Reviews by SolidusBlake
It's hard to make something good even better...SolidusBlake | June 30, 2012 | Review of Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods and Kings
But this expansion surely manages to make Civilization 5 a better game than it already was.
The main features of the expansion (which most players considering to buy the expansion probably already know) are the new faith system, the addition of espionage, several new units and technologies, some great changes to the battle system on land and sea, 3 new scenarios and last but not least 9 new civilizations to play around with.
The faith system is something i would probably describe as "customizable policies" since once you gathered enough faith you get to choose a bonus like +10% growth rate in cities following that belief, +2 to science for cities connected by roads, a combat bonus near allied cities following that religion or simply +2 gold per temple or shrine build in a city. After founding a Pantheon at first, which basically is the first belief you get to choose you get great prophets after accumulating enough faith, which can be used to found a religion with the first prophet and then enhance it once more with your second prophet, which gets you 2 new beliefs each. There are beliefs for every playstyle, economic ones, scientific once, cultural once or militaristic ones, so religion is useful in achieving victory through any means in the end.
Espionage is another interesting and useful feature. Once you reach the Rennaisance era the first spy joins your empire and can be moved either into one of your cities to prevent enemy spies from stealing technologies from you, into their cities to steal technologies from them or uncover which wonders they are building or if they are building up an army for a surprise attack and the likes or into city-states to rig the elections there, which will result in you gaining influence over the city-state, while lowering the influence of other civs.
On the Science sector there have been some slight changes as well. Some new Technologies have been added, which usually grant some of the new units, wonders and buildings, while some old units and buildings have been slightly moved around to other Technologies, for example the armory now becomes available by researching steel instead of machinery as in the vanilla game. Some of the new units are the gatling and machine-gunners, which act as industrial/modern era ranged units, as well as the "landship", a british WWI tank which marks the new start of the tank line.
The main change to the battle-system is that units now have 100 hitpoints instead of only 10 and the damage ranges from about 10-50 damage between units of the same era, depending on terrain bonusses, etc. The other big change is naval combat. Some ships now have "melee" attacks, just like melee land units, which allows them to retaliate against other ships of their type, as well as raiding and capturing coastal cities, with appropriate new promotions for them called "boarding party" which makes them more effective fighting other naval units and "coastal raider" which makes them more effective at attacking cities as well as pillaging some gold.
And on top of that you also get 3 new scenarios with one of them being slightly different than all others, but i won't spoil anything here :)
All those features plus the 9 new civilizations should be quite enough reasons for everyone who enjoyed Civ5 to buy the expansion.