The Best Video Game Ever: “Civilization IV”

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41 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I’m going to write my own essay for this series tonight. But Civ IV is a very strong candidate for the absolute best game ever. I still would rather play it than Civ V.

    Nuke the Zulus!Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Yeah, Civ V was broken. Like, irretreviably so.
      (not buggy broken like Master of Magic. Logic broken).

      Multiple reasons why I can’t choose Civ IV as my favorite game…
      But I’m really glad someone did a strategy game.

      And I’m looking forward to your post, Burt.

      Maybe I will do one… if only because there are so many great games out there.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Damn Monty. You can work with all of the other warmongers: Isabella, Ghengis, Tokugawa. But Montezuma? Montezuma just wants to watch the world burn.Report

      • Avatar Russell M in reply to Don Zeko says:

        i would like to quibble with that. the only way to work with isabella is to adopt her religion and foe’s or have no religion. otherwise she always go’s all holy war on me.Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Russell M says:

          well yeah, but how hard is it to adopt her religion or go with no state religion? if Montezuma could be placated so easily, that would change things pretty dramatically.Report

          • Avatar Russell M in reply to Don Zeko says:

            monty can be reasoned with if you both have someone you both hate. it does result in more or less constant war, but sometimes monty will even go for the permanent ally thing. and if he does backstab you, at least your army is well trained and large.Report

  2. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Civ IV was a very significant part of the how I chose my current personal computer – an under-powered netbook.

    Civ V wasn’t out yet, but it was important to me that when it did come out, my computer at that time should be incapable of playing it – lest I spend further months chronically sleep-deprived, as I did under the influence of Civ IV.Report

  3. Avatar Mo says:

    You are obviously wrong. Civ II is the best Civ. Take Civ II, add Civ IV’s borders and Civ V’s hexes and lack of stacks of death and you have the perfect game.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Mo says:

      I loved Civ II too, but come on now, Civ IV added so much more than borders. You got a revamped combat system, revamped civics system, revamped happiness and corruption, religions, strategic resources, differentiated civs and leaders, etc. etc. etc.. Civ IV is obviously the high point of the series.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Mo says:

      I liked Brian Reynold’s game better.
      (yup, he’s such a nice guy, he let them put Sid’s name on the cover…)

      But I think I would actually give money to watch your advisor’s head explode.
      Anyone got the youtube?Report

    • Avatar fledermaus in reply to Mo says:

      I loved Civ 2 and played it for hours and hours. But Civ 4 is better, just by improving on the original. Better graphics, more features and Spock!

      The only strategy game I’ve loved as much as the Civ games (except 3, of course) was Total War: RomeReport

      • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to fledermaus says:

        I’m a huge fan of the Total War series, and Rome is the best of those games to date.Report

        • Avatar Stephan Cooper in reply to Don Zeko says:

          The big problem with the Total War series was that as the games got more complicated, the AI got worse at adapting.

          In Medieval 1 the Risk Style map and the harsher fatigue penalties meant you would suffer considerable attrition trying to beat an AI of about equal strength. From Rome onward it gets much easier to outmanuever the AI and flatten them with minor casualties.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Mo says:

      I’m never going to knock Civ II, but c’mon, there’s no shame in being the second greatest game of all time. Civ IV didn’t merely improve on Civ II, it damn near perfected it.

      As wonderful as Civ II was, every game pretty much followed the same linear progression. It was a fantastically fun and replayable progression, and the slope of that line could vary quite a bit, but ultimately the diplomacy was predictable (in single player mode, at least), and your goal was always an extraordinarily high degree of military conquest and domination – even if you won by winning the space race, the fastest and easiest way to do so usually involved an absurd amount of conquest and war.

      Civ IV’s use of culture and religion, leadership and national characteristics and personalities, and more complex diplomacy (including the whole permanent alliance and vassal state thing), combined with the wide array of victory possibilities meant that every time you played, you could use a completely different strategy and style. I’ve never played a game that managed to have such an absurd amount of depth yet be so simple to understand and keep track of.

      The biggest flaw in both Civ II and Civ IV was the whole problem of the Stack of Death, but the variety of victory conditions in Civ IV, as well as its more complex diplomatic options, meant that you could do quite a bit to mitigate that problem.Report

  4. Avatar Caleb says:

    My only complaint against Civ IV (and indeed all the Civs) was the combat system. Something the Total War series did better, but I like Civ IV for the superior grand-strategy play.

    I’m also pretty sure I easily logged 4-digit hours on Civ IV. Pretty much had a game constantly up and running throughout college. (Frederick the Great was my go to leader. Org-Phil ftw.)Report

  5. Avatar Rob in CT says:

    Yup, and it’s not even close. My hours played is easily in the thousands. Two expansion packs, many, many user-created mods… it’s a fantastic game. Well-balanced and fun at the same time.

    Unfortunately, Civ 5 was pretty bad.

    Re: Civ II, look, it was a very good game for its time, but it had major holes. There were severely overpowered units, crazy battle outcomes, exploits galore, and the AI really, really cheated (Civ IV’s AI is not cheat-free, but it’s a damn sight better).Report

  6. Avatar Patrick says:

    You people speak as if Civ IV improved upon Civ II.

    Perhaps it did.

    But I maintain that it took away from Civ III: Conquests.

    Those are my guns and I’m stickin’ to ’em.Report

  7. Avatar James K says:

    While Civ IV is a fine game indeed, I will defend Civ V. The introduction of hexes, elimination of the tedious Stack of Doom, and the somewhat more developed and diverse resource system make it a better game in my opinion. Although of course the soundtrack and Nimoy count in Civ IV’s favour.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to James K says:

      I always get shirty in Civ 5 about the fact that I’m pretty sure the AI somehow screws me with revealed resources — there always seems to be something I can’t get my hands on — and the mid-game backstabbing attack.

      It’s funny on lower difficulty levels, as a Civ attacks you, gets utterly thrashed, often offers up one of it’s own cities as a peace offering, then backstabs you again later for the same results.Report

  8. Avatar BobTX says:

    Logtime lurker, brought out of hiding to say that CivIV is, IMHO, hands down the best of the series, and possibly my favorite game. I’ve found CivV so utterly uninteresting and overly easy (exploitable), that I only got two games out of my copy before it got relegated to the dust bin – a waste of my money.Report