Civilization V: Gods & Kings Review

The Civilization (or Civ for short) game series is perhaps one of the most famous turn based strategy games in the gaming industry that has always excited fans to no end. Not only does it give you the power to shape the destiny of your chosen people, but the many victory conditions means many more hours of re-playability.

2010’s Civilization 5 is no different as under the guidance of legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civ 5 has once again caused many gamers to suffer from the one more turn syndrome.

Enter the first and by no means small DLC for the game, Civilization V: Gods & Kings. Calling it a DLC is definitely an understatement as it not only adds new content but brings about many major overhauls. Perhaps calling it an expansion like many of us do now is more fitting for it.

As the name suggest, religion now plays a more important role with the introduction of a new resource called faith points. These can be used to create Great Prophets which is one of the new “Great People” types and also to customise the religion you want to suit your gameplay.

Going for the conquer all game plan? No problem, just add the traits where fighting near cities with the same religion adds a bonus. Going for the bigger city route? No issues there as well as you can pick traits with birthrate bonus.

Another new element that brings more fun to the gameplay (especially with the new 007 SKYFALL movie coming) is Espionage. Players get a chance at being a spymaster during the Renaissance Era and the more you progress with technology, the more spies you get. Like religion, these can add you well as you plot to dominate the world.

From stealing other civilization’s technology to performing counter-espionage in your own home territories, spies are very useful and while it is not a need, you will do well to make sure your spy team is enough.

Oh and with all the political mess that you read in the news today in the real world with regards to elections? Well your spies can help you rig elections and stage coups in city-states for an increased influence.

One enhancement that I was very happy with is the changes to how the player can interact with city-states. In the original Civ 5, the only way to increase influence with city-states is how to just give them gold in the various ways.

Now not only can you do more “fun” stuff like rigging elections with your spies, the things these city-states now ask you to do have increased in variety including making use of the new religion system. City-states also sometimes have resources that are not found anywhere else on the map and if would definitely be in the player’s advantage to be on very friendly terms with such city-states.

The last enhancement which the game developers refined in Civilization V: Gods and Kings is the combat system. Units now have their hit points measured in terms of 100 instead of 10 and are harder to kill because of that. Not that a superior unit wouldn’t win a weaker one, just that its gonna take longer.

Another interesting part of the new combat is how naval warfare have received quite a lot of changes. There are now both melee and ranged units which means melee ships can now take over coastal cities on their own. The Great Admiral now makes an appearance which now means investing in your sea army does make sense especially on maps with more islands.

Overall the new stuff that Civilization V: Gods and Kings brings to the original game is definitely one step in the right direction. From all these gameplay changes to the really fun game scenarios (do check out the steampunk one) Firaxis Games have definitely done a good job.

I guess you could say the one more turn just became two.

Ratings: 4 out of 5 Stars.

By Kenneth Wong.
© POPCulture Online 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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