Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition Articles RSS Feed | Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Does Civilization 6 Need Expansions to Beat Civ 5? Wed, 26 Oct 2016 08:50:55 -0400 void.presence

To many people, Civilization 5 paled to Civ 4 until the expansions came out (Gods & Kings, but notably Brave New World). And now that Civilization 6 is out, there's a new comparison to make. Does Civ 6 similarly need expansions to beat Civ 5?

In a word: No.

Will there be expansions? Undoubtedly. They will add to the game by at least putting some new civilizations, but might even add a few more mechanics, or perhaps adjusting some existing ones. But even without any expansions or updates, Civ 6 is already as good -- if not better -- than Civ 5.

Civilization 5 was the first in the series to use hexagonal tiles (instead of the square tiles used in previous versions). This in itself was a huge change in not just aesthetics, but military strategy. However, it took out or changed many of the mechanics that Civ 4 and its expansions had, such as religion and espionage.

Civ 6 is similarly a whole new ball game from Civ 5. Although it still uses hexagonal tiles, it was developed from scratch with a new game engine. Mechanics aside, you can immediately spot the difference in the interface alone. The menus are sleeker in Civ 6, and the game screen is very 'map-centric' in that city details are overlays rather than new screens.

Although Civ 6 hasn't taken any mechanics away from Civ 5 (like Civ 5 did with Civ 4), it has changed them significantly. But how has it done that? See the handy chart below:

Civ 5
Civ 6


Workers were immortal, 1 could last the entire game; built roads and improvements Called Builders now. Have 3 charges to improve with, then disappear. Do not build roads.


Workers built roads, took time and roads cost upkeep Roads are automatically built by Trade caravans between the cities they trade with; no upkeep.


A few religious units that either spread religion or safeguarded against it Several units that spread or eliminate religion, plus religious warfare that is not tied to political warfare.


Spies were sent to enemy cities for missions, held back for various boosts, or sent to home cities to counter other spies Spies are sent to cities like before, but counter-espionage missions have to be reestablished after about 4 turns. Also, counter-espionage only covers the district you send it to and it's surrounding adjacent districts, and only for about 4 turns.


Each civilization had its leader and that leader had 1 AI 'play style' which was fairly consistent with each game Each civilization has its leader. That leader has a known agenda, but also a secret randomized agenda

There's a lot more to the mechanics than shown here, but the key point is that Civ 6 brings as much as Civ 5 did with all its expansions, despite the changes.  

Any expansions that come for Civ 6 will not only add to the game that we have now, but could possibly change it in ways we can't imagine, just as the previous Civ's expansions did for them. 

What do you think? Does Civilization 6 live up to its predecessor, even without the expansions to come? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Historically Great History Games Sun, 20 Jul 2014 14:48:57 -0400 Alex D'Alessandro

History, especially in the video game format, has a funny way of conflating itself with war and the most atrocious moments in human history. While war and history aren’t mutually exclusive, there hasn’t been a long time where humans aren’t trying to kill one another. Because of this apparent lack of compassion for each other and the “idea” that history is behind and not ahead, most of the best historical games have some aspects of war, but not all.  With that said, historical facts and figures will always capture our attention, especially when we can connect with those past moments by interesting and interactive means.

Take my hand, historical time traveler, and gaze through the ages at 5 great historical games. 

1. Victoria Series (Paradox Interactive) 

Paradox Interactive has a lengthy lineage of historically based grand-strategy games that have you leading your chosen country to great heights or, on a bad day, eradication. Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron all have excellent historical depth and addictive gameplay, but when it comes to complete control and immersion, none stand taller than the Victoria series.

So much of our modern foundation was set in those turbulent years of the 19th century...


By accessing the spiritually destructive yet modern world building event of the Industrial Revolution, the Victoria series deals with the most important era for modern man. As you take your country from your humble, pre-steel, pre-electrical, pre-penicillin days, wholly useless as a modern human, you will find the driving force behind your country to advance --all in the name of capital and nationalism. So much of our modern foundation was set in those turbulent years of the 19th century and because of this Victoria is as relevant as it is challenging.  

 2. Assassins Creed II  (Ubisoft)

 It’s difficult to pick one title from the "Assassin’s Creed" series, but because our historical cause demands it, Assassin’s Creed II is the most rewarding, historically, of the series. Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed IV have beautiful vistas entwined with engaging and addictive gameplay but Assassin’s Creed 2 had me longing to be wrapped in some Venetian cloth as I strolled down to the local duomo for a quick shout out to family in purgatory.

The gameplay's balanced on a concealed knives edge, slipping between fast and fluid combat and white knuckle, urban climbing. With the help of the frequent codex alert, AC2 invites you to look upon great historical structures, cultures, and people in a fresh light as you meander down the narrow alleys, alive with fast talking commoners or overly protective royalty, enticing gamers with the prospect of living in a reconstructed past.   

3. Rome: Total War (Creative Assembly) 

 Ancient Rome has no shortage of histories, plays, and other forms of artistic representation. With Rome: Total War, we are allowed to conquer the lands of proto-Europe and at the same time advance the noble cause of Romanization. With every unit, building, faction, and philosophical advance, you can read a small pamphlets worth of information that might teach you a thing or two about those ol' imperial Romans. It’s like being in history class but without a teacher or fellow students to warn you not to enslave an entire town. What do they know?  With Rome the real historical fun comes from the choice to sack cities and then crucify their entire male population. Those were the days…

4. The Oregon Trail (Mecc)

Who didn't want to be the leader of their family as they crossed rivers and fought off venomous snakes

 Oregon Trail works on so many levels of historical goodness. First off, a large majority of gamers and non-gamers alike played this game at school; reliving one of the most harrowing and endemic parts of the American narrative. Who didn’t want to be the leader of their family as they crossed rivers and fought off venomous snakes, or had to stop trail side for a few days while your daughter's dysentery calmed down — it’s what making your way out west in a covered wagon was about. Oregon Trail is that beautiful blend of player interaction with a strong historical narrative; teaching the player about American history through difficult choices and thoughtful gameplay. 

5. Civilization Series (Firaxis)

Sid Meier's games might slowly whittle our lives away, one turn at a time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something in the process. From that one more turn philosophy, you slowly start you to realize the destiny of your nation. Civilization has always prided itself with real world leaders, architectural wonders, and military units. What would happen if Genghis Khan and the Mongolian people started on a tropical island abundant in bananas and sunshine? These are the types of questions that lead to a deeper historical inquiry, and if you want real world application the game lets you read a rather large civopedia that has historical information on all things within Civ. Oh Leonard Nimoy, your dulcet notes are a wonder to my ears.with real world leaders, units, building, wonders, etc… within a sandbox world.

History will always be a great avenue to stroll down when the wellspring of game ideas has run dry. Although almost all of these games are PC and strategy exclusive that doesn't mean that great historical games aren't available in other game genres and consoles. 

What did we learn? For one, history class is for the birds, especially with such a great wealth of gameplay focused on Western history out there. What can we really learn from history other than humans have magnificent moments of enlightenment followed by horrid moments of exploitation and destruction. Oh yeah, and we can have fun doing it. 

The Humble Sid Meier Bundle - Civilization and More Tue, 04 Feb 2014 15:39:54 -0500 Courtney Gamache

A new Humble Bundle has been announced today, and it's all about Sid Meier's wonderful Civilization games. You'll be able to grab your hands on some oldies and some newbies in this wonderful game franchise.

Games Included

There are many games included, and the money they costs spans over to $15 for the entire bundle. Not a bad deal if you look at their prices in your local retailers and online through Steam.

Pay anything you want and receive the following games:

  • Sid Meier's Civilization III Complete - This game pack includes the original Civilization III plus expansions Play the World and Conquests!. Enjoy playing against your friends in this old-timey Civilization game that will whisk your time away. (Currently $4.99 on Steam)
  • Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition - A new Civilization game compared to Civilization III, which brings more tools and ways to play and win. Receiving a title in top ten games of 2005, this game rocked the multiplayer world of conquest. (Regular edition currently $19.99 on Steam)
  • Sid Meier's Ace Patrol - It's time to do a barrel-roll as you take control of WWI fighter planes to protect the skies. How will the war fare out with you in the cockpit? (Currently $4.99 on Steam)

  • Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies - Set within WWII battles, you'll fly the iconic American and Japanese fighter planes representing the army or navy. The war is in your hands, and those of your soldiers. (Currently $4.99 on Steam)

  • Sid Meier's Railroads! - One of the best railroad building games of all time, where you're the one in charge. Face against other rival tycoons to be the best you can be.

At the moment if you pay more than $7.62, you'll get the previous games and also:

  • Sid Meier's Civilization V - An addictive strategy based game, with a wonderful diplomacy system. This game brings the best of the previous plus better cunning rival leaders. (Currently $29.99 on Steam)
  • Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods and Kings DLC - The first expansion for Civilization V bringing more religion into the gameplay. This DLC brings nine new wonders, nine new civilizations, three new original scenarios, and numerous new techs and buildings to make the gameplay more interactive. (Currently $29.99 on Steam for DLC)

If you're feeling a bit more daring, you can pay the lowest amount of $15 or more to gain the earlier games and this big bad boy:

  • Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World DLC - This second expansion for Civilization V brings international trade and diplomacy into focus. The influence you have will be the key when playing this DLC. Within this DLC will add nine new civilizations, eight new wonders, two new original scenarios, four new gameplay systems, and numerous buildings and technologies to explore. (Currently $29.99 on Steam for DLC)

I don't know about you guys, but I'll definitely be purchasing this Humble Bundle. As of this article, you'll have 13 days to act upon these gaming urges before this bundle flies out the window.

What do you think about the Civilization franchise?