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About the product
- Will add the Polish Empire as a new civilization
- New World Congress diplomacy mechanic
- Also includes eight new wonders, new trade systems, two new scenarios, and new paths to a Cultural victory
- Must have original Civilization V game to play
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Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World is the second expansion pack for Civilization V - the critically acclaimed 2010 PC Game of the Year. This new expansion provides enhanced depth and replayability through the introduction of international trade and a focus on culture and diplomacy. Your influence around the world will be impacted by creating Great Works, choosing an ideology for your people and proposing global resolutions in the World Congress. As you move through the ages of history you will make critical decisions that will impact your relationship with other civilizations. Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World also introduces nine new civilizations, eight new wonders, two new scenarios, four new gameplay systems and dozens of new units, buildings and improvements offering an expanded variety of ways to build the most powerful empire in the world.
Top Customer Reviews
Let me first say that the $29.96 price of this expansion is a steal, because this expansion comes pretty darn close to making this game Civilization VI. There is so much new content here that it is difficult to know where to start with this review.
Let's first begin by discussing the new Trade mechanic. Originally trade in Civilization V was fairly rudimentary- you exchange one luxury resource for another luxury resource with another civilization. The Brave New World expansion preserves this aspect, but also opens up a whole new avenue of trading with other civilizations/nations and City States. This is accomplished through the use of two new units: caravans and cargo ships. With these new units, you can set up trade routes with other civilizations and city states as a source of gold for your nation. However, there is a great deal of complexity built into this new trading mechanic, because when you trade with another nation not only is gold exchanged but also possibly science and/or religious influence. In other words, while trading with a particular rival nation might net you a bunch of gold, is it worth the extra science the other nation gets from the deal (if you are ahead of them technologically) and the opposing religious influence brought against you? This can lead to some tough, but delightfully entertaining, decisions. Also, you are free (and other nations are free) to pillage a trade route, but that can lead to negative diplomatic repercussions with the nation you pillage.
The next new gameplay system is the Tourism mechanic. Culture still functions the same way as it always has in Civilization V- you build up Culture with various buildings (amphitheaters, opera houses, etc.) in your cities until you build enough Culture to "level up" your civilization with new enhancements. However, the way of achieving a "cultural victory" has changed. Now, when you generate a Great Artist, Great Musician, or Great Writer, you can cash them in for a one-time benefit (big culture boost, start a Golden Age, etc.), or you can use them to create a "Great Work" in one of your cities (provided that you have constructed a building in one of your cities that can hold it), and that generates tourism. Tourism can then spread your culture to other nations. If you are able to build up enough tourism that overwhelms your rival nations, you win the game via a Cultural Victory.
The new Tourism gameplay system makes building cultural buildings and cultural Wonders of the World more enjoyable and more important than it was previously. Added to this is the new Archaeologist unit- essentially an Indiana Jones-eque unit that you can send to "Antiquity Sites" on the map (for example, where a previous battle in your game took place) to extract artifacts that will generate culture and tourism.
Finally, the last major gameplay enhancement is the new World Congress (and its successor later in the game - the United Nations). This is where you have the opportunity to propose various resolutions - imposing an embargo on a bully nation, banning the use of a particular luxury, launching an international project (where if you contribute the most production, you get a major bonus), etc. Civilization V's diplomacy system has been enhanced as it has gone through various patches and the Gods & Kings expansion, but it has now reached its apex in the Brave New World expansion because now you can bargain with your rival nations for their votes at the World Congress/U.N.
Also, the espionage mechanic introduced in the Gods & Kings expansion is further enhanced in Brave New World because now when you send an agent to a rival nation, you are given a choice - do you want your agent to be a spy or a diplomat? A spy can be used to gather intrigue on the rival nation and attempt to steal technologies. On the other hand, a diplomat can be used to influence the rival nation's vote at the World Congress / U.N. This interplay between diplomacy, espionage, and the World Congress/U.N. opens up a whole new level of complexity that Civilization V lacked before, and it is immensely rewarding and entertaining.
On top of all of the above-mentioned enhancements, we also get the usual new units/buildings/improvements that you would expect from an expansion pack. Also, there are also new additions to the Social Policy Tree called Ideologies that are unlocked after you build 3 factories or enter the Modern Age - Autocracy, Freedom, and Order. The ideologies grant your civilization further enhancements/perks tailored to the particular ideology you choose. Want to build a nation similar to the United States (Freedom), or try your hand at a Soviet style nation (Order)? You now have your chance.
If you combine this expansion with the original Civilization V game and the Gods & Kings expansion, you truly have the complete Civilization experience. The possibilities are now almost truly endless - want to start a major religion, conduct war/peace with nations and city states, engage in trade with other nations, conduct espionage and diplomacy, wheel and deal with your rivals at the World Congress / United Nations, create classic works of art/music/writing to create an empire of tourism and make you the envy of the world, etc.? I could go on, but you get the idea of the amount of complexity at your command now.
The only thing negative I can say about this expansion is that, if you are not careful, you will find yourself losing copious amounts of sleep (as I have, unfortunately) playing it. That, more than anything, is the best compliment you can give to a Civilization game. If you have any interest in human history and/or computer games, you owe it to yourself to get this marvelous game.
The biggest changes are revolving around the new Trade Route system, new cultural victory, introduction of ideology, and World Congress.
When you start a new game you can create a trade route using a unit called a Caravan. The number of trade routes you can create increases as you progress your civilization through the game. You can also gain additional trade routes through the construction of specific wonders. Trade Routes may be sent from one of your cities to another or from one of your cities to another civilization or city-state. When choosing where to send the Trade Route you will be shown the benefits of each option for your civilization as well as the other civilization/city-state (if applicable). For instance: You receive +1 Science, +2 Gold, while they receive +1 Science, +1 Gold, or something similar. You can also pressure other civilizations to convert to your religion through these trade routes.
New Cultural Victory:
The new culture system is much more dynamic than it was previously; evolving from a number you gained every turn amplified by buildings/wonders to a system that is much more interactive. Buildings like museums now have slots for different kinds of great works that are created by the three types of special cultural units, the 'Great Artist', 'Great Writer', and 'Great Musician'. The Great works created by the Artists, Writers, and Musician all boost your civilization's tourism output. Tourism is a new resource helps you gain sway over the other civilizations by making them envious of your great works of art, writing, or music. You can also swap the great works you have with another civilization if you find yourself with an abundance of one type but lacking another. Another new aspect of culture is the introduction of Archaeologists, who can find artifacts from ancient battles that occurred earlier in your game to boost your culture/tourism.
Once you reach the modern era (or construct 3 factories, whichever comes first) you can choose an ideology (Freedom/Order/Autocracy) which helps guide your civilization for the later parts of the game. Whichever you choose will either bring you closer with other civilizations with the same choice, or may drive you away from civilizations that chose a different ideology.
The World Congress (and later the United Nations) is possibly my favorite new aspect of the expansion. Throughout the later part of the game you vote along with your fellow civilizations on many different things. You can tax large standing armies if one civilization is bullying the others, you can choose who is going to hold the world games, you can limit particular resources, vote on nuclear weapon usage, and MANY other things. It makes you interact with civilizations that you usually would not contact often and adds another layer of strategy and makes the end of the game much more interesting.
If you enjoyed Civilization V, I would say this is a great buy. It adds more layers to the game and makes the later stages of the game much more interesting and fun to play. I really enjoy the game I played through, and will update this review as needed.
*PS* - This game includes the religion and espionage mechanics that were in the Gods & Kings expansion, so you DO NOT need to buy that expansion to get this one! If you did choose to skip the Gods & Kings expansion, however, you will be without the civilizations/wonders/scenarios that are introduced in that expansion. So while you can play this expansion only previously owning the original Civilization V, you will not receive all of the content within Gods & Kings.
EDIT - 7/10/2013 - Expanded on the PS note to include additional information regarding the Gods & Kings expansion.
*Thanks to Mike for the feedback on the PS note.
Now, if you'll excuse me, the Mongols are getting restless
Absolutely hate having to maintain an on-line STEAM account to play a game I supposedly bought...