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SummaryI only love it because this is the first time I own a Civ game
The GoodThere is a lot of depth in this game and many different ways to play it, I often found it very useful to take my time when deciding what building to build next or if I should spend money to buy more ground or if I should trade it with other nations. Each choice can count when you are playing with people who are just as good or better as you, even when playing against people who are worse it's impossible to just mess-around. You really need to think about your actions and that is a good thing when it comes to strategy games.
It looks very good compared to the other Civ games out there, it isn't really that great compared to games like Call of Duty, but there there is no reason to complain either. I actually thought the more realistic style was a great refreshment after the cartoony-style in Civ: Revolution, it just looks way better when you are playing a strategy game of this size. The fights are still very good-looking and there was more attention to detail when looking at the units. Finally I want to mention the pictures of buildings and wonders that you get to see after building them, they are simply amazing and whoever designed them deserves a raise.
There is some really clever ways this game tries to educate people, I was very amused when I saw that Elizabeth was the leader of England and choosing her nation gave you a faster movement speed over water, this of course refers to the many expeditions that happened during her rule. It's really a good sign for a game when it makes me want to look-up information on people like "Catherine of Russia", I like Russia, so after playing as them I wanted to know more about this person who was apparently more interesting than Stalin or Lenin.
I personally think sending units to an enemy capital because word got around that they have an atomic bomb much more engaging than actually standing on the field with the guns. There are far more surprises and there is a lot of suspense, I have to hope he doesn't fire the bomb in order to win the battle for one of my cities that has taken the lives of countless soldiers or that his defenses aren't as strong as they could be. The Civ games are just the perfect strategy game for me and for a lot of other people because they know how to make it just as exciting as any action game in existence.
The BadAfter one or two playthroughs the game starts to lose it a little, the first time playing it feels like you're actually playing for years, but that doesn't last for very long. I am busy with my fifth round, but everything just feels like a race to the Modern era for me. I know that creating units is pointless because there will be something better in just a few turns and I also know what is important to research and what isn't. This makes it easy for me to just rush through everything and use tanks to pound through enemy soldiers that are still using longbows.
The multi-player is incredibly annoying, I expected a normal round, but with human players instead of AI. What I found instead was a what I presume to be the very first game in this franchise because it was broken beyond belief. My cousin and I were both in the same lobby, but when we started the game we weren't in the same game and were randomly assigned a nation that we didn't pick. The diplomacy was also removed almost entirely and everything was in high-speed, not fun at all, if you can't design a multi-player mode for your game, you shouldn't try to put it in anyway.
The Bottom LineThe reason why I like this Civ game a lot is because it is the first one I ever actually owned. I borrowed two other games in this franchise from family, but this is the first time I could actually sit down and enjoy it without anybody asking their copies back. If you're a fan of the previous games and you already played Civ 4 for a very long time, this sequel will probably not be enough to please you. It adds very little and the only major changes are the City-states and the fact that you can't stack units anymore (which is probably the best update in the history of video games).
People who are new to the franchise or haven't played it a lot (like myself) will probably like this game if they like the franchise or strategy games as a whole. It's a very good single-player game with a lot of replay-value and you are guaranteed to run into some very exciting moments. A bad update, but a great game.