When it comes to turn-based strategy games there is no popular grand master series than civilization. This strategy franchise has been around for a quarter of a century and has seen spin-offs such as Alpha Centauri, Colonization and more recently Beyond Earth. That’s not even counting the numerous mods and scenarios out there either. It was a long wait for the 6th version of the base game civilization but it is finally here.
Firaxis pulled out all the stops in this release by completely overhauling the graphics into a more cartoon look but at the same time with more vivid colors and a lot more animations. The graphic details are unlike any civilization before it. You really have to see it to believe it. Beyond just the improved graphics there have been several major changes to the base gameplay that add new dimensions to the player’s decision making on every turn.
If you are a previous player of Civilization the in-game advisor should be enough to get you through the new stuff needed to learn. If you are completely new to civilization it’s going to be highly recommended that you read the game’s manual before playing or you will likely be lost.
Now on to the good stuff. Let’s see what’s new in Civilization 6. One of the most game-changing additions is the fact that cities now have districts that perform certain tasks. So as your city expands you get to determine the primary function of each new District. There’s also an entirely new separate technology tree for Cultural and Civic advances that directly correlate to helping you forge a customized government to your liking.
The new tech tree definitely has a bit of a learning curve and adds a new complexity that is welcome in civilization 6. The game also places a much larger focus on the terrain versus previous versions. You’re going to want to study the terrain tiles carefully in order plan your cities expansion the right way.
The new diplomacy in Civilization 6 also offers an additional layer of depth over the previous games. AI leaders now have agendas that are able to be uncovered through spying or improved relations. This new insider information in diplomacy will allow you to find out what the AI leader specifically likes or dislikes. With this useful information, it is possible to stay on everybody’s good side if that is your goal. This also takes out a lot of the guesswork out of what will make the other civilizations upset unlike the previous versions of civ.
In the tactical Arena civilization, 6 units now have the ability to stack additional support units such as generals and medics into a single tile. In the more modern eras, there’s also the option to create more powerful combat units by stacking two or three armies. This adds an entirely new dimension to the strategy of an offensive or defensive campaign.
Firaxis held nothing back in the new musical score for civilization 6 either. Every civilization has a historically accurate melody that progresses from simplistic in the early eras to a more sophisticated cultural appropriate music in the middle ages and modern era.
If you thought you wasted an insane amount of your time playing civilization 5 just wait until you start civilization 6. The depth and complexity of the base game alone feel like it already ships with a full expansion and adds to the fact that the first Civ 6 expansion is due to be released in February of 2018. This may go down in history as the best of civilization game ever. Long live Civ!