Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization 5's fast-coming Brave New World expansion focuses heavily on the late-game, according to the creators. A new launch trailer highlights that by showcasing several of the world's more recent events, like the advent of movies, tanks, airplanes, and rocket ships.

In fact, it gives such a rousing summary of our greatest accomplishments over the last century or so that it's easy to momentarily forget it's advertising a game expansion pack. That's just the kind of opportunity you have when your game is all about human achievement. Check it out below.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

It's a testament to Civilization 5's thoughtful, historically-based gameplay that the addition of international trade routes is a major pillar of the upcoming Brave New World expansion. Firaxis has talked quite a bit about the new ideology and cultures, so it's time for trade to have its day in the sun.

The revised system is said to help you expand more smoothly and actually pick your own paths to determine your trading partners. A new trailer shows off the feature. Check it out below, and for more detail on the broad scope of Brave New World, read our interview with lead designer Ed Beach and senior producer Dennis Shirk. The expansion drops on July 9.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The Civilization 5: Brave New World is bringing a new ideology system to the game, as well as adding some social policies. A new trailer for the expansion goes into a bit more detail on how these will make it easier to become ruler of the known world.

Two new social policy trees have been added: aesthetics, which has a more cultural leaning, and exploration, focusing on discoveries on the high seas. The video also looks at the three ideologies that unlock once you enter the Modern Age.

The expansion will be out for PC on July 9.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Firaxis has announced two more of the nine cultures being added to Civilization 5's Brave New World expansion. Indonesia and Morocco will join the set, joining Poland, Brazil, Assyria, Zulu, and Portugal, with two civilizations still remaining to be revealed.

Indonesia will be led by Gajah Mada, the Prime Minister of the Majapahit Empire from the 14th century. They'll get a bonus for taking to the seas, as your first three cities formed on new continents get two luxury resources from the Spice Islanders ability. It also replaces the swordsman with the Kris Swordsman, who gets a random upgrade after the first combat, and the Candi replaces the Garden, complete with a faith bonus.

Morocco is led by Ahmad al-Mansur. It is centered around the new trade route mechanics coming in Brave New World, since they get bonuses to gold and culture for each external trade route from the Gateway to Africa ability. Cavalry is replaced by Berber Cavalry, which gets combat bonuses on home turf or on desert. The Kasbah improvement grants extra defense, food, production, and gold to desert tiles as well.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization 5 is preparing to reinvent itself, again. The Brave New World expansion, which launches July 9, is going to make serious shifts to the late-game content, revising both the cultural and diplomatic victories. We talked with lead designer Ed Beech and senior producer Dennis Shirk about the expansion's focus and goals.

In a way, Brave New World is the other half of Civ 5's last expansion, Gods and Kings. The two are are complementary in the pieces of the game they address--so much so that Brave New World will include many of Gods and Kings' underlying systems for players who didn't buy the first expansion. The second is really meant to work with the first, combining to create a marked shift in the experience.

The two said that this is targeted towards late-game, both to make up for the developer not having the chance to address those systems in the first expansion, and to add more depth to a part of the game that speeds toward the finish.

"If a player is going to run out of things to do, it will be in the second half of the game," Shirk said. "Once the world is all discovered and you're going through that threshold into the Industrial Age, you start running out of things to do as everyone is running up to finishing the game. [In Brave New World], there's a lot focused on that second half of the game to make that race really compelling."

Most of that comes in the revised victory types. Cultural victories now rely on raising great artists, musicians, and writers to create famous works that will spread throughout the world. Beech described how you could build a large museum like the Louvre, giving you plenty of space to fill with great paintings and cultural artifacts dug up from past battles. Tourists can come see your culture, and countries could steal great works to take some of your culture for their own. All of this is built around giving the player more agency in the cultural victory.

"We found that when you're playing for the military victory, it's a very active, aggressive playstyle. You really interacted with all the nations," Beech noted. "But when you played for a cultural victory before it was very passive. You built a few amazing cities, but you just weren't interacting with the other empires in the world. We felt that was a real missed opportunity. We've emphasized in Brave New World that you're going to build a culture that's really the envy of the rest of the world. You not only have to build it, you have to spread it to the rest of the world."

This is all against the backdrop of the new diplomatic victory system as well. Starting around the time the Renaissance starts to give way to the Industrial era, the nations make a World Congress. This doesn't result in an immediate victory, but it does introduce the concept of proposals--specialized rule changes. You'll have a vote to cast in these matters, such as voting against anti-whaling resolutions if that's your primary source of income.

Shirk said these resolutions can be "cooperative or vindictive" depending on your play style, and they can be used to shape the kind of victory you want to attain. In this way, the diplomacy system doesn't just impact its own victory, but it can manage to touch every kind of victory.

Now that the game has dealt with both its early and late-game content, though, I wondered what was left to tackle. When is Civilization 5 complete? "I don't think we're out of ideas," Beech said, tight-lipped.

Shirk, pointing out the expansiveness inherent in a game that is about the entire human experience, remarked: "Obviously with a game like Civ you could go on making content for any number of years."

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization 5 is heading into the Brave New World this summer. Firaxis put a pin on a release date during its PAX East panel this weekend, stating it will be available on July 9.

Kotaku reported the release date, along with a European date of July 12. As previously reported, the Brave New World expansion has a new cultural victory system that relies on producing masterpieces and finding ruins with archeologists, a revision to the diplomatic victory with the World Congress, along with eight new Wonders, two scenarios, nine civilizations, new units and buildings.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Culture, trade and diplomacy are to become more important in Civilization 5 with Brave New World, the second expansion pack, announced today by publisher 2K Games. Arriving this summer, it'll bring a new culture victory condition, international trade routes, the new World Congress, and heaps more.

Overlords will be able to achieve a cultural victory by being the world's dominant culture, exerting a majority influence on every other civilization. To help along this way, you'll be able to place masterpiece works to display in certain buildings, and scour battlegrounds and ruins with archaeologists.

If you fancy a diplomatic victory, you'll want to get stuck into the World Congress, where civilizations can vote and pass resolutions on everything from host cities for the World Games to nuclear weapons and sanctioning "rogue nations." Canny folks can trade their votes too.

Which leads to trade routes, which help your civilization run and expand smoothly while spreading religion, cultural influence, and science along their path.

The spotted listings for a 'One World' expansion weren't too far off, then.

Brave New World also introduces eight new Wonders, two new scenarios, and nine new civilizations, each with their own new units and buildings. Hit the official website for more details.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization V recently got a lot more holy with the Gods and Kings expansion, but some of you fence-sitters haven't yet indulged in abusing religion for your own selfish ambitions. If you're still itching to give your theocracy a try, you'll be happy to know that a demo for the game is now available.

You can grab the demo from Steam and give it a try. The expansion adds new civilizations, religion and city-states, new wonders, new scenarios, and espionage. It seems like a pretty hefty chunk of Civ for $29.99, but the the demo is one way to test the waters for yourself.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization V is getting ready for some of that old time religion, also known as polytheism. To mark the Gods and Kings expansion, Firaxis and 2K Games are offering the game as free to play for this weekend, lasting from today until Sunday, May 27.

If your taste of ruling over kingdoms tempts you to buy the full game, this weekend is a particularly cheap way to do it. All of the Civilization V content on Steam is 75% off, which means the standard game can be had for $7.49. You could get the Cradle of Civilization downloadable content for $2.49, or the Game of the Year edition with extra maps and civilizations for $12.49.

The Gods and Kings expansion is scheduled for June 19 in North America. It will add religion and religious city-states, new diplomacy options with espionage, new scenarios, and a reworked combat system.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

With Sid Meier's Civilization V just about to celebrate its first birthday, publisher 2K has announced a Game of the Year Edition for Firaxis' historical strategy game. Boasting a whole host of downloadable content, it's slated to launch on September 27.

The GotY edition has a sticker price of $49.99, which is fairly respectable considering the included DLC comes to $37.44 by itself. Curiously, it doesn't pack all current Civ V DLC, only most of it. The recent Korea and Wonders of the Ancient World packs, which cost $7.49 together, are both excluded.

Here's exactly what's in the box:

  • Sid Meier's Civilization V (standalone game)

  • Civilization and Scenario Pack: The Mongols

  • Civilization Pack: Babylon

  • Cradle of Civilization Map Packs: Mesopotamia, Americas, Asia and Mediterranean

  • Double Civilization and Scenario Pack: Spain and Inca

  • Civilization and Scenario Pack: Polynesia

  • Civilization and Scenario Pack: Denmark - The Vikings

  • Explorer's Map Pack

  • Sid Meier's Civilization V digital soundtrack

...

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