Customer Reviews: Sid Meiers Civilization IV: The Complete Edition [Download]
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on September 20, 2009
Civilization is a turn-based game where you essentially have to build up a civilization, and move in turn with other civilizations. They may decide to make war with you, they may trade with you, you may crush them. Anything can go on.

When I got Civilization 3, I loved it. It was brilliant for a TBG. The graphics were (for my computer) very fluid and animate. The city graphics were very nice on the map and in detail mode. Diplomacy, war, and construction were all easy to handle (but I usually ended up losing wars or making many very costly amounts of units).

Civilization 3 was great. And Civ 4 was even better.

Now, it does require a decent GFX card. The first time I tried to play it on some archaic piece of dreck of a card (came with the machine), I couldn't see the map - it was black. But when I upgraded to a GeForce 2 card (a relatively old but reliable card), it all came to life. Unlike Civ 3, the map looked very, very realistic. Hills weren't just large bumps in the ground; mountain ranges looked more nautral. Furthermore, you can see where your workers are working ON THE GAME MAP! They're represented by little huts on the map. That's a good improvement over any of the previous versions.

Also, you can build MORE than just farms and mines now. You can build at least three different types of building on any one square of terrain (except a few like desert and ice), and sometimes five or six, including towns (+ gold), windmills (+ food), and foundries (+shields, - food). It's much more complex than before. And that's just the economy.

You can also build more units than before. And it's no longer just simply the rock/paper/scissors method of countering units anymore. Units LEARN what to fight and how to fight it! They still use the experience system (kill a random number of units and get an upgrade), but the upgrades are different. Now, instead of simply hitpoints, you can configure your units to be excellent city attackers, or counters to cavalry, infantry, or artillery, or even capable of healing other units around them. There's more, but I don't want to spoil ALL of it for ya.

One thing I will note, though, that was particularly useful to me: Civ 4 allows you to see the survival rate of any units you have versus the enemy if you should so choose to attack them. This has IMMENSELY helped my strategy in Civ 4! I now know that charing with every unit you've got into a city's a bad idea; you need to decimate the walls with cannons or catapults first.

Other notes include the interesting looking figures who play against you (including Julius and Gaius Caesar, Stalin, Saladin, Roosevelt, Churchill, Boudica (an attractive Celtic leader with a mean streak), and even Mansa Musa (no clue who he is, except that he lead the Empire of Mali - that's on Africa's west coast).

Sid Meier has, once again, made genius material. It'a fun, educational, and it now even includes religion. (Sure, it's not exactly historically accurate religion - Christians without being Jews? - but it's a step forward IMHO).

4 of 5 because, well, frankly, I'm not really a TBG type of guy, but this was a great game, and worthy of any Civilization, Colonisation, or other Turn-Based Game fan.
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on November 10, 2010
First, I want to say that the game is exactly what I'd hoped it would be. I'm only writing this review to try to help subsequent purchasers avoid a pitfall of installation on Vista or Windows 7. That is this: the patches made for this game assume a default installation location (as it would be under an XP installation). If you install the game in another location, your patching process will fail.

I've installed and played the game happily on Win7; but since it's installed in compatibility mode (and hence in a different directory from what the patch expects), I cannot apply patches. To patch, I'll have to uninstall the game, delete some registry entries that my failed patching process has made, and install in a very particular way. There are numerous posts online about overcoming this problem, and it's by no means insurmountable, but all solutions I've seen involve this uninstall/reinstall process, so I thought I'd get the word out to folks who haven't yet installed so they can be mindful of their installation location the first time around.

Again, the game is great, and I'm very happy to have bought it; it's also quite playable in Win7 with compatibility mode. The patching is a headache, though.
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on October 3, 2011
I too had issues with the game's installation. It seemed to have only downloaded the Colonization expansion, or so I thought. I called Amazon and was asked if I had looked through my Program Files folder yet (I hadn't). When I looked I found a folder called 2k Games, clicked it, then Firaxis Games, clicked it, then saw both Sid Meier's Civilization 4 Complete and Sid Meier's Civilization IV Colonization. I clicked the first one listed (Sid Meier's Civilization 4 Complete) and there you have it! All of the other 3 games included in the pack!
Remember that the type of files you need to click on to load the game(s) are called Applications. You can right click them to Pin them to Start Menu and also to Create a Shortcut on your Desktop.

Hope this helps!

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on September 5, 2009
I really don't spend much time ever writing reviews, but I do find them helpful at times when I am evaluating a product.

I'd like to point out a few things based upon other reviews:

1. You can easily circumvent the time limit on games. I personally ate that "feature" myself. If you are playing a single player game, click on single player and at the next screen click on custom game. You can select victory conditions from that screen. Don't care about a space race? Uncheck it. Couldn't care less about cultural victories? Uncheck that as well? From that screen you can tailor a game to whatever you want to play. Hate islands? Easy enough to choose a huge landmass so your chariots can sweep aside the other cultures. Want to island-hop your way to victory? You can do that as well.

2. Its a game. Relax. Enjoy it. Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is fun for those of us who enjoy this type of challenge. Don't think free market should be followed by Environmentalism? That's ok, but a free market, by definition has not limits placed upon industry. Think of all the industrial pollution in the world. The environmental movement has changed that in some places and has allowed industry to continue with some restrictions because people wanted clean water and cleaner air. I'w not going ot get into debate here, but there is logic to the choices presented in the game if you understand what the developers were getting at.

I like Civ4 just as I have enjoyed every version since Civ1 that I played years and years ago. Its one of the few games I return to after months of not playing, which is rare in any game these days.

But that is just my opinion. I just wanted to clear up a point or two.
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on February 8, 2010
I have to say, I've read all of the current review and the negatives ones are quite puzzling, so i'd like to address some of those issues. I have installed this games multiple times in different states of XP, Vista (ultimate), and 7. They all run fine. The graphic in this game may seem basic to many other games, but for it's type, they are amazing. The reason the graphics may not seem quite up to par, is that there is simply alot going on in this game. I would argue this game can have more AI calculations in a single turn than most modern games have throughout the entire gameplay. Also, some people complain about what techs open what abilities, because of their religious and political beliefs, but if you read the disclaimer on these, you can tell the dev team put alot of thought into the organization and they tried there best not to offend. The fact that you don't see more complaints on this should be a clue that they did a good job. Finally, the only major crash I have experienced is late in gameplay, when there are usually alot of calculations per turn. However, If you save and restart, it runs flawlessly through the rest of the game (usually just saving solves this).

Be aware that there is so much detail that it took me nearly a years and half to really start to understand the subtleties of this game. There are small decisions, like placing your city closer to a chain of hills, that are detrimental in the short term but can pay of after several hours of gameplay (this is a simple example). That doesn't mean it's difficult to just pick up and play however. With all of the difficulty settings available, nearly anyone can just pick up and go. I have also found the AI recommendations to work fairly well.

This is a game that you simply can't stop playing after playing through a few times. I have been playing it since it's release and continue to play it. You never play the same game twice, and it is fun to make little challenges, like pumping as much research out of city as possible, while another produces half your civs gold. The war system is by far the best I've played as well. The ranking system is well designed, and although the odds can be cruel at times (I've lost a couple tanks to an archer before), I think most people find it to be very balanced. Overall, I think the funnest part is just continually discovering new subtleties in this game. I continue to find new ways of using a key square on a map or using religion to forward a key trade deal that will only have a significant affect several hundred years in the future. It's by far the funnest turn based strategy experience available.
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on January 6, 2011
I think this was a great purchase. First off is the awesome Amazon Games Downloader. Using this tool did take four hours to download, but you can download it to as many computers as you want! I have Civ IV complete on my desktop and laptop and have so far had no hassle playing on either system.

Now, to talk about the seperate expansions.

Civ IV: This is the original game, the basic one. In this game you can control a civilization from the dawn of man (stone age) all the way to... well... however long it takes to win! This game features only gameplay on the planet Earth. If you win or lose by any victory, it gives you the option to continue playing until you give up, or your entire civ was destroyed. This is the basis for the expansions.

Civ IV colonization: Drastic reproduction of the game. The earlier Civs were focused on warfare, Colonization is focused on growth. You control either the Spanish, Dutch, or English colonies as they trade goods and prosper. It is a race to see who can break away from the motherland first. Among other features in this game, you can take any citizen out of a city and go found a new one. You can store, load, or manufacture goods and have them shipped wherever you like. You can trade with the motherland for immigrants, goods, or items of warfare.

Civ IV Beyond the Sword: This game is much like the original in many ways of gameplay. Many new concepts are introduced. New mods, new techs, new civics, even random things can happen to you or your city. Ex: "Sire, a wildfire has destroyed many trees around your capitol (Coruscant.) How would you like to continue? 1: Good, I was planning to cut it down anyway (do nothing.) 2: Oh no, that is terrible (fund reforestation efforts. 134 gold) 3: A fire? Who is responsible!? (do something else...)
Included in this game is a mod called Final Frontier. I personally have fallen in love. It is a variation of Civ gameplay that lets you explore the vastness of space. You get a whole new tech tree, new civs, new units, and can colonize star systems. In a star system you can play as if it were a city, but you can build on every individual planet!

Civ IV Warlords: I havent played much, but from what I have seen, new techs, new civs, and a few scenarios are included in this expansion.

I bought this game on sale for $12.99 from Amazon. It was a great buy.
I am very happy with this purchase.
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on May 21, 2009
a lot of depth and as such endless playability. everything is really well balanced. lots of interesting trade offs and strategy. yet, it's easy to get into and you do really get the feeling that you, one humble man [or woman], is guiding the path of a mighty [or meek] civilization. i especially enjoy the late game warfare. as history marches forward the warfare and economic mechanisms do change.

but buyer beware, it is addicting. for my first two days with the game - luckily during a weekend - i did not sleep or eat. i am still too tired to capitalize letters...

unfortunately, i did experience multiple game crashes, despite running up-to-date Vista. you'd think by this edition they'd have gotten that muck sorted out.
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on December 6, 2010
I was first introduced to Sid Meier's line of strategy games with his Alpha Centauri game, which takes place right where this game leaves off: expedition to space, and colonizing an alien planet. So I found this Earth-based prelude to be quite interesting, and very familiar to use. I kind of question the way they use religion in the game, with only broad categories (the big 5: Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam) where you get bonuses with other like-minded cultures. It kind of ignores the reality that even within those 5 great religions, there were many sects that often did not find peace with each other (take Sunni and Shia Islam for example). But I guess it would have taken too much time to account for all the sects and what not... maybe that's why the role of religion was really scaled back in Civ 5, to just not have to deal with it?

There are many other good reviews of this game on the non-digital download page, so I'll just mention a couple things regarding this digital download... first of all, I must have lucked out, because I snagged this digital download of The Complete Edition just a couple days ago for only $12.99 -- a real steal, even if the game is a few years old now, with Civ 5 out and all. (The price has since jumped back up to $39.99 as I write this review, so not quite as good of deal with it costing roughly the same as Civ 5, although you do get all the expansions.) One issue I had with the installation, was that it never made a program group or icons on the desktop for the games, but that was no big deal, you just have to create shortcuts to:

C:\Program Files (x86)\2K Games\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4 Complete\Civilization4.exe


C:\Program Files (x86)\2K Games\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization IV Colonization\Colonization.exe

Once you right click and drag those two programs to your desktop (or wherever you keep your games icons) and "Create Shortcuts Here" you can launch right into them by double-clicking the new icons like normal.
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on December 20, 2011
Ok, so I bought this and only one installed - Colonization - well I wanted to play the others so I have found out what you need to do, the game will only self launch Colonization, once you have downloaded the game onto your computer you need to go to C:\Program Files\2K Games\Firaxis Games - once here there are two folders - one contains colonization - the other the other 3 games - go to each folder and drag and drop the icon onto your desktop - once you do this you will only need to click on the icon with the game cd in the computer (if you have that) or just play - also there is a recommended patch for Beyond the Sword which is highly recommended you install - just google civilization 4 patch 3.19 and you should be good - will further review the game once I tried them all
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on August 15, 2010
DRM free is a big thing to me. Even if this game wasn't that fun I would still feel compelled to buy it simply to support the developers choice. Luckily I didn't have that problem, this game is as addictive as its predecessors! (Not having to remember where I left my CD is just an added bonus) Long reviews about game play mechanics I find unnecessary for amazon, we have other places for full game reviews. So let me simply say that this game is 5/5 for anyone who liked the other Civs, SimCity, Risk, and other games with emphasis on building, expansion, and human ingenuity.

(As a side note I run this flawlessly in GNU/Linux)
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