Civilization V: Gods & Kings (2K Games)If you've got a Civilization fan in your life, you might want to say goodbye for a little while.
This week's release of Civilization V: Gods & Kings is being heralded as a terrific add-on to the much loved strategy series, adding a wealth of new content and ensures that the franchise's well-known "one more turn" gameplay is as addictive as ever.
2010's Civ V was considered an absolute killer of a strategy game, but some felt it lacked a bit of depth in its combat. The expansion, say critics, helps fill the gaps of the original game.
"Gods & Kings feels like what Civilization V wanted to be all along," writes Russ Pitts from Polygon. "It doesn't so much 'expand' the game as evolve it. Strategic combat finally feels strategic, and the diplomatic game, enhanced by religion, espionage and a few new tweaks, finally matters."
Mashable agrees, saying "Gods & Kings feels like the puzzle piece missing from the original release of Civ V."
Gods & Kings brings religion back to Civilization, after the game's developers chose not to include it when initially creating Civ V. Also making a return is espionage, another popular tool from past games. And critics like the way they've been folded into the latest version.
"I avoided the use of spies in previous Civilizations because maneuvering them across the map was slow and didn't behave like much of the rest of the game," says Ars Technica's Rowan Kaiser. "The simple interface and clear benefits of Espionage in Gods & Kings make it the best form of spying in any Civilization game."
"More is not always better, but, in the case of Gods & Kings, the sheer amount of new content and concepts won me over," writes Greg Tito at The Escapist. "The strategic and tactical options available to the player increased so much that the possibility for the game to surprise and excite me has multiplied."
Civilization is one of the most enduring franchises in gaming. Launched 21 years ago, it has survived three publishers — MicroProse, Atari and 2K Games -- and has appeared on six platforms. All totaled, there have been 16 different games in the franchise (not counting 'Game of the Year' editions, compilations and Mac versions of the PC game).
The fans, meanwhile, have proven especially dedicated, with one even playing the same game of Civilization II for 10 years.
Civilization V: Gods & Kings is out now for PC and Mac.