|Things You Didn’t Know about Sid Meier’s Civilization IV|
1. Most Accessible Civilization Game Ever
The team at Firaxis has added a lot of new gameplay elements to Civilization IV, but one of the most subtle additions is in its interface, which for the first time in the series follows many standard strategy game conventions. Most players will just start playing and get right into the game without ever realizing it, but in Civilization IV you can actually left click on a unit, and then right click on the tile you’d like that unit to go to (or attack, as the case may be). That’s something that RTS games have been doing for years, but Civilization has never actually done before, due to its board game roots. Other interface additions include more changes to make it in-line with RTS titles (the mini-map is in the lower right hand corner, other info on the left, etc.) and the ability to see the odds of any battle (left click on a unit, then right click and hold on the unit you wish to attack), so there’s no longer any guesswork involved.
Also new are recommendations for units and technologies to research. When you’re given the option of researching a new technology, you will now see one or two recommendations showing multiple ways to play the game. You’re also given recommendations for creating new units in cities. It may tell you that a Warrior is the best option for a military route, or you could build a Settler for expansion. These can of course be turned off, if you know exactly how you’d like to play the game.
2. Unprecedented Detail
Just because Civilization is more accessible than it’s ever been doesn’t mean the game’s been dumbed down. On the contrary, for people who are crazy about stats and figures, there’s a ton of that to be found in Civilization IV. There are lots of new advisor screens, where you can see where all of your units are on a global map, or look at raw statistics like the average life expectancy of your people (versus the world average), your gross national product or approval rating. But you can also completely customize how your government works, so if you want a theocracy with a free market economy, caste system and universal suffrage, you can do just that.
3. Awesome Multiplayer
Civilization IV is the first game in the series that was designed from day one to support multiplayer. The result is that Civilization IV is the best multiplayer Civ game ever made, with new multiplayer options like simultaneous turns (adding a more RTS feel to the game), a turn timer (to force those slowpokes to hurry up with their turns), and turn limits, where the points leader at the end of a set number of turns is declared the winner. Worried that someone might drop out halfway through the game? Just turn on Takeover A.I, and if that person leaves, the game continues, with the A.I. replacing the player. And if that player decides to come back, he can take control again at any time. The Firaxis dev team and testers have been playing Civ IV multiplayer games for over two years now…and it just keeps getting better.
4. Super Powerful World Editor
The earlier games in the Civ series had a world editor, but with Civilization IV it’s gotten a whole lot better. The built-in world editor lets you fire it up at any time and change the map while you’re still playing it (naturally, this is flagged as cheating by the game, so you can’t do it in multiplayer). The new bitmap converter lets you import BMP files and turn those into Civ maps, letting you download a topographical map (or a picture of your favorite celebrity) and have the game extract sea levels, mountain ranges and other information straight from it.
5. More Music, Audio
In Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, every different civilization has units that speak its native language. That may not sound very difficult for the French, English and German civs, but it was definitely a challenge finding someone to record Nahuatl for the Aztec civilization or Quechua for the Incas! Also, Jeff Briggs, Firaxis Founder, President and CEO, composed, arranged and lead the sound team to fill Civilization IV with more music than ever before - including an original orchestral score accompanied by era-specific music from the masters, that changes as your civilization ages and becomes more advanced.
6. Unlimited Modability
Civilization was one of the first major games to be user-extensible, and Civilization IV takes this to extremes. In addition to the built-in world editor, the game is built with the open source Python scripting language, allowing users to easily modify most features. For more hardcore modders, the SDK will be released in early 2006, and will give players the ability to change virtually everything about the game, from the way the AI behaves to the position of the camera.
7. Really Awesome Multiplayer
There are so many multiplayer possibilities with Civilization IV, that this requires two entries in the list. Aside from all the neat tweaks to keep things going smoothly, there are now lots of new gameplay possibilities. Team games are now easily set up, and teams have new ways to communicate with each other, from annotating each other's screens (you can literally draw lines to tell people where to go – think of strategizing in football) to sending little pings to alert teammates of important events happening around their map. Support for voice over IP allows players to talk to each other while they play, whether it's for genuine communication or just plain smack talking.
But that's just the start of the multiplayer possibilities with Civilization IV. The new "Double City Elimination" option means if you lose two cities, you're out. "One City Challenge" means you can only have one city. The "Always War" and "Always Peace" games limit you to one or the other. All of these can be mixed and matched to create exactly the kind of multiplayer Civ game you want to play.
One particularly hardcore game can be created by playing with teams and handicaps, so that you have two teams: one with a single person set to the easiest difficulty setting (giving that player a major bonus in all areas) and one with several other people on normal (or one of the harder levels, if you really want to make things interesting) trying to take him/her down.
Also fun: a really small map with a lot of players. Twelve people playing a game of Civ is great when there's a lot of space. Put them all on a map the size of Rhode Island, and see how long it takes to get ugly, as still developing civilizations battle for what little space there is.
8. Custom Games for Single Players
With the Custom Game feature in Civilization IV, you can basically play a multiplayer game all by yourself. All the same options available in multiplayer can be used in single player games against A.I. You can even play with the A.I. by turning on Random Personalities. With that on, you don't know how the A.I. is going to react. Gandhi the Conqueror? Genghis Khan the Pacifist? Both could happen. And of course, you can play a multiplayer game with two people and 10 A.I. civs, replacing them as real people join in, or start a multiplayer game where all the other players are A.I. and people can take over whenever they like.
9. Play At Your Own Pace
Civilization IV introduces multiple game speeds, so you can play a quick, normal or epic game. If all you want to do is a quick game in an hour or two, you can do that (yes, it really is possible to play a full game of Civ in a lunch hour!). If you want to spend two weeks building the ultimate civilization from the dawn of time, you can do that too. It's all up to you.
10. Movies are Back
Civilization IV sees the return of wonder movies, a fan-favorite feature that the team wanted to bring back with a bang. Now when you spend 50 turns building the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens or the Great Library, you'll see a CGI cutscene of the construction of that wonder. And there are more than just wonder movies this time around…when you discover a religion, you'll see a movie about that. When you win the game (however you choose to do it), you'll see a movie celebrating your victory. It's all part of making the best Civ experience to date.
11. Choose Your Destiny
With Civilization IV, there are now six different ways to finish the game. There's the Time victory, given to the player with the highest score in 2050 AD. The Conquest victory, given to the player who successfully eliminates all of their rivals. The Domination victory, awarded when a player has a 25% lead in population over their next rival and 65% of the global land mass. The Cultural victory, awarded when a player owns three cities with legendary culture status. The classic Space Race victory, given when a player completes all the components necessary to send colonists off into space to found a new colony on Alpha Centauri. And finally, the brand new Diplomatic victory, where after the forming of the United Nations, your civilization is voted to head up the organization. Considering how difficult it is to maintain friendly relationships with all civilizations (especially given that they're likely to be fighting among themselves), this is quite possibly the most challenging victory in the game.
Civilization IV FACT SHEET
With over 6 million units sold and unprecedented critical acclaim from fans and press around the world, Sid Meier’s Civilization is recognized as one of the greatest PC game franchises of all-time. Now, Sid Meier and Firaxis Games will take this incredibly fun and addictive game to new heights by adding new ways to play and win, new tools to manage and expand your civilization, all-new easy to use mod capabilities and intense multiplayer modes and options. Civilization IV will come to life like never before in a beautifully detailed, living 3D world that will elevate the gameplay experience to a whole new level. Civilization IV has already been heralded as one of the top ten games of 2005, and a must-have for gamers around the globe!
- Faster-Paced Fun – Gameplay has been streamlined for a tighter, faster and more compelling experience.
- Greater Accessibility and Ease of Play – An easy-to-use interface will be immediately familiar to RTS and action game players, and newcomers to the series will be able to jump in and play.
- Tech Tree – Flexible Tech tree allows players more strategic choices for developing their civilizations along unique paths.
- More Civs, Units, and Improvements to enhance and grow your empire.
- Multiplayer –LAN, Internet, PBEM and Persistent Turn-Based Server (PTBS) offer players all-new strategies and ways to play when competing or cooperating with live opponents.
- Team Play - Whether playing multiplayer or single player, team play offers a new way of setting locked alliances that result in shared wonder effects, visibility, unit trading and shared territory that delivers a plethora of new strategic and tactical options.
- Civ IV comes to life! - Beautiful 3D world with dozens of fully animated units (including culturally unique units) and totally customizable armies. Cities and wonders will appear on the map. Wonder movies are back!
- Mods and Community Tools - Designed from the ground up for modability, the game contains a powerful map editor with XML and Python support.
- Choose Your Leader – Most Civs now have 2 leaders from which to choose, with each Leader having traits that provide various bonuses to the player.
- Civics – With the discovery of new techs, civic options can become available. Freedom of speech or slavery? Hereditary rule or open elections? This creates endless government choices and possibilities!
- Religion – Now there are 7 religions in the game that are unlocked through researching. When unlocked, the religion spreads through a player’s empire allowing them to use the religion to help manage happiness, gain gold and create Great Prophets.
- Great People - As the player uses specialists they gain Great People points in the city that is utilizing the specialists. Great People include the Artist, Tycoon, Prophet, Engineer, & Scientist. They can be used to get free techs, start Golden Ages, or join a city to increase its output.
- Promotions – Each unit has a promotion path that emphasizes specific unit traits. Promotions include bonuses to Attack/Defend on specific terrains/features, movement bonuses, sight/visibility bonuses and increased withdrawal chances.
- In-Game Movies – Civ IV will have over 70 in-game movies.
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Announces Acquisition of Civilization Franchise and Long-Term Partnership with FIRAXIS Games
Sid Meier's Civilization Makes its Triumphant Return to PC in 2005!
New York - January 26, 2005 -Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), today announced that it has purchased certain rights to the multi-million unit selling Civilization franchise, and has signed a long-term, multi-title publishing agreement with FIRAXIS Games®, developers of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, SimGolf, Gettysburg, Civilization III, Pirates! and other critically acclaimed simulation and strategy games. Kicking off this new partnership will be the highly anticipated Sid Meier's Civilization IV for PC, which will be published by Take-Two's publishing label 2K Games in late 2005, with future expansions and additional PC and console games to follow.
"The Civilization name brings with it an expectation of quality from millions of fans around the world," said Susan Lewis, Vice President of Publishing for 2K Games. "It is a pleasure to be working with a company like FIRAXIS that has developers who have proven with every successive title that they are masters of this genre."
"We are extremely pleased to be partnering with 2K Games on a new journey into the evolving world of Civilization," said Jeff Briggs, Founder, President and CEO of FIRAXIS Games. "2K Games' emergence as a publisher dedicated to producing high-quality, genre-defining games ensures that Civilization IV and FIRAXIS titles will continue to push the creative envelope and reach bigger audiences than ever before."
"In Civilization, we've created a world with endless possibilities that has been embraced by game players all over the globe," said Sid Meier, Director of Creative Development at FIRAXIS Games. "With the upcoming addition of Civilization IV, our core fans and newcomers alike will enter a world of unparalleled scope and detail."
The fourth game in the PC strategy series that has sold over five million copies, Sid Meier's Civilization IV is a bold step forward for the franchise, with spectacular new 3D graphics and all-new single and multiplayer content. Civilization IV will also set a new standard for user-modification, allowing gamers to create their own add-ons using the standard Python and XML scripting languages.
About Take-Two Interactive Software
Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an integrated global developer, marketer, distributor and publisher of interactive entertainment software games and accessories for the PC, PlayStation® game console, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PSP™ handheld entertainment system, Xbox®, Nintendo GameCube™ and Game Boy® Advance. The Company publishes and develops products through its wholly owned labels Rockstar Games, 2K Games and Global Star Software; and distributes products in North America through its Jack of All Games subsidiary. Take-Two also manufactures and markets video game accessories in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region through its Joytech subsidiary. The Company maintains sales and marketing offices in Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Munich, Madrid, Vienna, Milan, Sydney, Breda (Netherlands) and Auckland. Take-Two's common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO.
For more corporate and product information please visit our website at www.take2games.com.
Xbox is a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders.
About FIRAXIS Games
Home of legendary designer Sid Meier, FIRAXIS Games was founded in 1996 by veteran gaming executive Jeff Briggs. One of the world's premier independent game development studios, FIRAXIS has created some of the most successful and award-winning computer games on the market. The company's most recent hit titles include: Sid Meier's Pirates! (published by Atari), Sid Meier's SimGolf (published by Electronic Arts); and the blockbuster hit series Sid Meier's Civilization III (published by Atari). FIRAXIS has a rich legacy of great games including: Sid Meier's Gettysburg! and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri! FIRAXIS will release the eagerly anticipated Sid Meier's Pirates! for Xbox in Spring 2005. FIRAXIS is located in Hunt Valley, Maryland.
LinksGDC 2004 Powerpoint Presentation by Soren Johnson (3MB ZIP file)
CivAnon -- E3 Promotional website by 2K Games
E3 Demonstration by Soren Johnson