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(Sid Meier's Civilization V has been selected as one of MacLife's 25 Best Mac Games Today!)
It's time to get your god complex on
For close to two decades, Sid Meier has fed the monkey on many a strategy gamer’s back. His prolific Civilization series has set the bar for turn-based strategy games for a long, long time. The series puts you into the shoes of the leader of one of a number of civilizations—each with their own advantages and shortcomings—as you guide your people from the dawn of time to the space age. The latest iteration, Civilization V, is easily the most addictive and accessible so far. Since it was released last fall for Windows, Mac gamers have been champing at the bit to get their hands on an OS X version, and at last they can.
Make yourself at home.
Boasting a refined combat system, rich 3D graphics, and a streamlined micromanagement system, Civilization V is worthy of the franchise’s crown as the king of all strategy games. Aspyr, the developer that also ported the last Civilization game to the Mac, did a tremendous job maintaining Civ V’s look, feel, and playability. Civ V introduces a hex-based mapping grid that lets players formulate new strategies both for empire building and waging war. Long-time Civilization players will note that the game now only permits one military unit per space, making the “Stack of Doom” a thing of the past. You’ll also find a refined technology-development tree and an intriguing new civics system with substantial customization options to help your fledgling civilization grow into the all-consuming empire you always knew it could be. When played on a stock 2010 13-inch MacBook Pro, Civilization V preformed well and looked great while running with the game’s graphics set to medium, giving some much-needed love to gamers rocking a Mac with integrated graphics. On higher-powered machines, Civ’s new graphics really shine, with more detailed map textures, sparkling water effects, and the downright prettiest fog of war we’ve ever seen.
Despite the port’s addictive gameplay and support for a wide spectrum of Macs, we still found a few technical hiccups. We were disappointed to find Civ’s opening movie wouldn’t render correctly and the issue persisted through subsequent plays. We also found a few in-game graphical glitches as well. But make no mistake: these issues, while irritating, aren’t nearly enough to detract from the excellent Mac gaming experience Aspyr has put together.
The bottom line. Without a doubt, hardcore Civilization fanatics will love Civ 5’s complex gameplay and fresh new mechanics and the addictive multiplayer will hook even the most casual gamers.
2.4GHz or faster Intel Core 2 Duo processor; Mac OS 10.6.4 or later; 2GB RAM; ATI Radeon HD 2600, Nvidia GeForce 8600, or better graphics card with 256MB VRAM; 8GB free disk space
Same addictive gameplay we’ve come to expect from the Civilization series. A wide variety of civilizations, civics, and multiple paths to victory make it highly replayable. Enjoyable multiplayer.
Graphics glitches detract from the game’s experience.