Why should you buy the game? Maybe because you want to? That seems like a good reason. Ok kidding aside, it all depends on what you want? I just have made a post a few weeks ago just asking what you did. I asked Brad if he recomends the game now, when before he said to stay away.
I was so shocked with his candor, and honesty, I went and go the game. Am I disapointed? No. Do I think it's a great or awsome game? No. It's an ok game, which for me at least, I never have done before so it is something new and fun.
What I like is I can customoize my "Soverieng" or main unit to what I want. It is like a roll playing game the way he/she is upgraded. Combat is a bit better than the Civ series and you can customize your units to what you want. There is alot of research and the tech tree is better than Civ V. I still don't understand how it works exactly, but I think it's something like MOO II mixed in with Alpha Centouri, that you research something say (sorry forget the names and this is wrong but you get the idea) Agriculture/Mining. So once you research something, you pick either Farming, Mining or banking. Once you pick them, you go to the next level. I am not sure if you can go back to mining if you picked farming, since I am brain dead sometimes.
Combat is not ping pong ball combat, you pick a unit and tell it to attack what ever unit you want. It is not really exciting like in Moo or MOO II but better than Civ.
The game is a little bland or boring. By that, I mean while the art work is nice, the land scape seems empty. It's like something is missing but I can't put my finger on it. I wish there was something more. I guess where you can say Civ IV can sometimes be too cluttered with trees/forests and jungles, Elemental, is too uncluttered, or nothing there. The trees don't really look like massive forests. Water or the seas is nothing there. So far I haven't seen any fish or clams or anything like that to birghten it up. I guess when you have a Farm, it's very scattered, and you don't make them like in Civ.
But graphics is not everything. Masters of Orion, the first one, was just ok, but it was one of the most fun games ever. I rather have game play over graphics any day. So far, I am enjoying the game. I am sure I can have be having more fun, BUT, I am enjoying the game more than I am with Civ V. With Civ V, 2K/Firaxis hyped it up so much, that it didn't deliever. I guess, with the low expectations for Elemental, that with 1.11, my expectations are better.
Hopefully a demo will be out for you to try. As I said before, how can you not support someone who admitted they screwed up, they said they are sorry, and for people who bought the game when it came out, is giving them free expansions, and saying not to buy his game back then, how can you not just support the guy? Like I said before, I asked him now, and he ANSWERED. Where else do you see the CEO answer a persons question if his game is any good. The game is $40 off Impulse now, so I took the chance to get it. Yes it can be better but I don't regreat buying it.
Another thing is the manual is not that good. Game is hard to learn, but we have a great community here on the forums so if you buy the game and need help, ask here and you will have your answers in a few hours to a day. Great community indeed.
So I would say get the game, if you want something new. While you will not get the free expansions (I will not either) I believe when the first expansion comes out, we are told that we will get a discount. How true is this, I am not sure. But if you want a city builder game, where you can customize your troops like Alpha Centarui, then I say take the risk.
Then again, with the title. "Why should I buy the game?" seems a little harsh, it should be rephrased "Should I buy the game?" I think you should not get the game and wait. Again, you buy a game because you want to, not because you have to. Other wise you will have a mess like Civ V where critics say "You should buy the game" which is completely wrong.