|Civilization V: Explorer's Map Pack|
January 3, 2012 | Andrew Lennox
Must have Civilization V installed in order to use this additional content
Even though I have played many hours of Civilization V since its release, not once have I thought, “This map selection seems a bit limited”. But, according to Firaxis, I am wrong. With the release of the Explorer's Map Pack DLC, brought to Macs by Aspyr Media, the developers have added even more maps to the already vast list available. Let’s take a look at what the pack has to offer.
Firstly, there are new maps of some well-known lands across the globe: The British Isles, Japan, the Caribbean and the east coast of America. These areas are awesome to play on just like any other map made for Civilization V. Also, with the added reality, these new maps gave me a further sense of accomplishment if I control a real area. I remember playing as the Germans and slowly taking over Ireland in the British Isles. It was a great feeling taking over city states in my way and feeling like you’re actually controlling something. This is what I believe the real appeal of Civilization is and when you re-live this excitement it is a great feeling.
In addition to the various new country maps, there is also the Bering Strait to play on as well. If you are fascinated by the Cold War then you can recreate the tension with two rival civilizations in the arms race. Playing on these crucial real world battlegrounds adds a lot to the gaming experience. I also felt like I was learning a bit from this map in particular. The terrain provided, and the geographical layout of these areas, reinforced in my mind why the battle was so important. A surprising bit of education in Civilization for a change.
While you would expect even more countries and battlegrounds would be added to this list, the developers took an odd turn to add some terrain maps, one of which is called Donut. This circular shaped landmass has no connection to anything on this planet. It was, rather, the clever idea of one of the developers. While on the edges of the circle are assorted terrain, hills and desert, the middle is completely up to you. You can make it forest, desert, hills or even sea. The reasoning behind this madness is to get the user familiarized with different elements. Say you wanted to understand how naval warfare would work, then try this map out with the sea in the middle. The way the map is set up forces you to use the middle, as it provides the optimum access to any of your enemies. This in turn teaches you the tricks of how a specific element will work with your units.
Overall, from what I have seen from this map pack, I am impressed with what Fireaxis has come up with. With all the new maps available it does provide a balance of reality and and new strategy that will keep you playing Civilization V. The only part of this that is of concern is the price. While it does remain the standard $5.99 USD similar to the other DLC available, I don’t think it offers enough to be priced the same as the other packs. My best advice is to work out if you are satisfied with the maps included in your original game. If you are, then you should probably stay away from this DLC and perhaps try the others available. If you aren’t, then this is a great addition to the collection of great maps in Civilization V.
• New maps to play with
• A balance of Strategy and reality
• Can be seen as unnecessary
Andrew Lennox is an IMG Writer since mid 2011 and has been a proud member of the Apple Macintosh family since 2006. He loves reading about the latest in the tech industry, and playing the latest games on the Mac as well anything good on the consoles. Even though he is still studying hard at school, he tries to find time to sit down and give honest opinions on the ever increasing banquet of games available for the Mac platform