Civilization IV: Colonization Review
Civilization IV: Colonization box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Firaxis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 2K Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 22, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

No one said making a colony was easy. Some native tribes will welcome you as best pals with open arms and can prove to be useful allies. Others will not take kindly to your trespass into their region, sparking wars in the process. You'll also come across other European colonists seeking to establish their own settlements in the newly trodden territory. You're free to choose whether or not to play nice or conquer them in battle. Each course of actions has its advantages and disadvantages, and taking a different tact on repeat playthroughs can yield slightly different gameplay experiences.

Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot

The game engine may now be a few years old, but Colonization is still a treat on the eyes and ears. A high level of zoom lets you survey the land from afar or get right down into the nitty-gritty. The land is nicely populated with shrubs, mountains, and other detailed land features, and the water effects are particularly impressive. Unit movements are well-done, and the game has an appealing level of polish. Battles aren't the most exciting affairs - they typically consist of opposing forces takings turns attacking the hell out of one another until someone drops - but the sounds are quite entertaining, and the animations are interesting.

For being greatly pared down from Civilization IV, Colonization belies an incredible amount of depth. At the same time there's a sizeable learning curve to overcome here, but the useful Civilopedia is an excellent resource for delving into the game's deepest facets Civ IV players will be ahead of the curve here, even though Colonization throws plenty of new ideas and content into the mix. With time and familiarity, the smooth interface makes micromanaging less painful than necessary.

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The original design holds up surprisingly well over almost a decade and half's time. In this case, mixing old and new ideas proves to be an intoxicating concoction that fans of Meier's work and strategy gaming in general will likely consume gleefully. Colonization is far more than a simple mod or add-on; it clearly stands alone as a fully fledged blast from the past. This is one walk down memory lane you'll want to take.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
A firm visual style based on the now aging Civilization IV engine. It looks great all around but shows some minor signs of age.
4.2
Control
The interface is easy to use, once you get used to the new elements to manage. Controls are effortless.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Cool sound effects bring the game to life.
4.0
Play Value
It takes time to fully figure out all the complex mechanics, but you'll be well rewarded for your effort.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Classic Game Design: The strategy classic is rebuilt with beautifully improved visuals, while retaining the famously addictive gameplay and endless fun that are synonymous with Sid Meier games.
  • Establish a New Nation: Play as the English, Spanish, French, or Dutch and journey to a brave new world in search of freedom from your oppressive homeland.
  • Detailed Tutorial: Enhanced tutorial helps both fans of Colonization and new players on their way to ruling the New World.
  • Multiplayer Offers Tons of Replay: Compete with friends from all over the world via the Internet and Play by Email modes or compete locally via the Hotseat and LAN modes, offering endless ways to conquer the New World.
  • Improved Diplomacy: Sustain peace and support your followers as you engage in advanced negotiations with natives, other colonists and the hostile homeland - Trade resources, gold and land as you build the foundation for a self sufficient and powerful colony.
  • Historical Figures Provide Adaptive Gameplay: Acquire founding fathers such as John Smith, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams who will help guide your nation to freedom based on your gameplay style.
  • Mods and Community Tools: Players will have limitless options for modifying the game to suit their needs. Game includes modding tools including a map editor using XML and Python.
  • Brand New Interface: Both Civilization IV fans and players new to the series will feel right at home with an interface that's been built to be accessible and easy to navigate.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge Civilization IV: Colonization screenshot - click to enlarge

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