As my online moniker might suggest, I've always been a fan of the Sim City series. I wasn't old enough to really enjoy the first game, but from Sim City 2000 on, I was hooked. But the last edition, Sim City 4, is already 7 years old and there may never be a fifth. So I've had to look for other games to scratch that building and planning itch. Tropico is a great series for that. I've also discovered the Civilization series. To be truthful, I never gave any of the first three a chance, but I've played the hell out of IV.
Between the vanilla game and its two expansion packs, there is so much re-playability that I've probably reinstalled the game four or five times. There are just so many civilizations and leaders to choose from, so many different maps and strategies to try, that almost no game feels the same. The epic nature of recreating the world is incredibly addicting. I'm ready to reinstall it right now just writing about it. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately as far as my free time is concerned), there is a new version coming out this month: Civilization V. There have been a slew of previews that have me convinced of its greatness without even trying it. If you've played Civ IV, you understand.
The Escapist just posted a new preview which is actually an in-character walk-through of an entire game, complete with video and narration. Definitely work checking out. Here's a quick sample of the writing:
Crossing the mountain range to the north, I met the first civilized leader, poor Augustus Caesar. No amount of flattery or attempts at trade would crack his smile. Surrounded by finery such as he is, Augustus couldn't open his heart and mind to the Iroquois way of life. Perhaps that is why he attacked me with his legions, unprovoked and without warning. Caesar's armies took my great city of Grand River. Little did Caesar know that the Iroquois nation is blessed and that the first our many Golden Ages dawned soon after his treachery. It was the turn of the tide.
Now go read the rest and watch the movie, its well worth it if you're a Civ fan. You'll be excited, trust me. While you're still here, check out another great video preview of the game: