The civilized way to take over the world

Firaxis has added another solid chapter to their renowned series with the introduction of Civilization 5. The studio expands on what made previous installments of the game successful, while simultaneously making important and decisive changes.

The strategy series is renowned for its in-depth and nuanced gameplay style as players attempt to build an empire that will stand the tests of time.

Granted, many of the same problems still persist for those gamers who weren’t enthralled by previous games, particularly the long wait times as AI-controlled characters move around the board during epic mode with 12 other leaders gunning for you.

This may dissuade some new fans coming from quick-paced RTS games like Starcraft, but for veterans and those who like to conquer enemy tiles piece-by-piece, the gameplay is worth the wait.

Unlike the other installments, this game no longer plays like Risk where you can just stack multiple units on one tile and bulldoze towards enemy capitals. A new sense of strategy is evident — each tile can only hold one military unit and so flanking and surrounding enemies is that much more effective.

The ability to level up your units returns, making small groups of specific units invaluable. You may even grow some attachment to the unconventional Japanese samurai who conquer the board before you even research gunpowder.

The game can be played in little sprees of quick matches, usually spanning 30 minutes, or on an epic scale where a single match might last a few hours, but regardless of your choice the graphics provide a bright and vibrant quilt.

As you conquer lands and create enemies — and maybe friends — Civilization 5 creates new ways to surprise through minor graphic upgrades and new gameplay. The installment is a great addition to the Sid Meier legacy.

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