A few weeks ago, 2K Games announced that they are working with Firaxis Games on a new Civilization game: Civilization V. This is the first new Civilization game in 3 years, so people have good reason to be excited for this new release. While many fans of the Civilization series are already saying that this will be “the best Civilization EVER!” based solely on the screenshots, it is fairly hard to tell what 2K really has planned for this game quite yet. Right now, all that’s been confirmed are a few leaders, a new combat system (thank god), improved diplomacy screens, a new engine for the game to run on, and (my favorite) hexagonal tiles. Right now, nobody outside of 2K and Firaxis has seen any of these new features in action, so it’s pretty hard to tell how the features are actually going to play out.
As much as I have loved every Civilization game that I’ve played, there have been quite a few problems of mine that I have with the games themselves. Some of them are relating to the latest full Civilization game, Civilization IV, while others relate to all four of the Civilization games released in the past. Here are some of the things that could (and should) be in Civilization V.
- Updated graphics – While this has pretty much been confirmed already, it is expected that every new game in a series has better graphics than its predecessor. While it seems from the few screenshots that the public has seen already that graphics are improved, we still haven’t seen the game truly in action. It could have the excellent graphics shown already, but only run at 30 frames a second on a normal gaming computer. I expect that this is an obvious improvement to the developers, but still an important improvement regardless.
- Better units – One of my biggest gripes with Civ in the past was the lack of variety in units. There just aren’t that much variety in the units and their abilities. In addition, there isn’t any attack/defense stats for any units in any of the Civilization games. This wasn’t as much of an issue in the earlier Civilization games, but I know that many of us have horrible memories of Archer units defeating tanks in our games of Civilization IV. Give us attack stats, make them more reasonable, and make the fighting more interesting by adding more to the battles.
- More control over our citizens – Look, we’re rulers of huge empires. Most successful rulers in the past (with the exception of a few) have been successful because they paid attention to what their citizens want. We being virtual world leaders would like this ability too. We’d like to see something like polls in the game. Like, what percentage feels that the food supply is decent, or something like that. Just take me to my people.
- Allow for more personalization of our civilization – We loved creating the design of our palace in the past Civilization games. Little features like that give us more of a feeling that “Wow, this really is my own empire”. Unfortunately, it’s been kind of hard to get that feeling in the past. Let us pick how our buildings look, or what our military uniforms are, or something that lets the player feel more of a sense of ownership of their civilization.
- Make the game less repetitive! – In truth, all games that have ever been created have been repetitive in some way or another. I dare you to find one non-repetitive video game. Still, Civilization IV was somewhat of a large victim of over-repetition. After playing the game for a while, it was quite easy to become sick of playing, and would quit their game right then and there. Civilization V should have some element in the game that allows the gamer to become more sucked into Civilization than in any game made in the series (if that’s even possible).
- Better level balance – While the easiest level in Civilization IV was fairly easy, all the levels after wards were ridiculous. The second lowest level in the game, Chieftain, was way too difficult to be the second lowest. Make some of the lower difficulty levels a lower difficulty, and more players will want to play the game.
- Local multiplayer – In case you’re scratching your head at this one, it is possible. There could be a possibility of the (preferably) two players being forced allies at first, being the only two players that start out knowing each other. They would discover the empires together, and eventually, would be forced to battle each other to gain world domination. I’m sure that 2K could implement some system of local multiplayer, even if it’s not by my idea.
- Make DLC that’s worth buying – Downloadable content has been possibly the greatest innovation in video games in the past few years. Why not make one for Civilization V? Allowing the downloading of new maps, foreign worlds, or even new game modes. Just please; don’t release things like a $10 pack of 15 new leaders; that’s just unnecessary. (Unless Chuck Norris is in that pack, of course.)
- Make sure the game’s fun – In the end, the one thing that ends up being most important in any game is the “fun” factor. Don’t go too overboard with complications. Make sure that in the end, the player will go, “Man, was that fun or what?” Because, people will love fun games. More lovin’ leads to more buyin’. More buyin’ leads to more profit.
Regardless of what 2K and Firaxis decide to do to this new addition of the series, I’m sure that it will be a great experience, and I hope that it will be a great one to remember.