8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Better, but still behind Civ IV.,
This review is from: Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods and Kings - PC (CD-ROM)
I loved Civilization from the first game. I even tried Call to Power, but couldn't do it.
Civ 5 clearly simplified too much, I must assume they wanted to increase the pontential number of players, but I don't see how the regular Civ 5 could please anyone.
So now the idea is to introduce again Religion and Espionage into the game and (hopefully) some added complexity to the game. It does succeed at that, but at a much smaller level than the previous success of Civilization IV.
Religion was made into an interesting innovation; you basically tailor your religion to your strategy by choosing which benefits it confers. For example you can receive benefits for having the religion spread into different civilizations, or simply by the number of cities (your or others) affected, or the ability to buy building with the new faith points. Pretty neat, and since a particular benefit can be interesting there is a sort of a race if two civilizations want to pursue the same strategy.
The downside is that once the religions are established, there is little gameplay with them. So they change the game from the beginning to say... 500 AD. By them mostly everyone will have a religion picked out. It was a fine addition, but it mostly changed the early game in a relatively minor way.
Espionage is the big let down. It begins in the Renaissance (it is as if the game knew religion would be mostly played out by then) and you get one spy to try to steal tech or influence city-states. Far too little gameplay and involvement, the spy doesn't exist on the map and it all happens in the "Espionage screen". It is a cheap add on that does nothing to the game and is absurdly limited. You get one new spy per age, so you can't move resources into more spies because basically they have very little to actually do.
The greatest success is actually naval combat. Now you have long range and melee ships, and you can attack cities more effectively with a navy. Naval combat was drastically improved with this.
The new civs are irrelevant to me. I don't care about new luxury items. The foreign policy is very mildly different for city states, but the original one was practically broken, so I see this more as a patch than an effective expansion of the game.
So this expansion is ok, but not worth the price. It improves mildly Civ5, but it still is incredibly inferior to Civ4 in every way but graphics.