For nearly 30 years Civilization has plagued our gaming world, people have lost time, sleep and not to mention been frustrated, yet in love with a game so simple yet so incredible deep and time demanding it is sometimes hard to see how this game can be sold at a regular price and not a yearly amount. I have always felt somewhat guilty when asked how much time I have spent with a certain Civilization game, and I usually lie and tell them half of the time I have spent and they still think it is way too much, if they only knew... So you might have already guessed that I love this franchise, and have for a very long time so it was with fear and joy that I took it upon myself, in the most busy time of the year (Christmas) to review Civilization VI...
For those that might still live under a rock, Civilization is a turn-based strategy game in the Sid Meier’s franchise. The first Civilization released back in 1991 and since then we have been blessed (and cursed) with six numeric releases in the series but there has been numerous spin-offs and expansions released in between these releases. If you have played a game of Risk in your life you kind of know what Civilization is all about, because the similarities are definitely there, but Civilization adds so much more in both replay value and visual and the sound department, it is the rich man Risk if you will. If you are still unsure about this whole Civilization thing then go check out some of our previous reviews of Civilization games
The first game in the series was developed by Meier over at MicroProse, a studio he helped co-found, but after MicroProse got bought Meier took some designers with him and formed a new studio which we all know today as Firaxis Games. Known producers have spawned from this development team and other known franchises has been built, such as Age of Empire and Rise of Nations. As of November 2016, the series has shipped a stunning 37 million units total which in itself demands respect.
If you spent time with any of the expansions for Civilization V you might recognize some of it in Civilization VI as many of these mechanics has been reused but do not for one second think that this is an easy revamped version of V as Civilization VI “places more emphasis on the terrain by "unstacking" city improvements from the main city space and giving bonuses for placing improvements near certain terrains. Other new features include research on the game's technology tree based on nearby terrain, a similar technology tree for cultural improvements and a better government civics structure for those playing on a cultural victory path, and new artificial intelligence mechanics for computer-controlled opponents that include secret goals and randomized engagements to disrupt an otherwise stable game.” And if you have played a previous Civilization game you know that these tweaks, that might seem insignificant to some, are rather huge and completely revamps how you are used to play the earlier game without breaking the mould of what makes it such an amazing experience.
At first glimpse the games cartoonish graphics might trick you into believe this is a simple and kid friendly version, but in reality it is far from it and actually the complete opposite. The Civilization games has never been overwhelmingly difficulty but they tend to have you explore and read up to truly master all of the games mechanics to the fullest. And even though I have played these games since the early days there are still things for me to explore and learn each round I play. Truly one of those, easy to pick up and play but hard to master kind of deals.
The sound department has also put their heart and soul into this development as the music itself helps set the mood depending on what era you are currently in. And whenever you meet new people they speak in their native language and if that doesn't sell you over then how about having Sean Bean talking to you, I figured that would sell you on the idea of how grand this adventure truly is.
I could keep writing on and on about Civilization but it is one of those experiences where you probably already know if you are going to pick this up or not so let me just leave you with a few simple tips to ease your judgement. If you like Civilization you are going to absolutely love Civilization VI, if you are a fan of the series there is no question about getting this game. If you are new to the series but enjoy strategy games there is no better game for you than Civilization VI, trust me, this is the greatest strategy game out there right now, and maybe also the greatest Civilization game to date, and that my friends is saying a lot.