From a cooperative standpoint this trade mechanic becomes huge. Players can set up routes not only between each other, but pushing to specific cities. The tag team effect can in essence, steal a city from another leader’s control. For the most part all the of the co-op elements still exist in Brave New World as the base game and expansion. Hot seat multiplayer still works really well for couch co-op and online you can connect with up to six other players for co-op against the CPU. Teaming up still gives you bonuses like shared technology, though if you’re trying to achieve cultural victory it doesn’t appear as though the great works have an effect on the other Civs on your team. That said - you can swap works around to fill desired slots in the grid to help you achieve victory faster.
The changes continue for co-op gameplay with the advent of the World Congress. This UN-like group gets triggered once you hit the Industrial Age allowing all players involved to vote on policies and procedures that can give benefits or help sanction against stronger nations. For instance you can vote on trade sanctions that reset all trade routes in the game to City States helping crumble critical income for a few turns while routes are re-established. Other policies are more docile, like giving bonus culture for having archaeological sites excavated within your borders. Each Civ gets a set number of delegates and all nations then vote, so it’s easy to see how this can be “exploited” in co-op to turn the tide.
As fun as Civilization V can be online, I really find I enjoy the hot seat co-op much more. Being able to chat with the person and coach them through strategies is incredibly satisfying. There’s an added bonus of seeing things with a friend before they trigger during your own turn that you simply don’t get when playing online.
I think Brave New World is a perfectly competent expansion to Civilization V. It does a solid job of adding a few more layers to the game and gives players more options on the path to victory. That said, adding more isn’t always the best course of action. The more complex environment dilutes the strategies typically employed, and for players just picking a Civilization game up, they might find it extremely difficult to find victory hidden behind some of the new UI. The cultural victory is a meta-game in itself now and in a way, I found it tedious to learn the nuances of it.
In an age of smaller bite-sized DLC, an expansion pack like this can feel overwhelming. As with any good strategy game you need to take the time to learn the tricks of the trade. I wish these expansion packs would work stand-alone, but they do require the base game. If you’re trying to play online co-op this could be a hinderance, thankfully the couch co-op is a solid alternative.
The Co-Optimus review of Civilization V: Brave New World is based on a pre-release PC version with code provided by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up with friends by forming alliances, trading resources and sharing resources on your path to world victory.
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.