Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: 25th Anniversary Edition Review
Plotting a course for humanity’s development has always been an exciting venture. Most of the time, it’s unpredictable, however, that’s the beauty of the journey. Staying resilient will prove you well in this venture, so do not give up hope, and keep the interests of your people in mind as you advance your civilization!
Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 was released the 21st October 2016, and developed by Firaxis Games and published by 2K Games for PC, on Windows and OS X. For old fans of the series, this is definitely the best of all the Civilizations games that has been released, but if you haven’t played any of the Civ games, you do not need to worry, you’re not alone. This game caters for those who are unfamiliar to the game. I am a total newcomer to the series as well, and at first, I nearly felt intimidated merely by the looks of the mechanics and the thought that there was a lot to it, but once I started the Tutorial mission provided to you in the Main Menu, I was pretty much immediately feeling comfortable and ready to enjoy this new experience.
Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 is a 4X Turn-based Strategy game, in which you need to establish a settlement and grow it into a strong successful civilization over several periods of development, that outshines and outperforms any other nation that you share your map with. For those who are unfamiliar with the term “4X” (like myself), 4X stands for the four X’s required to rule an empire, namely “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate”. You found your cities, explore the lands, grow your population, build military units, defend against Barbarians (and “eXterminate” them to reduce future risk), improve your city via different types of resources, manage cultural and technological development, governmental civics and policies, and take control of diplomatic relations with other civilizations, if you choose to be.
I am a huge fan of games that require you to be strategic in how you interact with the environments around you, so when I went into this game, albeit slightly unsure at first, I couldn’t help but feel that I would have a good time once I get a hang of the mechanics, and like I mentioned above, the Tutorial mission made the transition from newcomer to beginner seem like a breeze and I found myself playing until the end of the Tutorial without rest, and even though there was quite a bit of reading necessary in the start of the tutorial, it wasn’t unbearable. I got frustrated, not because I didn’t enjoy the reading, but because I started understanding more and more how to play, and I was becoming more and more eager to play and try out everything I had learnt. Do note however that I say I was still a Beginner after the Tutorial, because once I started playing a Single Player Campaign, I thought I could try out one of the harder difficulties, and boy, was I in for a surprise.
Barbarians are a constant pestilence in the game, and when you first start out, you need to make sure you are safe from them for at least a few turns into your founding of your city. I started off on the Warlord difficulty after the Tutorial, as Japan, excited to eventually get to train Samurai in the Medieval Era, but as soon as I started, I had probably wasted 60 turns on fighting off a single Barbarian Village that was constantly training and sending Horsemen to pillage my farms. I eventually won the war against that village, but I had wasted too much time. I had learnt a lot through that however, so despite being gutsy and going for a more difficult mode on my first game, I definitely wouldn’t advise against it. It is quite fulfilling to be forced to learn and adapt quickly and end up winning.
The Barbarians aren’t the only threats to worry about however, since this is a game where Civilizations compete against each other, even when they are diplomatic with each other. When you have grown a fair amount, the Barbarians are nothing more than an irritating itch which you can gain some extra experience and gold from when conquering their villages. Your units are able to gain promotions after a certain amount of experience, which allows them to gain boosts in certain fields which you can choose from. They will not gain any more XP until you have selected where to spend your promotion point.
There are many changes and new features to the game from the previous renditions, such as a new game engine with support for a day/night cycle. Religion is back, more complicated than ever, and with a new unit called Apostles added. The Barbarians are more organised than in previous games, where you will always see a Scout being sent to your city first to plan the raid on your settlement. Government have returned, and you can further customise your government by applying “Policy cards” that get unlocked by your Civics Tree, and advances made through the Civics tree is done by using Culture points. Espionage and gossip is a good way to find out intel on rival civilizations. There are many more new features and returns of old features, with many improvements implemented.
Play as one of 20 historical leaders, ranging from Cleopatra, to Theodore Roosevelt, to Queen Victoria, and even Pericles of Greece, all voiced by a talented cast. For some reason, I must mention, in all of my games, I always encountered Pericles, and he was never fond of me, no matter what I did. Many times I even left him alone and he declared war on me. He’s quite a grumpy and greedy little man… There is also another historical leader you can play as through DLC. Montezuma of the Aztec Empire. I had a lot of fun with the Aztec civilization. They have a unique unit called an Eagle warrior which is very powerful and helps majorly in the early-game. The Digital Deluxe edition of the game comes with the Aztec Empire as well as the 25th Anniversary Digital Sountrack, which contains a collection of absolutely magnificent scores coming from past games as well as from Civ 6. Even the entire soundtrack of Civilization 6 is spectacular, each song catering to multiple eras and multiple nations.
Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 is a beautifully made game, I thoroughly enjoyed every hour I spent playing it and will mostly likely continue to play it whenever I get the chance. I would highly recommend it if you are a fan of strategic and turn-based games. Many of you will be in for even more of a treat, because the Narrator of Civ 6 is voiced by none other than Sean Bean (http://www.imdb.com)! Well done to you Firaxis. And the Advisor who helps you in each of your missions is also voiced by another relatively popular actress, Natasha Loring (http://www.imdb.com). Need I say any more?