There’s no other strategy game quite like Sid Meier’s Civilization. You take control of a historic figure in charge of a civilization in a world with other civilizations, start at the beginning of time and try to be the best civilization among them all.It sounds simple, but there’s way more to Civilization than that. A title that has spawned so many games deserves the title of ultimate strategy game, and here are 5 reasons why.
1. The Option to Pursue Different Victory Types
With so many games, the ultimate end is destroy everyone and win. Civilization gives you the option to pursue more tactful methods of victory, if you so wish. While everyone else bickers over inconsequential patches of desert, you can be finishing parts of a spaceship destined to find new planets for a science victory.
You could be sweet talking the city states and fellow Civs as a diplomatic means to victory, or churning out great artists, musicians and the like to achieve a cultural victory that feels equally pretentious and satisfying. The victory options help to open up each game as a different experience, but there will always be a place for raising an army of tanks and fucking everyone’s shit up.
2. The Mods
Mods are always a great way to breathe new life into an existing game, and not many do it quite like the Civilization community. When you’re tired of pummelling America with your Shoshone Comanche Riders for historical retribution, you can download the Mod of Ice and Fire to jump into what is essentially Civilization: Game of Thrones Edition. It doesn’t stop there either, there’s an Elder Scrolls mod for those who want to create a scaly uprising and conquer Tamriel as the Argonians.
There’s also countless mods that seem small in comparison to these large scale pieces of content, but really aid in creating a nuanced experience. Mods like the Really Advanced Setup and the Prehistoric Era mods add an extra dimension that can keep you playing Civ until the end of your millionth turn.
3. Asshole Gandhi
Possibly the name most synonymous with peace throughout history… Unless you’ve played Civilization. On the original Civ game, Gandhi’s aggression level was naturally set to 1. As soon as he adopted Democracy, a technology that gave a Civ -2 to their aggression level, the game flipped out and set his aggression to maximum, turning him into a warmongering bellend.
As a series that prides itself on historical accuracy, it’s a hilarious misstep. The Civ team paid homage to the bug by ramping up Gandhi’s nuclear rating in subsequent games, creating the mythical legend that is Asshole Gandhi.
4. Playing with Friends is a Great Waste of Time
When you get that “wanna play Civ?” message from a friend on Steam , you know you’re potentially about to lose a whole night’s sleep and fuck up tomorrow’s schedule, but it’s almost impossible to say no. Civ is the only game where co-operation is possible, but no one fully trusts each other. Right from the off, you second guess why your friend picked China. Are they going to amass an army of Chu-Ko-Nus to fuck you up, or the AI-controlled Japan? Or is it for the science/gold bonus from Paper Makers?
You get started, form an pre-emptive anti-nuclear alliance against Gandhi and before you know it, it’s 3am and you and your friend who picked China are finishing off Gandhi’s last city while another friend who picked Korea sneakily pushes for a scientific victory. It’s all bets off at that point, and it’s usually way past your bedtime too.
5. The Complexity of the Game, and Not Needing to Know it All to Have Fun
Civ is a deep game, and the amount of micromanagement you can put in (if so inclined) is astonishing. From figuring out what tile improvement out-produces another in a certain age to assigning citizens to generate culture, science etc. the game can get ridiculously complex. All the fiddling around isn’t necessary though – if you prefer to walk through ham-fisted and punch everyone to death without all that nerdy stuff, you can. The ability to fully immerse yourself in all the microscopic mechanics and emerge victorious in one game, but completely disregard it in another because you’re trying to pace through it before work makes Civilization the ultimate strategy game for the veterans and beginners alike.