Tempest Fugit: Civ V – Brave New World

By Adam Smith on July 1st, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

Civ V brings out the worst in me and Brave New World may be the expansion that changes all of that. I was approaching the industrial age in a recent multiplayer game when I realised what a terrible ruler I was – ‘terrible’ not because I was a failure but because I was too much of a success. I was the coal-devouring, smoke-belching face of global domination, like a nightmarish Punch cartoon come to life, the leader of a people who saw foreign nations as obstacles to be removed. Civ V is a strategy game that encourages the drive toward victory rather than the establishment of a culture with character. Brave New World may change that when it is released on July 12th. Here’s an early launch trailer.

To space!

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42 Comments »

  1. TripleCripple says:

    Something tells me I will still be a despot in Civ V. Culture is nice, nukes are nicer :D

    • pack.wolf says:

      I always hesitate to drop nukes on anyone until I spot some enemy ones, then I go to town big time because they effin’ scare me…

    • DonJefe says:

      Mearsheimer and Waltz have not lived in vain.

  2. Malcolm says:

    In a recent game, I built a few cities early on so my neighbours denounced me as an expansionist and declared war. Defeating them caused me to be labelled a warmonger by all and sundry. So I had practically no choice but to crush them under my heel. Sacking Rome to win seemed an apt conclusion.

    • S Jay says:

      Yeah, I really dislike this AI which is set to “winning in any measurement = let’s denounce, not collaborate in anything and attack whenever possible”

      • Moth Bones says:

        This happened to me, previously friendly civs denouncing me when I was on a separate sodding island, not encroaching on them at all. The only reason I could think of was that I’d just built two universities. Really put me off the game.

      • Leb says:

        biggest problem with Civ V IMO.

        The whole game felt like Realm divide in Shogun 2.

        “hey I know you’ve been giving me gold, free techs, helping me in wars, etc. but shit man you are gonna win.”

        Long term ally declares war and brings the rest of the planet united against you.

    • Strabo says:

      Don’t knock it, that’s how Rome became a world power after all.

    • MrEclectic says:

      You need to bring them down to one city and then make peace with them. Then everyone will love you, often the former aggressors as well. You get the warmonger label as a defending civ, when you wipe out civilisations.

      • Harkkum says:

        This indeed is the greatest silliness of ‘em all sillinesses; the winning condition in the game is to capture all capitals, not to annihilate those vile oppressors completely. It makes no sense that from the point of view of these oppressive dictators, it is a OK to reduce their civilization to nothing but a shoddy village on a one-square island. However, would you dare to burn down that wretched little dwelling you are about to face countless wars and endless denouncements.

        Oh, the politics — you so utterly fail.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      This is exactly how every human plays this kind of game. Whiners like you are just angry the AI is actually intelligent at diplomacy now. The diplomacy AI is one of the best things about this game and one of the most groundbreaking. And as always happens with AI improvements it mostly leads to a lot of players whining that it is unfair and broken because “hey my friend attacked me, that should be impossible” despite the fact that player does this to the AI oh about 10 times a game.

  3. Squirly says:

    I guess it says something when I choose France and farm culture for as long as possible, getting 4/5 of the way to utopia…. then just start crushing all and sundry. I don’t need to rule the whole world, but other than city states that worship me, my continent needs to be my own.

  4. guygodbois00 says:

    That “next-stage-rocket-burn” inspires me to go for the Space Victory. Also, somebody influential in the gaming industry (like, I don’t know, RPS maybe) should press Firaxis for remake of Alpha Centauri with Civ V graphics engine.

  5. Sic says:

    I think I might check out Civ5 soon.

    I just hope it appears on the Steam summer sale.

    On a completely unrelated note: people didn’t actually run away from the screen thinking the train might jump out of the screen at the screenings of L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat, that is, as far as we know, a complete fabrication.

    I actually didn’t expect Firaxis to restate the myth like that. All in all, the trailer was pretty bombastic and silly.

    • sonson says:

      You seem to feel very strongly about this issue. Perhaps you should establish a trust, or a charity which seeks to combat the perpetration of such falsehood?

    • Flea says:

      I was going to wait for the Steam sale too, but then I stumbled upon a sale on getgamesgo. I doubt you’ll get a much better deal for Civ V Gold than this during the sale, so you might as well get it here ($12.49): http://www.getgamesgo.com/product/civilization-V-gold-edition. It registers on Steam anyway.

      I just bought it yesterday, received the key in a matter of minutes and that was it. Now I gotta figure out how to play this game! :)

  6. Mungrul says:

    Recently started playing Gods & Kings again in anticipation and to get my mind set right, and it’s got me in its steely grip.
    While Civ 5′s initial release was a bit of a bugger, Gods & Kings really did tidy it up very nicely, although the focus is very much on combat. Hopefully it’ll get a bit more nuanced with this new expansion.

    Still, I do love the game, possibly more than I loved Civ 4 I think. And Ship of the Line is my favouritest Civ unit ever.
    In my Civ worlds Britannia ALWAYS rules the waves.

  7. TheMick says:

    Civ5 is funny because it’s the only game in which I always funnel myself into the same strategy, regardless of my initial goal. Everything always comes back to me trying to max out my 2 or 3 (very rare to see more) cities in all peaceful ways that I can until the ai forces me to militarise. Can’t wait to see what this expansion does to my “strategy.”

    • almostDead says:

      It’s so odd. I just can’t play Civ in any focused way. Whatever ambivalent meandering way I go, I always end up with the exact tactics you describe.

  8. buxcador says:

    I played every Civ game, including Alpha Centaury, but will pass on this one.

    Waiting ages between each turn is no more bearable. It is too slow, and sometimes crash. Can’t take it.

    • basilisk says:

      I haven’t done any rigorous testing on this, but this fix does seem to make the game run somewhat better (the idea is to replace the game’s Lua interpreter with a faster one) without impacting stability. It’s still pretty poorly optimised, but late-game turns on a huge map take a bearable-if-not-quite-reasonable amount of time even on my pretty mediocre CPU.

      • Harkkum says:

        The rounds past 200 turn are nigh unbearable on larger maps, which I find to be one of the greatest defects of an otherwise lovely game. Here’s hoping that they actually do something to make the game run even remotely smoothly.

      • buxcador says:

        Looks promising. Thanks for the tip.

    • lociash says:

      I found running Civ 5 on an SSD eliminated all the long waits at the end of the game.

      • buxcador says:

        Last time I used a Vertex 2 SSD, an i7 with 8 threads, and a GTX 670. Still the long waits between turns were unbearable, and also crashed frequently.

  9. PikaBot says:

    Will this fix the fact that the game appears to have been optimized by a baboon’s ass?

    Honestly, I like the game itself but it runs like complete and total shit.

    • sPOONz says:

      Tell me about it. I bought it the other day and it crashes too often for me to play properly. Grrrr

  10. WinTurkey says:

    I really REALLY like that you can now establish trade routes between your cities and have them share excess food and production, it means you can set up several dedicated breadbasket cities in lush areas and have them feed the burgeoning industry centers you built deep in the tundra.

    • horus_lupercal says:

      Same here. I used that tactic quite a bit in Civ2 with the caravans, I think they got rid of it in 3 IIRC so I’m happy tos ee it return and I’m curious to see how they implement it.

  11. sonson says:

    Love Civ V but I just cannot give it the time it merits. It’s like a Euro boardgame in that it’s all about the rich mechanics rather than the theme and you have to put in the hard graft to develop your understanding of how it all works beyond a basic level. I’ve no doubt that’s tremendously satisfying when it clicks but I can’t give it that level of investment sadly.

  12. Fiyenyaa says:

    Y’know speaking of multiplayer, everytime I’ve ever tried to play a multiplayer game of Civ 5 with more than 3 people it’s been plauged by disconnects, desyncs, and just general wonkyness.
    How do you get the flippin’ thing going?

  13. Cytrom says:

    Not 100% on topic, but is there a comparable 4x SPACE strategy game, with a user interface and gameplay with the simplicity and elegance of Civ 5, or a total war game, with the simple joys of empire building and conquest in tact… but taking place in space? Like, at all?

    I tried a few, but gave up on most due to godawful UI, and “gameplay” consisting of low level excel spreadsheet management with little graphics involved, that feels more like work than ‘fun’. There must be something for my simple tastes.. right?

    I like depth, but it should be accessible through gameplay, without spending hours on wikis, and listening to explanations.

    (also, the narrator of the video is admiral Anderson from Mass Effect.. cool.)

    • Grygus says:

      I am of the opinion that the best space 4X game ever made is still Master of Orion II. If you can get past graphics that were quite good in 1995, it should make you happy. If you can’t get past the age of the game, then Galactic Civilizations II and Endless Space are as close as we’ve gotten since.

    • Jimbo says:

      Have you tried Endless Space? It’s basically Space Civ.

    • UncleLou says:

      Yeah, Endless Space is probably your best (modern) bet. And it has a *really* beautiful UI. :)

      Many people don’t like the combat because it’s formulaic, rather static and not really tactical, mind, but if you’re looking for Civ in space, you’re probably not expecting sophisticated tactical combat.

    • Darloth says:

      You might also like the first Sword of the Stars game. I can’t recommend the second given your criteria, in fact you should probably stay away from it as its UI is not good, but the -first- one is workable, contains pretty much zero excel-like behaviour, and is so far the most fun take on Total-War-But-In-Space I have yet found.

      Otherwise / if you don’t like that, then I would recommend Endless Space over GalCiv II, (which ended up a bit bleh for me after a while, it gets samey and does feel a bit like a spreadsheet at times). Endless Space has probably the smoothest interface of any strategy game I have ever played, and if there was just a little more -strategy- to it I would love it.

      For something almost entirely different but still highly related, you could also try StarDrive – the interface is usually pretty okay, there’s a strong 4X / empire building element, ship design, but it’s all in (pausable) realtime…

    • Leb says:

      Long term Civ/Alpha Centauri fan here…

      I just picked up Endless Space on sale this weekend… it is very much “Civ in space”

      Compared to other 4x games I’ve tried to delve into, the UI was much more user friendly and it took a lot of hints from the Civ series which made it very easy for me to acclimate.

      It’s a little rough around the edges… the AI is stupid but makes up for it by blatantly cheating… but I’m usually so sucked in to colonizing new star systems I seize to care why the pilgrims have 24 fleets each consisting of one scout ship stacked next to my capital.

      I have to say what I most enjoy is the ability to tweak and edit ship designs – it makes warfare mainly about learning what kind of weaponry and shielding your enemy is using developing a hard counter to it as soon as possible

  14. Gap Gen says:

    I ran away from my laptop when the people on the screen appeared to run away from the train.

  15. Monkeyshines says:

    I really enjoyed Civ 4, particularly with the BTS expansion. I just can not get into Civ 5 for some reason. Wish it held my attention as well as 4 did.

  16. valouris says:

    Captain Anderson, is that you?