Civilization 4 Reader Review
(and it's spelt with an "S", by the way...)
It's a little know fact that only 79 people, currently alive in the world today, actually possess a natural capability to enjoy strategy games. This includes 23 people who live in parts of the world where there is no electricity, and who have not in fact ever even seen a computer. Those that remain spent a great deal of time during the 70's and 80's sitting around libraries and youth centres, rolling many-sided, brightly coloured dice, shouting at their friends, painting die-cast models of orcs and occasionally remembering to take their meds.
Luckily for them, just before their eyesight and their friends' patience gave out, computer games were invented and, within just a few minutes, the first Civili"Z"ation game was released.
"But wait", I hear you cry, "that would only account for 56 sales of the original game, whereas the game in its various incarnations has actually sold 46 billion copies - a larger number, in fact, than the number of humans that have ever existed - explain that and stay fashionable you sarcastic little git".
No problem, although careful with your language my friend, I posses a wisdom and intellect many times greater than you can possible imagine, or guess at.
Um, where was I? Oh yes. The simple fact of the matter is that strategy games are purchased by people who, in the main, can't stand strategy games.
"Oh yeah??", I hear you, yet again, cry, "why the chuff do they buy them then??".
Please stop interrupting, and I've already warned you about the language.
Here's what happens:
- Gamer hears huge buzz about new strategy game that everyone's banging on about in the "papes" and "mags".
- Gamer can't remember the last time he played a strategy game, and thinks to himself, "Huh, maybe I should give the dang thing a go, I've grown, maybe it's time for me to enter into a more cerebral dialogue with my gaming experience".
- Gamer parts with hard-earned cash, withdrawn that morning from his bank account (with his Mums permission, natch), in exchange for a shiny new copy of said strategy game.
- Gamer takes the game home, installs, and spends the next sixteen hours locked in desperate confusion which mutates eventually into irritation then stalls for a moment in very mild enthusiasm which is in turn instantly crushed by more confusion and is then ended by the terrifying realisation that the reason he hadn't played a strategy game in 5 years is that they are utterly, utterly, totally bloody terrible.
- Fast forward 5 years and go to back to 1. again.
This is the truth. Civili"Z"ation, and other abominations of the genre, manage to sell vast numbers of copies by simply exploiting this bizarre and inevitable cycle. It's exactly the same faulty gene that causes intelligent and otherwise entirely sane people to drag out Monopoly or "Triv" every now and again. Can there really be any other explanation?
Let's look at a few specifics then.
A single game of Civ takes forever to play. Simply playing the game is an exercise in self flagellation.
Civ4 is very, very buggy, prone to crashing and massize, inexplicable slowdowns on even the most insanely powerful computer loaded with RAM.
Civ4, for reasons that only true apologists of the genre can understand or accept, doesn't model anything like the real world, not even close. Consider that, should you take the effort to obtain them, launching 67 nuclear missles simultaneously at a single city will NOT destroy it. Not at all. Arrrrhrhrhhrhhrhrhhrggggg. Even if that city is in fact a small medieval village? YES, GODDAMMIT, EVEN THEN IT'LL STILL BE STANDING!!!!!
In any event, don't waste your money. Think back, consult diaries, ask friends and close relatives - they will be able to tell you about the time, 5 years ago, that you unwisely withdrew £35 from your savings account, that was earmarked for a Hawkwind revival gig at the local tarpits, that you instead spent on a computer game that, within a very short period of time, had you swearing, tearing your hair out, and caused you to drink 3 pints of Black and Tan before you passed out in a puddle of vomit in the toilets of the "The Kebab and Coconut".
"But wait", you once more rather tiresomely cry, hopefully for the last time, "there's one thing you didn't explain".
"That buzz you mentioned, in the papes and mags. How come that buzz goes round in those publications if everyone really hates these games? Ha, I've got you now you big poo".
Right, I warned you not to mess with me - outside now - but before I knock some sense into you let me simply finish by informing you that those mysterious 56 people, the ones who by some curious twist of fate and genetics actually enjoy putting themselves through 16 hours of hell on the trot, pouring over statistical data, tinkering with flow charts, and all that sort of thing - they all went on to great heights in the world of .... drumroll .... computer magazine publishing.
Now then - let's go, and don't forget your tool.
1 / 10