|Min OS X: 10.5.8|
Mac OS X: 10.5.8 | CPU: 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 8 GB | Graphics: 256 MB VRAM - ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, NVIDIA Geforce 8800 GS, Intel HD Graphics 4000 | Requires Sid Meier's Civilization V to play
Most games today unfortunately have a short lifespan. While it may be exciting to own the latest and the greatest, few of these latest titles have the ability to become a long standing classic that remains in the forefront of gaming culture. Firaxis has attempted to create one of those classics with Civlization V, partly through their constant updating and releasing of new expansion packs. Each of these packs attempts to outdo the last with new civilizations, scenarios and new elements of play which change the way you play the game. In Civlization's latest expansion pack, Brave New World, Firaxis and porting studio Aspyr have created their second major expansion pack which endeavours to sustain the life of this game and hopefully avoid it fading into the back of the minds of contemporary gamers.
International Trade Routes:
While most of the gameplay is left unchanged from the original, new features have been added to make Civ V more open to new strategies. One of the first new features that a player will encounter in this expansion would be International Trade Routes. After researching Sailing and Animal Husbandry, players will be able to trade resources with neighbouring civilizations and city states. It is tempting after first unlocking this ability to go for the highest return, however the highest return can also result in falling victim to barbarian ships destroying your ships. I found that establishing a channel of military ships to escort other vessels over vast open water was the best strategy. I kept at that until I felt safe that the ships would be safe on their own.
Later in the game if you decide to follow the path to a diplomatic victory, these trade routes can form an additional weapon to make civilizations and city-states lock-in their support with you. By having a trade route established, rival civilizations will be more hesitant to attack you, plus for the most part, it’s a win-win situation for both sides. By continuing to trade with certain leaders, you may even establish specialisation resulting in more currency as you progress through different ages. This can also help cement a partnership that can outdo other civilizations that you might want to compete against.
World Congress: (Diplomats)
Besides the International Trade Route ability the value of this pack only starts to show it’s true colours in the Renaissance era. This period is quite deep into the game and players would be expected to play many hours before the World Congress element of the game is unlocked. This mid game element is a way for civilizations to work together and achieve an elected goal. Since I focused all my resources on ‘The Printing Press’ (the required technology that needs to be researched) and explored as much as I could, I was the first civilization to create the World Congress. This power gives you a slight advantage with an extra vote in the congress but the extra vote against another 5-8 civlizations with one vote each can prove to be not as powerful as it might seem. It instead forces you to use your resources to convince other civilizations to follow your lead.
This can be achieved by a new feature in spies. While in Gods and Kings these units focused on stealing technology and information from other civilizations, in Brave New World these units can be used to convince opponents to follow your lead. Through their ability to ‘Schmooze’ with your allies, they can vote in favour of your resolution. Whether it be to repeal or ratify a policy, in my play-through this ability proved to be one of the most powerful throughout my campaign. If used effectively you can severely stop rising powers or help out friends.