Civ 4 is out and it's going to destroy my life [Archive] - Glock Talk

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funbob
10-27-2005, 16:56
All I wanted to do all day was finish work so I could install it and start playing. After a short 9 hour workday, I finally got home and loaded it up. Right from the main menu I knew this was gonna be good. The loading screen is a slick tribute to the original Civ with a voice narration of "in the beginning" (all the narratives and voiceovers in the game are done by Leonard Nimoy, who has the perfect voice for this sort of thing) and a remix of the orignal theme music. Another neat feature I've noticed from the original Civ is the return of the histogram where you can replay the history of the world turn by turn and view all the major events that happened. In another tribute to the original Civ, the "Dan Quayle" chart is back.

Once in the game, the UI is impressive. They've completely rethought the way information is presented to the player. The amount of information packed onto the screen is impressive. Just about every piece of vital game play information is just a mouse over away. Stuff that previously required flipping through various screens is now integrated into the UI. Despite all this information, the interface is clean and very intuitive. And all of the gritty details are still there for the civ fanatics. It'll feel instantly familiar to civ veterans. I was able to jump right in and start playing without cracking the manual. All of the core gameplay concepts are there with lots of great new stuff. The traditional government system has been ditched in favor of a more complex civics system. If you've every played Alpha Centauri, it's very similar to the social engineering system of that game.

Sound has always been a weak point of the series. The tinny sound effects and cheesy muzak didn't exactly go with the epic scope of the game. That's no more. An excellent musical score and robust and varied sound effects along with full surround speaker support are much welcomed additions.

Graphically, the game is stunning. Civ has finally made the jump to full 3D and it looks great. It's hard to remember this a turn based strategy game and not the latest RTS. As if finally realizing that this game is more addictive than crack, a little clock can be displayed in the upper right hand corner of the screen with settable alarms to remind the player to eat, sleep, shower, go to work, etc... ;f

Okay, enough typing, back to my game.

funbob
10-27-2005, 20:38
This Civilopedia entry for the Internet cracked me up ;f

http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/internet.jpg

Tvov
10-28-2005, 16:36
Can you post a few more pictures if you get a chance? Now you are starting to get me interested...

funbob
10-28-2005, 20:50
The interface has received a significant reworking. All that is required is to move your mouse over something and an info box will display in the lower left corner. Here, we are looking at my capitol city. Clicking on the city will grant access to unit build functions and basic city controls (middle bottom). In the upper left is my basic treasury info, buttons to control luxury/research rates, clicking on the tech being researched will present a tech tree and future research options. The upper right is for all the advisor functions, finally at the lower right we have the mini map and display filter functions.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/citybasic.jpg

Double clicking a city will open the full blown city screen. You can set your build queues and manage people and resources here. A nifty feature is you can save your build queues and copy them to other cities.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/city.jpg

No more having to remember terrain combat bonuses and other unit modifiers. A simple mouse over tells me everything I need to know about my mechanized infantry unit at a glance.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/unitmodifier.jpg

The traditional 5 government system has been scrapped in favor of a more complex civics system where you can control multiple aspects of the running of your civilization.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/civics.jpg

There are a lot of map overlay options. Here, we're looking at the resource output of all my worked squares.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/food.jpg

Let's add some resources to that picture.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/resource.jpg

How about a global overview? Running low on a key resource? Scouting out some new real estate? Planning world domination? This is an excellent screen to do it in.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/globalresource.jpg

Here's a feature I love. During negotiations, move the mouse over the leader and you'll get a window showing you all of the attitude modifiers towards your civ.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/leader.jpg

Just a nice zoomed in view. This is actually more than eye candy. The cities themselves are representative of what is actually built in them and of the overall health and state of your city.
http://home.comcast.net/~bobthemtnbiker/zoom.jpg

I've really only scratched the surface. The key here was to make Civ as accessible to new players as possible without comprimising the core gameplay experience for veteran Civ players. While at the same time adding lots of new features and bringing the presentation up to that of a modern game and they've succeeded brilliantly.

funbob
10-28-2005, 22:48
I think I've found a way to help me through this release of Civilization...

Civilization Anonymous (http://www.civanon.org/home.shtml)

"Break the cycle of Civ addiction. Your recovery is only 12 steps away."

;f