2K Games has released a demo for the second Civilization IV expansion pack Beyond the Sword.

It's got a waist-size of 314MB and lets you test out technology created - as the name suggests - after the invention of gunpowder, and beyond.

The full game was released today, hooray, and is touted as the largest addition to the series so far. There's 10 new civilisations to build up, each with their own leaders and style, plus plenty of new units and buildings to build on the original game with.

Natural disasters will happen randomly to disrupt your progress now, and there will be more focus on the diplomatic side of the game - and the chance to win earlier using words rather than weapons.

On top of all this the computer is now cleverer, practically capable of taking over the world while you're sleeping through levels. Those trees of technology have grown, too, and you'll be able to pluck their apples sooner using the new advanced-start feature, which pops you further down the evolutionary line at the beginning of the game.

Developer Firaxis has even decided to pop-in 12 maps created by you lot, the fans of the games.

A hearty helping of roasted potatoes to go with the Civilization IV meat, then.

Slice into our review of Civilization IV to see just how juicy it really was.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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