[Boom]. RPS inbox explodes. And so it should - Civ news is always enormous news. Hooray, hooray! Despite much wailing and gnashing of teeth by Civ fans in concern that last year's super-streamlined Civilization Revolution on console meant the end of Civ tradition, the freshly-revealed Civilization V (CiV?) looks about as PC as PC gets. By which I mean, "hexes."
That said, 2K/Firaxis is claiming a rethunked interface makes this more intuitive and accessible than its oddly timeless predecessor, Civ 4. Also headlining the feature roster are the graphics, which the marketing blurb reckons does the believable world thing. Certainly looks super-pretty in the screens so far, and reminds me of the collector's edition of Settlers of Catan, a limited edition boardgame I shall crave until my impoverished dying day. BUY IT FOR ME, DADDY, PLEASE!
Ahem. Civ V. Looking good. The other change you'll notice is that armies are no longer super-sized blokes standing around and pretending to represent several dozen/hundred/thousand units, but instead yer actual armies. Hopefully this means the argy-bargy will be a little more edge of the seat thrilling, as you watch the unit counts visibly drop, unsure until the bitter end who's got the upper hand. Ranged bombardment sounds like a giggle too, a welcome change from simply throwing everything at everything else's face.
Not entirely sure how the hexes are going to factor into things just yet (directional bonuses, perhaps?), but they should make understanding how many turns movement takes a little more instantly obvious.
What else? Full-screen, entirely animated diplomacy rather than pop-up boxes, a ton of modding support, and the promise that LAN and hotseat play are not being abandoned. All sounds pretty good, eh? There's a vaguely grand strategy (as in, Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron types) to the screenshots, but the description on the official site sounds pretty traditionally Civy. Hopefully that means it's pushing interestingly outwards whilst remaining the strategy soulfood we've relied on all these long years.
More soon, gods willing. Oh, and click the pics for bigger versions.