern FPS controls, so you can't really complain about them. Unlike many current games, it actually has a decent story and good atmosphere. The game has aged surprisingly well over eleven years. To get an idea of what I mean, go back and play the original Half-Life. Amazing game, but looks so bad it's almost impossible to play. The RPG elements are implemented really well, and any level-ups make an immediate difference in the game. While the inventory system is kind of a pain, it's realistic and works well. There's a reason this game is often hailed as the best PC game of all time: it's excellent. If you don't like it, you don't know a good game when you play it!
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35 of 39 people (90%) found this review helpful
60.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
How to play:
1. Buy the game
2. Download Caveman 2 Cosmos
3. Spend 200 hrs. in one game
4. Realize you just spent 200 hrs playing Civilization
5. Start another campaign.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
87.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Some of the worst things in human history began with the best intentions. When I lead a once prosperous country of freedom and efficency into the dark days of another world war, I found that things had to change to match the times. A police state with an iron will was formed, and we rode out the storm with enemies falling at our feet through the battles won, and the diplomatic options utilized. Beyond the Sword lets you bring out the tyrant in you.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword must be the most complete Civilization to date. In some ways it is superior to its succesor Civilization V.

Advantages of Civ IV BTS:
+AI is much smarter
+AI actually conquers other nations
+Game includes vassal states (capitulate to save yourself)
+Espionage mechanic makes much more sense (accumulate points to view demographics, cities, construction queue etc)
+Larger empires
+More complex mechanics (such as health and individual city happiness)
+Technology trading (can be disabled)


Disadvantages of Civ IV BTW:
-Graphics are worse
-Combat based on "odds" not health. So you can lose a unit with a 95% win chance.
-You have to "call" someone before you can setup a trade.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
410.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
goodbye next 8 hours
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
124.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 22
One of the best turn-based strategy games on the market currently.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Ah, Civilization IV:BTS, the game that stole so much of my life. Civ IV is a classic. After some of the frustrations with Civilization III following the majesty of Civ II, IV felt like a return to form for the series. It has a lot in common with III, of course, but it made the game feel epic again. It also resolved some of the awkward controls the series was known for, and added a few intriguing features. In particular, religion, corporations, and civics (borrowed from Alpha Centauri).

What BTS gets right is amazing. There is a lot of depth to the decisions being made, and it can be a complex game if you want it to be. The civic system lets you fine tune your own custom government (a theocratic police state with a free market? Go right ahead!), with the rewards and penalties mixed, like in the classic Civs. The diplomacy is vital to the game, and the AI's opinions of you actually matter, and can be influenced.

Where it gets it wrong tends to be the tedium and the stacking mechanic. Civ III and IV suffer from a design oversight that became a mechanic, called 'stacks of doom" in which not only could an army be overpowered by playing upwards of 30-40 units in one tile, but such play became essential to win. The city attacking and defending mechanics also leave something to be desired, as they are intended for stacks of doom. The gameplay can be tedious compared to Civ V, many turns can pass without anything happening.

But it's also more satisfying when you get to victory in this game. And there are more victory options in Civ IV: BTS than any other Civ game, including early game victories such as religious.

This game was so good in its time that even today the Civ fans are divided between Civ IV and V, with many fans preferring this game over the new version. I do consider it a matter of preference, as I play both.

Last of all, certainly not least, Leonard Nimoy narrates this game in a Leonard Nimoy fashion. It fits the game perfectly.
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