I had a hard time at the start after installing the game: while my graphics card is obviously out of date, at the start of the game the main map was completely ‘black’. It took over 10 turns to have the map to get colours and that’s when (slowly) ‘land silhouttes’ started to become visible. It has to do with the game and apparently colours start to appear when your ‘first city’ starts to expand. Completely different than previous Civs: I almost figured it was time to find another computer to start an install (something I may consider).
The game (upto Medieval times) is good and responsive, playing with 5 AI opponents. The AI (definitely) focusses first on ‘diplomatic’ solutions. The game is reasonably fast: zooming in and out on the map goes smooth.
While I could just dive in the gameplay (experienced Civ player), I noticed that there’s a lot of ‘religion stuff’ going on in the background. In Civ 4 you can also try to spread the word of your religion, which may (or may not) be fun at the end of the game. There are several things specialized: you can for example build cattle farms, farmland, workshops, cottages and others around a city. This feels weird.
Back to the game.