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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title="Permanent Link to How Sid Meier became one of the most recognizable names in gaming">sid meier







Sid Meier is second only, perhaps, to Tom Clancy in the ranking of “guys with their names at the front of game titles.” Unlike Clancy, though, Meier actually had a hand in developing legendary games like Sid Meier’s Civilization, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Sid Meier’s Pirates!, and the original X-COM.



Meier hasn’t always courted the press, but over at Kotaku there’s a lengthy feature interview relating Meier’s recollection of pivotal moments in gaming history. For example, there’s the somewhat-disputed origin of the “Sid Meier’s” moniker that made its way to so many of our favorite games:



“We were at dinner at a Software Publishers Association meeting, and Robin Williams was there,” longtime collaborator Bill Stealey says. “And he kept us in stitches for two hours. And he turns to me and says ‘Bill, you should put Sid's name on a couple of these boxes, and promote him as the star.’ And that's how Sid's name got on Pirates, and Civilization.”



The interview also explores a lot of Meier’s personality, including some aspects that I had never known before. Meier is a devout Christian who plays music for his church. Though his games are frequently about violent times and places, there is never any blood or gore shown. He designs and creates his games by playing them, over and over, until they are fun.



For a ton of great anecdotes about the games and studios that defined Meier’s career and, in turn, defined an industry and a generation of gamers, check out the full profile.



Image from Firaxis.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Civilization V: Brave New World’s launch trailer shows up early, and we’re OK with that">Civilization V: Brave New World







Sid Meier's Civilization V’s newest expansion, Brave New World, doesn’t hit PC until July 9. But the drive of the human spirit to create great things is so indomitable, so profound, that the producers of the launch trailer refused to wait and instead released it today. For freedom! For progress!



Or maybe they put it out 11 days early because it’s got Keith David narrating, and that alone should pour some gas on the publicity fire.







We’ve had a lot of fun with Civ V and its various expansions, and we’ve been looking forward to diving into this one. It adds nine new civilizations including Morroco, Brazil, Venice, and Indonesia. The new civilizations and their leaders can strive toward eight new Wonders, including Broadway, the Globe Theatre, and the International Space Station.



Players can also look forward to conquering the world monetarily through new trade routes or bringing nations to order through the World Congress.



Brave New World hits on July 9 in the US and July 12 everywhere else. You can snag it for $30/£20.
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.

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title="Permanent Link to Civilization V: Brave New World’s final two civs and how to play them">Venice Featured







Last month, we walked you through seven of the nine new civs coming in Civilization V: Brave New World. The final two, Venice and the Shoshone, were at our fingertips, but not yet revealed. With the official announcement out of the bag, we can finally talk about them, and give you our impressions and suggested strategies. They've been sitting in a notepad file on my desktop for a while, but if you cut the moldy parts off, they should taste fine.







Venice



Unique Ability: Serenissima

You can never build or capture settlers. You can never annex conquered cities.



Wait, what? That doesn't sound like a power.



Well, internal monologue, you get some benefits to balance this out. For instance, double the number of possible trade routes. You get a free Merchant of Venice (see below) when you research Optics. And in cities you've puppeted (which you can do, you just can't annex them), you're allowed to purchase buildings and units with gold as if you'd annexed the city. You just can't choose what they produce on their own time. Phew.



Unique Great Person: Merchant of Venice

In addition to all the things a Great Merchant (which they replace) can do, they can actually buy off a city-state with the click of a button, turning it into a puppeted city.



Unique Unit: Great Galleas

Were you expecting something crazy? You know, since all of Venice's other stuff is? Well, unfortunately, this is just a bigger, stronger Galleas. Next to everything else, I'd say it's a Pretty Good Galleas, at best.



Adviser T.J. says:

What the what? Okay, I freaking love Venice. They turn Civ V into a totally different game, which is something all expansions should aim to do. Removing settlers as a mechanic has huge implications, and it makes your capital the de facto and permanent lynchpin of your empire. Placement is going to be at least twice as important as it is normally, so don't be afraid to wander for a couple turns before setting down good ol' Venezia. Tradition, obviously, is a must. You'll also want to invest in Exploration, if for no other reason than to have a stronger navy for defending your eight bazillion trade routes. Victory-wise, Diplomatic seems like the way to go. Ally yourself to as many city-states as possible, and buy out the ones that ally with your political rivals. There's actually nothing they can do about it. Because you're Venice. And you're amazing.







The Shoshone



Unique Ability: Great Expanse

Newly-founded cities start with more territory, and units gain a bonus when fighting on Shoshone land.



Unique Unit: Pathfinder

Replacing the Scout, the Pathfinder is almost as powerful as a Warrior in combat, and they can choose which benefit they get from exploring Ancient Ruins (instead of getting a random one).



Unique Unit: Comanche Raiders

A cheaper, faster alternative to Cavalry.



Adviser T.J. says:

Venice is a pretty tough act to follow, but the Shoshone have some pretty cool opportunities. Larger starting city borders also means you can get more map vision faster, which works perfectly with Pathfinders. You'll want to claim as many ruins as possible, so I'd ignore warriors altogether in the early game (Pathfinders can hold their own almost as well) and spend a handful turns just cranking out Pathfinders. When you claim a ruin, take the Technology bonus whenever possible, and plan for a science victory. I also highly recommend grabbing the religious tenet that gives you bonus Faith for whatever type of land tile is most common near your start location. Since you'll have so much land so early, you should be able to dominate the religious game.
Shacknews - Steve Watts

Civilization 5's next expansion, Brave New World, is introducing a host of new mechanics and cultures. But just what goes into picking which cultures make the proverbial cut?

A lengthy piece on Polygon details the process. For starters, the team is handed a number of new civilizations by the production team, which determines it by how much bandwidth it has to create new art. It chose nine for Brave New World, in part to match the number from the last expansion, Gods and Kings.

Then it came down to determining which countries would make up those nine. Part of it came from noting what's underrepresented. It looked at the community to determine these, and came up with Indonesia, Brazil, Zulu, and Morocco. Three of those four are from South America and Africa, which Firaxis had already decided needed more representation.

After that, choosing the other five came down to deciding which countries fit with its design goals, or what could add new twists. Portugal and Venice were natural fits for the new trading system, and Poland's social policies worked well with the revised policy system. Assyria was a unique mix of science and expansionism, while the Shoshone allowed a more peaceful game based on a defensive bonus.

Check out the full piece for more details. Brave New World is due out on July 9.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Sid Meier's name is well known in gaming circles for the addicting "just one more turn" mentality associated with his strategy games. Of course, there is never any mistaking what his games are because his name is usually in the game's title.

It can't be because of ego, as colleagues say Meier is a very soft-spoken, unassuming man. "In the [13] years and all the people I've worked with at Firaxis," said designer Jake Solomon, "there has never been anyone who's had a personality issue with Sid, 'cause it's not possible. He's such a wonderful person."

So just how did it happen that the brilliant strategy designer's games get that title treatment? It started in Meier's days at MicroProse with partner Bill Stealey, as Meier was pitching the idea for a pirate game.

"Bill said, 'When's my next flight simulator coming out?' And I said, 'I'm not doing a flight simulator; I'm doing a pirates game,'" Meier told Kotaku. "He said, 'Well that's crazy, 'cause people want your next flight simulator ... Wait a minute. Put your name on it. Maybe if they liked your flight simulator games, they'll recognize the name and buy this crazy pirates thing.'"

However, Stealey remembered things a bit differently: "We were at dinner at a Software Publishers Association meeting, and [actor] Robin Williams was there. And he kept us in stitches for two hours. And he turns to me and says 'Bill, you should put Sid's name on a couple of these boxes, and promote him as the star.' And that's how Sid's name got on Pirates, and Civilization."

Sid Meier's Pirates! came out in 1987, and since that time, his name has appeared on two railroad games, five Civilization games (plus expansions and a console version), two Civil War games, one space game, a colonization game, and even a golf game. Ironically, Meier and Stealey originally teamed up to make flight sims, but the first airplane game to bear his name was the recently released iOS title Sid Meier's Ace Patrol.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

While we were distracted gushing over horseback stealth and hair dragons last week during E3, 2K Games quietly released another Civilization V: Gods & Kings trailer. Now that we've had time to see it, hey, it's a short but interesting look at one of the expansion's big new features: the World Congress and its new diplomatic win.

The World Congress is a United Nations analogue where every civilization gets together to vote on resolutions. These include hosting the International Games, enacting trade embargoes, banning particular luxury resources, taxing armies, and stopping the construction of nuclear weapons. They can also build things like the International Space Station together.

At a certain point, seemingly once the Information Era is reached, every civilization will vote for a leader of the world at the World Congress. If any one civ wins, they win the game. Huzzah!

Do check out the trailers focusing on Gods & Kings' culture and tourism, trade routes, and policies and ideologies too, if you haven't already. The expansion launches for PC on July 9.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

While we were distracted gushing over horseback stealth and hair dragons last week during E3, 2K Games quietly released another Civilization V: Brave New World trailer. Now that we've had time to see it, hey, it's a short but interesting look at one of the expansion's big new features: the World Congress and its new diplomatic win.

The World Congress is a United Nations analogue where every civilization gets together to vote on resolutions. These include hosting the International Games, enacting trade embargoes, banning particular luxury resources, taxing armies, and stopping the construction of nuclear weapons. They can also build things like the International Space Station together.

At a certain point, seemingly once the Information Era is reached, every civilization will vote for a leader of the world at the World Congress. If any one civ wins, they win the game. Huzzah!

Do check out the trailers focused on Brave New World's culture and tourism, trade routes, and policies and ideologies too, if you haven't already. The expansion launches for PC on July 9.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Civilization 5: Brave New World trailer pursues diplomatic relations">Civ 5 DIPLOMACY ALL UP INS







CAUTION: After all the whizz-bang pyrotechnics, gushing blood, heavy rock, and urgent shouting from a week long bombardment of E3 trailers, this sedate Civ 5: Brave New World featurette could be a dramatic shock to the system. Don't just play it, ease into it. Maybe make a cup of tea. If you're not British, why not give it a go anyway? They're really rather good.



Ready? Okay, now you can learn about the expansion's diplomacy overhaul, and the newly arriving World Congress.







This is the last of Firaxis' video round up for the expansion. If you missed any, they were: culture, ideologies, and trade.



Brave New World releases July 12th Internationally, and July 9th in the US.
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