Civilization IV has been winning accolades from game critics, but customer experience with the title has not been quite as positive, with widespread reports of buggy software behavior piling up at Amazon.com and at other sites that accept user feedback (MetaCritic, too). We're talking roach infestation here.
In sum, gamers complain that the game simply overpowers even gaming rigs with multiple gigs of RAM. Here are some typical complaints:
"Even after a clean uninstall/reinstall of Civ4 and the updated ATI drivers, I continued to get the increasing (and ultimately fatal) number of late-game crashes on my Sony VAIO desktop (3.6GHz P4, 1GB RAM, WinMCE SP2, RADION X600)." (Bruce Webster, on Amazon.com)
"2+ minutes game load time, 1+ minute between turns (large pangaea) and circa 1999 graphics which lag and sputter make this game unplayable for all but the most devoted of Civilization fans." (Duane Pye, on Amazon.com)
"I think the game itself is pretty interesting, but what does it matter since I can't play a game all the way through? Once I get to the 1800s or so, the game crashes every 2 or 3 turns." (Lawrence Wisne, Jr., on Amazon.com)
"I installed this on two computers. On one, the graphics completely don't work. While there are ways to fix this, they basically involve cheating and revealing the whole map. No no no. On the other computer, the game runs at a snails pace. I have to wait 3 minutes between ACTIONS. ACTIONS, not TURNS. It took me 7 hours to advance 20 turns. This is NOT an acceptable rate." (S. Wong, on Amazon.com)
Chance are, the game can be quite fun and is worth $50, but we can't encourage anyone to buy a game that was released in such a raw state. It's a shame to see a game with such giant promise taken down by a Lilliputian army of defects.