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A new standard for me for Strategy Guides
on 30 September 2010
At the time of writing, there are 68 reviews of the game Civilization 5, concentrating on the use of Steam and the apparent "dumbing-down" of the game. This, however, is a review of the manual in its own right, and therefore cannot comment on Steam or how Civ 5 works as a game. It's just a review of the manual.
This is my 68th review, including several strategy guides. I have marked some others guides only 3 stars. Therefore, please believe me, when I say how bowled over I am with this guide.
For starters, it is 240 A4 pages in full colour throughout. Even Prima's Official Strategy Guide to Civ 3, which is quite a good guide, is only 206 pages, black and white, and is smaller than A4. The colour adds to the sheer beauty of this guide.
Secondly, it is *very* comprehensive. For example, there are three A4 pages devoted to each and every leader/tribe, introducing both the leader, its unique strengths and passive benefits, and a half page conclusion as to how this tribe plays. With a 2 page introduction, this is 56 pages about the tribes.
At the beginning of this guide, there are 33 pages describing the opening options, basic gameplay and changes from Civ 4 (half a page per change). Following the extensive pages about the tribes/leaders, there 84 pages about the units, buildings, wonders and technologies, each with at least a long paragraph (e.g. 3-5 sentences long), maybe two paragraphs.
There follows a brief section on Tiles, Resources and Improvements, and 60 pages on the Principles of Victory. Short sections on Multiplayer games and Achievements round off this book.
Basically, this is a great standard for a Strategy Guide, one which other guides would do well to emulate.