Colonization II!

I do love the Dutch. And in the game.

Woohooheeheehahah. First Beyond Good & Evil 2 and now this. It’s been quite a month for shock returns.

Yes, my favourite Civilization game that isn’t a Civilization game is returning: as a Civilization game. Civ IV: Colonization is to be a standalone expansion for, clearly, Civ IV. Once again, the aim is the turn-based establishment of the New World, and freedom from the money-grabbing motherland, by conquest, trade or diplomacy and… well, pretty much no more details so far. Well, except for one more screenshot, a release date and a typically chipper Sid Meier quote, which are all beneath the cut.

It’s not out until the Autumn, which, while actually very close, is hugely annoying as this unexpected return to my gaming past strikes me as exactly what I want to lose in myself in while I get over splitting up with my girlfriend last week. Oh well – more absurdly heavy drinking it is, then. Still, the FreeCol guys must be even more annoyed.

“We’ve received many requests from fans over the years to bring back Colonization and now seemed to be the perfect time to do that. The Civilization IV engine provided a fantastic foundation for a new Colonization experience and allowed us to create something great for both new players and long time fans of the game.”
Sid Meier

I do love Expert Tobacco Planters. And in the game.

Click through for larger versions of both of these shots.

Yeah, it might look visually exactly like Civ IV – but I can’t tell you how excited seeing the phrase ‘Expert Tobacco Planter’ once again has made me.


  1. Jochen Scheisse says:

    *looks up the ridge*

    “The Indians! They’ve been following us the whole time!”

  2. Jon says:

    Oh, but I was just going to buy Civ 4, now I’ll have to wait for the inevitable bundle including Colonization :(

  3. Orange says:

    Great news, loved the original as much as you Alec.

  4. Pidesco says:

    Awesome! They better include Portugal this time.

    In unrelated news NWN2’s new expansion is also coming out.

    link to

  5. Babs says:

    Holy crap that’s awesome. PC gaming lives!

  6. Rob says:

    Yes! Yes! And yes once more!

    Provides at least likely evidence that Civilization IV has been selling well, which is pleasant news.

    Now, how do we convince the right people that the world is ready for Alpha Centauri II?

  7. Deuteronomy says:

    Alpha Fucking Centauri II!!!!! NOW DAMMIT. NOW.

  8. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Awesome! I can lose on purpose all over again!

    Absolutely loved Colonisation, one of the first games I really got into majorly.

  9. MeestaNob! says:

    This is potentially great news, but for Sids sake don’t call it Civilisation: Colonisation… it’s not a civ game.

    It’s much better.

    Besides, that ‘:’ after Civilisation screams “ADD ON!” which isnt correct as you don’t need the original (crap) game to play it. Add ons are mostly shit. Just call it Colonisation II and stop mucking about!

    That said, my faith in Firaxis making a worthy game here is minimal, their almost pig headed disinterest in improving these games to the fans satisfaction is legendary, so much so that irritations of the original civ are sometimes prevalent here 20 years later.


  10. fluffy bunny says:

    Wow! Now this is seriously good news!

  11. restricted3 says:

    Great news!

    I’d love for it (but it won’t happen) not to be called “Sid Meier’s etc etc”, since the bulk of the work will be done by whoever is filling Brian Reynold’s shoes now. Yeah, Sid is a genius, but fair is fair.

    I’d also love if they dropped the Civ title (yeah, we get it, it’s the same engine) and just called it Colonization 2.

    Sales are sales, though, so “Sid Meier’s” and “Civilization” are going in. And I hate them for it.

  12. Feet says:

    Nice water effect.

  13. Butler` says:

    Can anyone briefly tell me what the difference is between this Colonization and a normal Civ game?

    (I’ve only played Civ IV, albeit for 8 hours in one sitting, then remembering I hadn’t eaten.)

  14. Pijama says:

    Wheeeeeeee! But Sid, JUST USE THE ENGINE. The two games are different beasts. :D

    On the other hand, WHERE THE F*** IS MY ALPHA CENTAURI 2?!?! Alec, mate, do a Retro feature about it. If it is announced shortly thereafter, I will found a RPS church.

  15. Gap Gen says:

    On the other hand, WHERE THE F*** IS MY ALPHA CENTAURI 2?!?! Alec, mate, do a Retro feature about it. If it is announced shortly thereafter, I will found a RPS church.

    [PIMP]Here’s one I did for PC Gamer a couple of years back (note, not the same as the print version, which was in the issue with the MoH:Airborne cover, I think):
    link to

    Also, Edge published another one not long after that was also very good. It had that David Braben game set near the Capitol on the cover, I think.

  16. Gap Gen says:

    Personally, I reserve judgement on whether SMAC II would be a good thing. If they did it right it would be incredible, but it’s the kind of thing where a remake can go a different way and end up disappointing the small, fanatic fanbase (of which I am very definitely a member). I don’t quite want to compare it to the release of Dune 2000, but you get where I’m going.

    Plus, Galactic Civilizations II looks very like a spiritual successor to SMAC in terms of what it does.

  17. Lh'owon says:

    As Feet noted, the water is improved over Civ IV. So there.

  18. Gap Gen says:

    But will it have water where the ship in the intro movie runs away from monsters? Will it have folk music?!

  19. Senethro says:

    Alpha Centauri 2 will not be happening, most likely. EA owns AC. Firaxis can’t touch it.

    That said, Firaxis have admitted that they’ve spoken with EA regarding the property. Nothing more than that revealed though.

  20. rei says:

    I loved Colonization back in the day, maybe even more than Civ, but I don’t think I ever actually won a game. I don’t know whether it was quite a bit harder than its role model, or I was just rubbish in it. Anyways, happy news.

    while I get over splitting up with my girlfriend last week


  21. Theory says:

    Can anyone briefly tell me what the difference is between this Colonization and a normal Civ game?

    Wikipedia sez…

    It does sound a lot more enjoyable than Civ. I’ve always despised the series’ randomised combat and mid to late game grinding.

  22. The Shed says:

    Heh. What are the thoughts on Civilisation: Revolution then ;)?

  23. sinister agent says:

    Holy christ. It’s … I… wow.

    What is this unsettling sensation welling in my chest? By god, I think it’s hope!

    No, wait. Chestburster. Damn.

  24. grumpy says:

    So…. Alpha Centauri 2 next, right? Please….

  25. Razerious says:

    This. Is. Awesome.

  26. Benjamin Barker says:

    I couldn’t be too excited about an Alpha Centauri 2… call me backwards-looking, but I think standard 4X games may have peaked with the original Alpha Centauri. It’s just about perfect. Besides minor gameplay tweaks about all you could do is (a) improve it visually and (b) improve the AI. But (a) I don’t think I’d like to see it all clean and bland like Civ IV and (b) the AI in Civ IV isn’t really a lot better. And do you think they’d have those crazy movies for the wonders?
    link to
    link to

  27. Peronthious says:

    Alpha Centauri next possibly?

    One can hope.

  28. Cooper says:

    I’ve been playing Alpha Centauri and Crossfire since I reinstalled a couple of weeks back. They’re unbeatable sci-fi 4x. Not even GalCiv have managed to weave narrative into what is such an open-ended format. That, and it’s fairly original as far as those games go in terms of characterisation and setting.

    A graphical overhaul would be welcomed, but nothing else – the sort of thing that fans should be left to mod CivIV for, if it weren’t for over-eager IP defending at EA…

  29. Pijama says:

    @Gap Gen:

    You, sir, made me weep with that text. A fantastic read.

    Now where did I put that disc…

  30. Gloria says:

    Did I miss it the first time around or is it taboo?

    Oh well. Sorry to hear about your break-up.

  31. Pod says:

    Aside from a feminine named poster, no one else seems to have picked up on Alec’s cry of help. I love you, if it helps. I won’t love you, if it helps more. Your choice.

    link to

    I take it portugal won’t be making it by the way it only mentions the original four. Whilst I would like them to add new features (and new civs like portugal), I desperately don’t want them to mess with what made Col Col. That is: Resources, Trading, Indians and giving random people horses.

  32. RichPowers says:

    Does the article get plus or minus points for avoiding the term “expandalone”? Hell, who cares. Adding or subtracting from the infinite awesomeness that is Colonization doesn’t matter.

  33. Larington says:

    I have a really bad feeling about this and I’m not even sure why, lets hope my instincts are wrong on this (Maybe is just because I’m afraid that a mediocre sequel would spoil my feelings for the original).

  34. Mark says:

    Open letter to the Inca:

    When I meet you, you’re dead. I’m having your gold. That is all.

    Thanks, Mark.

  35. Pidesco says:

    Yeah, it seems like Portugal will be out of the game. Which is a bit like making a WWII game without Germany. Or a Tolkien game without Elves. Or a System Shock game without Shodan. Schmucks.

  36. sinister agent says:

    Except that Portugal’s colonial policy at the time was so similar to that of the Spanish that it’d be pretty redundant to add them. They said as much in the original manual, I believe.

  37. Pod says:

    Calling/Lumping a Portuguese person in with the Spanish is similiar to calling a Scottish person English. I’m suprised Microprose didn’t get bombed. It woudln’t have been had to give them a slightly non-historical trait or even just take a bit of poetic licence. If anything, it would have evened things out on the “world” map — that is, 2 in the south, 1 in the middle, 2 in the north.

  38. Finn says:

    Making quick comments without knowing what role a certain nation played during the Age of Discovery is pretty redundant too. But that’s common on “teh internets”.
    Making the same mistake while creating a historical-simulation-of-sort-thingie game isn’t. It’s stupidity.

    By the way, “colonial policy”? The Portuguese Empire was based entirely on trade outposts, there was no “colonial policy”, the Spanish were the ones interested in pillaging and settling on new territories; that’s like saying the “colonial policy” of the Netherlands was the same as that of England.

    At least next time check Wikipedia.

  39. Sucram says:

    Calling it Civ IV: Colonization, is odd. It seems to be a way of lowering expectations. Saying, no, no, this isn’t a proper Colonization game, it’s only a mod.

    Despite all the calls for Alpha Centauri (and I’d add my own name to that list), if Civ IV: Alpha Centauri was announced I’d imagine there’d be and angry mob with torches and ray guns.

  40. malkav11 says:

    Frabjous day.

  41. Lukasz says:

    My reaction
    What the hell? New Civilization game? already?

    Blinking twice or trice. Starring at the screen for few seconds with dumb look on my face


  42. CPY says:

    I wonder if there will be that old gameplay, king demanding taxes, throwing cargo into the sea, specialized inhabitants, schools teaching settlers trades, declaration of independence, kinda really cool game.

  43. Kommissar Nicko says:

    I’d be okay with a Civ IV: Alpha Centauri. I’m of the opinion that the only reason Alpha Centauri was under a different title from Civilization was because of the time period. Civ II never had any expansions other than the network one, but that didn’t change the game itself much. Alpha Centauri was done by Firaxis instead of Microprose, and besides that, they actually drastically changed the engine. It had 3d! I remember my computer shitting a brick on that. And the dynamic music. Oh god, the dynamic music.

    I never played the original Colonization, but I read the review and was intrigued.

  44. Rob says:

    @Kommissar Nicko

    Actually Civ II had 2 expansions, Fantastic Worlds and … the other one. They were basically scenario packs, but still sold as expansions.

  45. Dean says:

    “The Portuguese Empire was based entirely on trade outposts, there was no “colonial policy””

    That in itself suggests they’re not that suited for a game called ‘Colonization’ then?

    Likewise comparing Spain/Portugal with England/Scotland makes sense, but there was no Scotland in Colonization either…

  46. davidAlpha says:

    You guys have such great taste in games. This is very very wonderfull news

  47. Ginger Yellow says:

    I’d like to add to the chorus of “Bring back SMAC!”

    I was rather disappointed to hear the US PC Gamer guys admitting embarrassment on their latest podcast about SMAC being their highest scoring game of all time. What’s wrong with that?

  48. DosFreak says:

    They should go back, change the scores and make Halo their highest scoring game.

    They could use a OLD/RarelyonConsoe TO NEW/ONCONSOLEANDPOPULAR rating scale.

  49. Pod says:

    SMAC II will never happen, I reckon :(
    At least Sid/Fraxis owned the Colonization IP, unlike SMAC, which I believe is owned by EA. Also, Brian Reynlods might get angry and smash things if old Siddy just took it upon himself to “improve” that game. I know I would.

  50. Lunsku says:

    Here’s to hoping they at least think of including colonial slavery in some fashion in the game. I absolutely loved Colonization back in the 90s, but even then that felt like something missing out of PC.