Civilization VI was first released on 21st October 2016 and has been a massive success of the series. Released on XBox One, PS4 and PC the game has such potential for the future and infinite hours of game play at your disposal.
The game itself is a turn based, strategy game and world builder. It takes most of its design elements from real life itself. One of the key features I really enjoy is everything from its world leaders you can play as, to the wonders you can build, to the units you build and the research you uncover; all of which are provided with a full real life history of the subjects. The shear scale of this game is a wonder in itself.
Whilst no set story, you essentially create your own. You choose which civilization you wish to play as, each coming with their own unique perks. From there you enter the game in 4000BC, typically with a club man and a settler. You must build a city with the settler and explore or defend that land as you gradually grow your civilization in a randomly generated world.
Will you be a leader who favours military might and domination? Or a pacifist who prefers to focus on the growth of their culture and art? Maybe you want to found a religion and spread this religion across the world? Better yet, maybe you wish to focus on your colleges and universities to become a pioneer of science! Or perhaps, a mix of all the above. The path you can walk is entirely up to you as a player.
Of course, you can build as many cities as you wish, though this will take time, and expanding quickly can worry the other AI nations who may consider you a threat to their own agenda. Was is not inevitable, but being ready for it isn’t a bad idea.
This game in the series has really improved its multiplayer capabilities. From the cloud mode, where it will allow each player their turn over time and you’ll be notified when its your round so you can get on with other things in the meantime, to working with your friends there and then, ending turns at the same time.
You can team up, or be apart. You can rival one another too if you wish. I personally feel working as a team is far more enjoyable of an experience as you can bounce off one another for aid as needed too.
There are 2 major expansions. One which focuses on adding new elements of city influence and flipping based on which nation is having a greater impact on them. The 2nd adds a much desired natural distasters update. There is little reflection of these tragic events we see in real life being reflected in game, but the ‘Gathering Storm’ expansion addresses this well. Including you as a world leader being accountable for your own environmental impact.
From May 2020 to May 2021, there will be 6 smaller expansions as part of the New Frontier, presumably this will be adding more and more civilisations (including current expansions, we’re already at 45 leaders!)
I started off playing the Japanese, I liked their bonus to build districts in half the time. In my mind, this would mean I could expand in whichever field I wanted. I was playing with a team mate too, playing Greece.
Starting out, everything was going well, we were playing on 1 of several continents but of course we did not know who else might be there and present.
600 turns later…
We as a team united with a couple of city states (independent powerhouses that are self-maintained and handy allies) were quite a force to be reckoned with. We had to ‘remove’ Gandhi early on. He is known as quite a peaceful AI early game, but also a little nuke happy late game, and we wanted to avoid that eventuality.
Then I was able to found a religion, with the resources to make it powerful. For most of the 600 turns, I spread the faith far and wide on the continent until it became the only faith on our part of the world.
Some disagreed with this agenda. Alexander the Great soon met his end, having tried constantly to expand. He surrounded my own land, with religion and borders too tight, something had to give.
Lastly, Catherine De Medici of France. We haven’t yet decided to remove her, though it would be nice to have the continent safe in our control. She does declare war on us every so often, but she is too poor with too few units to every make a significant impact.
The amazing thing is, yes, we are 600 turns in… out of 1500! There are still 3 other nations at work on the other continent! Myself and my team mate decided to have a marathon length game, and at this rate we’re likely to be quite the powerhouse. I would not be able to predict what will be in store next time we sit down and play it. As of right now, I am enjoying peacetime and focusing on what is now a vast empire of cities, some build myself, others, conquered.
Complexity = 8 / 10
A bit of a brain teaser, nothing too complicated but it’s a civ management game, with a lot of strategy and choice making. Weighing up these decisions and its impacts can have far reaching and long lasting effects to consider.
Story = 9 / 10
A high rating because you really build your own story. You naturally grow attached to your cities, your heroic units. The game takes you down a path like few other games ever do. Once your sat looking at your capital city, with cars and light, and planes defending your skies, knowing you started with a club man is massively satisfying.
Gameplay = 10 / 10
There is so much to be learned from this game about the real history of our world. That said the gameplay elements are smooth, clean and executed with a natural flow. I cannot fault this game which is ultimately in an unchallenged league of its own.
Online = 9 / 10
I feel that the multiplayer aspect is only another great addition to the game. Only reason I didn’t give it a 10/10 is because I feel that even in teams, players should get individual choices on things such as joining in a war or not. It would hard to be a pacifist if working with someone wanting a domination victory!
Overall = 10 / 10
An amazing game, I rarely dish out the 10/10 for overall, but this game deserves more love than it gets. Its available on PC, Xbox One and PS4 which is a first for the series. It has so much hidden potential and provides literally endless hours of enjoyment. Each ‘game’ can take days to finish, and can be completed in so many ways. I doubt there is someone who has played every leader and completed it in every way with all of them! I cannot recommend this game enough. I’m a very keen strategy game player, and Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is by far one of the best around.