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Civilization 5 Preview

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/2/2012 • Leave a comment

Civilization 5 is going to be released in late 2010, and it's got a bunch of new features.

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    Civilization 5 for Fall 2010

    Civilization V has finally been released! This is a preview of the game, so be sure to read my full Civilization V review, too. As a PC gamer and longtime Civ fan, I can look forward to more sleepless nights and caffeine-fueled gameplay sessions where I’m too addicted not to make ‘just one more turn’ before saving my game and getting off the computer. Here’s a Civilization V preview with details on what you can expect to see in the new game. It’s going to be a lot different than previous versions.

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    What is Civilization 5?

    Civilization 5 Screenshot   In case you didn’t know, the Civilization series of games has been around for nearly twenty years. I distinctly remember playing the first Civ game on my old DOS-based computer back in high school. Since then, I’ve played every new version that was released. I still play Civilization IV from time to time. I’ve been playing video games for most of my life and I considered Civilization and its sequels to be among the great games ever made. What makes them so great is that you can play again and again and never get the same experience twice, and that’s what makes it timeless.

    The goal of Civilization V has not changed, but the way you go about it is what makes each version of the game different. The goal is to establish a new civilization and take it ‘from the stone age to the space age’ using turn-based strategy. You start out with a simple village and expand to manage giant cities, conduct diplomacy with other civilizations, and eventually wage wars. The object of the game is global domination, and every player starts out with next to nothing.

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    Civilization 5 Preview – What’s New

    Civilization 5 Screenshot  


    The first big noticeable change with this game is that the graphics have been redone to use a hexagonal (six-sided) grid instead of the old squares. I can’t do enough to express my gratitude for this one, because the old way was so far outdated. If you check out some of the screenshots included in this article, you’ll see that the ground textures are much more detailed and realistic than before, plus the individual military units look better than ever. Combat will be even more explosive based on what kind of weaponry is being deployed.


    One of the changes in Civilization V is that there is supposed to be new and more involved diplomacy between different leaders. Through diplomatic relations, you can exchange goods, learn new technologies, and so on. With this new version of the game, there are City-States which work independently and are major players when it comes to diplomatic relations. You will also be able to work together with other Civs to research new technology.

    Another interesting aspect of diplomacy is that the leaders of other civilizations will have much more complex A.I. driving their interests. In the regard, students of history might actually be at an advantage when dealing with certain rulers. According to what I’ve read about the game, the leaders in Civ 5 will now work more toward accomplishing personal goals rather than just trying to beat everyone, so the results should be interesting to watch.

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    Civilization 5 Combat  


    Combat is going to be a lot different, and you can get more information on it in my Civilization 5 review. The biggest new feature with Civilization 5 combat is actually a scaling back of sorts. The developers have now made it where you cannot stack military units in the same space. Before, you could put a bunch of different units on top of one another outside an enemy city, then once the pile was big enough you could start letting each one attack. You won’t be able to do this anymore, which is going to be weird for some veteran players of the game.

    By doing away with stacked units, I think combat is going to take on a whole new tactical level. This means you will have to appreciate the individual units more since each one will be forced to attack and defend on their own. You won’t be churning out armies of cannon fodder any more, and neither your rivals. There’s also a bunch of new attack powers associated with units that have a ranged attack, and this will change your defensive strategy as well. Since many gamers play Civilization with a combat-heavy strategy, they can expect an entirely different type of game with Civ 5.

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    System Requirements

    You can view the full Civilization V system requirements on my Civ V review article, and I suspect that more than a few gamers will be upgrading their video cards just to play this. Just from looking at the screenshots, it appears to be a pretty graphic-intensive game. Civilization IV was a pretty big memory hog when it came to managing all the stuff on screen, and I expect this game to need even more resources. If you are using an older computer that struggles to run some modern games, you may consider upgrading.

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    PC Gaming

    Just when I was starting to think that the PC gaming market was dying, here comes Civilization 5 to spark my interest. Although the only material available for this Civilization 5 preview is based on beta tests and demos, I still think it shows a ton of promise and I have no doubt that will be another huge hit for the series. These type games deliver the kind of gaming experience that you just can’t get on the console, and I absolutely cannot wait to play Civ V when it is released.

    For more information on this great game, be sure to check out my Civilization V review.