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World’s ‘most addictive game’ gets sequel next week

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Civilization V - Firaxis

What’s the most addictive game in the world?

To some, it’s card classic Solitaire. To others, it’s the social, quick-hit lures of Farmville. To others, it’s the intricate, multi-layered delights of online universes like World of Warcraft.

In Pictures: What's New in Civilization V?

But to gaming purists, the most addictive game in the world is a
twenty year-old turn-based strategy game called Civilization. Giving
players the chance to oversee the development of a nation from Bronze
Age roots to the dawn of the interstellar age, its gripping,
one-more-turn gameplay has hooked millions.

Among them, famously, is top sci-fi author Iain M. Banks, creator of
the Culture series of novels. Back in 2006, Banks was working to finish
what would eventually become Prometheus Award nominee Matter -- only to
miss his deadline, and with it the lucrative Christmas book sales
period. The culprit: his Civ habit.

It’s a tale that all too many bleary-eyed gamers will understand.
Since its 1991 debut, the Civilization series has encompassed five
major releases and countless minor updates and expansion packs -- but
the core game hasn’t changed much. You start with a small nomadic
tribe, and must found cities, hold off barbarians, develop your
scientific, military, and economic infrastructure, construct world
wonders, and ultimately prevail against competing civilizations.

Timeless though this formula it -- it can actually be traced all the way back to a 1980 board game
-- Civilization V, which hits streets next week, isn’t afraid to
innovate. Gone are the huge armies often made a staple of other Civ
titles; instead, there’s a new focus on smaller, more mobile combats
and blockades. Even the board has changed: whereas other Civ games have
used a square grid to arrange their cities, terrains, and armies, Civ V
will adopt a hexagonal pattern more typical of hardcore military
tactics games.

View photo

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Civilization V

Civ’s selection of historical leaders -- including George
Washington, Napoleon, and Gandhi -- will be largely familiar to fans,
but their fully-acted and voiced presentation won’t. Likewise, for the
first time individual leaders will adopt guiding personal
characteristics. Gandhi, for example, might be less prone to conducting
surprise invasions than, say, Alexander the Great.

And in what’s probably the most immediately obvious change, it’s had
the obligatory graphical revamp. Think that terrain looks handcrafted?
It may look it -- but it isn’t. The game’s snowy mountain ranges,
meandering rivers, and resource-rich forests are randomly generated,
like other titles in the series.

Enough to have your thoughts turning to global domination? Start
scheduling those vacation days and filing those project extensions now.
Civilization V will be in stores -- or available via your favorite
digital download services -- on September 21 for the PC.

Preorder Civilization V From Amazon >>

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