Civilization V, Thief of Sleep and Life

My civilization expands while I lose sleep.

It’s 11:50 PM and it’s a work night. I should be on bed already to get that 8 hours of rest. But how can I go to sleep? Suleiman and his City-State allies just declared war on my civilization. Should I just let their forces prance in and around the borders of my glorious empire? Of course not. “Give me just one more turn”, I said to myself,  “and I will teach these barbaric hordes a lesson”. But that one more turn led to another and then another one. Before I knew it, it was already 3 AM, leaving me only 4 more hours of sleep before I have to get up for work.

Ever since Civilization II, Sid Meier’s Civilization series have been a scourge to my social life, health and productivity. I stopped seeing my friends when I got addicted to Civ II. I got sick due to over fatigue when I’ve forgone sleep and food in favor of playing Civ III. Then I almost failed my nuclear chemistry class when I stopped studying so I can play Civ IV. Yes, these games are very addicting. Civilization V is no different from its predecessors either.

I know that, based on the screenshots, the game doesn’t look exciting. In fact, watching a person play this game will bore you as much as watching a game of chess. But, believe me, when you’re the one sitting down, when you’re the one in control of a civilization, the world around you will disappear. You will be immersed in the world that you’re trying to create in the game. You will be numbed to the ravages of time and starvation while you ponder your next move or manage your cities. Like all Civilization games, Civ V will have you hooked just the same.

It may be the 5th installment but Civ V’s core gameplay still stays close to the franchise. You start with a single settler in the game. From there, you will build your civilization by exploring the world, expanding your borders, exploiting various resources and exterminating opponents. There are also various routes to win the game. You can either destroy all other civilizations, be the first to go on space, dominate others through your culture, or become the world ruler through diplomacy.

Unfortunately, the game stayed too close to the franchise’s gameplay and never did anything to revolutionize it. There are no new features that can really differentiate Civ V from other Civ games. Yes, it has better graphics and it has hex tiles for better unit movement. But nothing really awesome. Only one of the few notable improvements in this game is its accessibility. The user interface is much more cleaner and less confusing. It’s easier than ever to manage cities and troops with it.

Civilization V is definitely the most addicting game I’ve played this year. It’s very immersive, an escape hatch from reality. It will also satisfy your inner-tyrant. Especially when you see your enemies panic as your tanks runs over their primitive spearmen. If you already own Civilization IV, however, and don’t have the money, I suggest you skip this game. There’s nothing really new here. But if you’re a gamer who hasn’t dipped into any of the Civilization games yet. Then I suggest you start here. Just as long you don’t get yourself fired from work, get sick or fail any class, I promise that your $50 will be worth it.

Score: A-


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