Does the game lean more towards Civ-style or city building gameplay?
The game is still at its core a city-builder, but one that both sits well in the Civ universe and borrows heavily from it.
What are the main elements that players will recognise from Civ?
The biggest change has been research - this has really added a lot to the city-builder side. Over 70 technologies can be researched and they all have direct effects on the city model.
Most are also very visual, for example roads look better and people can be seen walking faster on them if you research engineering; research lead piping and your cisterns range will (visually) expand to cover the whole city. Other elements are wonders and famous people and, in fact, a lot of Civ's key city variables come over really well into our Civilization rating.
This is a way to both judge a city and feedback into the model via city happiness: how well the city is performing in key areas such as religion, entertainment, splendour, health, etc.
Above: Market places will provide citizens with many essential goods
How does the building dynamic work?
Like most city-builders the game's main element is building placement; what, where and when you place buildings is key to your success. 99% of all buildings, therefore, are built immediately; it would just be too slow a game if players had to wait. Wonders are the exception here, they take large amounts of both stone and time to build, although their subsequent benefits mean they are pretty much always worth it!
How diverse is the selection of architecture at the player's disposal?
Very diverse! You will need to provide many goods and services for your city outside of the obvious. From olive oil to cut flowers, togas to beds, piped water to working hospitals - your demanding citizens have over 28 needs that you will have to provide at some point in your career. On top of that you will have to provide much infrastructure: docks, bridges, mines, roads and forts - there is no shortage of things to build!