Tribal & Punishment: Civilization V Released

There should be a multiplayer mode where all your friends play the tiny men.

Civ V is out today! And so’s the intro movie, which I’m able to embed after the jump because I researched Embedding last turn. Alec and I each had similar criticisms of the game, but maybe you’ll think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. If you’ve researched sliced bread, anyway. If you haven’t, maybe you’ll think it’s the best thing since, I dunno, that big stone you found that’s excellent for caving people’s heads in.

What did you research last turn, readers?

It’s a weird intro movie, actually. Clearly the product of a few men sat around a table discussing how to get across the concept of a turn-based strategy game in a dramatic trailer.


  1. Icepick says:

    I’m currently researching ‘Temporal Accelerator’, so I can speed up time to the end of work, and then go home to actually play.

  2. netsukemonkey says:


    I can’t listen to that music without thinking about the ‘brotherhood of flags’

  3. UsF says:

    Civil Service.

  4. Tunips says:

    Hey, that’s not genero-trailer music at all. Good choice, marketing folks.

  5. GrimmSweeper says:


    • GrimmSweeper says:

      Vwls r trck lttl thngs t mstr

    • GrimmSweeper says:

      And there we are up to the age of modern man

      Do we really need punctuation in this day and age

  6. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    I researched ‘VPN networking’ so that I could play the fucking game last night.

    Grrr. Will write a stern letter to all concerned about staggered releases.

    Am very much enjoying the game, though it does have expansion pack sized holes in it.

  7. Quark says:

    As much as I love the Civilization series I cannot bring myself to buy it while 2K Games charge $30 more for it on Steam in Australia. The standard retail price here is no better.

    • Phinor says:

      I haven’t tried it but I heard someone from Australia bought the game from Gametap for $49.95. It’s just a cd-key that activates to Steam so the end result is the same as buying from Steam.

      Personally I skipped €uro prices and bought from the UK D2D but they have pretty restricted country list as well.

    • Daniel Calcei says:

      You can just use a proxy to buy from the UK or US Steam Store sites. Much cheaper that way.

    • Toby Wintrmute says:

      Another Aussie user here, disappointed at the local price-gouging.
      I ordered from cdwow – they’ll happily ship to australia with no proxies or whatever required – and they were $50 for CivV.

    • JohnDoe says:

      I got it from Gametap. They send you a code to type into Steam.

      Its crazy that CDWow that can ship physical games out to Australia at less than half the price EBGames and Steam charge. I usually use them when I’m willing to wait a week or so for delivery.

  8. Skinlo says:

    I think I may get this when the expansions packs and DLC etc have come out, and I can get it all as a ‘gold edition’ if they still do those.

    • getter77 says:

      Very likely my plan as well, though a chance exists to jump in partway if a slew of the things all wind up on a timely Steam sale or the like. A crazy Steam Summer sale is how I got the full assortment of Civ IV.

  9. StingingVelvet says:

    Unfortunately it costs more to sell boxed games in Australia and then the Steam prices must match that due to contract agreements with retailers.

    When everything is digital you’ll be set.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      That was @ Quark.

      First time the reply thing has failed for me.

  10. Emphursis says:

    Yay Amazon! My game arrived this morning after being dispatched last night!
    Boo Steam though, the gits still haven’t unlocked F1 2010, despite changing the release date to first thing this morning :(

  11. StingingVelvet says:

    I freaking LOVE this game.

    I can see why some people would say it is a step down from Civ4, because it is in some areas. For others though this will be the game they always wanted Civ to be… deeper combat and a focus on expansion, even if going for a culture or science win. I flat-out do not think it is possible to win with a small land area on normal or higher difficulty because you won’t have the resources to max the tech or culture trees and the AI will beat your score easily by conquering other AI.

    If you’re cool with all that though, buy this game.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I’ve been playing the game since Tuesday. I haven’t been able to come to a final conclusion just yet, but from my experience, the only thing that’s deeper is the combat. Everything else seems stripped down. Social policies are a poor replacement for governments and religion. It also seemed like I had a lot more control over managing my cities, income, and whatnot. Losing money? Turn down your research percentage. There’s not a whole lot you can do this time. You can buy commerce plots, build the standard commerce systems, and then change your citizen specialization in the city view. For some reason though, it just doesn’t seem very flexible. Not like Civ 4.

      For some reason, there seems to be a big leap from Warlord to Prince in difficulty. I got destroyed twice by Napolean in Prince. But in Warlord, nobody did anything and I mopped the floor with them. However, balancing issues can be fixed in a patch.

      Right now, I’m basically just hoping an expansion or two adds more depth. Otherwise, I’ll probably just go back to 4.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Correction: “It also seemed like I had a lot more control over managing my cities, income, and whatnot.” That’s speaking of Civ 4, not 5. Why is there no edit button?

  12. Gaba says:

    closed the game yesterday after finishing education

    new combat system is fantastic, but i had this feeling that the game took a while to get to a good rythm

  13. Theyos says:

    Well Quintin, I researched ‘Procrastination’ last turn, increases happiness but absolutely bombs out production.

    • Torgen says:


      Can’t afford this right now, because *someone* talked me into buying the DungeonQuest board game.

  14. utharda says:

    I like it for what it is, and I do love turns.. On the other hand, EU III is much much more fulfilling.
    Its not you CIV V, its me. I’ve changed, I need more.. spice in a relationship. no no, don’t cry, you’re beautiful, if vapid, I’m sure you’ll find the right player one day.

    • riadsala says:

      could you do me a favour, and very quickly tell me why EU3 is great… .I’ve been thinking of making the leep into those games, (EU3, Hearts of Iron, etc) but am somewhat afraid.

    • Torgen says:

      Bought EU III in the Steam Summer Sale, but can’t run it on laptop (no hardware T&L in video)


    • Dozer says:

      Why am I thinking that EU III is an abbreviation of the Euro III emissions standards for road vehicle engines? I think we’re up to Euro V standard now. New engines burn more fuel to push the exhaust through more restrictive filters in the exhaust system which extract more of the nasties from the exhaust, basically.

    • utharda says:

      EU III is very deep. It has military, technological, theological, political and economic dimensions that are all fairly engaging. You have the freedom to try and conquer the world with Alsace if you really want to. Or run a trading league, or colonize the new world, or invade Europe with a mongolian, chinese, or korean horde. AI is decent. Check out the after action reports on the paradox forums for a better picture.

      Also, the social policy system from civ 5 is a direct lift of EUIII’s national ideas. :/

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      riadsala: EUIII is much more openended than Civ. It’s more about the ebb and flow of history than Civ’s teleological march to victory or failure. It’s also full of interesting trade-offs – every so often you can nudge the politics of your country in a particular direction, but there’s always a cost. Finally, it’s much more likely to throw surprises at you than Civ, and dealing with a setback or boon is always interesting.

    • WaldorfStatler says:

      You are actually prevented from conquering the world in EU3 and V2 by being disallowed to annex cores of some countries(in my last V2 game it was Denmark e.g. no matter how many other chunks of them I took).
      At least from everything I ever tried. The sole point of me playing those games is to steamroll the world with Prussia each and every time.
      HOI2 (and all Civs) lets you, EU3+V2 do not to the best of my knowledge.

      So no idea where that Spice is you’re talking about. Last time I saw it was on DUNE.

  15. Gregorix says:

    I researched ‘Commenting”, so I coulds mouth off at people on the Intenets who don’t care what I think… @Quark – totally – why do the colonies get stabbed in the wallet – we had a GFC as well…

  16. CogDissident says:

    My biggest problem with this is that the AI is REALLY REALLY DUMB. As in, it will settle cities in locations that make no sense. It will decide it needs to go to war with you 30 turns in advance, and then go to war regardless of the consequences. They never “band together” against a common foe, they just sort of create pacts of secrecy against the one person they don’t like, but never really co-operate with others in participating in a war. The AI has no idea how to “escort” transport ships using their navy, and will throw units away when there is no way that their units will survive getting into the water. If they ever use the water at all that is.

    Protip: Any water-heavy map is easy mode, since the AI is useless at using it.

  17. laikapants says:

    I researched the Time Warp both so my citizens can dance terribly and also so I can go back 100+ turns to build a proper army to stave off/crush the impending Blitz from ze Germans. So far I’ve been having a blast, albeit one that eventually kicks me in the face for not doing something centuries ago (like the aforementioned lack of a military). I am, however, glad that the game doesn’t let me run away with the cake but I do hate losing a couple of hours in the process. Still, I have yet to encounter loopy AI diplomacy. Every war they’ve made and deal they broken was pretty damn clear as to why. On the other hand, I am experiencing a ‘fun’ bug where no matter what Civ I choose, they are always Japanese in appearance.

    Catpcha ‘PHUN’

    • Torgen says:

      Keep a supply of gold so you can immediately buy units for defense when needed. Being able to pop one military unit per city instantly is a great way to counter an invasion you didn’t see coming.

    • laikapants says:

      @Torgen: I actually do have a hefty-ish sum of gold, just not enough to counter the 15+ German units pillaging my lands. Still, I want to go back enough that I can take the first strike and nab 1 or 2 of his cities, which should slow down his production and give my culture race a nice boost (since I’ve finished the Liberty tree). Plus, I might even be able to kick him in the face enough that he begs for peace and throws gold at me.

    • Torgen says:

      One thing I learned from the demo is to found cities with four hexes max between them, so they can support each other with bombardment fire. The enemy can only attack the cities on the edge of your empire, and only from the direction that isn’t covered by another city. If they try to stay 3 hexes out from the city they’re attacking, they end up in “arty range” of another city. I had a unit of archers decimated because I didn’t see the other city to the side (hidden in fog of war) when I positioned them to the side of the enemy capitol.

      Also, I try to found small cities at natural choke points, or at least have a river a hex from the city to use to hinder enemy advances (they eat their movement up crossing the river, and stall out in front of my city, which then gets to attack them first. )

  18. ChampionHyena says:

    Oh, Civ V. I love you like a woman.

    This new combat framework is seriously scratching some of my wargaming itch. “Okay, I’ll put the cavalry behind this tree line so it’ll block line of sight from their archers, and I’ve got ’em upgraded for rough terrain for when they push forward, and I’ll keep a line of trebuchets in the back in case he tries to bring the pikemen around, and…”

    It’s glorious. Glorious. And yes, the AI can be pretty damn dumb. Here’s hoping some patches are forthcoming.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The new terrain modifiers for combat are great, but all the advantage is on the player’s side. The AI doesn’t appear to understand how the terrain works, so any smart tactical use of terrain by the player just turns into an easy exploit. The Ai is dumb about unit formations too (archers go BEHIND your melee unit, dummy!), and I haven’t seen anything like a flanking maneuver. I’ve bitched plenty about the AI in Total War games, but that AI in that series is a genius compared to what I’m seeing here.

      I know there’s more to a Civ game than combat, but if they’re going to beef up the combat in the new game, then it doesn’t work to add features that only benefit the player. I suppose that’s a good thing for multiplayer, but it really damages the single player game experience. Especially with the current “diplomacy” tilted so heavily towards war.

    • Shogun says:

      Dear Sir Or Madam,

      may I present you this gift: Total War: AnygameoftheseriesexceptEmpireAndNapoleon?

      If you think Civ is strategy, because stacks disappeared, I can only recommend an actual strategy game for real womanhood :p

      She a grown woman.

  19. Severian says:

    Finished researching “Acoustics”, built the Sistine Chapel, and am now cranking out as many opera houses as I can. Going for a cultural victory with Gandhi and enjoying the turtling. 6 cities total, only one of them a conquered city-state. I am good friends with several other city-states, and they provide excellent bonuses (incl increased culture/turn).

    My initial impressions: I really like this version of Civ (and I’ve played since II), but there is certainly room for improvement. I love not dealing with sliders anymore. I love how gold income is very useful. I love how strategic resources are finite. I love how there are fewer military units and cities to micromanage. I love the UI. I love the look of the game (on my new widescreen 23″, it’s freaking spectacular).

    Diplomacy is weak, but in my opinion, it always has been.
    I can’t judge AI military strategy yet, since I’ve been very careful about keeping everyone happy and no big wars have broken out yet.
    It’s still Civ: it moves slow, there’s a lot of waiting around for things to develop (esp when pursuing a peaceful strategy), and giving workers jobs all the time gets tiresome. But these are a part of Civ and that’s the nature of the game.

    Like others have said, I predict that after a couple patches and, more importantly, and expansion, people will view Civ V as the best in the series.

  20. Alistar says:

    RPS needs at least 14 more Civ V posts.

  21. tomeoftom says:

    Oh, that trailer is so bad.

  22. Pantsman says:

    I researched Universities, which sadly prevents me from playing Civ V for the next few turns – which in-game I believe amounts to a few years.

    • Paul B says:

      Then I would research bunking off, which allows you to play Civilization while researching Universities. Unfortunately, it also prevents you form ever completing Universities. Then you have to research Further Education, then McDonalds, then Dole. So, never research bunking off.

  23. Poz the Sock says:

    I’ve researched borrowing, which enables my zerglings to ambush Gandhi’s horse archers.

  24. MrThingy says:

    Yeah, I have to admit, having played EU III for such a long time, the demo for Civilization V left me slightly unfulfilled. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s that I’ve finally tired of the Civ formula, or that the micromanagement issues are still there.

    Just not as entertaining as bringing Byzantium back from the brink of annihilation, or taking a one-province minor to the New World, etc. EU III just seems to offer a bit more to do, albeit without the graphical loveliness that Civ V offers.

    • MrThingy says:

      POOOOOO! Why is this not a reply to “utharda’s” post?

      I just look silly now.


    • WaldorfStatler says:

      At least in Civ you can conquer the world and take over ANY country, not just the ones the stupid game devs deigned allowable for annexation.

      Having non-annexable states/countries is teh suck, and the whole bending themselves over backwards not to make it too easy to steamroll the world with force is just terrifyingly artificial, both in EU3 and V2.

      At least HOI 2 wasn’t such a hypocrite, and neither is Civ 1-5.

  25. Will says:

    The game is painfully, overwhelmingly bland and flavorless. It’s downright boring. Unless you’re at war, nothing is different on turn N than it was on turn N-1 and nothing will be different on turn N+1 either. I’ve already gone back to playing Starcraft.

    • d32 says:

      I have the same problem. No urge to click ‘Next turn’ – why would I bother, when game does not progress?

  26. Nick says:

    I’m finding it a little bit.. meh. Love the combat though.

  27. Heynes says:

    Eh, I wasn’t too impressed with the shameless theme rip-off to be honest, considering that the orchestration is quite insipid compared to the original. Still, I guess it’s a step up from generic trailer music.

  28. RobH says:

    I just researched Electricity so I could upgrade my Frigates to Destroyers. Slogging through my first game, and already finding that Civ V is a massive time suck.

  29. Dude says:

    I researched bacon, now I need bread and I can make a sandwich, horray.
    Then I plan on researching “Age of reason” to get ride of the X factor and glossy celebrity culture. Probably end up in a revolution once that is over, with a “terror” like we (the French) did during our little revolution, only this time it will be so called celebrity will get the chop (Simon you’re first).

  30. Nick says:

    I researched fun but the game crashed.


  31. Fred says:

    Holy I Vow To Thee My Country, Batman. It took me a while to realize they’d dropped some Holst under the trailer, in part because it was in a different key. Once I noticed it, I started getting the shiver up my back that the Thaxted hymn tune tends to produce. I was feeling before like I wanted to upgrade my PC. My local dealer should send a thank you to 2K for this trailer.

  32. cowthief skank says:

    I researched Rage, to allow me to properly comment on things I do not like.

    But Civ V is not one of them. I quite like it. Not as incredibly impressive as I remember number 4 being, probably due to a combination of my having played Civ 4 to death, and being slightly spoiled by Europa Universalis 3.

    However, I am not sure I would want to go back to Civ 4 now – the combat in V is so much more interesting and I think I would miss some of the new mechanics already.

  33. DarkNoghri says:

    Is that actually the intro movie (movie plays at game launch)? It looks a lot more like a launch trailer.

    Am I missing something, or does Quinns need to research “Choosing the correct video?”

  34. TOMP says:

    Me too.
    And it’s not working.

  35. MrThingy says:

    Oh… and I also miss Fanatics from Civ II.

    Was it politically correct nanny-ness that took these lovely support-free units away? :(

  36. Daniel says:

    I’d like to point out something that’s got a bit lost in the mix here – to compare Civ IV in its final BtS patch to new-release Civ V is, I feel, not cricket.

    I actually won a civ tourney in college and my prize was to be part of the pre-release beta team at Frankenstein with Jon Shafer et. al. I worked on Warlords and on BtS, until they shut us down because someone leaked a gold .ISO to torrent.

    Civ IV vanilla, if we recall, lacked Generals. It lacked espionage, corporations, and many of the combat innovations. It lacked vassals, several traits, a bunch of wonders, even unique buildings, events, cultural units, colonies and the great BTS trade system.

    It took literally years of painstaking scraping down and rebuilding CIv IV to make it as good as it was, and I’m sure Civ V will take some time to fill out. There are expansion sized holes, of course, but Firaxis is a company and I’m happy to give them, and 2K, my moneys. They had a deadline, and they put a lot of work into this thing – the gameplay, the combat, the UI are all clearly a labor of love.

    Do I sometimes miss sliders when my people are in a rage or I’m going broke? Yes. But I don’t miss tweaking science every turn, particularly because the whole idea that tax dollars translate 1-1 into science is stupid.

    Civ V is not perfect. in terms of pure gameplay it may even not yet exceed post-patch BTS(though espionage was pretty garbage, we never really got a handle on it). But it’s damn good, and it will soon be better than BTS – I promise you that.

    • Nick says:

      People keep saying that its not fair to compare it to a fully patched and upgraded Civ 4.. I don’t really understand the logic in that beyond making allowance for bug fixes – its not like they unlearned game design so they could re-learn it for the Civ V expansions..

  37. Lukasz says:


    this pathetic little thing is intro to the game?

    bah. CivIV had awesome introductory movie. This crap was interesting as a trailer not an intro.

  38. Sarlix says:

    Time sink maybe? A time suck would be disastrous!

  39. Sarlix says:

    Well the article says ‘intro movie’ but the title on the video says ‘launch trailer’….Sooo maybe its the trailer for the game intro? Or the intro for the trailer? Or the intro for the intro?. What we saw being a small portion of the full intro? Or maybe it was an intro of the trailer for the intro of the intro? Hmmm, anyone following this?

    • Sarlix says:

      Good gravy the reply system has gone into melt down! All hands abort! abort!

  40. Mark-P says:

    Education! Loving it so far – the combat is worlds better, and I approve of the streamlining. So far I’m missing none of the OCD-baiting twiddly bits from IV that have been cut out.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Yeah, while I appreciated the things IV took out (pollution, ugh) I never got into it as much as I had 1,2 and 3, largely because it had such a terrible interface and seemed to take a step backwards in regards to the need for micromanagement. I really like the new interface in V, and overall it seems to get to the point of Civilization much better without all of the messing around.

  41. Oak says:

    Three turns.

    Three bloody turns.

    After five hundred of them, thousands and thousands of years, spent turning the French Empire into the cultural capital of the world; after filling Paris with countless works of art and triumphs of engineering; after pursuing every peaceful, progressive policy and diplomatic move available; after golden age after golden age after glorious golden age, I came within three turns of completing the Utopia Project.

    Three turns.

  42. dirtyallen says:

    It’s not the intro from the game.

  43. Bascule42 says:


    Thought Id have a bash on Settler difficulty to get a grip of the new V stuff. Small(ish) map, played as mad Queen Lizzie, (UK eh UK eh UK eh), 3 other civs. It took 3 an half hours to win a conquest vic. Never done that before so quickly. Was elated for the win, and disappointed that I didnt get squished first go. But I do like it.

    One question though….WHERE IS MY MANUAL?

  44. Uncle Grandpa says:

    link to – “View the manual” link in the “Game Details” box.

  45. jaheira says:

    I’m researching unjustified smugness. Collector’s Edition! Huge Box! Figurines! Art Book!

  46. blind_boy_grunt says:

    wow, there are a lot of people accusing you of incompetence over at eurogamer for not giving it a higher score. People can get so weird about numbers sometimes. Although i really can’t say that a number fits that well with that style of review. But I think they could be right with the length of the review or rather depth(eg. new battle system). On the other hand it is civ, what is there to write about?
    the quality of the writing was good bordering on funny, the font is readable, the spelling apart from some mistakes acceptable(addicting-addictive), and my browser didn’t crash once. But it wasn’t long enough, so: 8/10.
    (I’m really not sure what i wanted to say.)

  47. Shakermaker says:

    *looks at the clock*

    And this is just my first night playing it. Bye bye sleep.

  48. V says:

    I miss the sound of Leonard Nimoy’s voice.

  49. Enshu says:

    What…was it iron? Uh….Again the Medieval era started sooner than I wanted.