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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

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

Macworld has published a new review of Beyond the Sword, an expansion for the popular Civilization IV. The game focuses on the late-game time periods and also offers 12 challenging and different scenarios created by the development team at Firaxis Games. Macworld gave the game a score of 3.5 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

The most obvious new features to the game happen later, when you’re in the modern eras. You’ll be introduced to the corporation feature of the game, an element that behaves much like the “religion” aspect. Players can create corporations that specialize in certain resources and need to be spread throughout the world. You need a specific technology, resource, and Great Person to found a corporation’s headquarters and then the company itself. Your company can be spread via executive emissaries to other cities (even foreign ones) and each branch will net the player additional gold.

Espionage is introduced earlier in the game, allowing the player to spy on and disrupt foreign countries during earlier time periods of history. The spy unit will evolve from being a masked person of mystery to a James Bond-esque agent later in the game. Yet I still found the espionage system clunky and not as well integrated as some other elements. I like that having your spy get caught will negatively affect diplomatic relations, but the spies seem so limited in their abilities. You can sabotage production, poison the water, steal, gather intel and ferment unrest, but I want the ability to assassinate units, raze buildings, and detonate nuclear weapons. How much fun would it be to send in a spy to detonate the tactical nuke your enemy has been keeping in his capital?

The game also re-introduces the “random events” element of the original Civilization game. You can discover new resources, engage in diplomatic marriages, or recover from terrible natural disasters. These provide some moments of chaos and can tip the outcomes of close games, but generally they can be regarded as amusing distractions that help make the highly-formuliazed game seem more random.
Head over to the link below to read the full review.

Macworld: Civ IV Beyond The Sword Review
Aspyr Media
Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword
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