CiViliZaTioN IV

Let's get it out of the way right at the start: the only reason to stop playing Civilization IV is to tell other people just how good the game is. We here at IGN have been playing the game almost non-stop since we got our first playable versions. The first time we laid hands on the game we felt that Firaxis was doing something special with the series. As newer, more complete builds came our way, our expectations for the game only grew. After having spent a lot of time playing through the final version, we can safely say that Civilization IV is the best version of Civilization yet.

The first thing you need to understand is that Civilization IV is a fundamental reinvention of the franchise. Fans should be assured that all the basic concepts from Civilization are still here, but many of the more obnoxious or troublesome elements have been greatly improved upon. City production, combat, and culture have all been tweaked to allow for more intuitive application within the game. Concepts like civil disorder, predictable tech paths, pollution and the creeping pace of the late game have all benefited from substantial revisions that make them more manageable and enjoyable aspects of your strategy.