GAME NAME: Civilization V: Brave New World
DEVELOPER(S): Fireaxis Games
PUBLISHER(S): 2K Games
PLATFORM(S): PC (Windows/Mac)
GENRE(S): Turn-based Strategy, 4X
RELEASE DATE(S): 12th July, 2013
Have you reached that point in Civ V, towards the industrial age, where if you aren’t busy wiping out your neighbours, you are pretty much sitting there and clicking next turn? Every now and then a city needs to be told what to build, or the French come and tell you they think you suck (again). But for the most part, you are waiting on your research to finish so that you get those cool units that can devastate entire armies or you are slogging through for your space victory.
What if you wanted to do a bit more than sit and wait, surely your time could be put to better use than waiting for your tanks while your neighbours are still learning the rudiments of gunpowder? Civilization V: Brave New World does just that by adding a bunch of content that reaches fruition in an otherwise barren era.
Meet Pocatello of the Shoshone. The Shoshone gain combat bonuses while defending their territory, making them rather hard to weed out. Their cities also start with extra territory when they are founded, meaning they can make use of the best resources in the area immediately. Scouts are replaced by Pathfinders, a unique unit who can hold his own against barbarians. This unit also allows you to choose which benefit you want when you plunder an ancient ruin. Comanche Riders replace Cavalry, bringing quicker attacks to the battlefield. The Shoshone are just one of the nine new civilizations in this expansion. They all bring exciting new challenges and strengths to the table, giving players more reasons to start a new game with none of those pesky City-states around.
That is what I used to do. Their whining and constant demands, as well as taking up land that I could put to much better use, really irked me. For the most part they were pretty useless. Now that you can trade with them through the use of new Caravan units, they can provide extra science or currency to your nation. They are also very handy during the World Congress, a new mechanic which has the civilizations of the world voting on various policies, from banning luxury items to eventually choosing a new world leader (a new victory condition). If a City-state is your ally, they will give you their two votes in the congress, helping you to break ties or to force your way to the top with a majority share. Trading also helps religious influence, allowing you to pressure other cities into capitulating. However, if they have more devout citizens than you, your city might turn to their doctrine instead. Caravans can also be used to funnel food or production from one of your cities to another, allowing you to boost a favoured capital or a newly founded city.
If not destroying things is your game, the new Tourism system will allow you to dominate other cultures through your great works and artistic marvels. Certain buildings and wonders can house great works of art, which can be found by great artists or by using archaeologists at ancient dig sites. All of this builds up as a Tourism score, which is slightly negated by your opponent’s culture score; the uncouth are easier to sway with Tourism. For the more entrenched, great musicians can go and perform in their territory for a huge boost of Tourism score, getting you closer to dominance. The system also offers various bonuses which will require you to trade great works with other civilisations to reach full potential.
For culture vultures, the introduction of Ideologies allows you to choose the benefits that you want for your play style. From faster military units to cheaper building improvements, there are many options, or tenets, to work with. Having another civilization share the same ideology as you oils your diplomatic process, allowing you to reach useful alliances easier.
Seeing all of this on its own looks like very little content has been added. However, the expansion adds a lot to the experience that is Civ. More to do, a smoother experience and more options to take over the world all result in a lot more time spent playing the game, late into the night, thinking oh, just one more turn.