Fans have been eagerly awaiting the newest installment in Sid Meier’s Civilization series, with many having played it for over twenty years. The wait is now over for Civilization 6 and like most there is mostly positive things to say. While not much is actually new or that different what has been added has enhanced the gameplay exponentially.
The new map style and aesthetic adds a great feel of exploration and fits the game a lot better than the darker shading in Civilization 5 did.
One major hindrance that has continued on from the fifth installment is the game’s inability to run more than one battle at a time – making sieges excruciatingly long. When attempting to attack and take over a city or city state the turns can take an enormous amount of time to finish as you manually have to select each fight and wait for the animation to be completed one after another. This can be exceedingly lengthy when attempting a domination victory.
The AI is still much the same annoying and unforgiving historical figures you have come to love from the series. It is almost guaranteed that you shall never have a good game without them hating you for just being a better civilization. If you even have more great people in your civilization then they will denounce you. Strange. However the new animations feel more realistic than before, adding more weight and character to these historical figures.
The new district system creates a new balance between growth and development planning tactics from the previous games. Now you must give up farms and resources for housing and development in order to secure victory. Give up too much of your resources though and you might find yourself falling behind or missing that population growth you so desperately need.
The fight remains on several fronts, using the leader board you are able to see just how close to the main four victory conditions (Cultural, Religious, Domination and Science) this keeps you going and shows you just where you should hit your enemies to keep them behind.
Trading routes are now a major way to boost your civilisation and the main method of creating roads between cities. You may decide which city to send your trading unit to and decide which bonus will most benefit your playstyle.
Spies have been upgraded to be a major hinderance and major enhancement to gameplay. The level of control over your spies is now much more detailed and intricate. With the inclusion of arts and history works you can choose to steal other player’s treasures or even just steal large portions of income over a few turns. Technology secrets can still be stolen, along with the ability to use spies to defend your own itis and districts. This becomes increasingly important as spies can now sabotage districts which will then take some turns and production to repair. Whilst on the verge of a scientific victory every AI player had their spies sabotaging my production/industrial district to slow down the production of my mars orbit reactor – the last piece before my victory. If my own spies weren’t protecting this district then I may have been locked into a loop of repairing that district and attempting to build the reactor before being stopped and having to repair the industrial district AGAIN.
Archeology has now been added and is a crucial part of the cultural victory requirements. By finding artifacts in the specific resource titles with the Archeologist unit (which can be used three times). Historical lessons in games are always a big plus.
Builders now have only three uses intally, until upgraded to a maximum of 5, this mean you will be making a lot of these units now that they have an maximum number of uses. As your borders grow the need to cultivate the new areas need to be worked, having an extra city with the main output being a constant stream of builders can keep your civilization on top.
It’s the same game as it has always been with just a few changes here and there, and yes these changes may be what sells it for some forking out such a high price for a few alterations and new graphics just might not be worth it. If you look at your steam account and the number of hours next to Civilization 5 has three digits or more then this is the game for you, if not then I recommend going back and considering if you’ve exhausted Civilization 5 enough to warrant an upgrade.
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PC, OS X
Review copy provided by the publisher