Civilization 6 Review
Civilization 6 is the brand new turn-based 4X strategy title from developer Firaxis Games. The game follows in the footsteps of some of the best games of the genre, so hopes were certainly high when initially loading the game. Thankfully those expectations were more than met. As a result, Civilization 6 is a game where players around the world will be trading, negotiating, fighting and even praying together for a long time.
Straight away we have to talk about the art style of Civilization 6. The unexplored sections of the map are displayed as blank parchment, with watercolour depictions of mythical animals, such as a colorful kraken, dotted across its surface. Even when locations have been scouted the fog of war again utilizes this watercolour parchment style to paint over what the player last saw in that location. It’s a nice step based system that keeps flowing across the screen: Vivid colors of the areas currently visible, surrounded by faded parchment like colours on blank parchment of areas still to be mapped. The map even grows as you start to venture out and discover the extent of the land masses and the enemies you face.
Watercolour aside, the city and district models have seen a big increase in quality. Countless times I have been thankful that Civilization 6 is turn-based. This is due to the tiny details, such as a jousting match taking place, drawing my attention away from the gameplay completely. If this was a real-time game, I would be at a serious disadvantage due to the eye-candy distractions.
Alongside the visuals another advancement in presentation can be heard. The tracks seamlessly roll on in the background and this helps advance the overall feel of the title. A central evolving theme, that runs throughout each game, includes layers which build up as the player advances through the eras: Coming together to make something which is a pleasant, non-obtrusive, soundtrack.
While Civilization 5 unstacked units, Civilization 6 goes one step forward and unstacks entire cities. Instead of cramming everything in, cities have burst and overflowed into nearby tiles. These districts in turn offer bonuses when on certain terrain types. This makes it a slightly deeper system, with placement occasionally becoming a trade-off. Do you go for the safety of having an important district adjacent to the walled city or sprawled further away on a more beneficial terrain type? On top of this, some districts offer bonuses based upon what they are connected to and certain wonders must be placed adjacent to specific districts or to the city walls.
The land type system works well with this district style. As well as limiting unit movement, as they venture across various terrain types, it also encourages players to pick the location that they settle more wisely by making them think about the surrounding hexagons. One tip that has come apparent is, if it is possible build your initial city within 3 hexagons distance from a coast tile. This unlocks another avenue for you to gain resources early on and makes the journey to other land masses later in the game a lot easier.
There has always been a depth to Civilization titles however a new wave of complexity has been added in this installment. This isn’t to say the game is harder as a result. Instead it unlocks a greater potential for players to tweak and customize elements such as governments and research technologies. This can allow completely differing experiences and styles from individual leaders. Buildings and districts are also tied into technologies, meaning players will have to choose to aim for short term or long term goals, in turn effecting the outcome of the game.
Even the changes to the governance system allows for a greater level of micromanagement than before. Thankfully, players don’t have to constantly play around with this to win. I found it almost as easy leaving them for long periods at a time, but they can help driving your culture or economy to get the maximum out of every city. This allows you to, at only a small cost, change direction on the fly: switching from giving gold bonuses for trade routes to speeding up troop build times. It is another way the game will make the player question their choices.
Civilization 6 Review,