According to Sid Meier’s Civilization V by 2048 the world will be split into 3 superpowers (the French, Germans and Indians), the last remnants of a great empire holed itself up in its last city (China), a nation consumed in nuclear fallout (Arabia) and about 10 city states caught in the middle; trading and arming themselves for the onslaught that is to come. Welcome to the future hell that is the latest instalment in the Civilization franchise.
The game is based around the idea that you lead a civilization from prehistoric times all the way to the far flung future in a bid to conquer the world or co-exist happily with the other nations that you are up against. Victory conditions range from research, diplomacy, expansion, economic development, government and military conquest. Units start from swordsman to battleships to giant killer robots. So with this much scope the game play can be very interesting indeed.
…settled some stunning cities…
And that’s where my game comes into the equation. Things started off great for my civilization, France. I had a decent sized country, settled some stunning cities (by the sea and under the shadow of Mount Etna) and explored the seas to find my rivals that seemed to be happy to open borders and friendship to me.
Things were looking good.
…my territory now had reached the largest landmass on my side of the world…
Then as I progressed my friends started to disappear. Germany, Arabia and China started a ping pong game of friendship, denouncing me as nasty, and declaring war on each other. Not being one to back down and owning a large continent to France’s interests I pushed forward and invaded the city state of Sydney, meaning my territory now had reached the largest landmass on my side of the world. Things could only go well from now on… right?
I was wrong.
…kicking all kinds of shit out of each other…
What I hadn’t realized was that my friends who had disappeared (about 5 civilizations) had been swallowed up by India. Meaning that the majority of the world’s wonders (that only one nation can build) had been taken by them. The buffer between me and them was China who attacked me for attacking Sydney. After kicking all kinds of shit out of each other China had retreated to its major city and the path was open for India to knock three bells out of me. My battleships met the armoured divisions of India. The atomic bomb was dropped on Hanoi and Sydney while I fired Nukes at India’s closest City.
But it just didn’t matter.
…catching us up with atomic bombs…
On top of all of this my empire was unhappy meaning production and growth levels in my cities had declined. India was two times the size of me and could field a larger army. The only thing stopping them was the sea which I had nuclear submarines guarding, but that was a delaying tactic. We had come to a stalemate or simply put I couldn’t face fighting a war of attrition for the next 500 years.
Oh and top of this the Germans were catching us up with atomic bombs. Wipe out one evil and another would come.
…the first people to feel my wrath will be India…
So in the end I conceded defeat to India, but on reflection I massively enjoyed the game. Building up your civilisation is very fun and moving through the ages adds to the diverse game play. You start pining for and holding strategic resources because you know in the future that is what will mean the difference between militarisation and defeat.
With stunning turn based strategy, various upgrades, a well thought out tree for units and technologies and the chance to change the fate of the world Sid Meier’s Civilization V is literally difficult to stop playing. The game is available to download from Steam with exclusive content (scenarios and playable nations) and the game has already released an expansion pack that brings religion, espionage and better fighting styles (Civilization V: Gods & Kings)
I will play again soon I think, but I will be someone different, maybe more laid back like the Polynesians. Whoever I pick I know for a fact that the first people to feel my wrath will be India. Because this time round Gandhi really does have it coming to him.
Images courtesy of Firaxis