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Civilization IV (PC)

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7 Reviews

Genre: Simulation - World Building / Video Game for Windows XP / ESRB Rating: Rating Pending / Release Date: 2005-11-04 / Published by Take 2 Interactive

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    7 Reviews
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      22.07.2010 16:10



      In terms of strategy games this has it all

      If you are aware of the civilization series then you would know that they are quite simply the king of stategy games. Civilization IV is no different and makes countless improvements on its predecessors rightfully claiming its place as the greatest strategy game ever made. The concept remains the same. You choose an empire (the Roman being my favourite) and you build it from the ground up. You have countless options as to how to win the game. You can go for a conquest win which entailes defeating all other empires (my favourite) a diplomacy win, a domination win, a space race win, a diplomatic win. As you advance through the game you make attempts to improve every aspect of your empire to become more powerful, expanding cities and armies as well as acquiring resources and building necessities like farms for the upkeep of your empire. Also you will have to deal with many other leaders of other empires making peace, treaties or declaring war as you see fit. Overall the game provides endless possibilities as to how you wish to run your empire. I simply have scratched the surface in the games I have played and hope to have many more games adopting different strategies to see how I get on. An excellent strategy game.


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      10.01.2009 10:17



      Buy it, even buy two copies incase something happens to the first.

      Well I don't even know where to start! I can honestly say, in my opinion this is the best game in the best series ever made! Incredibly entertaining, fun and don't expect brain rot as you do have to do some tactical thinking!

      I mean who hasn't wanted to run their own country? Essentially it's even better than that as you even get to choose where your nation is. Grow, expand and conquer.

      The game follows well from the previous installments and improves onto a whole new level. The ability to listen to your own Mp3's during game play is a welcome change.

      This game is however not for you if you are not into turn based games, it is not the fastest of games. It is not for you if you are into shooter games.

      Civ 4 should realy come with a warning, it seriously does consume players. Do not expect to keep a social life.

      Buy it.


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      29.08.2008 19:22
      Very helpful



      It's not a game you can't get bored of

      I have always enjoyed this game series ever since I was little and played Sid Meiers civilization on my first PC. When you first start the game you are given loads of choices as to the design of the world including, the size of the globe, the layout (islands, one giant land mass, continents, and loads more), the terrain and the climate. So basically you never play the same game twice, as one little change in these settings changes the whole game. You also choose which civilisation you want to play as, this includes a huge selection of both modern and ancient civilisations,
      each with a leader who has two traits, which gives you an advantage in the areas they are strong in e.g. industrious, financial, aggressive, expansive...

      Ok anyway when you have finally got into the game it appears quite simple a turn based game where you build a civilisation, how hard can it be? well actually its extremely difficult (especially if you don't play on the easy difficulties) you really have to think hard about how to arrange your cities, what you should develop, do you choose to get a big army and attack other civilisations, or do you defend your own? or do you build up a high culture rating and make your people love you? You also have to maintain relationships with the other civilisations to aviod war, or build alliances.

      Really this game is incredibly diverse and addictive, you select the game length so it can run for an hour or a day. There are also scenarios to play, multiplayer games so you play against real people rather than the AI. And there are expansion packs available which give you even more options. This game is definately not one for people who can't make decisions, you need to be really decisive to be successful!


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        06.08.2008 16:40



        a game you should try out,by any means.

        In my opinion, the best strategic game so far. It has many great and complicated features. tons of new empires,which makes the game more exiting.Also Civilization 4 Beyond the Sword update is a thing that gives the game extra flavor. I this civilization prior to the previous one, there are some this that caught my eye. Features such as vassal states,foreign trade routes,a lot more diplomatic capabilities (defensive pacts,cease fire,trade embargo). A lot of interesting new earth map and scenario types, particually I could put out the Rhye and fall of Civilization,which is very realistic,with immigration,plague,every civilization starts according to historical locations and time,collapse of an empire,specific characteristics for each civilization and exact city names according to their location. Also there are a lot of new units in the game and the possibility to lay the game online.All in all, this is a game I would recommend for strategic game lovers!


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          10.02.2008 02:41
          1 Comment



          boring features

          I brought this game from apple store two months ago, I like strategy games and before played ceesar 3 and loved it . I brought this game because I thought it is similarti cesar 3 but it wasnt.
          the civilization game has very complicated features and its not very enjoyable to play , the reason for this is when you are trying to build a city you dont see real houses building , it only says city and workers and worriors comes out of it but nothing moves unles you tell them to and you have tokeep telling them.
          The good thing about this game is you can build different civilizations for example, roman empire, german empire, americans, ottoman and so onn but the features are very complecated and this makes the game boring.

          it has a 3d living world features , original music composition, cinematic wonder movies.

          I honestly do not recommend you guys to buy this game


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            23.09.2007 18:55
            Very helpful



            This one may be the best city building game

            Civilization 4 happens to be one of my all-time favourite strategy games. This game seems to be the closest to realistic city building and related activities. The game also have two pretty good expansions - Warlords and Beyond the Sword. There has already been lots of games related to empire building, like Caesar, Zeus, Pharaoh and Cleopatra, but none of them were as addictive as Civilization 4. This game seems to give the same importance to the combat aspects unlike the other games mentioned. This turn-based game can be termed as an all-round strategy game which has covered lots of aspects of various civilizations.

            Operating System: Windows 2000/XP
            Processor: 1.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
            Memory: 256 MB RAM (Windows 2000) / 512 MB RAM (Windows XP)
            Hard Disk Space: 1.7 GB of Free uncompressed space
            CD-ROM Drive: 4X Speed CD/DVD Drive
            Video: DirectX 9.0c-compatible 64 MB video card with Hardware T&L support
            GeForce 2/Radeon 7500 or better required
            Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
            DirectX: DirectX version 9.0c (included) or higher
            Input: Keyboard and Mouse

            Civilization 4 leads the player through ages, from 4000 BC to 2050 AD or until one of the victory conditions is satisfied. These victory conditions can vary from defeating all the opponents to controlling a major part of the map as well the world population or by being the first to construct a space ship to colonize a distant star, or three of the player's cities having legendary culture ratings and ofcourse there is the United Nations election. If these victory conditions are not met even after the time gets over, the civilization with the maximum score will win the game even if its a close game.

            The player will usually start with a Settler who builds a city. We have to make sure that the city is built on the right area, or it won't develop fast. The resources in the nearby tiles should be looked upon, and the Workers helps in increasing the yield in each of the tile by building farms, cottages, plantations, quarries, windmills, pastures, camps and more. There will also be Scouts who can be used to explore land faster, but they won't be able to conqer a city. Scouts will later be replaced Explorers.

            Then comes the basic combat unit of all civilizations, the Warrior followed by the Archers. The Axemen and spearmen follows them and then will come the Rifleman, Infantry and also tanks, helicopters, fighter planes, bombers and also very powerful nuclear weapons. Each will depend on some resources, like bombers needing oil and also the airport so that they can land after each attacks. There will be large number of naval units to be created, starting from the fragile Workship and Galleys to Battleships, Carriers and even Submarines. Some of the units may be only available to some civilizations.

            Coming to the civilizations, there are eighteen of them to choose from, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. The selection of leader also affects the game, as we have some of the most famous leaders in the history, like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Asoka, Queen Isabella, Mahatma Gandhi, Genghis Khan, Montezuma, Augustus Caesar and more. The special units of civilizations vary like Phalanx for the Greece, Praetorian for Rome, Immortal for Arabs and Fast Worker for India. There seems to have been lots of research before making this game, as they have even got the various old and new city names accurate in the game.

            There are also lots of technologies in the game, and by researching some of them, we can enter the next era or discover a religion, like researching Theology discovers Christiany while researching Divine Right discovers Islam. The main religions in the game will be Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Confucianism and Taoism, but religions like Roman and Greek mythology will be available in some scenarios. The city where the religion has been found out will be the holy city for that religion and we will be able to build a religious wonder there. Religion also plays a major role in diplomacy of the CPU as the players of your religion will like you more, and if you convert to their religion, they may admire you. We can not only convert to a religion, but also send missionaries to spread a religion in a city.

            The selection of civics is another major part of the game as they can change the way you play due to the various differences each civic system can make. They can lead to low upkeep, happiness and also higher productivity in cities. These civic options are also related to the researches. Selling the researched the technologies is also a good option for making cash or just for earning the trust of opponents. Some opponents may not be friendly whatever we do, thus making it different in the case of every scenario and its settings. We can research a technology by building the Oracle or using a great person who appears at times in a city.

            The most interesting thing in the game may be the number of buildings which can be constructed. There are also some wonders like Hollywood, Statue of Liberty, The Broadway, Taj Mahal, The Pyramids, Eiffel Tower and more. The construction of a wonder can be time consuming which may leave your city useless until it is complete. The special resources in the game like iron, rice, uranium, ivory, stone, marble, oil etc also plays a mjor role in the game as some units needs it and some of them can speed up processes. Each city needs to be connected to eachother to make the most out of these resources, and for some extra resources we can always trade.

            The game also got some great graphics as we zoom in to see the units from very close without any blurring and we can also zoom out a lot. The zoom out feature is very effective as we can zoom out to see the whole planet earth which gives us the feeling that we are in some upper layer of atmosphere. The game looks great right from the main menu itself and the music and sound effects are just too good. They have even detailed the world leaders well, even if they look a bit funny, may be done like that intentionallly.

            Tha game also got a world builder which can be used to edit the map as we wish, and the game's multiplayer option means that this one can never be too boring. Even if the huge map can take lots of time to load in the less powerful systems, the loading time is worth it. If any one is looking a turn-based strategy game, this is the perfect choice. We can also get to know something about the ancient civilizations from these types of games :-)



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              23.02.2006 16:18
              Very helpful



              The best turn based strategy game ever made.

              Way back in the mists of time… well 1991 a long time in PC game terms, there was a game called Civilization. This was the new offering from Sid Meyer who had had great success with a previous strategy game called ‘Railroad Tycoon’. Civilisation was one of the most ambitious strategy game ever produced, its premise was for the player from very humble beginnings to create a civilisation and through conflict, co-operation and skill build it up to reach out to the stars. The game was a huge hit and it quickly became acknowledged as the best turn based strategy game ever made.

              Since then ‘improved’ versions Civ 2 and Civ 3 have been produced, which have on the whole built upon and tweaked the basic concept to varying degrees of success. Personally I found Civ 2 to be an even better game than the original but was rather disappointed with the third instalment. It was with a mixture of great expectation and a little trepidation that I waited for the release of ‘Civilization IV’ the very much improved and expanded latest version of the famous franchise.

              CIV IV

              The basic premise of the game hasn’t changed, why change something that is almost perfection? Your task is still to take charge of a nomadic tribe, settle down build a city and grow making the best use of your surroundings. Over the course of thousands of years by careful management of your resources and economy you should expand into a global empire and finally rule the whole of the world or be the first to build spaceships to settle other distant planets.

              At the start of the game you are asked to choose a civilisation type from a fairly large list of options (British, American, Indian, Mongolian, French Chinese etc. are all there) as well as a difficulty level beginning at the easiest ‘Chieftain’ gradually going up the scale through ‘Warlord’, ‘Prince’ etc. eventually arriving at the extremely challenging ‘Deity’. Other pre-game choices include terrain type, sea levels, resource abundance etc. Careful consideration has to be given to all these before starting. The excellent printed manual included with the game will make essential reading for the first few attempts at playing.

              The gameplay involves as it always did a careful balance of economic and structural development. This will include creating food for your cities to expand and collecting resources in order to manufacture goods and develop technologies eventually to trade with other people. As well as these considerations you will expect to have to defend yourself from other aggressive empires and also do a little conquering in the bargain, so training a powerful up to date army if only for defence is also a strong priority.

              The new game takes the gameplay to more sophisticated levels. Where in the previous version once you had set up a city you could develop the land around it by either irrigating for food production, building mines in suitable areas for extracting resources and additionally building roads to stimulate trade and make movement easier in the new version all these activities lead to many more choices. Land development is not only about irrigation, you could forgo farming for setting up plantations or simply build satellite hamlets and town to provide your coffers with extra tax revenue. The provision of resource is also made more complex by giving a choice of which material you want to produce, silver, gold, oil and maybe you want to simply generate power by building wind farms or water mills. These changes have greatly improved the game and made the possibilities of developing in many more specific areas thus allowing the type of economy that you can develop to be much more tailored to your own individual preferences in playing the game.

              As before at the start of the game you are given a choice of races to chose from will affect they type of empire you are suited for so for instance if you choose to be Genghis Khan expect other to be wary of you and not do you any favour diplomatically but on the up side the fact that you can train armies faster than them will give you a distinct early advantage if you take an aggressive stance. Ghandi of the Indian empire on the other hand will make you many friend sand allow your diplomatic influence to flourish but will not suit an aggressive, blood thirsty player. Right from the start your choices will count toward your eventual success.

              The big changes that have been introduced to CIV 4 are to do with religion and culture. In previous game these factors have not mattered whereas now they must play an intrinsic part of your strategy. You early on can choose to set up a religion and depending on how you play this religion can spread to other states thus making you as the seat of that religion an important influence over their decisions in relation to military and diplomatic matters. Culture in the form of art and literature and by the existence of great citizens provided when you build cultural centres will allow you sphere of influence to spread even further and can ultimately plant the seeds of unrest in near by foreign cities making them more likely to revolt and join your empire.


              One change that is very welcomes is the improved graphics. In the earlier versions the map looked like nothing more than a graphically enhanced chessboard but CIV 4 has finally added graphics that do justice to the complexity of the game. With the help of a voice over by Mr Spock (Leonard Nimoy) the new graphics engine provides us with an improved amount of detail and animation making the whole gaming experience more enjoyable. The world has become 3D and you are able to zoom in and out with godlike power. All the information that the game employs is still there to be accessed but in a new easier user friendly way. Although the AI representation of the rival leader still leave a little to be desired. I also miss the films clips representing the various advisors from CIV 2 especially Elvis!

              The terrain itself has become a lot more variable and the graphics are geared to make this aspect of the game easier to handle thus you are able to tell quite easily whether any selected area is generating food, resources or commerce. A certain amount of customisation is also allowed so that various aspects of the terrain can be highlighted.

              WAR, WHAT IT GOOD FOR?

              This is an area that has seen big changes in the new CIV. In the original version a units military strength was represented by an attack and defence ratings in CIV a single power rating is used, this simplifies combat but you units can add flexibility by the addition of different upgrade depending on their experience which allows them to specialise in city defence or attack or in combat against specific kinds of units over and above their normal abilities such as first strike. This can produce some hard fought battles between unlikely units and makes it generally harder to conquer cities with small armies.
              Another change involves the use of artillery units which now cannot damage defenders in a city but only lower the city’s overall defence bonus. Gone are the days where a powerful navy would guarantee world domination. Some units also have the possibility of withdrawing from combat if they are about to lose a battle.

              This changed aspect of the game might represent the biggest hurdle to previous players of Civ and will require some fundamental changes in the game tactics.

              Other areas of the game will be familiar to past Civ players. When you build a city you have to decide to devote your efforts to earth building city improvements (barracks, temples, aqueducts) or improving you army buy building military units but unlike before you cannot change production half way through without losing all the resources you have put in already so a little more consideration must be given to which improvements path to take at nay stage of the game.

              As in previous games you will also undertake scientific research and discover new technologies and civilisation advancements, this now includes various religious advances. The ability to build ‘Wonders’ building of enormous importance and influence that will give you civilisation various advantages is still there although it has been expanded to include national wonders as well with more limited effects. New in-game movies shown on wonder completion are also a welcomed addition.

              I have yet to try the multiplayer modes and I am unlikely to do so in the near future So I can’t comment too much on this aspect of the game apart form saying that LAN, Internet, PBEM, and Persistent Turn-Based Server (PTBS) is possible and that a variety of differing game type and team allocations are possible.


              It is almost impossible to include all the features of the game in a short review but I emphasise that what I have written about will provide you only a brief outline of most important aspect of the game.

              So is the new CIV 4 an improvement of previous versions? It is certainly true to say the graphics are far better and the player interface is much improved and easier to understand (once you have the hang of the game) so in this respect yes it is better. However it is difficult to improve on a game like CIV in that it was one of the best and strategy games around and one that retained a high re-playability value. I think the question is in fact unfair; CIV 4 is different enough to the other version to be considered as a new experience even for long standing fans of the franchise. Civ 4 will provide a challenge for even the best CIV player and will ensure that there is no comfort zone based on previous tactical knowledge. Despite the complexity of the game I found it relatively easy to play on the easier levels (up to ‘warlord’) and the ability to customise the length of the game means that it does not have to be a sleep depriving epic gaming session. Overall I can’t really criticise the game and it is one of the best strategy games around but I was a little (a tiny, tiny bit) disappointed when I completed my fist game possibly due to my extremely high expectations from the game before playing and less to do with the game itself. I’m sure that Civ-virgins will find this new version every bit an enthralling as I found the very first Civilization all those years ago in 1991.


              TECH SPECS (for those interested)

              The game requires a DVD Rom drive to run and comes with a 12+ (PEGI) rating mainly due to its complexity rather than inappropriate content.

              Minimum Spec.
              Windows 2000/XP
              1.2GHz P4 or above
              256MB RAM (Win 2000) 512MB RAM (XP)
              1.7GB Hard Disk Space
              64MB Video Card

              ‘Civilisation IV’ can be bought from Play.com for £17.99 (delivered) at the time of writing this review.

              © Mauri 2006


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            • Product Details

              Civilization is one of those games that had the unfortunate luck of being pretty much perfect the first time around. Unfortunate because it means that the developers didn’t really have much else to do for any of the sequels. Not until number three anyway, at which point they almost ruined everything by overcomplicating it. In a nod to the graphical ability of modern day PCs the graphics have been upgraded all the way from rubbish to okay-ish. Actually, the 3D effect as you zoom out to a view of the whole globe is quite nice but otherwise this is not going to be giving Doom 3 any sleepless nights.

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