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‘Civilization 5′ coming later this year

Few game franchises own my soul the way Sid Meier’s “Civilization” series does. I have spent more hours in front of my laptop clicking through campaigns in “Civilization IV” and its numerous expansion packs than just about any console game not named “Fallout 3.”

So you can imagine my excitement when I read this news on Gamespot — 2K and developer Firaxis Games are hard at work on “Civilization 5” and the title is on track to ship this fall. Few details are known about “Civ 5,” but the game will be utilizing an all-new engine featuring a hexagonal play grid — a first in the series.

With a new “Halo” title, “God of War 3,” “Alan Wake” and others coming this year, 2010 was already shaping up to be a great year for gaming. But “Civ 5” just jumped to the top of my “Most Wanted” list.