Gods & Kings is the new expansion for the turn-based Civilization V, the most recent installment in the long-running strategy game series from Firaxis and 2K Games.
The expansion was supposed to fix all the problems with the original game, build on its innovative hex-based core concept and add new dimensions by introducing religion and espionage.
Religion is cool at first, a way of enhancing your faction or simply covering up one’s weak points, but it soon becomes clear that it’s pretty repetitive and doesn’t fundamentally change the core game structure.
Espionage is just a menu and fails to add any kind of meaningful interaction, while the Artificial Intelligence is smarter than before, but fails to provoke a challenge below the Prince setting.
Neither one is especially well integrated into the already existing structure of the turn-based title.
Civilization V is still a good video game, the kind you can easily lose yourself in for 100 hours a month, but Gods & Kings lacks punch.
Some might say that Gods & Kings for Civilization V is a perfectly good first expansion, especially when taking into account that the game will receive at least another content package, probably in 2013, which will make it feature complete and eliminate all remaining issues.
But I played Civilization IV, with its three expansions, for more than 3 years, constantly trying out mods and coming back to the core experience in order to try out new strategies and new factions.
I have not been driven to do the same for Civilization V, spending time instead with another Firaxis product, XCOM, in order to satisfy my strategy urge, and that makes Gods & Kings a failure for 2012.
You can find a full review of the Gods & Kings expansion for Civilization V on Softpedia.