I tried out the Civilization V demo last night.  Looks sweet.  It looks prettier and livelier than ever, the special policy trees (replacing both government and religion) are intriguing, and I loved things like cities and triremes being able to destroy units by themselves.  It’s also fun that e.g. Caesar talks to you in Latin… a langourous, Italian-sounding Latin.

The demo lasts for one to two hours… this being Civ, it’s not anywhere near long enough to get a real feel for the game.  I had two land units at the end of the game, and all I’d fought was barbarians.  So I just have no idea what the combat is like, much less overall strategy.  Kind of poor demo design, I’d say… it’s enough to test out the interface, but not to tell if it’s significantly different from Civ4.  The hexes are pretty unnoticeable; the new one-unit-per-hex limit is… who knows?  There are apparently still Great Merchants and stuff; also no idea on what that means.

After a couple years playing FPSs, it’s amazing how slow Civ feels.  The interface is very good and you can automate the drudgery, but there are long stretches where all you can actually do is slowly reveal bits of the map.

It’s still tempting, though I don’t need a timesink this deep right now.  Besides, Fallout New Vegas is due out soon, to say nothing of the latest Borderlands DLC.  So Sid is going to have to wait for awhile.