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The last big official update to Civilization V [official site] came in 2013 with its second large expansion, Brave New World. Three years later, and almost six years after the game s original release, there s another big new release expected, but it s not an official expansion. It s the Community Patch Project (CPP; to be named Vox Populi on release), a community-made mod that overhauls and improves a majority of the game s systems in an attempt to make Civilization V the best game it possibly can be.
When Civilization II came out, I spent an entire summer playing it for several hours a day. The only check on my binging was the fact that my parents would eventually come home and force me to pretend, for a few hours at least, that I cared about things other than Civilization II.
I was a senior in college when Civilization IV arrived. I’d barely played strategy games at all for the previous four years, and “senioritis” brought with it a case of intense nostalgia. I bought it in the spring before graduation. It was still consuming my days and nights when the leaves fell later that year.
That was probably the last time my enjoyment of a 4X game was pure and uncomplicated. Lately, I’ve been wondering where that joy has gone, and why so few games seem to add anything essential to those old experiences.
One day I’ll write a Desert Island Discs about the games I’d keep with me until the end of days, given a choice of ten. It’ll no doubt be a Desert Island Digital Downloads given the absence of physical media in my life. I live with the ghosts of entertainment.
Rather than compiling the list of games I’d take to the Vault with me though, today I’m aiming to put together a collection, one from each genre, that I’d use to introduce those genres to a PC gaming newcomer, or a lapsed gamer. A friend inspired this particular bundle of joy, someone who grew up with an Amiga but developed other interests and hasn’t touched a game for more than a few minutes at a time, either console or PC, for over fifteen years. A recent illness has left him unable to engage in his usual outdoor hobbies and games have filled the gap.>
Oh, Civilization: Beyond Earth [official site], how sad you make me. You work so very hard to make me love you but… well, maybe you’re fundamentally unlovable. The Rising Tide expansion, that was a good try. You became more alien, less like your dad trying to wear a spacesuit, but gosh, you made a pig’s ear of Diplomacy, didn’t you? Bugs and bonkers design decisions queered the pitch.
But maybe it’s not too late. I hear there’s a big new patch intended to address one of your biggest problems; what flowers are you bringing to my door this time?
Rising Tide [official site] is the first, and some might say much-needed, expansion pack for Beyond Earth, the sci-fi Civilization V spin-off which met a somewhat muted reception. It’s out tomorrow, but I’ve spent the last few days with it. >
It’s so much better. It’s so much worse.
Here’s the latest Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide [official site ] trailer talking about hybrid affinities, overthrowing dictatorships, and combining harmony and purity in a part faux-propaganda, part technical rundown of what the upcoming expansion has to offer.
Who’d win in a war: Pagan Min out Far Cry 4 or Gandhi? Sure, Min’s great at murder and oppression and has a crack army and all that, but push Gandhi too far and nukes will fly. In Civilization V [official site], anyway.
Custom civilisations are one of the more common Civ mod types, but I do like the look of a new mod adding Pagan Min and the nation of Kyrat. They’re mostly focused archeology and exploration, see, though can always deploy those horrible sneaky Hunter soldiers, the gits in the hoods who pelt you with arrows then vanish. Yeah, you can have them.
Toward the end of February, Richard Moss documented the great AI wars that were sweeping through the Civ V [official site] community. If you haven’t read that feature, you should do so immediately. I’d intended to follow the 42-player AI-only game as updates arrived but when I checked in yesterday, it was my first visit in a good while. And, to my horror, I found that the game had stalled. Something was rotten in the code of Japan and the save file crashed when processing the nation’s 239th turn.
The save file ended up in the hands of Firaxis but Battle Royale organiser TPangolin managed to find a solution before hearing back from the devs. A few hours after I checked in, the problem had been fixed. The AI wars continue and, by thunder, they make for good reading.
A strange thing happened in the Civilization community r/civ on January 10, 2015. Inspired by similar, smaller-scale offerings by a Twitch.tv livestream and fellow redditor DarkLava (from whom he explicitly sought permission), user Jasper K., aka thenyanmaster, shared the first part of an experiment he was conducting wherein he put 42 computer-controlled civilisations in their real-life locations on a giant model of the Earth and left them to duke it out in a battle to the death, Highlander style (except instead of heads they need capital cities).
Since then, the practice has exploded in popularity. Reddit’s Civilization community has AI-only fever, but what exactly is so compelling about watching the computer play a very slow-paced turn-based strategy game with itself?
Offworld Trading Company is a combat-free, sci-fi real-time strategy game from the lead designer of the sumptuous Civilization IV.
A great concept with a great pedigree can it possibly be as good as it sounds? But enough about Snickers More Nuts, let s talk about Soren Johnson s new game, an Early Access version of which was released this week.> … [visit site to read more]