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Civilization V is the direct sequel to Civilization IV, made by Firaxis (called "failaxis" by some fans after the release of Civ V). It is part of the Civilization series, which, until the fifth entry, was a strategy game series about building a civilization to stand the test of time. You would need to strategically balance the learning of new technologies, interacting with other nations, expanding your empire, keeping your citizens happy and healthy, and waging war. However, with Civilization V, Firaxis wanted to change the entire nature of the series. "Using your brain was just too hard" Sid Meier stated in an interview with Unencyclopedia. "With Civilization V, our goal was to make a strategy game without any strategy. Considering the final product, I believe our team has achieved this goal."
Civilization V's gameplay is all about clicking on a technology (it doesn't matter which one), then going to destroy a neighboring nation. With the signature new feature of "Broken AI" added to the latest game in the Civilization series, war is easier than ever! All you need to do is get a single unit, and send it to capture an enemy city. You no longer need to worry about counterattacks with the "Broken AI" feature in Civ V, because the enemy will not be able to successfully attack any of your cities. This new feature applies on every difficulty, including Deity!
As mentioned earlier, many unnecessary features from earlier games have been removed. Diplomacy has been made much more realistic. In Civilization IV, you had the ability to trade technologies to other nations. However, this is obviously impossible because, if nationalists have taught us anything, living inside different borders makes you automatically much more stupid. Firaxis made the smart move by removing this well-loved feature from the game. Also, religion no longer affects diplomacy even in the slightest way. Firaxis has, once again, done their homework, as Isabella is very tolerant to all religions.
In previous games in the Civilization series, a civilization's ability to survive was based upon actual technologies, impact on the world, and size. However, Civilization V does away with that. Now, a civilization progresses based upon how happy every citizen is. Should you work to feed your people? Of course not! You should build a theater for your starving citizens! Want to build an army? That is stupid, because military units are extremely claustrophobic, and won't get within a hexagonal tile of an allied unit! You should instead build a Colosseum, because killing off the potential military strength you may have proves to be a very smart military endeavor.
The game looks really pretty. Obviously, the only component in any strategy game that is important is the graphics, which is why all of the other Civilizations fail. "Honestly, the only thing in the game that we spent more than 10 seconds thinking about before hand was the graphics" said Sid Meirer in the same previously mentioned interview. "Looking at the sales figures for games today, we realized that it was the only important component."
Firaxis, realizing that well received soundtrack for Civilization IV, including the Grammy Award winning "Baba Yetu", would cost to much money to replicate in quality, decided to cheap out on the soundtrack. With great songs (taken from the public domain) like "Atonin Dvorak - Symphony Number 9" and "Ode to Joy", players will be happy to realize that they won't have any new good songs to be stuck in their head.
edit Fan Response
Fans, for some strange reason, often don't look upon Civilization V very fondly. However, as many critics have pointed out (such as IGN) they don't matter. "Why should the actual strategy fans be the only ones to enjoy the game?" said many gaming journalists. "Just because they like to strategize doesn't mean Firaxis should make the game interesting, or anything else that would enable the player to feel the thrill of making risky decisions."
edit Critical Reception
Of course, the only opinions that matter of those of the real reviewers, the ones who have never played a strategy game in their lives. IGN summarized their review with (using an excerpt from their actual review) "Civilization looks fantastic, has great menus that are easy to navigate, and has some of the most user-friendly U.I. I’ve played."