Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World Review

When Civ V was first released, I was deeply unimpressed. I hated (and
still dislike and find pointless), the hex grid. I hated the
non-stackable units. I hated the lack of religion and espionage. Really,
there was almost nothing that I DID like about it, and it wasn’t long
before I wrote it off as totally broken and started playing Civ IV
again.

Time passed, and the first expansion was released. That
changed the game significantly, and suddenly made it actually playable.
That trend towards being a good game continues with this expansion
which, I am pleased to say, has finally “fixed” the game to the point
where I no longer consider it broken and instead consider it to be very
good. Good enough that I might finally leave Civ IV behind.

This
expansion adds, as you’d expect, plenty of new Civs. You get the return
of the Zulus, whose omission came as a Shaka to everyone (I’m
sorry…I’m so, so sorry…). You also get completely new Civs, like
Brazil, Poland, Inodnesia and Morocco. You even get Venice, which you
play as only one city. That makes for an interesting experience.

The
expansion also adds trade routes. Now you can build caravans and cargo
ships, and actually engage in basic commerce with your neighbors. The
mechanics are a little more choppy than I’d like, and I hate having to
constantly select new routes, but it’s still nice to have them.

You
also get a few new religions, and Christianity has become nice and
factionalized, though I’m confused as to why we only have one sect of
Islam to pick from. There’s also some new techs, like archaeology, and
new units, like the archaeologist.

Probably the biggest change in
the game mechanics is the World Council. It’s a group similar to the UN
that’s automatically unlocked by the first Civ to make contact with
every other Civ in the game. That first Civ also gets to control it, at
least initially. The way it works is that you propose an idea, and then
about 90 turns later (this interval decreases as game time goes on),
everyone votes. You can even use diplomacy to persuade your neighbors to
vote the way you want them to.

For example, while playing
Brazil, I unlocked and controlled the council. I suggested a World’s
Fair. I then persuaded my ally, Austria, to vote in favor of the idea.
They did, and eventually the idea was accepted. Everyone began
developing their Civs for the fair. The civilization who completed it,
me, then gets 100% extra culture for 20 turns. Not too shabby, and well
worth it.

So diplomacy is a major aspect of the game now. You
also get tourists, which help to spread your culture far and wide. Then
there’s the various ideologies that you can unlock. I haven’t done that
yet, so I can’t comment on them, but I am looking very forward to it.

To
sum up. This is a great expansion. If you like the base game even
slightly, you owe it to yourself to try the expansion. It’s very, very
good. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go invade Rome.

Verdict: 80/100

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows XP SP3/ Windows Vista SP2/ Windows 7
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Graphics:256 MB ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB nVidia 7900 GS or better, or Core i3 or better integrated graphics
  • DirectX: DirectX version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB Free
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
  • Note: Optimized for the touch-screen Ultrabook device 

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz Quad Core CPU
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB ATI 4800 series or better, 512 MB nVidia 9800 series or better
  • DirectX®: DirectX® version 11
  • Hard Drive: 8 GB Free
  • Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
  • Note: Optimized for the touch-screen Ultrabook™ device 

Details:
Genre

Strategy
Style

Empire-Building
Release Date

July 9, 2013
Developer

Firaxis Games
Publisher

2K Games
Flags

Expansion Pack

Written by: Brent

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