Streamlined and simplified?
Upon loading up Civ 5 for the first time you are greeted by an impressive cinematic opening which sets the tone. The initial menu has a tidy art deco style and lets you launch straight into the action with the minimum of fuss. You can choose from a wide variety of leaders including George Washington, Montezuma, Ramesses II, Napoleon, Gandhi, Caesar, Alexander and a few others. Each civilization has its own special advantages, for example the Egyptians under Ramesses can build Burial Chambers and War Chariots. They are also suited to various victory conditions which range from military conquest to cultural dominance. Pick your civilization carefully.
All the usual options are there if you want to dig deeper to create a huge map, select continents, opponents and tweak various other parameters. Once you have set up your preferred type of game that will remain as the default so you can launch a new game with your chosen parameters quickly and easily.
The initial impression in the game is that everything has been simplified but much like with the main menu, if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that most of the old options are still there. They merely have a shiny new veneer. Any fears that the gameplay has been dumbed down will soon evaporate.
There is no danger of forgetting to build something new in a city, choose research or move a unit because the end turn button changes to let you know about any unfinished business before the game advances.