Civilization V: Brave New World

Released this year, Civilization V: Brave New World is probably the best game in the successful franchise by Sid Meier. In case if you do not know who is Sid Meier then stop reading this article right now, go and read his wiki entry instead!! Civilization series have been turn based strategy games, and had gone silent for quite some time.

We had seen other war oriented turn based games (Total War series), but the Civilization series has a cult following. Yours truly included. So what has changed since the last version?

Tactical Genius over sheer Numbers

The important part of keeping any game active is that

What has changed is the sheer importance of tactical gameplay over numbers. In the previous versions of Civilization, we had the option of stacking multiple units on the same tile and then spamming units to defeat the other player in military domination. In the current version of the game, you cannot stack military units, however you can stack a general with your military unit or a civilian unit with it.

Choke Point

What this means is that now you can keep a strong unit to protect a choke point and protect your area. Exactly like in the movie 300, this will be far more effective than spamming units!!

More ways to win a game

You do not have to be a war lord to win this game, there are other victory conditions. You could use your culture (new concept!), you could use diplomacy and of course the science method to win the game. This makes for interesting games, since you could actually be dominating throughout the game with an army, but a weaker player could be Allies with all the other players and beat you still!

Hexagonal Tiles

Well, gone are the square tiles of yore! We now have hexagonal tiles and with more than 200 hours in the game, these are feeling natural to me. This means, that the player now has to smartly position his units to win battles.

Hexagonal tiles makes it easier for an isometric world as well. I feel changing the tiles has actually added to the game dynamics.

All in all, this is one game you have to try! Leaving you with a wallpaper with all the keyboard shortcuts in this game!

Civilization V: Brave New World
Civilization V: Brave New World Hotkeys

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

So, why does Hollywood and the entire gaming industries pit the aliens versus the human race? So if an intelligent race found signs of life on Earth, would it’s first reaction be to kill it or to move towards its annihilation? What would you do? Would you not first study it? Find a means of communicating and then communicate?

But no, the basic premise of almost all games is that the aliens have invaded, have superior firepower if not fierce claws (and sometimes both!!). The humans have to rally back and kick some alien ass. XCOM is no different.

If you are a fan of this game, stop reading this post here itself, I am not going to go ga-ga over this sorry excuse of a 12GB install game. And so shouldn’t you!! If you do remember the previous versions of XCOM and its expansions, then that’s pretty much that is there to this current game … with some pretty graphics.

The basic story is this, the aliens have attacked and are not leaving any prisoners. You are in charge of a high profile team made by technicians, scientists and soldiers across the world. The major countries are funding your outfit, and that means protecting each of these countries against alien invasions, figuring out the alien’s technology and building your own superweapons. Your soldiers gain powers and experience as they kill more aliens.

xcom-mapThe game play has improved a bit and most of the tactical game is fun to play, but it does get a bit monotonous towards the end. You end up moving one turn and then going into Overwatch for each of your units. If you have not played any of its predecessors, then do give this a whirl (just the demo will suffice).