Article first published as PC Game Review: Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods and Kings on Blogcritics.
Sid Meier’s Civilization or Civ as it’s called by fans of the series has been around since 1991, when Sid Meier took what he had done successfully with Pirates! in 1987 and Railroad Tycoon in 1990 and made the first Civilization game. Surprisingly, the comparatively simple Sim City is what got Sid Meier onto his simulation binge. Since the first game however, others have taken over design duties for Sid Meier’s flagship franchise. Ironically, the current game, Civilization V and the new Gods and Kings expansion were headed by Jon Schaefer who got his start making user mods for Civilization III.
First off, let me tell you about the stiff system requirements for playing Civilization V. If you think you’re going to be able to run this turn-based strategy game on your netbook or an older laptop or PC, you’re sadly mistaken. The game requires a dual-core processor but really needs a quad core to run well. You will also need a gaming video card and a good bit of ram. For something that mostly runs asynchronously, it’s hard to believe it needs so much from your computer. That being said, Civilization V looks and sounds great and is what a strategy game should be.
God’s and Kings is the first expansion pack for 2010 PC Game of the Year and it’s not a small one. It spans all of the game’s time periods, from the dawn of man to the space age. As the title implies, the first addition is religion and allows you to pick, customize and spread that religion across the world. Though a little less obvious, from the title is the introduction of spies, who can steal information and technology. That alone is quite a bit for an expansion but, the expansion is heftily priced. Gods and Kings does however, also include nine new civilizations, new wonders, a couple more scenarios, and dozens of new units, buildings, and technologies.
Civilization V brings a lot of new gameplay elements into the iconic series but, I will try to focus mainly on what the new expansion offers, starting with religion. Religion in the game starts off with founding a pantheon of the Gods and as you develop faith in your empire, you can cultivate prophets. These prophets along with missionaries and inquisitors can help you spread your empire’s religion to other civilizations and the newly introduced City States. The payoff of spreading your religion is of course the influence it helps spread across your rivals.
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