HUGE MEGA shout out to PRIMA INTERACTIVE for this one, they took ME WAAAAAAAY back to when I was younger, did I really just say that out loud? Anyway, I was very excited to play this game as the last Civilization game I played….was 1…YES, people the original 8-bit graphics and weird noises. In case it hasn’t become clear, I've been playing the latest and greatest to the civilization family…Civilization 6.
Remembering what the game was like back when you started off with a wagon and a dream, you find a place to settle and begin your adventure, you would need to ensure you have enough food for your people, then construct various building to satisfy the needs of your people, be it a granary to store their food, a barracks to protect them from pirates and then an aqueduct to help them fight fires, and so much more but those buildings were necessary to keep just 1 city happy….the name of the game is to expand your empire and have many cities across the globe. Each city will need some attention to ensure its continued growth and happiness, but more cities mean more revenue and more revenue means easier gameplay so be ye benign or malign? Good or bad? Tax your people heavily or let them prosper under minimal taxation, the choice is never permanent you can always adjust the rate later.
All the while your expanding your empire and finding new resources and areas of interest, other nations are doing the same, the moment you meet another nation's unit you will be introduced to their leader, now civilization is quite humorous with whom they have running each nation, for example Cleopatra is the leader of Egypt, Queen Elizabeth for England and Teddy Roosevelt for America and there are a whole host of other nations that will either play nice….or wage war. But for the most part everyone is quite friendly, and the scale of friend or foe is often decided by the Strongest nation, which brings us to one of my favorite parts of the game, NOT IMMORTAL COMBAT (TM patent pending), but yes the combat system, I'm still talking old school CIV here people I haven’t gotten to the juicy sweet nectar that is CIV 6 yet, besides constructing buildings to keep your cities happy, you will need to train Military units to defend your cities, AHAAAAA there's a twist ladies and Gents, another main focus of the game is to progress through histories various eras, from stone age to bronze to modern and beyond, you will be given a list of options to research each with its own benefits and unlocks a certain building or unit to create furthering your advancement. And with advancements comes the wonders of the words, which can be built in a city and have a certain aspect greatly boosted, didn't I mention city aspects? No? well ok then ill take your word for it, cities have different aspects which help it flourish, production, culture, faith, and gold are what makes or breaks a city, as your citizens will demand that each aspect be fully attended and if not, then the city will start to lose momentum in development, "LET THEM HAVE CAKE", I'm sure someone famous said that, and I'm sure everyone was happy, who doesn't love cake?
The map is navigated by a “tiled” map, which means, adjacent hexagonal tiles make up the map and movement was determined by how may “tiles” would/ could be crossed, more advanced or mobile units could move farther than normal ones allowing them to traverse the map quickly,
In its 8 bit style combat was pure and simple my block with a picture of a man on a horse versus your block with a picture of a man with a bow, the attacker would connect the blocks and the system would calculate who would win, this is based on the units attack power and damage, whichever unit was stronger would generally win, not to say that you will ALWAYS win, I remember being a highly advanced nation with tanks and planes and feeling pretty good about myself, I come across this poor little village on my now almost dominated continent and I thought to myself “puny insect I will now crush your insolence with my mighty tank” and my tank then perished to a bow and arrow unit….. I knew exactly how all the crew on the Deathstar felt, I continued to nuke the town twice for good measure.
And if world domination isn’t your thing then you could try the peaceful way and sign peace treaties with all your fellow nations, indulging in trade and exchanging technologies, and betting the lives of all nations, but this too could crumble if your “Allies” gain the upper hand and decide to destroy you instead, always make sure YOU are the strongest nation, other nations will follow you and dare not challenge you. The peaceful way is also less troubling in the sense that no one really wants to be friends with the bully, they will scold you and resent you for being a warmonger….I Just remind them why I’m top dog and they all play nice again.
There are in my opinion 2 objectives in the game, either destroy all other nations OR be the first civilization to advance to the space age, where you colonize the stars with your nation’s people. Both are acceptable ends so go with whatever you feel is right, even if it means smiting an entire nation right off the face of the earth, obliterate their history and wipe their existence from memory!!!! Or be the good guy and help everyone to the final stage of space exploration.
Now that we have the basic game idea lets skip leaps and bounds ahead to CIV 6 and all its glory, the game stays true to its roots with there being multiple nations and eras to advance through, expanding quickly and developing new technologies, BUT and this is a huge but, haha I said butt, they did something amazing THEY UPPED THE GRAPHICS, *gasp*, who would’ve thought, well yes we all knew we would be seeing, in my opinion, a very visually stunning game.
The map is littered with various resource tiles, some are basic and some are luxurious which means they are a valuable trading commodity, but you will need the basics in order to survive Farms and mines to produce food and production points, the higher your production points the quicker it is to construct buildings or train units, this is vital to advance quickly as slow-moving cities fall behind in the ever going march of time. The in-game system alerts you to a certain problem within a certain city, for example, you will be told if there is insufficient housing for your people or not enough food, or if the people get……bored…well not bored per say, but they will demand more amenities or stuff for them to do, now I know how my mother felt, “MOM I'm hungry”, “MOM I'm bored”, excuse me I think I need to call my mom.
The combat system has also been vastly vamped up and now is very entertaining to watch, your units are no longer blocks smashing into each other, they are now, actual representations of their “real world” counterparts, be it units with clubs that run towards enemy and swing like pro stars, or musket men who fire their flintlocks, it is very fun to watch the units fight each other. There are 3 kinds of units which are pretty obvious given what they are, Ground, Aerial and naval, let it be noted that your ground units can traverse the sea but will be at a combat disadvantage. But apart from the basics of the combat, there are other actions your units can take such as, Fortify, which anchors the unit in place boosting its defensive rating, or if your unit has just emerged from a skirmish then you can Fortify heal, where the units will starting regenerating lost health, or they can “sleep” which just makes the unit inactive in place but whenever you require them to follow another instruction you can simply “wake up” the unit and they will be available to move again.
Military units will also have a range which they can attack from, your melee units will need to be adjacent or next to the tile which the enemy is on, ranged units (pending unit) will have a range of 1 or 2 tiles, however, the tiles must follow a straight line, this means you can’t attack in a J or L Pattern, this makes the player think strategically about unit placement to make use of all units available.
Not all units are available immediately even after unlocking the technology for it, some units require a certain resource and in the upper techs, a specific building, once the technology is unlocked that resource will appear on a tile on the map which you will need to build on to utilize it, you will need horses to be able to create cavalry, iron to create knights, and so the list continues.
The game also allows you to run a certain style of government, which then allows you to put in place “policies” which are a whole lot of cards detailing certain benefits to your empire, it can be military, diplomatic or economic. And each type of government allows you to put into place one or more of a certain kind of policy, this allows you to promote your play style and boosts areas which you need to further your agendas.
A very critical in-game mechanic, in my opinion, is trade, you can trade with other nations for resources, works of art or even straight-up cash. You can also make demands of your “neighbors”, demands of whatever they have that you want, Why you bully me? This can lead to growing a relationship or starting to turn one into a reason to declare war. Besides trade there is another thing you want that your enemy has….information, you will need to train a spy (later game unit) who you can send to infiltrate an opposing nations city, while stationed they provide you with a view of the map which your “host” city occupies, and can be given certain missions to accomplish, be it, steal funds or technology, steal works of art, or create a rebellion within the city, All of which provide you with an upper hand.
And all this can be made that much more fun in multiplayer, challenge your friends to a world domination race or face off in world war the likes of which will shatter the stars and forever scar the friendship you once had, "AMANDA!! PLEASE TRADE SOME URANIUM WITH ME, I NEED IT FOR A UHHHH...CERTAIN PROJECT IM RUNNING".
With all the strategies, unhappy citizens, impending doom of a nuclear strike and the crippling NEED to keep ahead of all other nations, you can’t help but lose yourself in this timeless game, “just 30 minutes and I’m done” will be the most spoken words on your lips followed by “I started at 5, HOW THE HELL IS IT MIDNIGHT” which is accompanied by “ITS MIDNIGHT!! GET TO BED!!”.
Right, let's ask the hard-hitting questions. Is the game entertaining? a sound yes. Is the game replayable? Most definitely and circumstances are always different. Is the game for everyone? I would really have to say yes.
The enjoyment of the game and the visuals and the sheer replayability of this game earns it a well deserved 9/10 stars
Another huge thanks to PRIMA INTERACTIVE for the sponsor of this game and a chance to relive a childhood long forgotten