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Preview Civilization V: Gods and Kings
Civilization – one of the greatest real time strategy titles of all time – is set to expand once again with the launch next month of Gods and Kings. An addition to Civilization V, the latest game in the long running series.
As the name suggests religion will play a key role as want-to-be nation builders are tasked with balancing the usual Civ activities of diplomacy, trade, war and empire building with the theology of their people.
“I kept looking at [religion in Civilization] and thinking ‘well that should be changing how the game is playing,’ ” Ed Beach – the Lead Designer on Gods and Kings – told The Verge. “And the followers of Buddhism should maybe be more peaceful, or more happy. And I’m not seeing that in the game; all the religions were kind of identical.”
“We wanted to take a step back with how religion was used in Civ 4″ Beach added. It was an odd decision dropping religion from the fifth installment given the impact faith has had on societal development, for better or worse, being removed in favour of an overhaul to the diplomacy system and the manner in which countries dealt with each other.
It’s return in Gods and Kings as well as the new elements being added will aim to reflect the way you play the game. Says Beach: “some of those diehard Civ 4 players were feeling like Civ 5 just didn’t have the same level of depth and intricacy. So we knew that we wanted to add some layers of complexity for Civ 5.”
In the Gods and Kings you’ll accumulate faith, a resource like any other in the game, as well as customising the various tenants of the religion you establish. Featuring 11 religions as opposed to Civ 4’s seven you have the power to rename any faith whatever you like. In essence you can build your own religion entirely from scratch.
As before religion will be far more important earlier in the game with it’s effects tapering off as your nation develops and approaches the modern age. The inquisitor, missionary and great prophet units in the game will aid you in the spread of your faith but religion isn’t the only addition coming with this expansion.
The expansion is set to include nine new playable civilizations, the Celts, the Dutch, the Maya, Carthage, Byzantium, the Huns, Austria, Sweden and Ethiopia. In addition to which Spain and Mongolia, previously released as DLC, will be included in Gods and Kings. As per usual each new nation will come with one of the greatest historical leaders of that country as well as unique units, buildings and abilities.
Espionage has also been overhauled with spies allowed to infiltrate rival civilizations to rig elections, steal technology, and the other activities available in previous entries in the series. Though somewhat unfortunately spies can only be recruited in the later eras of the game, specifically from the Renaissance onwards, as religion begins to take a backseat to other matters in the game.
On top of all this will be a series of quasi-historical scenarios such as the Fall of the Roman Empire and the Reformation and Counter Reformation.
The work Beach and his team are doing can only make an already exceptional game all the better, bringing back the elements that were stripped or diluted from the core game while making it even harder to resist the infamous ‘just one more turn’ gameplay the series is renowned for. In other words, you can have faith in this one.
Civilization V: Gods and Kings will be released in North America on the 19th of June and on the 22nd in the rest of the world.