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Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gold Edition

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Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Ever keen to experiment with digital distribution, Steam is trying something unusual on XCOM: Enemy Unknown pre-orders with publisher 2K. Rather than offering fixed bonuses, Steam will unlock increasingly fancy goodies as more people pre-order, including extra character customisation options, Team Fortress 2 hats, and a free copy of Civilization V.

Everyone who pre-orders through Steam will help the "reward" drive, which seems to hope it'll inspire a little of that Kickstarter feeling. Customers are fast approaching the first unlock, a pack of cosmetic XCOM pretties including shiny new armour, paints for armour, and a recruit with the classic X-COM: UFO Defense flattop haircut.

The flattop also features, in the second tier, a pack of TF2 goods. This offers that good old flattop for the Soldier, a creepy sort of alien head for the Pyro, and a very swanky medal. Lastly, if loads and loads of people pre-order, everyone will also get a free copy of Civ V, or a gift copy if they already own it.

Of course, Steam's charging the full $50 for XCOM, so you might instead fancy buying it from somewhere that simply knocks a few dollars off the price instead. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 9.

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 - Alice O'Connor

Firaxis is cutting out Civilization V's existing mod browsing system to slip in Valve's sleek and chic Steam Workshop, publisher 2K Games has announced. As in Portal 2 and Skyrim, it'll let you easily peruse, download, rate, and submit mods through your browser or the Steam client.

While the announcement comes shortly before the launch of Civ V: Gods & Kings on June 19, it's not exclusive to the expansion, and will be patched into the base game too.

If you've yet to use the Steam Workshop, have a gander to get an idea of what's on offer in other games. As for more information on the shiny new things coming in Gods & Kings, the official site has great big bags of it.

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

Shacknews - Tyler J. Smith

Shacknews receives a slew of new screenshots and trailers for upcoming games everyday. The most anticipated titles receive their own post, because we know you're eager to see that content. For the rest, we have the Daily Filter, a place to feature all of the media we add to our enormous database on a daily basis.

Today's Filter features a developer diary for Bodycount, a teaser trailer for Deepak Chopra's Leela, and new screenshots for Sid Meier's Civilization V.

Bodycount


Deepak Chopra's Leela


Sid Meier's Civilization V

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

A huge update for Sid Meier's Civilization V launched on Steam yesterday, bringing the long-awaited Hot Seat multiplayer mode along with heaps of changes and updates.

Hot Seat multiplayer lets several players compete in front of the same computer, taking their turns, well, in turn. The changelog also notes, "While play-by-email is not yet implemented, we did include an in-between turn saving option for those that want to play via email."

Complaints about a lack of difficulty have been addressed with pacing tweaks. "Expect to have more of a challenge managing your empire at higher difficulty levels than you did before," the notes state. "Consider dropping a difficulty level if you have problems."

The patch also brings scores of tweaks, changes and fixes. On the AI front, you can expect computer-controlled nations to create better army compositions, behave more sensibly in diplomatic matters, pursue "back-up" victory paths, and properly execute late-game amphibious invasions if land-bound.

Units, buildings, tech, and nations have been all shook up with dozens of balance tweaks. If you load an old save into the new version, the notes warn, "the balance pass may make your existing happiness lower than expected when loading into your existing save post-patch." Plus your once-brilliant army might be a bit rubbish now, of course.

Do check out the huge full patch notes to see exactly what's new.

Shacknews - Xav de Matos
The Aspyr Media-developed, Mac version of Civilization V has just received a swell of new content [via BigDownload]. Premium DLC for the turn-based strategy game is currently available on GameAgent.com and is expected to arrive on Steam soon.

Downloadable add-ons include packs featuring the Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, Asia, and the Americas for $2.99 each or $9.99 as a bundle. The Babylon Civilization pack and Spain and Inca pack are available for $4.99 and $7.99, respectively. The Mongol DLC pack is also available, albeit for free, and "will automatically download upon launch of the Steam client in Online mode."

The premium downloadable content was first offered as pre-order incentives from multiple retailers before arriving for purchase on PC in December. Civilization V launched in November, two months following its release on PC.

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Shacknews - Jeff Mattas
Hot on the heels of the announcement that The Double Civilization Scenario Pack: Spain and Inca is coming soon, Firaxis and 2K Games have revealed that a Civilization 5 patch will be available "on or before" the DLC's December 16 release.

The list of fixes posted on the 2K Games Forum is quite massive, due in part to the fact that the list includes all changes to made to Civ 5, and not just the ones included in the upcoming patch. It's a huge list, so let's just get to it, shall we?

[Thanks to Shacker trineas for the tip.]

[AI]

[Tactical AI]

  • Proper evaluation of which enemy units can reach my units next turn.
  • Sorting enemy targets (within a class) by damage.
  • Combine bombardment fire from cities with other ranged fire where possible.
  • Never target a city for a ranged attack when they are already at (or going to be at) 1 health.
  • Have the tactical AI be more aggressive about fortifying units that aren't moving anyways.
  • Make all forms of guarding improvements the lowest priority tactical AI moves.

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Shacknews - Jeff Mattas
Firaxis and 2K Games have announced that they'll be providing Civilization 5 players with some more options for world domination via a downloadable expansion on December 16.

Incan leader Pachacuti and Spain's Queen Isabella I

Called 'The Double Civilization Scenario Pack: Spain and Inca,' the pack adds two new playable civilizations and one new campaign scenario. On top of bringing Queen Isabella of Spain and Incan leader Pachacuti into the mix, the new scenario, set in 1492, let's players sail the ocean-blue in search of the new world, and of course, lay waste to their enemies in the name of Thanksgiving.

The Double Civilization Scenario Pack: Spain and Inca will have a suggested MSRP of $7.49 when it hits digital distributors on December 16.

The descriptions from the press release describe both new leaders an the new scenario in detail, after the break:

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