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Take -Two Interactive Civilization IV review


Review Date: 23 Nov 2005

Price when reviewed: inc VAT

Reviewed By: David Ludlow

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

ExpertReviews Award

Almost every new release is a first-person shooter these days, so it's great to see a good old-fashioned god game hit the shelves. Civilization IV has quite a reputation to live up to, as its predecessor kicked off the entire genre.

While the action remains the same - build cities, collect resources, conquer the world - there are loads of new features. You have a wider choice of characters, including Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, with whom you can command the British Empire. Every other major empire is included, so there's plenty of choice. Each side has its own strengths and weaknesses, which you discover as you play the game. The way various empires interact is important, too. Your neighbours either try to promote peace or, if you become weak, prepare to take your land.

The game begins in the Stone Age, and you have to build your technology and cities as time progresses. When you first start, you have a map with just a couple of units. This is the dullest part of the game, but there's plenty of automation on hand. With a couple of clicks, you can expand your city and explore the surrounding terrain without having to take control of every aspect.

Civilization IV retains the series' turn-based gameplay. It may be a little slow for some people, but being able to plan every move means you can really become a master of the battlefield.

You must also keep your subjects happy and develop your society through agriculture, technology and religion - plenty to keep you occupied before you even get to your first battle.

It's not fast-paced, but if you like detail, hard work and planning then this is the game for you.

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