Civilization V – Gods and Kings is the first expansion for the latest Civilization game. Gods and Kings expansion brings two new game systems, new units, buildings and several cool civilizations into the game. However, is the new stuff worth paying 30 Euros? Well, the short answer is yes.
Religion & Espionage
Obviously, the biggest and most radical change is introduction of religions and espionage. These systems are completely new, not copies of the ones from Civilization IV. Anyway, as you gain faith you can found a pantheon and your own religion after gaining great prophet. Adopting a religion allows you to choose from a range of more or less useful bonuses. These will enhance your gold or faith gains, production in cities, give you combat bonuses or allow you to purchase special buildings for faith. There are 11 religions to choose from. However, you can give your religion any name you want. For example, I created a religion called Cashflow Woship as you can see in one of the screenshots below.
A pleasant surprise is possibility to purchase great people for faith after adopting certain social policy trees. As for the faith provided bonuses, I found the religious buildings very useful, because most of them provide happiness, culture and faith boosts. Great news is that you can build those special buildings, such as pagodas or cathedrals in every one of your cities following the chosen religion.
Espionage on the other hand does not seem to change much. The only use for it I saw in my games was stealing technologies. Anyway, diplomacy got enhanced too and there is possibility to ask other civilizations for permission to open embassy at their capital.
Units, buildings & wonders
Civilization V – Gods and Kings also brings in many new units and buildings. For example there are new ranged units such as composite bowman and machine gunner to make the ranged infantry tree more complete and present in every era. A great prophet unit is an obvious addition, but not the only one to the great people family of units. There is also a great admiral with his ability to instantly repair nearby ships.
Some of the existing wonders’ stats were changed, mainly to provide faith gains instead of culture points. However, there are also several exciting new world wonders such as Petra or Terracotta Army. Of course, new religious natural wonders are to be found at the Civilization V maps now as well.
Civilizations & scenarios
New civilizations for every kind of player made their way into the game. My personal favorite is Carthage with their free harbors in every coastal city and possibility to move units over mountains. The free harbors provide an especially huge advantage in archipelago or islands type maps. My second favorite civilization are Maya with free great person every 400 years or so. Of course, there are faith oriented new civilizations such as Celts and Byzantine and civilizations oriented at cooperation with city states. And of course there are new city states and the city states system has been changed a bit so that dumping gold at them is not the only option to gain influence now.
In case you want a completely new experience, there are 3 new scenarios that provide hours of fun. Fall of Rome gives you opportunity to fight for the empire or attack it from the outside as one of several barbarian tribes. Into the renaissance scenario on the other hand puts you into the middle of religious struggle between Christians and Muslims at the end of medieval era and Empires of smoky skies let you enjoy alternative tech tree starting in the era of steam power.
Gods and Kings expansion for Civilization V does not change the core game systems. However, it provides a plenty of new stuff for you to try and enjoy such as new civilizations, units, buildings and wonders. New game systems, mostly religion though, also bring a lot of new choices and chances to adapt your existing strategies. It is worth mentioning that neither religion nor espionage change the game so much that you will have to throw all your previous solutions out. As I said before, they enhance the gaming experience rather than shake it in its foundations. I give Civilization V – Gods and Kings eight and a half points out of ten for being a great and fun expansion to the basic Civilization V game.
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