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Sid Meier's Civilization V - PC
Sid Meier's Civilization V - PC
Offered by games_for_sale
Price: $9.99
67 used & new from $1.57

2,119 of 2,284 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like watching paint dry..., October 16, 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Just to give this review some perspective, I've been playing the various iterations of Civ for a very, very long time. I remember playing the original like it was yesterday. Beavis and Butthead on the TV, Nirvana on the radio, and me on my Packard Bell. I spent hours in my mom's basement, wasting away from rickets while the normal kids were soaking up the sunlight, going out on dates, playing sports, and leading generally normal, productive lives. Civ 1 really messed up my life...but in a completely awesome way.

I mean, I couldn't get enough. Doubly so with Civ 2. The things you could do with that game. It had...personality. I remember little stuff, like the different architectural styles, that gave the game such an immersive quality. I remember how every time I played, the world had its own story, and how things would seem to take on a life of their own. The endless war with the Mongols, my alliance with the Germans, butting heads with Caesar. I learned more about history there than I ever did in school. It was fantastic. I didn't even play to win most of the time. I was a fifteen year-old kid in a sandbox.

I got older, and Civ grew with me. I spend endless hours on 3 and 4, balancing game commitments and my real life. When Civ 5 was announced, I didn't hesitate. I bought it immediately.

In short, it didn't take me long before I realized that this new Civ was nothing like the Civ of old. I've never played Revolutions, but I've heard there is a lot of overlap. I don't know. What I do know is that this game is boring. Really, really boring. Never have I clicked the "next turn" button like I have here. Maybe it's because it takes forever to build long, in fact, that it's easier just to hoard gold and buy things. Maybe it's because expansion and/or conquest isn't really encouraged. The seemingly massive happiness hit just makes it unreasonable. So I sit there, just watching the world slowly go by.

And how slow it is...the loading screen between turns has become my nemesis. I've turned the "superb" graphics down to their lowest setting, just to speed things up, and to keep things from jumping from one side of the world to the other every time I scroll my mouse. Just to be clear, I have a computer that can run all the latest shooters, yet cannot run a turn-based strategy game aimed at a mass audience.

The AI is dumb and unfinished. If my dog had fingers, he could win on prince at least. I don't consider myself the smartest strategist, but I have never lost a war in Civ 5. Ever. I started on warlord, then prince, then king. Onward and upward I went, until I quickly realized that the AI wasn't getting smarter. It was just cheating. This was acceptable 15 years ago, not now.

Why is Gandhi determined to kill me? After 2000 years of good relations, he wants to kill me. Not a biggie, mind you, because all he does is park archers next to my swordsmen, where I can promptly slaughter them. After I defeat his army (without taking any cities), he offers me all of his resources, all of his gold, and all of his cities (except for his capital, of course). He just gives up. I take him up on his offer, because I am obviously smarter than him. But that means my happiness tanks, my production stops, and my steady income stream is now in the red. Whatever. I still have 3 swordsmen and 2 archers. I can conquer the world with that. Screw culture.

Did I mention the music? Man, it's boring. No more period specific soundtrack, tribal or classical. Just the turn-based equivalent of elevator music. I'm sure the graphics are the bees-knees, but with me playing on the lowest graphics setting, I will never know. City-states, which were made out to be a big deal, are not. They ask for stuff, you give it to them (or not). They give you stuff (or not). That is the extent of the city-state strategy. Boring.

Actually, the city-state thing reminds me of a problem I have that extends beyond the poor quality of this game. Professional reviews. Why did every professional game review outlet give Civ 5 high marks. 9/10. A+. Really? Every review I've seen has been the same. "It has hexes!" "It has city-states!" "One unit per tile!" "Ranged combat!" "Beautiful graphics!" I even saw reviews gushing over how cool the opening sequence was (you know, the one you can't skip).

For one, I am tired of seeing the old man in the hut every time I load up. I find it oddly fishy that no "professional" reviewer has brought up the bugginess; the fact that you need an internet connection; the fact that you need Steam; the fact that the AI stinks; etc, etc, etc. Just hexes and city-states. Either they were told to write a good review by the "powers that be," or they spent a total of 3 hours playing before writing their reviews. Either way, I will never trust a professional review source ever again.

I gave this game 2 stars, because I believe it still has the potential to be good. After a few expansions, some mods, a Rhys and Fall, a Fall From Heaven. Yeah, it could be good. I've played around 60 hours, and still see a spark of genius here. But it will take an awful lot of work. Right now, it's like watching paint dry.
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