2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Fireaxis has managed to pull off a fantastic game here - Civilization V has a very in-depth play system that is easy to understand for beginners, and yet complex enough to keep even the most advanced user thinking. The turn-based system is quite fair, though a little bit does rely on luck if you're playing multiplayer (Who gets to host is 1st player, and thus gets "Priority" on wonders, so if both you and player 1 have 1 turn left on The Great Library, Player 1 will get it first), but I personally play a lot of singleplayer. The bot difficulty level increases at a high rate as you go up - 1 is basically playing against yourself, 2 may be challenging for someone learning the game, 3 is an ok difficulty, though still a bit easy, 4 is the equivalent of a moderately skilled human player, and 5 has the tactic of a skilled player, plus extra science/food/production, so I personally play on level 4. I won't go into details about levels 6-8, because I've never tried them, nor do I plan to in the near future.
The UI is quite user-friendly - If there is an action that needs to be done, it will show up in the lower-right corner just above the minimap. There are 4 "advisors" that help new players understand what to build, and how it will benefit them, as well as whether or not to attack an enemy unit, and even who you may stand a chance against in a total war!
Spies also add a new level of strategy to the game, as you must decide whether you will try to steal technology from other people, or if you will protect your own technology. Then you add spy promotions, in which Recruits will almost always be beaten by Agents, who will almost always be beaten by Special Agents. By changing spies around that have different promotions, you can achieve a different level of defense and offense in espionage. For example, if you want to steal from a country that has lots of tech, but you just want intrigue about another nation that has little tech, you can send your Special Agent over to the country that has lots of tech, and your Recruit to the other nation.
Overall, this is a really fun game, the only drawback is it's price, but if it ever goes on sale, it is definitely worth picking up if you're into strategy games.