Hopefully Iím not just speaking for myself when I say that Iíd dearly loved to be remembered once my time of this earth is finally finished. Not just by my family and close friends of course, thatís a given. No, I want to be remembered by everyone around the globe, be they a massively overpaid director of an electronics superstore, or a geeky comic book seller. I want the memory of my actions to live on in peopleís minds for generations to come, for numerous millennia, be it for the many good or evil deeds that Iíve performed. Well, at least thatís what I reckon the mind-sets of many of these discoverers of civilizations were. Iíll be more than happy to be remembered as that bloke who had a great time, and wrote some things that a few people found interesting and helpful. But now weíre beginning to get way too philosophical for a game review.
If you havenít yet heard of the Civilization series, then as much of a clichť it may be to say, you really must have been living under a rock for the past decade. Ever since its first iteration way back in the Britpop era of the early 90ís, the Civilization games are among the very few games that have caused numerous break-ups, lost jobs and bleary all-nighters.
It is a simple premise for a video game too: Simply found a civilization, and over the course of numerous generations go from the humble beginnings of a simple small tribe to the worldís biggest super-power. Be it dominating by aggression, cultural might, or even becoming the first nation to head out into space towards Alpha Centauri. Of course, things arenít quite as simple as merely building up your own empire in a free and easy manner. Other civilizations are eager to make their own stamp upon the world, each with their own specific agendas.
Taking in pretty much the entire span of human history, from the beginnings of the stone ages, right the way to the modern day world means that the way you shape your empire over the course of this vast number of years is vitally important to what kind of success you will eventually achieve. Winning a game of Civilization is oddly enough, probably one of the low points of the game, since it means that the relationships youíve built up with various other civilizations, the cities youíve created and built into huge sprawling metropolises have all got to be abandoned and things need to begin all over again. As I mentioned earlier, you can achieve victory in many different ways, be it culturally, via your mass armies, or simply due to the dazzling size of your empire. You can fully concentrate on which of these methods you wish to focus on right from the start, via either sending settler units far and wide to found new cities on your peoples behalf, or instead creating numerous powerful warrior units to rule with an iron fist. You can even build huge numbers of universities, giving your people vast knowledge to be the first to research future technologies in order to dominate with intelligence and cultural diversity. That is the main selling point of Civilization IV: it is all down to what you truly wish to do. Planning ahead can work in your favour quite considerably, especially when you work towards the two ideals that each civilization has bonuses for.