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Civilization 4 is the fourth installment of Sid Mier’s popular game Civilization. It is a strategy game released in 2005, developed by director Sid Meier, Soren Johnson under Meier’s Studio Firaxis Games. There have two expansions for this game - “Warlords” and “Beyond the Sword”. According to Take-two Interactive, the game has sold over three million copies worldwide.

In this game, the players are enjoined to build an empire from scarce resources in different places in the map. A standard game begins at the turn of 4000 BC with a settler who started to become the pioneer of a city. Onwards, the player expands the city by creating structures, developing allegiance with neighboring cities or creating enemies out of them. Here, the player has to also consider geography to expand resources, and develop scientific or cultural improvements to upgrade one’s timeline. The winner is in the following scenarios: the first to land at the Alpha Centauri star system; the one who is declared as the “world leader”; the one who conquer all other empires; or one who has control of the supermajority of the population. These goals must be reached before the game ends at the year 2050 AD.

You may notice as you go along that the game take some time to play. This is partly because the game itself is engaged in the slow and meticulous evolution of man’s development. However, playability is pretty easy. One does not need to read the directions or the instructions; the player can easily pick the information up as he plays the game.

One of the most interesting aspects of the game is that fighting is not the only way to win, and it is not the only thing the game offers. In truth, only a very skilled player may win by conquering. Going to war is not the best option unless your resources and power is overwhelming, for the reason that it drains your economy. Instead of building infrastructures, or developing your civilization in different ways such as culture or science, you are forced to allocate your wealth on military alone. During war, everything other that creating a large army is put on hold. And eventually, your people will become dissatisfied and less devoted.

These are but some of the major strengths of the game that attracts strategy gamers and enthusiasts. The complexity and the simulation of a realistic economy are unique to Civilization. Strategy planning, budget allocation, and trade networking are the foundation of the empire you wish to win. One must secure the resources needed and afterwards protect them to ensure victory.

However, the game is not perfect. Some of the player’s feedbacks rather show that the game still needs some tweaks and adjustments. Some players complain that the 3D map does not add anything to the game play. Most times, it becomes a nuisance to the game. Another significant observation by many is that the graphic updates were unnecessary. It only added to the system requirement but not on the interaction of the player and the game. A number of enthusiasts say that if you have played Civilization 3, there is nothing new about Civilization 4 that will dramatically increase or rejuvenate one’s interest in the game. Hence, boredom may arise from players who have played Civilization before.