Okay, I've played this for about 10 hours now so I'm going to give my opinions.
People complained about the new art style they used seeing the pre-release photos of the game. It was accused of looking like a mobile game and being childish. I agreed for a while, but withheld opinion until release. After having played the game itself I can honestly say that it is anything but the above. The new fog of war is stunning, although took some getting used to at first. The sketched look of a distant civilisation across the ocean has captivated me a few times. The way cities are now so dynamic is also great, you see everything you build and it gives somewhat more of a sense that your city is progressing without only getting larger. It is also a lot lot easier to get a grasp of what is in front of you at a glimpse than compared to civilisation V. I am willing to say that I enjoy this look more than prior games, and you can tell the devs tried to add detail. The only complaints for me are the strategic view which although pretty and technically more simplified remains more confusing than the normal overview, which is almost an achievement in itself. The Tech and Civic tree also look a little bland and take some getting used to, but aren't confusing once you get a hang of the key.
Also, the new battle animations can be pretty brutal at times. Nothing can be anymore satisfying than watching your spearman stab your opponent in the stomach, haul them over their shoulder and carry on as if nothing happened.
Gameplay wise the new features and mechanics are well done, and after some balancing and tweaking will be excellent.
The district system forces players to think of each cities utility, as especially early game you simply won't be able to have each district in your city meaning you have to prioritise. Micromanagent is introduced without feeling overcomplicated to players, and that has added some depth to city management. New tactics are also brought along with the district's, being able to cripple a cities faith or science output by plundering a cities holy district or campus are examples of things you'll now have to take into consideration. The only thing I have a serious complaint on is that the harbour district, although intended to make naval war more accessible, has eliminated it. As you can now produce naval units as long as your city is near to the sea (after building a harbour district on the coast) the point of settling naval cities is eliminated. This in turn means mêlée naval units have lost their worth, as any player worth their salt won't settle naval cities as such. Denmark becomes practically useless and many unique units too. The best you can use a naval unit against other human players is to escort your military across an ocean to another continent.
Then we have the great people system. The fact each great person has different bonuses and can only be gained once per game by any single player adds some depth to them too. However the coat of any great person type raises the second any other civ gets one of that type, and this snowballs heavily early game. By the medical era I had one or two great people at best, one being a great prophet I had to focus everything on for a while as to get a religion (capable of now winning you the game literally). They need to tweak this somewhat, yet a foundation is there.
Then we have civics. Policies have basically been replaced with governments and a culture tech tree. Each government gives you a certain ammount of slots of certain types, and you earn policies through the civic tree (each policy having a certain type). You mix and match these policies throughout the game depending on your needs, and I love it. Having barbarian trouble? Choose to pick anti-barbarian civics. Killed all barbarians and need to build an economy? Focus on gold and production boosting civics and put aside your barbarian ones. Policies have become something dynamic and involving.
Speaking of barbarians, I swear they've become smarter and more buff. They seem to plunder less thank God (which by the way doesn't heal your health anymore, finally nerfing a broken action) but they are organised. I've seen groups of barbarian cavalry come along supported by horse archers at the back end of their front. They swooped through and in a suicidal manner that puts Bushido to shame simply destroyed my entire army (albeit a small army) and ran off plundering all my key districts. As soon as they came they left. And I was left wondering what the hell just happened.
This game is definitely worth getting, though if you're short on money I'd recommend waiting for a sale.
"i agree we should have a rule against wgeurts
"let's have 2 rules against wgeurts