The saying, "just one more turn" still rings true for Gods and Kings. The Civilization games have this surreptitious ability to make you lose all track of time and become completely sucked into the game world. The game comes down to a series of small goals you constantly set for yourself and you'll find yourself trying to power through each turn to see the end result. While many purists had a lot of problems with Civilization V (I wasn't one of them) - it does feel like Firaxis has listened to fan feedback and really focused on things like balance, usefulness, and AI. Tactics that used to work for me, especially when conquering cities, no longer feel as effective. Overall the combat lasts longer, with unit to unit battles lasting a handful of turns rather than just one or two. There's also a reduced focus on the Golden Age, something I used to take advantage of in the original. Because of this a great person's special ability (and the expansion of added great people) make them feel more worthwhile to keep around instead of sacrificing them to a golden age.
Civilization V: Gods and Kings keeps all of the updates from the original, which means Hot Seat Multiplayer is here for some good old couch co-op goodness. You can set the game up in any configuration you wish for up to 12 players and set up teams to go against AI or other players. Teams can be imbalanced so if you want to do 4 players vs 2 AI players, you can do that. This rings true to the game's online play as well which supports all the same options as the local co-op play.
Co-Op play adds some really neat strategies to the series, the biggest has to do with the sharing of technologies. When one player unlocks a tech, all players on the team unlock it. If two players are researching the same technology, the time to research it is cut in half. Because of this players can basically divvy up the technology tree and work their way through it much faster. You can also utilize the diplomacy menus to gift items and resources where needed. Conquering the world together is definitely great fun.
All in all Gods and Kings continues the tradition of creating compelling expansion packs with just enough content to justify the cost. In the age of DLC, something Civilization V had plenty of, expansions have become a rarity. For $30 you are getting a ton of great content as well as near complete overhauls of many of the core systems, which is something you couldn't have seen i a $5 or $10 piece of DLC. Overall Civilization V: Gods and Kings will keep you addicted just as much as the original, and with more ways to have just one more turn, you'll be losing plenty of time lost in its fun addictive nature.
The PC version of Civilization V: Gods and Kings was provided by 2K Games for review purposes. The full version of Civlization V is required to play.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up with friends to conquer the world - players share a technology tree and can use diplomacy to share units and resources.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.