OK folks, I apologize if this review is a bit rough, but its my first time and I've been playing this in every spare moment I've had since I picked it up at 10:01 sharp on Tuesday morning from Best Buy, so sleep has been fleeting. First, let me start off by saying that I'm fairly new to the turn based strategy party . Although I played Sid Meier's past amazing works, such as Sid Meier's Golf, Pirates, Alpha Centauri, and a few of his past Civilization's before, I was never a true fan due to the fact that I could never get past the endless amount of information that is at your finger tips. It became too overwhelming since I was used to the dozen of twitch shooters i was playing on a monthly basis. Now that I'm older and have 4 kids, I may still enjoy a good action game, but sometimes it's nice to stretch the old brain muscle after a days worth of Cartoon Network and kiddy board games. Which brings me to what really matters....this game is incredible, in every way, shape, and form possible.

     Civilization V is just as complex and deep as I remember its predecessors, but this time it comes with a much more accessible game style for beginners. Every little nuance to the game comes with a form of explanation, which you can take at it's basic root definition or dive as deep as you want into how each part of the game works, how to make it work, and when best to use it. The first game I started I thought I would be in for the beating of a life time, but by the time I had reached 50 turns, not only had I developed a simple understanding  of the main mechanics, but I can even say I was starting to understand how to mesh everything from the happiness of my population to the many different forms of diplomacy to adopt, as well as research and science to broaden my civilization's horizon's. Needless to say, after 307 turns and hours worth of eye strain, I have become a believer.

     In my own opinion, this game has been polished to such a high shine my eyes hurt just looking at it. The graphics are fantastic for a genre that you can phone in graphics and most die hards won't care. The minutiae of the whales swimming off the coast, my ship's sails fluttering in the wind, or even the dust kicked up as my horse rode through my cities was just fantastic. The GUI was something of a marvel too, because with the wealth of information available, the menu system was a breeze to understand, and after about 25 turns I could build, research, buy, or command everything at my finger tips without even thinking twice about where I had to go.

     In closing, all I have to say to the PC gamers out here on the Game Informer website, if your a fan of turn-based gaming, go right now, sell your kidney if you have to, and BUY THIS GAME. It took me mere minutes to become a gushing fan boy, and thats something in 26 years of gaming I have never been. This is one of a hand full of games, up there with System Shock, Star Craft, Diablo, and Fallout, that every PC gamer should own. Thanks for reading, and let me hear some comments on how I did so I can improve on latter reviews.

NOTE: I ended up buying the Special Edition Box Set that I believe Ben Reeves unboxed on the website. Although it is a hefty price, I for one found the $100 worth it. Now this isn't for everyone, I'll be the first to admit that. I have a large PC game collection, at almost 300 games, and I love a good Special Edition to put on display. This box set comes with a nicely designed black and gold colored art-deco style box with a large box sleeve to put over it. Inside you'll find 5 well designed miniatures of different units found throughout the game, a soundtrack of the beautifully orchestrated score, a behind the scenes DVD, the game itself, and my favorite part, the 180 some page art book. Alot of people, and rightfully so, won't find the price tag worth the content available. But if you have the money, or are a big fan of Firaxis and it's amazing game design, I say take the plunge and try to track down a copy. For all you collector's out there, you won't regret how it looks with the rest of your gaming prestige.