Sid Meier's Civilisation V

Will Freeman

Sid Meier's Civilisation V

Since the birth of Civilization in 1991, the franchise has proved to be an incredible success and has cemented its position as one of the most popular games in the strategy genre.

Alongside its Facebook equivalent – Civilization Network, announced earlier this year – the series continues with the latest instalment, Civilization V. This title builds upon the critically acclaimed foundations of its predecessors with hexagonal tiles, impressive landscapes and enhanced gameplay.

The game once again allows players to set the difficulty, speed and size of the map before taking control of a civilisation, from prehistoric times to the space age, and developing it through a combination of battles, governmental decisions and economic growth. 

Players can choose from 18 civilisations, each with their own leader, abilities and forces ranging from George Washington’s USA with their B17s to Ghandi’s India with the powerful war elephants. Consumers can also enjoy the animated leaders of each civilisation speaking in their differing languages for the first time. 

Civilization V manages to accommodate for both die-hard fans of the series as well as newcomers, with the introduction of advisors who can explain features of the game and even provide advice surrounding important decision-making sections.


Due to the mass scope of the maps, battles feel epic and combat intense as players come up against computer-controlled city states that can either be fought against, traded or negotiated with. The AI in the game has four stages – these range from deciding how to win a local battle to figuring out the best means to win the game.

The intense combat that the Civilization series is know for returns with an added feature. Gamers can now fire at the enemy from behind the frontline and vice versa, meaning that approaches to warfare have to be tactically sharper than ever before. The new hexagonal layout of the maps, inspired by the 1994 game Panzer General, reinforces the importance of a tactical approach as players can only deploy one unit to a space and will come across decisions regarding where to fight enemies, where to place units and how to navigate the different borders and terrain. 

Diplomacy also takes on a higher degree of importance in Civilization V as players have to negotiate with iconic world leaders through a variety of means. Gamers can exchange gold, create open borders, trade items and land in a bid to establish friendly relations with another civilisation.


Relations also have to be established with city states who act as small independent civilisations. Players can exchange gold with the states but may also have to deal with requests made by these small alliances. 

As each small state has alliances with the powerful civilisations, players may think twice about attacking them – as battles against a city state can easily escalate into a larger war between different civilisations.

Gamers can battle against or with others from around the world with online, hotseat and LAN modes. Users can also share scores, achievements and scenarios in the game through the build in community features.


Fans of the series can also get bonus content by pre-ordering the game online. Those that pre-order from will receive the Mediterranean map which includes the entire Mediterranean and nearby coasts and peninsulas, while consumers who pre-order from will receive a code that unlocks a map which features the Indus River valley and China’s Yellow River valley.

Civilization V looks to enhance the hugely successful series through its new additions but retain the core gameplay.


2K Games is bringing a collector’s edition of the game to retail. The pack has an RRP of £59.99 and includes:

- Five metal figurines based on units from Civilization V

- Two-disc CD soundtrack

- Behind-the-scenes DVD

- Hardcover 176-page art book

Sid Meier’s Civilization V hits stores on September 24th.


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