PC Game -- Sid Meier's Civilization IV

Civilization IV brings new aesthetic and strategic elements to world domination, without losing any of the elements that made the Civilization series such a successful franchise. Graphical enhancements are significant; everything is now in 3-D (a screenshot is located here), and you now have the ability to zoom in and out huge distances - giving global navigation a "Google Earth" feel (Click here to view another screenshot).

The strategic enhancements are enormous, with the addition of 25 different civic manipulations, allowing you to tailor your civilisation in areas of state religion, government, legal, labour and economy.

Religion plays an enormous role in the social engineering of a civilisation, and you can incorporate it into your own strategic plans, with seven religions to inspire your populace and convert your neighbours. Great prophets are a by-product of your religious activities, and they, like other great people (engineers, artists, etc) can be used for discovering technology, building wonders or bringing about a golden age.

The civilisations playable now number 18 and the victory conditions have also been increased to include a diplomatic victory, that is won through passing major resolutions through the UN (just like real life, this proves to be somewhat harder than winning the space race).

Enemy civilisations have improved AI, making them behave in a more human-like way. This makes all of your decisions count a lot in foreign relations, which will affect outcomes for UN votes, military alliances and economic pacts.

More units have been added to the fray, and each unit has its own customisable promotion path of up to five levels. This is a new level of micro management for Civilization which can be automated if you prefer to focus on other things. In fact, everything in Civilization is customisable to allow you to play it exactly how you want it. Even balancing how powerful cultural and military forces are, can be changed. However, these kinds of balance customisations are left for the more advanced gamer.

The multiplayer aspect allows for an array of different playing options, the best utilising simultaneous turns and a clock timer. This allows for an almost real-time strategy feel, with the most impressive part being that players can drop in and out of a game seamlessly with the AI taking the reigns when needed.

Civ IV has also been designed for easy modification, so the game life - while incredibly long (there are still people playing Civ II) - will most likely span quite some time, since you get a user-friendly map editor with XML and Python support along with the game.

In fact, the only thing Civ IV is missing is the palace-building part of the first title, making it almost impossible to find fault with. When you consider how many hours you'll find yourself playing it, $89 is a small price to pay for such a good game.

Visuals: Great step up to 3-D with fantastic unit detail.
Audio: Leonard Nimoy does vocals, need I say more?
Gameplay: As addictive as always, you may want to book some time off work in advance.
Score: 5
Developer: Firaxis
Publisher: 2kgames
URL: www.2kgames.com/civ4
Price: $89

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Damien Donnelly

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?