What makes a game great? Is it the ability to play with friends, the graphics, the plot/story line, the genre or how long you can play the game? There isn’t really an answer to some people. It’s either that they like or they don’t. Some people can’t form an opinion off of others. Well, I’m writing for the people who form opinions off of others.
I’m not writing an essay on what makes games great. I’m just writing a review for the expansion for Civilization 5, entitled Gods and Kings. And in my opinion, this is one of the greatest games of all time. However, I have a friend who I bought the game for and he doesn’t even like it. He played 30 minutes online with me and almost got taken over by barbarians. He then left because he didn’t want to take the time to learn how to play the game. And this isn’t some game where if you have no prerequisite knowledge on, then you can’t expect your very first game to go easily. You have to have played a few games to get the hang of it or you could be a Civilization fan who has played all the games.
That said, there are still new features in Civilization 5 that you have to get used to. So, I’m going to put this review up for the Civilization fans who are still sitting on the fence about getting Gods and Kings. Now, you may think that $30 is a lot to pay for an expansion and, well, it is. The price will go down after awhile, but why wait? $30 for this expansion, in my opinion, is worth every penny.
In Gods and Kings, there are 27 new units, 13 new buildings, nine new wonders, nine new civilizations to play as and 52 new achievements. The feeling that these alone bring to the game is a good one. You can set up machine gunners to defend your boarders in the later years of the game and they finally put in the Mayan with their special unit which are replace archers and they have the Mayan long count which gives you a great person every Mayan 365 years or so. They also put in Ethiopia, Huns, Netherlands, Sweden, Byzantium, Carthage and my personal favourites the Celts, which I have roots in, hence why they are my favourite. Now, the Huns have a battering ram used for city siege which gives a 300% bonus and can only attack cities and replaces the spear men. If you like taking cities early on, then play as the Huns.
The new buildings have a lot to do with the addition of Faith. Now, Faith is accumulated like Culture, Gold and Science, and can be spent to found a pantheon first, which gives you bonus to help your civilization. Then, a religion can be founded, since you have to get 200 faith to have a chance at a great prophet, which can spread religion or at least found one. Religion gives a huge bonus to your civilization and adds an element to the game that just makes it one of the greats.
City-states play a more important role in the expansion. There are two new kinds: mercantile and religious. Mercantile is about the gold and religious is all about religion, pretty obvious. Faith can be used to purchase religious people and buildings, but, to the purchase to buildings it has to be one of your bonuses selected when you enhance your religion or when you founded it. Faiths will clash and civilizations will struggle to have their faith become the dominate faith. Faith adds a huge amount of difference to the game play and the expansion seems like it almost as big as the game itself.
Espionage – MI6, CIA, FBI, CBG, etc. (or as one of the other writer said – *cough* Matt *cough* – Gold 07, Double eye) – you all know what I’m talking about. 007 and Austin Powers are not spies in the game, but adding spies to the game actually boosts the element of strategy in Civilization 5, which says a lot. Once spies are recruited, they can be sent to other civilizations and city-states to steal technology or discover plans or for city-states rig the ballots and decrease influence with other players while increasing yours. Spies can detect each other and can be sent to kill each other also. Adding spies for me was a nice addition to the game to make it just that much better.
Now, with all Civilization DLC, there are scenarios that you can play, which have proven to be fun, but I found that they don’t give you enough time or they force you to play it really fast. I found it the same with one of the three DLCs that come with the expansion. With the expansion you get three new scenarios to play: Fall of Rome, Into the Renaissances and Empires of the Smokey Skies.
Now this is a direct text from another website.
Fall of Rome
Play as either Eastern Rome or Western Rome trying to fend off the barbarians OR as one of the barbarians themselves. Eastern and Western Rome have to select Social Policies that actually have negative effects, so they will get weaker over time.
Into the Renaissance
Grow your medieval kingdom into one of the great nations of Renaissance Europe, fending off outside invasions from Mongols and Ottoman Turks and fighting the religious wars of the Crusades and Reformation!
Empires of the Smoky Skies
Build flying airships and huge landship steam tanks from the unique tech tree of this Victorian science-fiction scenario, and use them to spread your empire across the pre-industrial world. The scenario starts at the beginning of the Industrial Era, and requires the player to hold 3 of 5 Honourable Titles awarded by the League of Empires for five consecutive turns.
•Five civilizations: Eruch (Cyrus Rotheram), Vedria (Luther Griggs), Orlin (Ignace Curlin), Pulias (Octavius Cutler) and Dalmace (Clinton Alderdice).
•Custom buildings, new resources, new units
•Steam Era and Airship Era
Victory Conditions: Empires compete in five categories; be the best in a domain to earn an Honourable Title. To see the specifics of each Title, and monitor your progress, check the League of Empires screen. The first empire to hold three or more Titles will control the League and win the game.
•Defender of Progress: have the most land and airships
•Grand Philanthropist: have the most world and national wonders
•Captain of Industry: have the highest production
•Lord of Refinement: have the most social policies
•Master of Wealth: have the highest total gross gold income
Special Rules: Players begin with all technologies up through Steam Power. The tech tree after Steam Power has been altered significantly, giving players the ability to construct Airships, Landships, and new buildings. Barbarians (“Luddites”) are enabled, but do not have access to advanced units. Social Policies have been rearranged. Religion has been disabled, as have religious and military city-states.
Now there have been some huge changes with this expansion. The health of units has changed to 100 from the original 10. This provides a more strategic attack necessary if you want to disperse of enemy units quickly. They added truffles, porcelain, copper, salt, citrus, crabs and jewelry (which is only from mercantile city-states). For all the players out there who have trouble keeping your civilization happy, these have been added for you. Diplomacy has been changed for the better. Civilizations will take into factor your religion, actions and social policies. The technology tree has been revised to accommodate the addition of faith.
If you are a Civilization fan like me, and I have put in my fair share of hours with this game (over 300), then just listen this one time and get this expansion. It is the most fun I have had with this game since the first 50 hours I put into it. All the times I have been bullied non-stop by barbarians and lost important things, cities and games, I would experience again (all 300 hours). Hell, I WILL do it all again, just with this expansion. So, listen up and let this sink in: Gods and Kings will change your game play experience by 10-fold – no, 100-fold – for the better. If they ever make a Hall of Fame for games, this will be in there, no doubt or question about it whatsoever. So scrounge up the dimes and nickels from the cracks in your couch and get Gods and Kings for Civilization 5, one of the greatest games of all time. Happy hunting and have a great day, as I know I am.