Civilization V Preview

Would you share your research with the France conqueror?

Hidden away in a room at 2K Games’ E3 booth, Firaxis Games gave another eyes-only preview of the latest installment to their signature turn-based strategy series, Civilization V. The presentation provided a plethora of new information about the game that can make any Civilization fan salivate with anticipation for the title.

One of the first new things that was shown was that the tech tree will be returning in Civilization V. Players will be able to click on a specific path and this time around the game’s AI will continue to develop along that path for you unless you instruct it otherwise. Also returning are detailed breakdowns of cities, which will now appear on the left side of a player’s screen whenever one is selected, opposed by city actions appearing on the right.

Something that has been improved from earlier Civilization titles is the boundary/border expansion system. The boundaries/borders of your civilization will now expand based on how you are playing, with the AI taking the tiles that are most needed for that play style. Players will be able to see which tile the system will take next by looking around their borders for the ones highlighted in pink.

Whenever a game starts in Civilization V, players will have the ability to choose three different social policies that will help them to develop their countries. These will steer your civilization to grow based on how you want it to act or what you want it to represent. Players will be able to select more social policies as the game goes on, and growth in these policies will add towards your utopia meter. The utopia meter will be used in Civilization V to gauge a player’s progress towards a culture victory.

Diplomatic victory in the game has been revamped from previous iterations in the series. Now every civilization will only get one vote in the U.N., with the game’s NPC city-states also getting one vote each. This will further encourage players to be friendly and protect the game’s city-states so that when the time comes for the diplomatic victory vote, they will have more favor on their side.

The canons definitely have an advantage on these soldiers.

Another new addition to the diplomacy system is the ability to reach a research agreement with other civilizations in the game. Players will work with another nation, combining their resources and efforts, to obtain important research towards furthering each of the involved civilizations’ growth. As is most likely obvious, declaring war on the nation that you have a research agreement with will effectively terminate the agreement and leave you to develop the rest of that research on your own.

Going into some of the new introductions and changes regarding combat, the demonstrator at Firaxis showed a new way of handling cities that have been conquered by your civilization. As in previous series titles, players have the option to either raze the city and receive no bonuses from it or annex it and receive benefits from the city while running the risk of taking a blow to the civilization’s happiness. Now there is a third, more convenient option: creating a puppet government in the city. By doing so, players will get all the bonuses from the city and won’t suffer any happiness loses. However, the city will have the freedom to expand and develop on its own and the player won’t have any control over the growth.

One of the last things that was shown in the Civilization V presentation was a new change and added difficulty in obtaining the game’s science victory. Now whenever a civilization looks to win the game by launching a space shuttle into orbit, they will have to transport the shuttle to the nation’s capital in order to get it manufactured and launched. This will leave players who are trying to win in this way more vulnerable and allow other players a chance to stop them from obtaining victory in this manner . The Firaxis presenter proved this by revealing the return of nukes and laying waste to the enemy’s capital when its space station was a mere tile away from victory.

As time goes by, the more that is being shown of Civilization V, the more it is looking to be another solid hit for Firaxis and 2K Games. The game is taking everything that has made the Civilization franchise great and improving upon it. Fans of strategy games everywhere should be anxiously awaiting Civilization V when it is released for the PC on September 21 in North America and September 24 internationally.


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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