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Tested: Sid Meiers’ Civilization VI

Sid Meier.
If you don’t know the name…shame on you.
But if you grew up in the ’90s and loved playing the Civilization games he made, then read on. Because I am gonna tell you about my first experience with Civ VI

The History of Civilization

civ-6-ruler

The Chinese ruler according to CIV VI: Cartoonesque Stereotype (in-game screenshot)

His first game Civilization was an instant hit. For the first time ever could we rule as supreme king or emperor, and conquer the world! Civilization did a great job at balancing the citybuilding, science progress and military activities. “Just one more turn” hasn’t become an semi-official Civ-slogan for nothing. Too bad that “one more turn” always ended up in a nocturnal session of gaming followed by a sleep-deprived day at school…

With every new installment of the Civilization franchise, the game got better. Graphics improved, gameplay got tweaked, users were heard. Civilization became affectionately known as Civ, an abbreviation the publisher took over.

The Force of the Sixth

And then there was the amazingly gorgeous Civ V. An amazing game. The ultimate civ-game. Could there ever be a better game?

Well… the guys are giving it a shot with Civ 6. I had the privelige of trying the demo. So what’s it like? Is it time to buy the next one, or am I gonna keep on playing CIV V and wait for… I dunno… CivIX or something?

A broken trend

civ-6-unit

Military unit in Civilization VI

First thing I notice is that CIV has clearly broken with the trend towards higher realism. This becomes evident immediately when starting the game. You meet, well, yourself. But in the shape of a ruler. In my case, the ruler of China. No added realism this time. Instead, the ruler looks cartoonesque and somewhat stereotypical. Rather dissappointing, really.

That first impression is enforced upon seeing my first units. More cutification. And the landscape has become less realistic. It’s as if I am playing some form of Farm-CityState-Ville or something. Bwegh.

A cheerful Civilization

On the upside, the game does look bright and cheerful, which could be a good thing to the audience used to playing games on their phone. Although one can only wonder whether that audience is going to dish out the large sum of cash that this game will cost you.

Also, the helpbubbles are very clean and clear to read. This makes the game playable for those who grew up with Civilization and are slowly getting towards the age of needing reading glasses…

CIV-VI-fog-of-war

Reinventing the Fog of War

Best Fog of War ever

One graphical touch I really love is the fog of war. In the old versions, the tiles you could see would be bright and clear, whereas the tiles you could not see would be shaded. And that’s it. Not in this version. In Sid Meiers’ Civilization IV the Fog of War is made visible in the style of ancient maps. A nice find indeed!

New City Management

So now to gameplay. Well, it is unusual. In Civilization VI, buildings aren’t trapped in the city center anymore as we have grown used to. Instead, we can build our improvements around the territory linked to the city. So that makes spatial planning so much more important. Some buildings are also more suited for certain types of tiles. As your city grows, you can get more districts, which means you can build more buildings. So city growth is more important than ever before. The setup somewhat reminds me of what the guys of the Total War-franchise did when introducing Empire:Total War.

No more free roaming scouts

One of the features I loved in Civ V is that you can just select a unit and tell them to go and explore. They’d systematically move around the map, collecting valuable information. Alas, this is no longer possible in Civilization VI. Gone is the era of fire-and-forget units…

Final Verdict on Civilization

Civ-6-advisor

The advisors are scaringly cartoonesque too, but at least they help us learn about the game. (Ingame screenshot)

If this were a new game, this would probably be an awesome game. But it isn’t a new game. It is the 6th in a series of ever improving games. And with each next episode, the Civ-franchise has built upon existing expectations. And delivered upon those expectations. So it is obvious that the Civ-fan would have high expectations of this one. But Civilization IV does not deliver upon the expectations. Instead of increased realism, it has given us a somewhat dumbed down game. A happier game, which makes me feel as if I am slowly returning to Kindergarten.

But of course, I am a hardcore fan. It is hard to impress a hardcore fan. For a newcomer to the series, Civ VI might just be heaven. Just like V has been for me. Personally, I am going to stick to V. But if you want to buy Sid Meiers’ Civ VI, then you can buy CIV VI on Amazon.

2 Comments

  • March 27, 2017 - 7:33 am | Permalink

    So…from what I read, I think I will recomand it to my children because they love all this kind of games
    Actually, I might be interested because I spend lots of time between jobs doing quite nothing 😛

    • Frindividual
      March 27, 2017 - 11:43 am | Permalink

      Yes, it’s not unlikely they are aiming at the new generation.

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