PC Review: Sid Meier’s Civilization IV – Colonization

October 30, 2008 by  

Is it worth colonizing this game?

Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization is the third offering in the award winning Civilization IV series. A re-imagining of the classic Colonization game Sid Meier created in 1994, Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: Colonization is a total conversion of the Civilization IV engine into a game experience in which players will lead a European nation on their quest to conquer and rule the New World. Players will be challenged to guide their people from the oppressive motherland, discover a New World, negotiate, trade and fight with both the natives and other nations as they acquire great power and fight for their freedom and independence.

I’m not the greatest at strategy-simulation games. I struggled with Black and White 2 and the past Civ titles, although Civ Revolution was great and I had a good time with it. Mainly because it was made for consoles that I was able to enjoy it and control it better than PC simulation games. So how can Civ IV Colonization tempt me over? Well, while it doesn’t do anything to change the formula, it’s a solid game that I thoroughly enjoyed playing. The main reason for that is that the game reminded me of Civ Revolution with its exploring, conversations, war and the like. I can now see why the series has been popular over the years; this expansion is also great because you don’t even need the original game to play it.

The new interface is more user-friendly for fans and newcomers, so I found it to be much easier to use and as a result, enjoyed Colonization much more than the past games. As with Revolution, Colonization has plenty of historical figures who guide your nation to freedom based on the way you choose to play. These figures include the likes of John Smith, Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams.etc, if the game appears confusing at first, there’s a nice enhanced tutorial to help you. You can only choose to be a few countries in Colonization, which are English, Spanish, French and Dutch. It would have been nice to have more, although I’ll give you 3 guesses which one I chose.

You can choose to sustain peace and support your followers as you engage in advanced negotiations with natives, other colonists and the hostile homeland. Trade resources, gold and land as you build the foundation for a self sufficient and powerful colony. It’s a solid formula and one that still works, although it may appear to be getting a bit old now. It might have benefited from Games for Windows Live support; while it does have online play…it lacks achievements, which is what I loved Civ Rev for.

What’s great about Colonization is its modding support; Players will have limitless options for modifying the game to suit their needs. Firaxis will ship the game with modding tools including a map editor using XML and Python. So you’ll have all the tools at your fingertips and enjoy messing with the game. Visually, the game looks pretty good…although a bit dated; I think it’s time for a next-gen look for the series, one with DX10 visuals and all the trimmings.

The Verdict

Being an expansion pack, Colonization offers quite a lot to the table and will impress fans and newcomers alike with a new interface that’s easy to use. It may be getting a bit old and dated now, but it’s still a solid game that any strategy fan will love.

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