The philosophy for the designers was “make a significant decision every turn”. But what didn’t occur to them was that in order to do that they would have to drain the significance of all the decisions in the game. The decisions wind up not really mattering. The desire to interrupt turns with pointless decision making motivates an awful lot of bad gameplay.
This is where all that inane firehose of diplomatic babble comes from, the repeating trade route issues, the repeating spy assignment issues, the meaningless tech tree choices in a tree that’s so narrow and cross-dependent you have to learn everything anyway. If I could press a permanent “fuck you” button for all diplomatic interactions to skip them all I would happily do so. Combine all that with the computer being quite unable to play its own game either in city design and planning or in army coordination and what’s the point really?
All things considered it’s a watered-down, denatured, and fundamentally uninteresting retread of a game, and moreover devoid of the stylized charm, personality, and fun fluff of some of the earlier games.