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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

IGN recently posted a preview of Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, the upcoming expansion for the popular turn based strategy title. The expansion will focus on increasing the play value in the late game after the introduction of gunpowder. A variety of new scenarios, units, leaders, and gameplay improvements will be available for players to enjoy.

Espionage in Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword deserves special attention because it has become a more integral part of the game than ever before. Its importance to your empire is now comparable to scientific research, culture, or income from taxes. This is because, through an "espionage slider," you have the ability to divert part of your income towards espionage activities against other civilizations. Once you have reached certain thresholds of espionage investment, you start gaining some automatic intelligence benefits over rival civilizations, like visibility into their cities, access to their demographics and power graphs, knowledge of their current research efforts, and ultimately the ability to prevent foreign spies from operating within your borders. There are new buildings to support your intelligence strategy like the Security Bureau that make it harder for foreign spies to perform missions in your cities, or the Intelligence Agency that enhances espionage spending.

You may also take a more aggressive approach to espionage, sending your agents into foreign territory to gather further intelligence and to perform various destructive missions, like blowing up terrain improvements and buildings, poisoning water supplies, or stealing gold. Spies can also influence foreign affairs by spreading their civilization's culture into their target city, or even by coercing their target leader to switch civics or state religions! Finally, spies can provide defense against enemy espionage by performing counterespionage missions. We're very excited about espionage as it clearly adds a whole new dimension to the game.
There is no word yet on the possibility of a Mac version of the game expansion. Click on the link below to read the rest of the preview

IGN: Civ IV Beyond The Sword Preview
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