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4.6 out of 5 stars30
Platform: Mac|Change
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on August 22, 2009
Most expansion packs are disappointing, and until now the Civilization ones were no exception. They add a few new units, a few new civilizations, and maybe a concept or two. Although "Beyond the Sword" does all of this, it does a lot more. The additions--corporations that grow and develop, random events that affect relations and growth, a new espionage system that puts teeth back into spies--change the strategy of the game, adding complications and nuances throughout. This is especially good when all of the territories have been claimed. Before this pack, late gameplay was the least interesting part. Now, it is just as enjoyable as the rest of the game. There are also little things that I've enjoyed. Building wonders has always been a great part of Civilization, and now there are many more. New military units, like anti-tank infantry, guided missiles, and paratroopers, add new strategic possibilities to war, and personally, I really like the new animations for the spaceship. The only thing a little disappointing is that they couldn't get Leonard Nimoy to read the script for the new technologies. I don't know who the new guy is, but compared to Nimoy, he sounds pretty lame. You won't be disappointed with this expansion pack. After playing this at my house a few nights ago, a friend of mine went home and ordered his own copy immediately. If you're a fan of the Civilization series, I suggest that you do the same.
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on August 8, 2009
I've been playing Civ since the original came out in 1991 and this expansion moves Civ IV to the top of the list for me. It's now a richer and deeper game which permits the player to be successful with a wider range of strategies. Espionage and random events are my two favorite changes. On the other hand, corporations feel grafted on and just don't seem to add that much to the game. The AI has definitely been improved and I definitely recommend this expansion to anyone with the original Civ IV. If you haven't bought the Warlords expansion, don't bother - everything from it is included in Beyond the Sword except the Warlords scenarios.
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on September 12, 2009
Beyond the Sword for Mac is a game for great minds. I played the PC version for a while now, but running on iMac or MacBook gives me much better graphics performance and experience. I play with my sons (they use the PC version on Dell) via LAN setting, after installing patch 319, we can play hours with a lot of fun. My version on Mac works much more smoothly than the PC version; I guess OpenGL is better than DirectX? Not sure. Apple just makes much better platforms for games.
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on January 21, 2010
I had Civ IV and the first expansion, Warlords, for some time. Running on 10.4 they both crashed. A lot. I have not had a single crash so far in BTS. Now, I did upgrade to 10.6 before playing this, so possibly that had something to do with it. Others have already reviewed the game content. I have nothing really to add to that. Just wanted to mention that this has made the game much more stable for me, in addition to being a pure joy to play. Brings back memories of Civ III.
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on July 25, 2011
I have to admit that I was pretty sold on Civ IV already ... but I was getting a little bored. "Beyond ..." definitely reignited my enthusiasm. The new units are fun, but the new strategy options really make it a winner! Vassal states? How cool!
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on October 2, 2011
Beyond the Sword is unique among expansions in that it not only brings additional content and tweaks to an already amazingly detailed and thought-out game, but it also actually improves the performance of Civ 4's game engine and actively reduces the processing power necessary to play. You can actually run more civilizations on larger maps with better visual detail with BtS, using the same amount of system resources. For this OSX version, many of the glitches found in the original game are gone.
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on August 24, 2010
I'm not going to try to convince you that the Civ games are good. You either like turn-based games or you don't. If you do like them, then you will not be disappointed by this one. I'm just bummed because I know it will be a while before a Mac version of Civ 5 comes along.

I was worried about buying the Mac version because I'd read so many negative reviews. But I really hate using the Boot Camp drive, so I decided to risk it. Here are some of the issues that people have had:

1) Game crashing in the late stages. For me, this has not really been much of a problem. Make sure you install the appropriate patches when available. It is true that the game sometimes gets laggy or the sounds/music get messed up, especially towards the modern era. But I found that quitting the program (after saving!) and relaunching solves that problem easily. It doesn't happen every time...I'd say I have to do this every 5 games or so. It does seem to happen more if I'm doing other things on the computer, like checking email or surfing the web while the game is running.

2) Laptop overheating. Macbooks run hot, whether you're playing a game or not. I use a laptop cooling pad and have had absolutely no problems with overheating.

3) Compatibility with PC saves. Not a problem at all; I'm able to load other people's save files without difficulty.

Finally, a word of warning. This game can be addictive!!
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on November 15, 2009
Best expansion pack ever!!! The higher levels are insanely difficult. Endless game possibilities with hours an entertainment!!!
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on January 23, 2014
It's a good expansion pack overall and adds quite a bit of content overall, although it doesn't have as much of an effect on gameplay as the Warlords expansion does.

The AI is greatly improved, although new mechanics and units aren't especially apparent later in the game.
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on April 4, 2012
This rounds out Civ 4 nicely. It adds several more important civilizations (Mayans, Native Americans, Khmers, Holy Roman Empire, Byzantines, Sumerians and Babylonians). It offers an entirely new player, the corporation, allowing your Civ to create businesses and sell or use their products. The space race is more realistic, taking longer to build and launch, than in the original Civ IV. They have also added a "random events" feature, where good or bad things can randomly happen to cities, such as natural disasters or unexpected new resources. The graphics look tidier than the original and the tech tree has been expanded.

Overall this expansion feels like a near perfect completion of the original Civ 4 series. Very addictive and enjoyable!
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