Gods & Kings Expansion Pack
There are some basic rules when it comes to
making a gameís sequel. It has to have everything the previous game had,
plus more, with prettier graphics, richer gameplay, and fresh ideas.
That is why when Firaxis released Civilization 5, fans realised they had
screwed up. The gameís graphics were indeed prettier, gameplay mechanics
were improved, but something was definitely missing. They had taken OUT
one of the key elements that made Civ 4 so immersive and fun Ė religion.
Indeed, gone was the (historically accurate) joy of your Civ jamming
your ideology of choice down the throat of every other nation. Whether
the company was too timid, too rushed, or plain too lazy to return
religion to Civ 5, it was too bad for them; the genie was out of the
bottle and Civ fans have been letting them know ever since. Put the Lord
back in the game!
from the heavens now appears the expansion pack - Civilization 5:
Gods & Kings has been passed down to us. Sid Meier has heeded the
Word. But is it Good?
asked to pay $50 for an Ďexpansioní that frankly should have been part
of the core game is a bit much, but Firaxis is confident fans will not
be able to resist, and theyíre right. Religion is here, but this time
itís treated not as a tech your develop once and then spread around to
get a few extra smiling faces, but as an ever-growing resource which can
be used to buy all sorts of things. Cathedrals, temples, foreign
influence, even Great People to bring wealth and fame to your chosen
civ. You can send missionaries out to spread the Good News or
inquisitors to purge the non-believers and make your rise to dominance
easier. Each religion is treated the same; Islam, Christianity,
Buddhism, even Zoroastrianism is here, as well as a custom religion
option you can fashion to your own devout eccentricities (scientologists
rejoice!). Itís on you to choose which tweaks will be part of your Civís
beliefs Ė will you select fertility rites to give you extra growth, or
maybe idol worship to give you extra gold production? There are near two
dozen modifiers like this to spice things up. Allah be praised!
other addition is espionage. This was originally part of Civ 4ís
Beyond the Sword expansion pack, but has slowly melded itself into
the previous gameís re-releases that folks now assume it was a core
element of that game. Here it has been given a facelift, and is actually
more useful than in the previous imagining. Once researched, players can
send out spies to, well, spy. All the fun stuff is here Ė instigate
coups, sabotage buildings, steal technology, and most useful of all,
report on the scheming of your enemies. Now a well-placed spy can give
you an early heads-up before Genghis Khan does his traditional mid-game
backstab and storms your beaches.
with these two major tweaks, Firaxis has tossed in a few more goodies Ė
a handful extra civs (the Celts, the Byzantines, and the Vikings to name
three) a few extra technologies, a few extra wonders and a few extra
buildings and units. There are three new scenarios, and even a new intro
movie to watch once, and then click past forever more. Curiously, and
once again, the company has resisted creating the scenario fans have
been screaming for since Civ 1 - World War II - likely because the idea
of kids happily playing Hitler scares the Dickens out of olí Sid. Oh
well, Neo-Nazis lose out again.
should you part with $50 for this little addition? Frankly, no. Wait for
discounting, because itís currently much too overpriced for whatís on
offer. Neither the religion or espionage change the game that much, and
Civ 5 is still suffering from the same malaise it did before Gods &
Kings hit. The main GUI may be more pleasant, but no longer does one
feel like a civilization advancing through history as in Civ 4. Now itís
all about modifiers, tweaks, and stats, the colourful cut-scenes and
sense of growth is gone, and it feels more like a board game than ever.
Hopefully then next Civ expansion will put the life back into the game,
and make Civ 5 feel more like an experience, and less like ticking boxes
and fiddling dials.
of 10. Functional for what it offers, but nothing more.