So, my weekend and working schedule has been THOROUGHLY devastated by the release of the latest expansion for Civ 5, “Brave New World”. The expansion adds a hell of a lot in the way of game mechanics and a swathe of new content to the game, radically altering the way in which you play it. Particularly improved are options for cultural victory, for spying and for trading, making it more manageable than ever to become a massively influential empire without the need to conquer the crap out of your neighbours.

Now, I could wax lyrical about how immensely fun the game is all day (and I probably will at work). But, for me, the main appeal of the Civ franchise is how incredibly NERDY it allows you to be, and Brave New World lets you get properly geeky about a wider range of things. Now, Civ in general is amazing for history nerds (of which I have a minor badge). Everybody’s intimiately familiar with the hilarity of Gandhi arming himself with nukes, and many Civ players squee with delight as they pit major powers against smaller, less-well-known but no less important cultures from all through the millenia. What  Brave New World does is to up the nerd quotient substantially, with the inclusion of Great Artists, Great Writers, and Great Musicians (minor badge, intermediate badge, major badge AND teaching qualification). Not only do they play a major role in your game if you’re playing for a cultural victory, when you have them create great works you actually get to see the painting, hear the piece of music, or read snippets of the poem or novel. Many of them are very well-known, but if you’re well-versed in the field, you can get epic moments of joy from seeing a creator’s work that you thought nobody else ever knew about.

In short, Civ 5 was always awesome, and Brave New World just made it AWESOMER. I highly recommend it, for the nerd potential alone!

Also, you can recruit XCOM squads in late-game. Squee? Squee.

Enjoy the page, and I’ll see you on Friday! Cheerio!