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1:21pm on Sunday, 26th September, 2010:

Civ V


My copy of Civilization V arrived two days ago, and I've been playing it in all my spare time since.

It reminds me quite a lot of Civ III — not in terms of its gameplay, which is more tactical than strategic, but in terms of its unplayability on a large map. Civ III ran like molasses then crashed, and so does Civ V. I'm playing on a huge map of Earth, I own all of Africa (where I started) and Europe, and I'm in the process of sending my tanks up against the swordsmen of England in the Middle East (I'm playing it in "learner" mode, which is stupidly easy). I managed to stop the crashes from graphics by switching into "strategic view" (which shows you a map like the old SPI hex wargames, except it's less complicated) but now it's crashing while my many allied city states send their puny armies to my assistance. Either that, or England is trying to negotiate peace with the Aztecs for a war England started dozens of turns after I eliminated the Aztecs — I can see how that might be a problem.

Overall, though, when it's working, it has potential. Production in cities is slow, which I think is because I'm supposed to be using them for specialist purposes rather than making them all generalists, but I'll try that next time. The ghastly system of crippling cities far from the capital has gone, to be replaced by a general happiness level that limits how many new cities you can found. It probably doesn't limit them enough, though, if crashes are what happens when you get too many...

There's already been one patch, and another is due soon; hopefully that will fix the bugs, but I suspect it won't. Maybe I'll just save the game and start another. I do kinds resent having spent 20 hours on it and not getting to see the victory screen, though...

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).