Yeah, the various positive impressions and not a single screed about how it is doom and decline is making it seem like this game might be good.
Well, you asked!
Give it 25 hours...once the initial interest wears off, it gets boring fast. Found it disappointing in the end. It's 70% Civ 5 with 30% CK bolted on the top. The problem is that it misses the best parts of those. The empire building falls short of Civ. Can't build a city anywhere, only set sites. Only handful of Civs. The rest is an unoriginal rehash of everything we already know. Workers to build farms, roads, mines, food for pop increase, yawn. The awful 1UPT is implemented even worse than Civ 5 & 6. Never got the point of allowing only 1 squad in 20 square miles. But Nu Civ does it, so it's faitfully copied here.
And the CK-like "dynasties". It's so lite, it just isn't there. The characters have no character (actually, the game has no character, it matches the turgid brown of the UI). Just a name and modifiers. A few turns in, your screen is filled with these random nonenties with dozens of modifiers that add up to nothing. The events are a bad joke. Clearly just random text. Eventually, every turn is just "Event Happened..blah blah blah. Choose a) lose 30 food b) lose 20 gold. 20 years ago that was leading edge, today it is same-old same-old. They are so random, don't expect anything coherent. Example, a 10 year old child "is now an alcoholic". The shy timid courtier now complains that they want to lead an army. Your hated enemies pop up telling you how great you are. And the game gets bonus points for ripping off the "7 deadly sins and 7 virtues" from CK. Only, as with everything else in the game, implementing them worse. All get a bonus for people with the same sin. So Greedy people like greedy people. Envious people like envious people. WTF is that about? Sums up what an incoherent mess this game is.
Don't be fooled for one second the hype that "Old World is the NEW GENERATION of 4X!!!!". It's a routine, just about competent but uninspiring rehash of features and tropes seen in every 4X since the dawn of time. It adds nothing to the genre. Late game grind. Snowballing always wins. It's all there. Did I mention modifiers? It's like they've just been invented, thousands of them filling the screen so one wrong mouse move and your screen is filled with lists like an actuareis spreadsheet. if you're going to blatantly copy, at least improve it, polish it, don't make it worse. It looks like the design was a list of "Features that are popular with the masses" cobbled together. Religion? "I know, +10 to those with same religion, -10 for those with different religion." Because Christians always get along with other Christians? As everything else in this game, it's a lazy, uninspiring rehash. Just takes a few hours in to see it, though.
The historical flavour is minimal when it's not absurd. States that didn't exist at the same time, all thrown together in a way that could only appear "historical" to those who know less than nothing of history. By doing a search and replace on the game text, it could be a Medieval game. Or a Sci-fi game...what's the betting they do this next? I thought Humankind was a failure, but in contrast, Humankind deserve way more credit than Old World because at least Humankind genuinely tries new ideas and has innovations. Old World plays like a Civ 5 Mod. Civ 5 with some dumb random events added in - and all the fun bits modded out. BTW For Ancient era historical TBS with genuine innovative game mechanics that capture the feel of the historical era, Field of Glory: Empires wipes the floor with Old World, get that instead.
I loved Civ 4, was expecting more from Soren Johnsen, but this looks a cash-in thinking that awkwardly bolting 2 big sellers together would hit the jackpot. As if because curry is popular and everybody loves ice-cream, hey "Curried Ice-Cream will make us rich, I tell you". Old World is curried ice-cream, it's even the same colour!