Community Review: Civilization 6

Image: Firaxis/2K

Last week got busy out of nowhere, didn't it? And part of that was partly thanks to Civilization 6, which has gotten a pretty good reception so far.

But what do you think?

The removal of stacking seems to be a big plus so far. Apart from carrying over the removal of stacking — but allowing support units to attach themselves — the introduction of more nuanced ways to conduct war has been welcomed particularly by those playing on the higher difficulties.

Sean Bean has gotten a good rap for his voice over work so far, although Natasha Loring shouldn't be overlooked either. Christopher Tin's theme isn't quite as good as Baba Yetu, but hot damn it's still fantastic:

The game's performance holds up pretty well too. PC Gamer found you could run the game on a laptop with integrated graphics, if you turned everything right down. The recommended specs are only a AMD FX 8350/Intel i5 2.5GHz CPU and a Radeon 7970/GeForce GTX 770, which should be no trouble for the vast chunk of gamers on Steam.

And the districts ... well, that's a change and a half. It's probably one of the biggest changes to the Civ series in quite a while. It makes the series perhaps the closest to a board game it's ever been, which might be a bit disappointing if you still hold the originals close to your heart.

It also means the learning curve is a lot steeper than it's traditionally been. Civ was always the epitome of "easy to learn, hard to master", and now that's not entirely the case. Fans who have stuck with the series for years shouldn't, and aren't, have any troubles picking the new mechanics.

But perhaps the greatest compliment I've seen across forums, social media and elsewhere, is that the latest Civ is forcing players to change the way they play.

And they're still enjoying it.

What about yourselves? How are you finding the latest iteration in the Sid Meier series?


Comments

    Haven't picked it up yet, but have they fixed the online multiplayer issues from previous civs?

      I'm not holding my breath. They put out a load of PR saying that multiplayer for CivBE was fixed and much better than CivV. It turned out to be much worse and not at all fixed (on top of CivBE not being very good).

      A couple of my group have bought CivVI because they like it for single player, but most of us aren't buying while the multiplayer is borked.

    Not a huge fan of the cartoony graphics, although there is more detail when you zoom in. Otherwise I still have mixed feelings about it. I can't decide if I prefer it to V. It does seem to have a lot of stuff that was not included in the base game of Civ 5

      A lot of the work from the Civ 5 expansions has carried over.

    I'm enjoying so far. Biggest shock to the system was the 3 use limit on Builders. For context, in Civ V you could simply build a villager, and they would stick around forever and build for you. Now, you have to plan when to buy/build them, which is a bit more of a challenge early game. Also, it makes Barbarians all the more annoying, since if they somehow slip past and nab your builder, you've just wasted that time/gold. I'm not saying this is a bad change, but it's just something to get used to.

    Otherwise I'm loving the art style, and the districts idea is really looking interesting. Oh and Sean Bean. :D

    So far my biggest gripe of all the other iterations has been fixed, we're not getting a stripped down version of the previous game. I'm loving this!!!

    So far the changes are good, districts take some getting used to but it's a welcome change in my opinion and makes the city building a bit more strategic. I'm liking the increased importance of trade routes, especially domestic. I'm really loving the difficulty of fending off Barbarians now! It's a bit of a shock but you really need to be prepared. It's also a great way of helping boost new cities if you have the resources to quickly buy a trader.

    The government and civics options are fantastic. I like that your culture output is now a separate tech tree like science and is just important to have a balanced civ. You can't just put all your eggs in one basket as much! I'm still on my first playthrough and on the final stretch. I honestly think it's worth playing through to the end even if your start wasn't great as it's still a good opportunity to learn a lot of the new features, understand the longterm effects of good city and district management, and also to see how the mid to late game mechanics have changed for the better (eg filling up museums with works of art and historic artifacts) as well as the politics options being expanded over the original iteration.

    I'm really looking forward to some more play throughs which will be faster as i won't be reading all the fluff, exploring options etc. I can already tell I'm going to lose a LOT of time to this :P

    Started a games yesterday and still getting used to mechanics. The whole district concept is messing with me atm. Pretty sure it will be the reign of Peter the not so great. So for me still too early to tell how much I like it and if it is a step up on Civ V or not.
    But considering I'm ready wiki during my lunch break I think it is pretty fair to say the hooks as getting deeper

    Last edited 24/10/16 12:19 pm

    I'm struggling a bit. It feels a bit too familiar, in a been there done that kinda way.

    I like the way cities expand, but fairly quickly the world becomes a bit of an incoherent mess. Tiles aren't sufficiently distinctive and blend together visually to the point where it all becomes a little overwhelming. Similarly, fog of war isn't sufficiently distinguished between never explored and not currently visible.

    AI is still dumb. In my first game, Brazil sent 20-30 warriors in my direction, where they largely minced up and down around my cities for dozens of turns, giving me plenty of time to tool up for a possible invasion. When the invasion inevitably came my 5 legionnaires made short work of the lot, and thereafter I absorbed Brazil into my mighty Roman empire with little further complaint.

    Some of the systems are interesting, and they do add the feel of emergent events, to a point, but only initially - all these systems are starting to expose their underlying structure a little too readily for my taste - I prefer things to have more of an organic feel without constant reminders that I probably should be better at min/maxing every stat and side system than I have the energy for.

    As has been noted before, the interface is pretty poor and a number of options don't work intuitively. For example, sending out trade caravans can't be done by just clicking on the map, you need to have both the correct menu up and then click a button higher up on the page after separately clicking on the city you want to send the caravan to.

    Also, I'm not looking forward to having to min/max my city designs. This was one of the problems I had with Endless Legend, and it's disappointing to see Civ turn city design into more of a puzzle game as well (make sure your farms are adjacent to maximise adjacency bonuses, destroy buildings you placed earlier because they are now in the way of other adjacency bonuses that have now emerged due to technological advancement).

    Overall, it's a highly competent iteration of the Civ formula, but there are more than enough annoyances here for it to deflate my enthusiasm for the current version after only a few hours of play.

    Last edited 24/10/16 12:54 pm

    Does Sean Bean die? That seems to be his niche, and he's good at it... Be a little disappointed if he doesnt die here.

    As far as I could tell from the one online game I put up, online play is really seamless and easy to start playing. They added a few quality of life things, like having a friends list with invite options when you're hosting a game, as well as the ability to see all of a civs bonuses when you mouse over the leader in Civ select. There were no connection issues in the 100 turns or so we played. Good marks from me!

    Enjoying it so far. Only about 10-15 hours in. Will see how the mid and end game works before final judgement on the release version of Civ6.

    Pros for me (so far):
    -There seems to be a lot more options/decisions in the early game that are viable. Trader? Builder? Monument to get better civic options? This adds a lot more early game interest.
    -Early warfare is an option again w/o going completely broke.
    -Increased threat from barbarians also requires more caution.
    -So far, I like the districts/wonders revisions. Definitely makes you think about placement of cities/improvements/etc. and the additional complexity does not make each choice obvious or w/o drawbacks.
    -Government system/civic options add another layer of options that have, so far, been entertaining and engaging to me.
    -Revisions to the great person generation seem to be a step in the right direction.

    Negatives (again, so far):
    -undiscovered/discovered but fogged is not visually pleasing currently. It can take some effort to figure out what you have seen or not seen or what is actually there even though you have seen it. Maybe I will get used to it.
    -The map in general takes more concentration to determine what is going on. Again, maybe I will get used to it, but the 'situation' is not as clear as it used to be in Civ V, at least from glancing at the map.

    Not sure yet:
    -The change in 'happiness' has brought 'city spam' back, potentially
    -AI combat - I saw the AI engage in a very effective assault (early game) once. I also saw it perform very poorly in another game (slightly later). Afraid that it is still to predictable.
    -Late game - have not been there yet.
    -Religion - have not spent a large amount of time yet spreading religion.

    Overall:
    Certainly enjoying the learning curve at the moment, although only a few hours in.

    Loving the changes to the game!

    Districts make planning your city layout all the more important (essential, even). The changes to trade routes and espionage are great too. I also like the changes to Great Works and the addition of archaeology is cool.

    Religion seems to be the way to go, especially if you opt for the government that lets you also purchase units with faith. Very easy to build up a large army that way!

    Also love Sean Bean as the narrator. I've seen many criticising him as deadpan but I've found him to be very subtly nuanced.

    Last edited 25/10/16 12:50 pm

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