Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I’ve founded religions, spied on my neighbours and sent a spaceship in search of a new home on a distant star. The promise of a Brave New World was enough to bring me crashing back down to Earth though, and I’ve been making new friends, meeting old enemies and creating great works of art. This latest expansion takes on the greatest challenge of all – injecting some meaningful activity into Civilization’s end-game. I’ve spent a week uncovering its charms and chores, and here’s wot I think.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Civ V brings out the worst in me and Brave New World may be the expansion that changes all of that. I was approaching the industrial age in a recent multiplayer game when I realised what a terrible ruler I was – ‘terrible’ not because I was a failure but because I was too much of a success. I was the coal-devouring, smoke-belching face of global domination, like a nightmarish Punch cartoon come to life, the leader of a people who saw foreign nations as obstacles to be removed. Civ V is a strategy game that encourages the drive toward victory rather than the establishment of a culture with character. Brave New World may change that when it is released on July 12th. Here’s an early launch trailer.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

I am saddened to admit that I am not a Civilization player. My brain does not work in that way. No matter how much I try, I just bounce off the game, and then I’m pushed out the way by mean Civ bullies who mock my tactical and diplomatic failings. It’s like home economics all over again. But I’m a bigger man than those meanies, and don’t begrudge Civ fans the opportunity to see the new expansion pack, A Brave New World. And I don’t begrudge Revison3 the hits for the preview that I am shamelessy yoinking. Do click here, as that Sessler guy seems like a nice chap. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

There’s going to be a second major Civilization V expansion. It’s called Brave New World, it introduces 9 new Civs, the concepts of tourism, ideologies, international trade routes and archaeology, and basically it sounds like it’s pretty huge on an under-the-hood front. I had a big chat with Firaxis lead programmer Ed Beach and senior producer Dennis Shirk on what’s in there, why, how it works and why we’ll be forming impressive in-game art collections.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

SACRIFACE

How often do you find yourself looking at Civilization V and thinking, ‘all this science and culture is fine, but there simply aren’t enough deities knocking about the place’. If the answer is ‘very often’ you might already have bought the Gods and Kings expansion. If not you could read my thoughts on what it does for the game or you could even try it for yourself. There’s a demo on Steam and, brilliantly, it’s standalone; you won’t need the base game to try it. Handy that, for those who held off buying in the hope that an expansion might make the whole thing more appealing. Embarrassingly, I’m not actually sure how much the demo contains but I’d bet fifty pence that it sets a limit on how many turns you can play for.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

It was only midway through the proposal to his patrons that he realised he'd forgotten to put his trousers on that morning.

Civilization V makes people angry. I’ve seen it first hand; perusing the shelves of a local boardgame emporium I was moved to express an opinion about hexes and how much I enjoyed their use in the game. Upwards of twenty furious men immediately formed a stack of doom and pummelled me into submission. “But perhaps the Gods and Kings expansion will make the game more like Civ IV?” one of them asided to his neighbour even as they afflicted my face with blows. “It won’t!” cried future-me from another dimension, at which point my assailants redoubled their efforts to maim me. Thanks future-me. Here’s wot he thinks.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Steam Workshop, eh? My bulging eyes are scouring mod lists even now.

Civ V is integrating with Steam Workshop with the intent of making the use of mods much more user friendly. Create mod collections, browse what’s available through Steam and then fall to your knees in anguish because Fall From Heaven is nowhere to be seen in this version of the game and never will be. I haven’t explored the modding scene for this one a great deal, although now is the time for revisitations with the Gods and Kings expansion pack due on June 19. I’ll be telling you wot I think about that in due course and might be tempted to dip into modland as well.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

It's still better than living in Hull

What happens when you play a single game of Civilization II across ten long years? Well, carpal tunnel syndrome and a lifelong fear of pixels smaller than than the size of a fist. Also, an in-game world which is “a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation”, riddled with nuclear fallout and caught in a terrible stalemate between three ultra-nations which have been at war for millennia. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

At one time, this was the equivalent of wearing a baseball cap backwards. Radical.

I liked Civilisation V, which sometimes causes long-time fans of the series to hurl detritus at me in the streets, but I would never argue that it wasn’t lacking features that I craved. Foremost among them was a decent application of the cultural and historical force of religion, so I’m extremely pleased to see that the just announced expansion, Gods and Kings, will bring all manner of theism into the game. Along with religion, there’s a focus on bulking out espionage and diplomacy. There will also be plenty of stuff>. More details below.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

When we first heard about the Facebook version of Civilization a couple of years back, the prospect was enormously exciting – a persistent online Civ, played from any PC, any time. Of course, back then we perhaps weren’t fully aware of the route Facebook games were broadly taking – the pay/spam friends/wait model popularised by FarmVille. There’s absolutely nothing to say that model can’t be successful and entertaining, but it does mean that Civ World, as the now fully-revealed Facebook Civ has been retitled, is necessarily a very different prospect to Civ itself. In-game footage and dev commentary below…
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