Civilization VI is one of the games I was most looking forward to in 2016. Being a person who has spent a long time with the Civilization games in the past, I couldn’t help but be excited for the latest in the series to release. I myself am quite a fan of the fourth game in the series and have spent countless hours building civilizations and seeing them either thrive or struggle to maintain their position in the world.
Civ V was never really a favourite of mine though, it had so many changes compared to Civ IV, some of them good and some not to my liking. So for a long time I just stuck with Civ IV and played online with friends which was what I enjoyed doing the most, it’s way more fun than if you were to go up against the AI. So was Civ VI going to be a game I could see myself investing much of my time with?
In answer to that question, I think it certainly is. Civilization VI in my view is the most polished and well put together game in the series so far and it has far exceeded my expectations for what I anticipated it to be and it seems to have provided me with practically everything I could want from the series at this point in time.
I had a go with Civ VI not long ago and recorded a session with it. At this point I was still learning a lot and was discovering what was new. I came to really love the game not long after on my second playthrough.
For many returning to the Civilization series, they would know what to expect for the premise for this game. But if you haven’t played any of the games in the series so far, that’s okay. There isn’t really a story you need to know at all. Basically what you’ll be doing in the game is starting off with one city and a warrior to defend it from the dangers that lurk out there in the unknown world. From your first turn, you will start researching new technologies, creating military units, workers, scouts or settlers which all help you to maintain or expand your civilization.
Civilization is one of the most famous and most popular 4x games out there. 4x games are all about eXploring, eXpanding, eXploiting, and eXterminateing your enemies. If you think about games released during 2016, it’s quite similar to Master Of Orion. But unlike many games out there that struggle to maintain the players interest over such a long period of time, Civilization VI will likely have the player sitting at their computer for hours and hours. There was a time at the beginning of last week where I thought I would simply go into one of my games for an hour, have a couple of turns managing my civilization and I would be done. But that wasn’t the case, I was still sitting there 6 hours later and hadn’t even noticed the time go by at all.
One of my favourite things about this game was the soundtrack you get to hear when playing it. This has to be one of the most relaxing game soundtracks in 2016. You could just leave the game on in the room and listen to the music all day. It’s so relaxing and has some great tracks in there. While the game does have a challenging aspect in that you have to manage your civilization, while also form a strategy to win. It never really reaches the point of being stressful. I always felt quite relaxed playing it and that’s something I hadn’t really felt with the series so far at all. It’s probably this one reason that will keep me coming back, Civilization VI is simply just a relaxing game to play and I love that.
If you’re a person that loves any type of history, either ancient or modern history. Civilization VI will cater to a bit of that interest for you. I myself am crazy for anything to do with ancient Rome, Greece or Egypt and am naturally drawn to anything to do with that section of classical antiquity. Civ VI has characters to play with from all those civilizations as well as many others. Some of the leaders you can pick from include people such as Theodore Roosevelt, Saladin, Montezuma I, Pedro II, Qin Shi Huang, Cleopatra, Queen Victoria, Frederick Barbarossa, Gorgo and Trajan to name a few. Many of these leaders have a rich history that players can get a glimpse of while playing the game, but they can also always go online and read about them more if they like. I do like that the game does introduce the player to a rich variety of characters and not all of them well known. I wonder how many researched Ferderick Barbarossa or Emperor Trajan after spending time with this game.
Each of the world leaders will also have special units that help them in the game, these become useful during certain era’s. The player can take advantage of their special units in order to get ahead in the game. For example Trajan’s unique unit is the Legion, which helps early on in the game during the classical period quite a lot as you can use them to conquer cities and grow Rome quite quickly early on. Leaders also have unique building which give certain perks to the player who chooses them. For example if you choose to play as Cleopatra you can build a Sphinx which will give which will give faith and cultural bonuses to your civilization. It’s a good idea to look through the leaders and see which set of perks is best for your play style. It can sometimes be a really big deal for serious players of the game.
Players have different strategies that they can use in order to get ahead in Civ VI. You can choose to either be a civ that invest heavily in its military and aims for conquest over all other civilizations. This is usually my chosen path in the game as I like to play as Rome and I feel it fits the personality of the civilization so well. But you can also do other things instead, if you like you can put all your efforts into expanding your civilisations cultural interests or it’s scientific prowess as the most advanced in the world. There’s is also the option to become the financial hub of the world and get so much gold that you can simply outspend anyone when it comes to anything in the game. It’s all up to you as the player as to how you choose to go about things. The game will challenge you though, no option is an easy path. Going heavily on military spending means that you might end up broke having to pay for all those troops and not really having an economy to sustain them, you could quickly fade away. Going for a strong cultural influence or the financial route is nice, until someone comes storming through your border with a massive army and takes all your stuff. A player will have to carefully balance their initiatives to work to defend them and expand their interests at the same time.
Civilization VI has in my view has the most to offer compared to almost any other game released this year. Not only does the game offer the player a challenge on a strategic level that will make them think about what they are doing with their civilization, what they should build and what they should prioritise, or what’s important during a time or not. The game also offers this strangely unique relaxing experience, with soothing music which you could easily listen to all day and you will because you’ll probably have days where you are sitting there all day playing this game. There’s a rich mix of historical characters to choose from which gives those with an interest in history a lot to be happy about and each of these characters have different abilities and special traits which can help to make every game you play in Civilization VI unique, fun and enjoyable.
There’s absolutely nothing I have that I can complain about with this game. It’s so good that I wish there was more time in my day to play it because I just want to keep taking turns and seeing how my civilization grows, it never gets boring at all. I highly recommend taking a look at the game when you can, especially if you’re a fan of the series or if you’re a fan of grand strategy games like Civilization VI.