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Without a doubt, hardcore Civilization fanatics will love Civ 5’s complex gameplay and fresh new mechanics and the addictive multiplayer will hook even the most casual gamers.
So, for all the Civilization fans out there, should you buy this? Heck yeah! The core gameplay remains the same, combat is more interesting than ever before, culture provides a large number of major new options, and it's easily the best Civilization release to date. Even if you're not a fan of the series, it offers a wide variety of gameplay choices from even an early stage, and can be played how you wish. Want to kill everyone? Build an army! Want to awe the world with your well-developed culture? Build wonders! Want to terrify China with your space program? Build Apollo! But build something, because your civilization won't wait.
It’s two steps forward and one step backward for this series. The graphics are better, the hexagonal tiles make sense, and the social policy system is vastly improved. But the long build times, frustrating battle mechanic (how my armored tanks can ever get defeated by archers I’ll never know), and lack of true innovation is frustrating. For such an epic, engrossing, and altogether peerless series, it’s strange that the developers keep reconfiguring the formula only to expose new flaws in the game. Personally, I think the franchise fails to be as ambitious as it once was: why not bring back the espionage ability from Beyond the Sword or give us new ways to engage other civilizations or imagine new technologies for us to research? Civilization V is a game about evolving your society to become the best. The developers need to find more inspiration from their source material.