Civilization has been around for more than twenty years. Newly released Civilization VI looks very familiar to veteran players with its sprawling maps, eager stabs at political intrigue, simmering disapproval that boils over into skirmishes, or if you so desire, starts a world war, but it’s the subtle changes that changes the flow and experience of the game. The focus is on planning and lining up various different pieces so that it all comes together turn after turn. It feels less like a slow march through a warbled version of history, where London builds the Pyramids and Stonehenge sits on a cliffside in Italy and more like setting up a huge game of dominoes and hoping lack of foresight doesn’t spoil the end result.
I love it’s homage to history, it’s pliability that allows me to recreate my own version of civilization and it is I, as Queen Victoria, who places the Pyramids, Stonehenge and the Hanging Gardens in a semi-circle around my London. It’s a beautifully made game eager to swallow up dozens of hours and I am happy to obliged. Time spent on Civilization always feel like time well spent to me and in Civ VI, even the little nuisances aren’t there. I never felt
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Firaxis Games is an American video game developer founded in 1996 by Sid Meier, Jeff Briggs, and Brian Reynolds when they left MicroProse.They have since been acquired byTake-Two Interactive, Firaxis is best known for its Civilization series of games, though it has had success with the XCom series as well.
Civilization VI has a traditional Civ-game design. Small changes have been made – workers are now called builders and have a limited amount of improvements they can make, buildings and wonders now occupy a city tile, the map is displayed as parchment and once explored, shown as an iconic cartography-style map and only territory where units or cities are present is rendered with colour and animation. These are just a small number of obvious, visual changes made, many more liven up Civilization and make it a whole new game for veteran players who thrive on the plotting and scheming required to advance.
My only objection is that it feels slightly limited – some of the more flexible features have been removed – such as the ability to rename things – which I found a little disappointing.
It is an information-heavy game, but fiddle around with the UI and it’s easy to find everything that is important at your fingertips. The encyclopedia is helpful and the tutorial is comprehensive. Most of the game is not played within the menu-system, but on the board on a turn-by-turn basis.
- Genre: Strategy game
- Target age: Teens, Adults, Older adults.
- PEGI 12/ESRB E10+
Environment & People
Civilization VI carries the customary price tag for a new game, around the £40-49 mark, which is a fair price for a newly released AAA title. It is one of the longer games – it takes around 20 hours from start to victory – and it has high replayability for strategy game enthusiasts. There isn’t a Civ game that I haven’t logged triple digits in hours on and I have played them all. Prices will come down – they always do for games – but for those who want to play it now, it’s an excellent title made to a high standard deserving of its full retail value.
Platforms: PC, Mac
Layout: Map-based game
Length of game: 20+ hours
Number of players: single player, multiplayer
Difficulty settings: Multiple modes
* User skills: It is an information-heavy, fairly complex strategy game and newcomers are advised that it will take some time, experimentation and a lot of reading through menus and the built-in game encyclopedia to master.
Recommended system requirements
OS: Windows 7×64 / Windows 8.1×64 / Windows 10×64
Processor: Fourth Generation Intel Core i5 2.5 Ghz or AMD FX8350 4.0 Ghz or greater
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: 2GB & AMD 7970 or nVidia 770 or greater
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 12 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Device
Additional Notes: Initial installation requires a one-time Internet connection for Steam authentication.
Civilization VI is a gem. I love it’s homage to history, it’s pliability that allows me to recreate my own version of civilization and it is I, as Queen Victoria, who places the Pyramids, Stonehenge and the Hanging Gardens in a semi-circle around my London. It’s a beautifully made game eager to swallow up dozens of hours and I am happy to oblige. Time spent on Civilization always feel like time well spent to me and in Civ VI, even the little nuisances aren’t there. I never felt that it was wasting my time with repetitive actions or dragging its feet to keep me at the keyboard longer.
It allows swift strokes, quick decisions and with multiple timers, multiple players and multiple directions it tried to pull me in, turns went by quickly. As much as I loved other Civ games, I spent a lot of time in the beginning and at the end just hitting Enter repeatedly as I waited for cities to complete building and units to finish their manoeuvres. I spent big chunks of the game orchestrating a large workforce, then gave up and automated them which always made me felt as if I was relinquishing an element in the design of my country. No more. Civ 6 is all about strategy and planning, it is detail oriented without mindless repetition and watching all the pieces of string I unravel fold together is marvellous.
It is more complex than most games, but not fiendishly difficult, neither dominated by numbers and menus. It has a graded tutorial system, multiple difficulty levels and many supportive features to welcome new players and veterans alike.
The review is based on Civilization VI (single player) kindly provided by Firaxis. This article was first published on 1 November 2016.