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September 21, 2010

Civilization 5 Released…See You Next Year

Posted by on Sep 21, 2010
All your base are belong to us!

Somehow the fact that they were even making a new Civilization game completely flew under my radar until today. Then I saw a reference to it, and like a child watching a parade of unicorns, I could look at nothing else. I’m probably going to have to go buy it when I get home.

It seems to have received a very good critical reception, which leads me to wonder just how long Sid Meier can keep up his ability to pull magic rabbits out of hats. In my book Will Wright knocked himself out of the running for Best Game Designer Ever For Life with Spore, and I challenge you to name someone else who even comes close.

Civilization (the series) is one of those games that is almost indescribably good. If someone asks you why it’s good, you tend to launch into a lengthy, rambling explanation that never quite hits the core true. And that’s because the right answer to the question “Why is Civilization good?” is another question: “When was the last time you sat down at your computer at 4 PM, and looked up for the first time to discover it was 5 AM?”

Anyone who has ever played any of the Civilizations has encountered that phenomenon. There’s just something thoroughly and inexplicably engrossing about creating and running your own Civilization. Maybe it plays to the secret desire in each of our hearts to rule the world, whether as a cruel dictator or benevolent king.

I’m pretty sure I was too young to ever play the first Civilization, and I played Civilization II way back, so long ago I can barely remember. Civilization III and IV took hours off of my life, both in actuality and no doubt also from sunlight deficiency. I feel like I could categorize stages of my life by which Civilization game I was playing at the time, although there’s a recent gap because I didn’t pick up Civilization: Revolution. It’s almost obligatory that I go get Civ 5 and play it, but I don’t think anyone will have to twist my arm. I’m going to go get sucked in… and I’ll see you next year.