Civilization IV 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Civ IV - Part 2

6. Unlimited Modability: Civilization was one of the first major games to be user-extensible, and Civilization IV takes this to extremes. In addition to the built-in world editor, the game is built with the open source Python scripting language, allowing users to easily modify most features. For more hardcore modders, the SDK will be released in early 2006, and will give players the ability to change virtually everything about the game, from the way the AI behaves to the position of the camera.

7. Really Awesome Multiplayer: There are so many multiplayer possibilities with Civilization IV, that this requires two entries in the list. Aside from all the neat tweaks to keep things going smoothly, there are now lots of new gameplay possibilities. Team games are now easily set up, and teams have new ways to communicate with each other, from annotating each others screens (you can literally draw lines to tell people where to go think of strategizing in football) to sending little pings to alert teammates of important events happening around their map. Support for voice over IP allows players to talk to each other while they play, whether its for genuine communication or just plain smack talking.

But thats just the start of the multiplayer possibilities with Civilization IV. The new Double City Elimination option means if you lose two cities, youre out. One City Challenge means you can only have one city. The Always War and Always Peace games limit you to one or the other. All of these can be mixed and matched to create exactly the kind of multiplayer Civ game you want to play.

One particularly hardcore game can be created by playing with teams and handicaps, so that you have two teams: one with a single person set to the easiest difficulty setting (giving that player a major bonus in all areas) and one with several other people on normal (or one of the harder levels, if you really want to make things interesting) trying to take him/her down.

Also fun: a really small map with a lot of players. Twelve people playing a game of Civ is great when theres a lot of space. Put them all on a map the size of Rhode Island, and see how long it takes to get ugly, as still developing civilizations battle for what little space there is.

8. Custom Games for Single Players: With the Custom Game feature in Civilization IV, you can basically play a multiplayer game all by yourself. All the same options available in multiplayer can be used in single player games against A.I. You can even play with the A.I. by turning on Random Personalities. With that on, you dont know how the A.I. is going to react. Gandhi the Conqueror? Genghis Khan the Pacifist? Both could happen. And of course, you can play a multiplayer game with two people and 10 A.I. civs, replacing them as real people join in, or start a multiplayer game where all the other players are A.I. and people can take over whenever they like.