Sid's back, baby!
The Civilization series has carved itself out a very nice little niche over the years, providing consistently entertaining historical strategy fun in a number of releases and managing to stay ahead of the competition, like Pharaoh and Empire Earth. This fourth entry in the franchise maintains the generally high standards that fans are used to and makes for another nice addition to the collection. In many ways, this is very similar to earlier installments, with the player starting out with just a small village in the Stone Age and being charged with its development and progression through the ages. You'll explore, found new towns and cities, conduct technological research, trade and make war. Here however, things are a little more streamlined than usual, with some of the more complex features which slowed down the game, like corruption, removed in order to make things accessible to newcomers. Before you get too worried though, combat has been given extra depth through the inclusion of new stats for units, and overall this remains a very complex and satisfying game, whether you're a veteran or new to the series. The visuals are also much improved, with some nice extra details which make the whole thing extremely immersive, while the interface remains as slick and intuitive as ever. Some old hands might find the new changes not to their liking, but this is likely a very personal thing, and there's no real denying that this is still a fine game, proving to be as enthralling and addictive as ever.