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E3: More on Civ IV

Vladimir Cole

Here's another screenshot of Civilization IV, and some more dope about the game that Firaxis games promises will be even more addicting than the original.

  • faster pace: remember how the early years of a Civilization map tend to blow by, but the years approaching 2050 can take what seems like hours? Firaxis promises "streamlined" gameplay for a "faster" experience.

  • easier interface: Firaxis promises an interface that will be familiar and easy for veterans and newbies alike. The screenshots we've seen look a little chaotic, but they're not showing the city interface yet.

  • more flexible tech tree: Flexibility and "open-ended gameplay" are the buzzwords of the moment, so there's no surprise that every game is touting this.

  • new multiplayer options: There will be a persistent, turn-based server option, and it could be huge. It'd be great to be able to line up a game with someone over the net and have some trusted server somewhere store the information. Saving game information client-side (with the players' machines) exposes it to shenanigans.

  • team-play: "team play offers a new way of setting locked alliances that result in shared wonder effects, visibility, unit trading and shared territory that delivers a plethora of new strategic and tactical options"

The game's marketing team has also produced a funny little guide to help players of the game overcome their debilitating addictions to it. The brochure they're handing out on the show floor shows gamers in AA-like settings saying things like, "By the time I got to the Industrial Age, I was a full-blown junkie," and "The addiction just takes over. One more turn, one more turn, one more turn..."

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