Civilization IV review

The struggle for world domination begins anew

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    The same game you've loved for years

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    Great People and religions added in

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    Epic multiplayer battles


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    You'll hit a few bugs. Save often

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    End game is a bit short

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    City management is a chore

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As the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well screw you, old saying. Civilization was by no means broken, but the fourth version of this seminal, "you're the boss of humanity" simulationfixes it up in a whole host of ways without messing up what made the others so much fun.

Like its predecessors, Civilization IV begins thousands of years ago, at the dawn of humankind. You take control of one small group of nomadic tribesmen, whichyou must mold into a mighty civilization that dominates the entire planet. You control every aspect of your people’s lives: what buildings they construct in their cities, what form of government they practice, what gods they worship, what technology they research and who they make war against. To win, you’ll have to conquer the world (or unite it diplomatically), create a magnificent culture or be the first to reach the stars. It may seem like a daunting task, but once you get in there, you’ll find it’s not as hard as history’s greatest leaders make it sound.

Fans will notice right away that the world is now in 3D, a huge graphical improvement that allows you to see as much of your empire at once as you want. Players new to Civilization will just think it’s really cool. Other major additions include the religion system (choose carefully, since your neighboring countries might not like heathens) and Great People, who will appear in cities producing a lot of culture points. These historical figures can be traded in for bonuses on their own, or you can combine several of them to spark a Golden Age in your civilization.

More info

DescriptionEven if you've never played a Civilization game, you're in for a treat. There's never been a better time to jump into the strategy genre and conquer the world.
Franchise nameCivilization
UK franchise nameCivilization
US censor rating"Everyone 10+"
UK censor rating""
Alternative names"Civilization 4","Civ 4"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)