Civilization 5's Brave New World expansion introduces trade routes, new culture victory and new civilizations

Sid Meier's Civilization 5: Brave New World expansion will introduce new civilizations and overhaul the existing culture victory and international trade routes, according to Firaxis Games developer Ed Beach.

The expansion brings the total number of civilizations in the game to 43, introducing Poland with the leader Casimir III, Assyria with Ashurbanipal, Brazil with Pedro II, Portugal with Maria I and the reintroduction of the Zulu civilization under the rule of Shaka.

Along with the introduction of new civilizations also comes a revamped trade system, which Beach says is one of the main areas of focus in Brave New World.

"When Civilization 5 first came out, it had a ton of depth on the military side of the game, and with the first expansion, Gods and Kings, we did a full pass through the military side and rebalanced it," Beach says. "So what we did with the second expansion was look at where there are holes and weaknesses, where the player's not as involved as we want them to be, and we found that there were two places: the culture game and the economic game."

"So what we did with the second expansion was look at where there are holes and weaknesses."

For the economic game, Beach says Civilization 5's trade system was represented abstractly, so if a player built a city along a coast line, they'd earn more gold than a city that was inland. Brave New World lets players create their own trade routes with trade units, which will allow them to determine who they will trade with and where. Players will also be able to establish trade routes internally so that they can channel their resources more efficiently.

"So imagine you're building one of the wonders of the world in Krakow — you could have all your trade units channeled internally to get that extra production out there and build that wonder faster than someone else and finish it first," Beach says.

A new culture victory is also being introduced. According to Beach, the culture victory in Civilization 5 was "the least interesting" because "it wasn't dynamic ... it didn't feel like you were establishing a culture that was dominating the world. You were just establishing a culture and hoping the world wouldn't dominate you." For Brave New World, the culture victory will only be obtained if players can spread their culture and influence over others. Constructing cultural monuments will be only one step in achieving a cultural victory — players will have to fill their cultural institutions with art, music and literature in order to grow their influence.

Upon entering the Industrial Age, players will also be able to choose an ideology for their people, which ranges from Freedom to Order to Autocracy. Each ideology grants access to increasingly powerful abilities and serves the different victory conditions in unique ways. Beach tells Polygon that the ideologies play an important role in the player's strategy, because it means they can switch between victory conditions midway through a game and still have the possibility of winning.

The Civilization 5: Brave New World expansion pack will release in North America on July 9 and internationally on July 12.

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