Story image

Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword – PC

01 Sep 07

Civilization IV is arguably the best recent strategy game we’ve had to sink our teeth into. It’s already had one solid expansion pack in Warlords, but Beyond the Sword adds so much new content that it could almost be a sequel.
As the name implies, Beyond the Sword focuses on economic and diplomatic improvements, as opposed to the conquest and war orientated Warlords. The two primary systems of Beyond the Sword are the ability to found corporations and a new espionage system.
The biggest of these is definitely the new espionage system. Each turn you can set aside part of your budget for espionage spending. The more you spend, the more you find out and the more opportunities that will be presented for your spies to perform intelligence missions. Beyond just finding out what your opponents are researching, spies can also cause rife within enemy territories. Spies can incite rebellion, destroy improvements, steal from the treasury or even poison water supplies.
Corporations are like a modern day religious system for your civilizations. They can spread from city to city and provide significant advantages for your civilization, the counter to this however is that they consume a significant amount of resources. Corporations can provide huge advantages, but at the same time can completely cripple a player’s economy.
In addition to these there are also a multitude of new civilisations and leaders. There are also eleven new scenarios. Each of the new scenarios relies on a separate skill, whether it is military expertise, economic skill or diplomatic dexterity.
Another useful feature is the advanced start option for players who can’t be fussed with the initial time spent founding a first city; instead players are inserted about 10 turns into a game.
Connectivity improvements and simultaneous turns speed up multiplayer games. Firaxis has included some interesting mods both internally and community created. These include a World War II recreation, Civilizations version of defender, and just for good measure, a human versus zombie’s game.
Beyond the Sword brings many new aspects to the game. Espionage adds a new dimension and the calculated gamble of corporations can be greatly beneficial to your civilization.

GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Meet Rentbot, the chatbot that can help with tenancy law
If you find yourself in a tricky situation  - or if you just want to understand your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can now turn to a chatbot for help.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) finally releases on PS4
PUBG on PS4 feels like it’s still in Early Access as the graphics look horribly outdated and the game runs poorly too. 
How AI can fundamentally change the business landscape
“This is an extremely interesting if not pivotal time to discuss how AI is being deployed and leveraged, both in business and at home.”
CERT NZ highlights rise of unauthorised access incidents
“In one case, the attacker gained access and tracked the business’s emails for at least six months. They gathered extensive knowledge of the business’s billing cycles."
Report finds GCSB in compliance with NZ rights
The Inspector-General has given the GCSB its compliance tick of approval for the fourth year in a row.
Game review: Just Cause 4 on PC
Rico Rodriguez returns to wreak over-the-top havoc for a fourth time. This time the island nation of Solís is our hero’s sandbox, ripe for destruction.