Friday, July 9, 2010

Lazy Game Review: Civilization IV: Colonization

Part of Steam’s sale last week I got the Civ IV collection, included CivIV, it’s 2 expansions and CivIV Colonization. Two games and two expansions for 9.99.

To bad Colonization sucks. Don’t get me wrong, CivIV rules, but Colonization.. This is just to damn complicated. CivIV has basically 3 resources – Food, minerals and gold. Colonization on the other hand has Wheat, Fish, ore, silver, tobacco, sugar, cotton, lumber and fur. The in order for anything except food to be useful you have to craft cigars, coats, cloth, tools, guns. There’s also horses though after 3 hours playing I never did figure out how to get them. Based on the description sables should produce horses but when I tried to build one I got a message indicating I didn’t have enough horses – to build the thing I need to produce horses.

Continuing with the theme of ‘lets get more complicated than it needs to be’, you haven’t colonist working in your town, oh no. You have free colonist, indentured servants, petty criminals, converted natives – as just the base ‘classes’. Each of those can be trained to carpenters, fishermen, farmers, preachers, blacksmiths, fur traders, tabbacoers – but that’s not all. You’ve also got expert and  master levels of said professions.

Founding fathers, Colonization’s version of World Wonders seem both overpowered and completely random. Having done specific you randomly get message asking if you’d like some famous dude to join your settlement. Sure, why not. Doesn’t appear to cost me anything and the results are a bit overpowered. Pocahontas joined my group and the tribe I was at war with sued for peace.

Not that war appears to mean anything in the little time I played. The tribe I was at war with never attacked and when Spain got pissy 2, yes 2, of my soldiers took over three settlements. It’s probably harder on high diffulty levels, but if the mechanics are broken I can’t see how making the computer cheap will improve anything.

All in all, I’m shocked at the review scores this game got (83 on Metacritic). Maybe they’re more patient, skilled,whatever. But I am not impressed. Way to much micro-management in this game. Maybe they were targets the Korean StarCraft player demographic.

1 1/2 Stars out of 5

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