My not-so-guilty pleasure: Civilization II in glorious 4k ultrawide

For a quick game of Civ (ha!) nothing beats Civ II. In 4k ultra-wide. 

With Firaxis’ announcement of “Rise and Fall”, the first major expansion for Civilization 6, there is hope yet that the latest installment in the franchise will finally git gud. We’ll see.

In the meantime, and with a few extra holiday hours on my hands, I decided to dust off and re-install my favorite Civ game of all time. No, I’m not talking about Civ 4 or 5. Civilization II, my friends, is where it’s at. And with a bit of tweaking I was able to get it to run just fine on my Win 10 system paired with an ultrawide 4k monitor.

Silly, you say? Well the game is 22 years old, and yes I suppose it is quite simplistic — in terms of both graphics and gameplay — compared with the latest incarnation, but that’s partly why I love it so much. You can jump in quickly, build like 20 cities within a span of a couple hours, stack 20 submarines off the coast of Japan just for the heck of it, and bury entire entire continents under railroads. It’s amazing too how capable and well-balanced the AI seems, especially in light of Civ 6’s well-know issues.

And I have to say, despite the simple and rather pixelated graphics, Civ II looks great on an ultra-wide. The ability to take in essentially the whole world in one glance is mesmerizing. It’s one of the few games from the 90’s that I can play at 21:9 like it was designed for it. The music too is simple yet engrossing. It has a special way of drawing you into the epic world that is civilization; a legacy that every new civ soundtrack attempts to live up to. I think it’s the music, more than anything, that transports me back in time to that first moment I encountered Civilization, over two decades ago. It’s been just one more turn ever since.

Just in case you need a dose of nostalgic Civ II soundtrack goodness:


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