From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
The next instalment in the Civilization series is almost out, and the previews and in full swing. I’ve seen a lot of the new changes now in articles and videos, and for the most part I like what I see. Here is my top 6 list of changes for this sixth Civilization title.
1 The map
The map in Civilization VI has a radically different art style, but that is not that I want to talk about. The map has three modes of appearance; explored and visible, explored and not visible, and unexplored. All three can be seen in the screenshot below:
In Paris and its surrounds, the colours and clean and bright. The unexplored areas a like a scroll yet to be filled in. The explored but not visible areas are halfway between the two. Sepia colours and pencil-style sketches show where resources and landmarks lie. I like it.
2. New Civs
The starting roster for this game is the most interesting I have seen. As well as the Civs we have come to expect (US, England, France, Japan) there are a number of new Civs including some never before seen (outside of mods).
For me the most interesting are Scythia (pictured above), Sumer, and Norway. I will chose one of these three for my first play through of the game, but I’m not sure which.
3. Tech boosts
Scientific discoveries in the early game can be laborious to achieve. With a low scientific output, waiting 10 or 15 turns between discoveries is not unusual. Enter tech boosts. In Civ VI, when you do something related to a tech, you receive a boost, even if you have yet to start researching that tech.
For example, if you settle a city on the coast, you’ll receive a boost to sailing as your people wonder what to do about the big blue wobbly thing next door. Any requirements for a boost will be given under the description of that tech, allowing you to get a head start, or take advantage of your starting position to move along your research.
4. Policy cards
Styles of government in Civ VI looks like its own sub-game. Different policies allow you to mix and match cards to give you the bonuses you want, when you want them. These cards can be swapped in and out as they become available, and different styles of government allow for a different mix of cards.
5. Wonderful wonders
One thing that has improved over previous titles is the graphical representation of great winders. These now occupy an entire tile and have had a large amount of detail lavished upon them. It is not difficult to pick out Stonehenge, The Oracle, and the Colossus in this screenshot:
Wonders now occupy an entire tile, meaning you’ll have to spread them between your cities if you want to catch them all, and balance grabbing early game wonders against not having the right cities for mid and late game wonders to slot into.
6. feature rich
Religion, culture, and the number of civs in this release are all high on the scale. After playing Civ V for many years, it was easy to forget how comparatively feature light it was on release. After two major expansions the game achieved a high level of depth and quality. Civ VI seems to have achieved this on launch day. No doubt more features and official civs are coming, but I’m happy with what is being served up for starters.
Are you looking forward to this game? Or do some of the changes represent a change too far for your liking?