Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Civilization V: Gods and Kings

Review: Civilization V: Gods and Kings

5:15 PM on 06.20.2012 // Daniel Starkey
  @dcstarkey

Civilization has always had a special place in my heart. As a turn-based 4X strategy game, it is the antithesis of damn-near everything in the shooter-saturated landscape that is the modern game market.

When it was initially released in 2010, Civilization V was one of the biggest changes the series had seen -- moving to a more approachable, art-deco interface, cutting out a lot of “unnecessary” bits, and changing countless combat and conquest mechanics. 

Civilization V: Gods and Kings (PC)
Developer: Firaxis
Publisher: 2K Games
Released: June 19, 2012
MSRP: $29.99

Gods and Kings
adds a lot of the features that were lost between IV and V like religion and espionage with mixed results. There are a total of nine new civilizations including Austria, Carthage and the Mayans. Naval AI has also received a ton of tweaks and there are new units including the Great Admiral, the maritime equivalent of the Great General.

Religion is easily the most robust and interesting addition. Faith works just like other resources. There are certain buildings, abilities, and tiles that produce faith each turn, and when you've earned enough of the resource you can either purchase units or buildings, spawn a great person, found a pantheon, start a religion, or upgrade that religion. All of these are tied very deeply into the Civ mechanics and mesh pretty well with what is already there -- a far cry from the system employed in Civ IV.

Each pantheon gives the player a certain set of bonuses akin in both type and magnitude to those afforded by the various world leaders, like extra happiness for cities founded near rivers. Later, the option to found a religion will become available. Again, the player selects one of several buffs, while also establishing a name for the faith as well as picking a symbol. Religious bonuses are a bit different, however, in that they almost exclusively rely on spreading to new cities and civilizations. They aren't usually static either; the more you push your religion on others, the greater the buff for you and your allies. You can found up to three religions, and they are spread city by city, so you don't have to commit your entire country to "MutantJediNinja-ism".

My general strategy in V has always been to wonder rush with Rameses II, and I found that religion was very easy to incorporate.  All the bonuses I chose gave me bonuses to science and productivity with additional trade routes. These buffs allowed me to raise tons of money, buy Settlers, expand aggressively, boost science output, buy new productivity buildings and start cranking out more and more gold and science. This kept me on the bleeding edge of tech development so I could grab wonders before anyone else had a chance.



Of course, evangelizing is also important. Real-world moral quandaries aside, the system that Gods and Kings uses is fairly intuitive and easy to apply. Once a player has gathered enough faith, they can buy a great prophet. Generally, these units travel to up to five different cities converting up to ten citizens. This puts a lot more control in the hands of the player when compared to the system that IV used.  

This creates a really cool dynamic that both highlights the actual applications of real-world religions and allows you to faith for diplomacy, especially with human players. Giving buffs to followers as well as founders means that you can convert-a-friend and help them out. None of the effects are deleterious or trade-offs. It serves to add more nuanced dynamics to what is probably one of the weaker facets of Civ’s gameplay. Effective use of faith and religion will greatly benefit astute players.

Espionage is the other new gameplay addition. After researching the tech, players have access to another screen that shows all of your available spies and all known cities. Spies can be placed in rival cities to help steal technology, in city-states to help rig elections and gain favor, or your own cities to provide counter-intelligence and prevent your tech from being stolen. 

The interface is very well-executed, but the whole system is largely pointless.  I could see civilizations that are pretty far behind being able to steal tech from more advanced players, but they will likely have all of their spies guarding their own tech. 



Espionage also comes into the game so late, comparatively speaking, that it’s difficult to smoothly mesh it with the rest of the gameplay. The Civilization IV expansion, Beyond the Sword, handled spies much better by allowing you to sabotage cities, poison water, destroy buildings and stall production. Here, technology and elections are really the only trick in the bag. It’s more than a little underwhelming.

In addition to the new gameplay additions, Gods and Kings adds a new mode called “Empire of the Smokey Skies”. Resident Captain of Awesome, Ryan Perez, wrote quite a bit about it in his preview back in May. The mode hasn’t changed too much since then, capitalizing on the steam punk aesthetic to mix up the rigmarole.

It would be nice to modify some of the rules of “Smokey Skies”, because I really enjoyed messing around with the new units. Sadly, however, you can’t play “Smoky Skies” with others, and there’s no option to use dirigibles or landships in place of bombers and tanks. The scenario pulls away from known history around the discovery of steam power. uranium, aluminum and other modern materials all receive funny-sounding names indicative of their alternative universe origin. Other than that though, very little is changed.

Players will be given five goals including the usual military and economic dominance objectives. In order to win, a player must be leading in three of the the five categories. At that point a timer kicks in and counts down giving everyone else one last chance to clinch victory. It's a nifty little addition, but I only played through it twice. It just isn't different enough to keep me coming back.

If you were a fan of the changes made in the vanilla release of Civilization V you’ll probably enjoy most of the new bits. Gods and Kings is a strong expansion overall, but it fails to live up to the series’ own pedigree. Religion adds so much subtlety to advanced strategies that, by comparison, espionage comes off as a half-assed attempt to add back an old mechanic.

Oh yeah and they fixed the opening movie problem. 

 



THE VERDICT

8.5

Civilization V: Gods and Kings - Reviewed by Daniel Starkey
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Civilization V: Gods and Kings


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Friday Night Fights: War Never Changes Edition

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Review (Vita)

Waifu Wars: Loyalty-Tier

The Wii U's fate is not (entirely) Nintendo's fault

Musings on Firewatch (Spoilers)

My Gaming Landscape [February 9th, 2016]

The sexiest Senran Kagura character has been found!!

Room to Share: Why More People Playing Games Is a Good Thing

OVERWATCH SONG - This World Needs Heroes

Cblogs of 2/8/2016 + Face Petting in FE is a TERRIBLE Mechanic

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Shinta avatarShinta
Daniel Bloodworth from GameTrailers posted a neat retrospective of his time at the website. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=194778459&postcount=3290
Shane Botwin avatarShane Botwin
The internet is so good, gives people without any power in real life a sense of purpose. Such as the Dtoid mod arbitrarily deleting my comments because I dislike the shit they like. "This will show him who's boss here", lol, impotent nerd.
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
The new artificial Pokémon is my waifu
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Off to the new job shortly. Dunno if it's something I want long term, but I can't complain about the money. New laptop, phone, and consoles could be weeks away :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
http://destructivecreations.pl/isdefense/ /Hatred devs really like the controversy I guess.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Is it too late to write about the waifu wars? I don't really have one but there is a female character I have in mind that I want to talk about.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Bayo has high execution barrier and largely unsafe moveset but Witch Time is a huge saving grace. I bet people are double bitter with Corrin being in the game and being pretty reliable in terms of skillset. Definitely a safer and stronger choice than Bayo
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Streaming some Unravel then perhaps some Firewatch. Don't not come. [url]http://twitch.tv/Jed05[/url]
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Just got my Wind up Ifrit minion. I couldn't sell it, it was too adorable.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Just got my Wind up Ifrit minion. I couldn't sell it, it was too adorable.
Parismio avatarParismio
I was playing Third Strike on PS3 with my PS4 controller and I tried using the dpad for the first and noticed that it doesnt take corner directional inputs. Is this normal for ps4 controllers on ps3?
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
I swear, it makes sense in context..... Kinda. Hmmm. Okay, not so much. [img]http://i.imgur.com/YhIzmYN.png[/img]
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Almost done with my Waifu wars blog. pretty happy with how it turned out.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Time to scream and shout. It's Nanako cosplaying as her big bro! <3
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump is like Gandalf the White vs. Handsome Jack.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Skellige is so cool! It's like the land of Valhalla Rising.
Torchman avatarTorchman
http://gonintendo.com/stories/251840-fire-emblem-fates-petting-mini-game-is-in-game-but-only-availa I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONE. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS PEOPLE
Shinta avatarShinta
God damn, Bernie Sanders is just killing it with this speech. Hitting basically every point. He even used the word "oligarchy." Probably the first time I've ever heard that word uttered on CNN. I think a lot of people in power are shitting their pants
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In my haste to finally factory reset my tablet, I erased a blog I had worked on. Thankfully, it's fresh in my mind. It's another MGS blog, but it goes the opposite way of my last MGS blog. Pray this guy is not your husbando, for he is shit.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Just ate a disgusting amount of sugary wonders in a Fat Tuesday blowout. Chocolate (birthday) cake, Oreos, brownies, cookie dough, and some creme brule thing. Satiation by way of eat-'til-you-puke is what Shenanigans says!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -