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In A Nutshell: Civilization V

November 14, 2021

My origins in gaming really started with strategy games. My dad, being the absolute nerd he is, had various CDs of games he would spend hours at the computer playing. I was exposed to Age of Empires, Age of Wonders II, and Age of Mythology from a very young age, with the latter of the three being formative in my motivation to get a Steam account later in life. Though, despite my former exposure to strategy games, somehow, the Civilization series was unknown to me until my ex-boyfriend brought up how obsessed he is with Civilization V in particular. Weirdly enough, he was very eager to teach me how to play the game, nuances and all. But nonetheless, I accepted his help. It got to a point where I spent over 10 days’ worth of time learning how to play this game over the course of one winter break, challenging myself and trying to unlock every achievement (as of writing this, I only have 203 out of 286).

I have always found strategy games to be the most intriguing. Truth be told, I don’t really know why I think that, all I know is that I like them a lot, and Civilization V helped cement that for me. As of right now, I sit at 494 hours in the game, and it is my most played game in my Steam library. Naturally though, as obsessed as I was with the fifth installment of the series, I was curious about the sixth. I got my hands on it through the Epic Games sale and played a game with one of my best friends from high school, only to feel utterly disappointed. I remembered how confused I was when I first played Civilization V and I tried to give Civilization VI a chance, but it felt too complex for its own good. And maybe some people like that, but I personally don’t. What I love about the fifth installment is that, despite its faults—such as broken achievements, janky multiplayer support, and the infamous Ghandi meme, it doesn’t make your head spin to an uncomfortable degree. On a technical level, Civilization VI is the better game. But where it excels on that front, it lacks in overall simplicity and charm.

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