Well, is this tough to write a first impressions on? For sure it is. First, a little bit about my background in the civ series.
I played and loved the original civ back when it first game out in the early 90s, and I’ve played every game of the series ever since. The CIv games, from Civ 1 to Civ IV in my openion , contained mostly changes for the better. All the games basically took the previous game and improved upon the concepts. This was not the case with Civ V. A lot of things was dumbed down. The only thing that could have been somewhat interesting if implemented preoperly was the new hex system and combat if implemented properly. It wasn’t however and the game as a while was kind of disapointing for an old time civ fan. With the first expansion, things changed for the better. The game got back at least some depth, with more choices and more ways to manage your civilization. Same goes for this expansion. Most people will probably argue that Civ IV is still a better game in many ways, but at least with this expansion. Civ is getting back some more of it’s depth. The AI was improved with the last expansion and seem to have improved slightly with this expansion as well. It’s difficult to tell how it behaves in combat since I didn’t have much of that in the games I’ve played since I picked up the expansion. This brings me to another point. The AI seem to be a lot less aggressive overall, I’ve had no random declarations of war yet, something that occurred frequently in the original civ 5. With the addition of more advanced and detailed trade, ideologies and new civilizations to play, this expansion brings new life to the game.
Is it worth getting the expansion then? Well, since I’ve allready seen it on sale, I would say yes. If you have the slightest interest in Civ V I would buy this expansion, especially if you can pick it up on sale.