Monday, June 28, 2010

Sid Meier's Civilization IV

Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2005
System: PC
ESRB Rating: E10+

In a nutshell: It feels nice to finally join the Civilized world.

0:00 When people find out that I have never played a proper Civilization game (which does not include Civilization Revolution), they often say something along the lines of, "What's wrong with you? Don't you write about games for a living?" To which I reply, "Ummmmmmmm." Well that ends TODAY with a $5 Steam purchase and a two-hour long download/install. I just hope I don't get addicted.

0:01 A shot of stars. The camera zooms past the moon and over the Earth. Lights start appearing in the fertile crescent as a choir comes in. Zoom down to the coast and we see Roman-style soldiers racing to battle atop a castle wall. Down on the coast catapults shoot fire at ships with red and white striped sails. An eagle calls as the camera zooms up the steps of a coliseum. Soldiers cheer as an emperor steps out, kneels, and has a crown placed on his head by grey-bearded fellow. He raises his arms to more applause and the camera pans up to the sky as the title comes up. Pretty epic.

0:04 My laptop is below the recommended specs, but the game says it has automatically lowered my graphics settings to accommodate. Well isn't that handy.

0:06 Loading the tutorial necessitates restarting the game, I guess because they assume most players won't need it at this point (they've probably played one of the earlier games, after all)? My default Civ is Julius Caesar, leader of the Roman Empire. I'm not feeling creative enough to come up with anything else. A Normal speed and the lowest "Settler" difficulty are forced on me. That's good... I'm probably not ready to go for the top "Deity" difficulty just yet.

0:07 "Hi, my name is Sid. Welcome to Civilization IV!" Meier looks even scarier as a 3D model than in real life. "The objective is simple... create and maintain an empire that will stand the test of time." What if I want a Civilization that descends to anarchy, huh? Who are YOU to set goals for ME?


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