Civilization 5 is free to play this week


That's free to play, not free-to-play—an important distinction. Steam is again playing host to more (temporarily) free goodies, with a midweek trial of Civilization 5. The offer, which lets you play the full game until Thursday, 10am PDT, will give everyone a chance to experience the unstoppable wrath of Gandhi.

This, of course, is designed to prepare people for the upcoming Civilization: Beyond Earth, which has begun pre-loading ahead of this Friday's release. That game bears many similarities to Civ 5, only it's on an alien planet in the future. It is not, for instance, a game in which Genghis Khan can negotiate a beneficial spice deal with Bismarck.

Unfortunately, the free trial doesn't include the excellent expansions. Nevertheless, it's worth an investigation if, somehow, you've managed to hold off this long.


Phil has been PC gaming since the '90s, when RPGs had dice rolls and open world adventures were weird and French. Now he's the deputy editor of PC Gamer; commissioning features, filling magazine pages, and knowing where the apostrophe goes in '90s. He plays Scout in TF2, and isn't even ashamed.
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