Civilization has always been one of my favorite games. I tried out this game, and though there are quite a few changes, I still quite enjoy the game. Perhaps don't make the game so simplistic to play in the next generation though? One button pushing can get a bit banal.
The game is different enough from the prior versions to be interesting to play. It is also similiar in play to the prior versions that you can play the game without referring much to the electronic manual. Downside - not ready for release. Regular and consistent lock-ups or crashes.
Just to give this review some perspective, I've been playing the various iterations of Civ for a very, very long time. I spend endless hours on 3 and 4, balancing game commitments and my real life. When Civ 5 was announced, I didn't hesitate. I bought it immediately.
In short, it didn't take me long before I realized that this new Civ was nothing like the Civ of old. I've never played Revolutions, but I've heard there is a lot of overlap. I don't know. What I do know is that this game is boring. Really, really boring. Never have I clicked the "next turn" button like I have here. Maybe it's because it takes forever to build anything...so long, in fact, that it's easier just to hoard gold and buy things. Maybe it's because expansion and/or conquest isn't really encouraged. The seemingly massive happiness hit just makes it unreasonable. So I sit there, just watching the world slowly go by.
All the detail is still there but you need to look for it rather than it being in your face; so you can run a very streamlined campaign without getting into the nitty-gritty of which tile will the city work on this turn if you want, or you can micromanage to your heart's desire. "Policies" being tied to culture is cool, and I look forward to getting further into the game. I've played one campaign so far, and found most of the streamlining helpful.
Never before has a date in history been so significant to so many cultures, so many religions, scientists, and governments. 2012 is an epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.