Civilization has become … The mother of the lamb, the strategy turned into drugs, the classic among the classics reaches its sixth installment and, as always, the first thing you have to face is the GREAT QUESTION: is it able to improve the saga, to introduce Enough news so that it supposes an advance without that implies to derail the great virtues of the classic Civs.
Is it the best Vanilla of all the Civs or not?
One of the difficulties of facing any Civilization is that the new arrives and has to face games whose continuous developments have reached reach 6-7 years. At that time it gives to better many things: in fact, Civ IV succeeded, thanks to its expansions, the most comprehensive Civilization history and polishing small defects and clattering oversights that plagued his first commercial version. Civ V, on the other hand, came up with something more complete in its big choices and its Gods + Kings proved less relevant to the overall gameplay, but completely forgot about so many little details that we did not remember as a great vanilla version.
In Civ VI there are many things that developers have not wanted to forget. Firaxis has opted to have an initial version as complete as possible and achieves it. There are more tricky issues than others and some issues from the miniDLC era to Paradox (for example, the Earth map is terrible: the main field of play for many players may not come limited to sell it in the near future), but its Initial playability is impressive.
That ‘s right: if there is something that I miss terribly are good screens “overview” of macro -management , global view of your cities and your army.
Gods or monsters
Civilization VI is the first decided to treat religion as something beyond a transcript of culture or a Civ “spiritual trade in robes”. It is noteworthy that much of the initial development of the game has been thinking about how to reflect each of the aspects in which different religions have influenced the life of man.
Thanks to giving more faces, religion is now a fundamental strategic piece of the game. The first few times you create them a little by inertia, but little by little you realize that its relevance in the development of your game is going to be tremendous. With a religion of gods with traits, the whole Civ wins in deep RPG: you do not want to raise something that goes against how you want to grow your people this time or you will have to improvise when, suddenly, you see how other players have sunk you pantheon forgotten times and are about to lose against a trivial, anecdotal civilization, but whose religion has spread overwhelmingly.
Oh, and this time we can create a cult of the primordial. It is not dead that sleeps for ever; And in the passage of the aeons, even Death itself can die.
A religion of incomplete people
The religious system is not perfect and has clear improvements: the novelty of the apostles lags behind because the religious combat system is still in its infancy. Faced with the depths of the spies (whose missions are one of the best seemingly minor details of the new Civ), religion still has much to improve so that its units are really relevant.
Now, almost only serve to preach the word to the beast, in a sort of religious spam that at least two of my games have ended with 15 missionaries entering sack to preach his word as I accepted the pact open borders. The “You have a minute to speak of the Lord our God” of video games.
Espionage at last
There have been many attempts in the saga to get the espionage to have enough packaging, to modulate the game from the Industrial Revolution. But Civ VI has given him more affection than ever, with different missions with much sense, customized city and, ah, that wonderful little detail that is catching a spy and the possibility of “trade him” diplomatically.
The scent of the Cold War is more present than ever in this Civilization, even in those times when your spy will have to flee … and you will have to choose if you want it soon but risky or slow but sure.
Are the districts the great advance of the game?
Here is a clear example of something that in other civs would have arrived in the expansions and that here impacts you as a player from minute 1. Civilization is no longer a game of accumulating buildings in the cities, one where the strategy on how to place them had more Sense in the initial phases of the game than in the finals. Now, how you put each district (commercial, theatrical, religious, industrial) depends on what space you have for other buildings and towards what bonuses will tend to grow your city.
Added (which comes directly inspired by Endless Legend) never loses relevance: when the modern era arrives, crowded cities can be relieved with new residential districts. That yes: the game forces you to make decisions and remove things that had always been there simply because they no longer fit. It was good, for the first time in a Civ, to feel the pressure of “not everything is adding things”.
Districts do not always work, that’s true. In terms of what we do and according to which games, they seem to be one more piece to delay decisions, to make the game have greater depth in appearance (and actually equal). They need, of course, more time and some touch-up: they will grow in the saga, but it is almost their most important novelty after religion.
Of course, we have yet to raise the Civ us what to do in an economic crisis or how to reorder the urban landscape industrial growth can break one of your core. But the wicker trees, thanks to these districts, are beginning to be there.
Has the congenital optimism of the saga been lost?
The latter links with something that the new Civ VI maintains: this is a fundamentally optimistic saga (very optimistic in what titles) about humanity. That is why the great dilemmas we have always encountered have come via military attack. Everything else has always been handled with a “moving forward will always be good”. Civ VI is still not a game that is wondering how world trade could survive the fall of one of the most powerful cities-state or why leaving behind the neighborhood artisans and turning it into a big factory can be harmful. No mention either to aspects such as pollution (already in Civ II became one of the clear problems of the final stage).
Civilization, as saga, should delve much more there. Eliminate goodness and let the player face for the first time other big questions. The internal rhythm of the game still remains that of “everything is going well, only that others are better than me” than that of “My Mother, why the noses are a part of the world crumbling and how that is going to affect me” That is a type of game that the people of Paradox yes that has dared to confront in this of the Grand Strategy.
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Does the map have more of its own life than ever?
It is difficult to deny, yes, that the game is not more alive than ever. On the map, hundreds of choices (hence resources are now more relevant than ever), with interactions between them and between the units that will populate the hexagons. Much micromanagement, but devised in the least cumbersome way possible (this is a Civ, after all). And, moreover, spectacularly visually: you are always clear that you are doing each unit or what is in each box. Detallista but nothing intricate, the visual design of the game map (of the characters we talk about later) is, I have no doubt, the best one ever done in a Civ.
With an extra detail, in addition: that fog of the war of the zones that we have explored but to which we have not returned in a long time (or where we do not have any city). It was a joy to rediscover the map that our ancestors painted (we painted, in fact, in the first explorations).
Was it worth the visual change?
One of the most controversial advertisements of Civilization VI was its image. A more drawn animated style that left the realism of Civ V to travel again the path of the fourth title in the series and even go beyond. Many voices were raised against me, including mine: I did not want a more casual approach, I did not want a Civ Revolutions and I did not need what on the tablet had been regular moved to the PC game.
Well, I was wrong. Not only because on the map the units look better than ever and you always know what they paint there, but because the screens of Diplomacy are, after the first impact, a success.
And to separate the trees from science?
There is one aspect in which Civilization, as saga, has dared to innovate little, surely for being so magnificently designed from the second title that was difficult to go beyond: the tree of technologies. For the first time in a long time, Civ VI dares to take a step further and introduces a parallel tree to take away everything philosophical, intangible discoveries, revolutionary ideas that often did not give rise to anything concrete.
The question you ask is how this had not been done from the beginning?
This tree early finally manages to equate the revolutions in thought with the technological revolutions and introduces a layer of strategy more: discover governance systems will parallel the rest of inventions and although the roads touch and intertwine, either They are not obstructed. It makes sense and I would like the saga to keep it in upcoming titles.
Not only that improves the technological development: that small advances make you be more advanced in the investigation of technologies or principles yet to be discovered has all the sense of the world; The typical thing that makes you wonder “how come this was not done from the beginning?”.
Diplomacy? Ask yourself in the following DLC
We arrived at the party that yes, clearly, Firaxis has decided not to put the meat on the grill . The Diplomatics is the only Civ V victory that for now does not appear in Civilization VI. There is no conceived of the UN or any similar system of society of nations, nothing to alter the placid life of the rulers (few, by the way, but to have more yes that will have to be boxed, I fear). That makes them too obvious: if the idea that their features and how the managements is very welcome, in the long run you can immediately disregard them.
More internal evolution of rivals, or the option of introducing large world political earthquakes (as Civ V left to do with voting in the UN), would make much deeper a part that, for now, only complies with the routine of any Civ.
Something happens with Mary (and with the AI I do not tell you)
Let’s go with one of the most controversial points of the launch: the state of the AI. No, there is no good news if it is the main improvement you were expecting from the new Civ. The diplomatic talks are again a dialogue of deaf, a “can I now assemble the embassy to which you have already told me that not 8 times in the last 7 shifts? “,” I get angry and I do not breathe because you have a different form of government “, a” makes me forget the shit you made me, but I act like I do not. ” Dwarf civilizations with a loqusima overproduction, others that are thrown to the beast by only one type of unit, denounces everywhere without you never knowing why, bloody wars by? With soul friends and perpetual peace with people who hate you since he sees you.
In short, erratic, somewhat crassly and improvable . Laughter when the civilization to which you have just lent a hand against a very superior one and that which you have freed from a certain extinction denounces you as bellicose!
Who watches over the builders?
It is downright brutal the impression that, as a veteran player Civ, I took to learn that, for the first time, the roads were not dependent on my workers, but my trade routes. Brutal impact, but very positive reaction: it forces you the game to pay more attention to an aspect (trade) that has always been able to be left without problems.
This removes one of the basic functions in the Civ saga for the builders. It is not the only change: the most radical for them is that they can only make three improvements, which are also instantaneous. Faced with the management of time that depended on previous games, Civ VI proposes that you have to be constantly reserving space in the production queue for these workers. Which ends up being quite annoying .
Wonders and great characters: Citius, altius, not so fortius
In Civ VI, the great characters have own entity more than any other Civ : many, with different features and consequences and with very well defined periods. That makes your management in each game something totally different and you have to learn to choose. My first Civ VI game I finished with so many great writers that I had nowhere to put their great works … and therefore they were totally useless.
Far less enjoyable is what the game has done with the Wonders of the World. Its impact, which in the saga has always been VERY remarkable, is totally mitigated here because a) are more expensive than ever; And b) its effects are quite warm. Maybe a facelift to this part to make it as relevant as ever.
Someone give me my cultural climax
Personally, I am a lover of cultural expansion system of Civ IV . That yes, I accept that I could unbalance some phase of the game towards a mere “settle near another city and start sending artists.” Also, historically, it makes more sense now: with culture you are overcome by the impression you give to other civilizations (and the tourists you generate) not because you are the Hitler of the Fine Arts.
But that cultural pressure that the neighboring cities end up with had something that Civilization VI lacks today: strategy, climax situations, a player attitude much more active. Today, in Civ VI, it is much more fun to play in the advanced stages of the game to victory by military conquest than to victory by cultural conquest, now enclosed in a “waiting for the number to reach what it should be” .
The decline of city-states
It gives a little sadness, but Civ VI has reduced one of the great advances of his predecessors to mere props. More than the game itself, the imbalance of its internal mechanics. A priori, the city-states have an extraordinary relevance on the rest of civilizations, with very juicy bonuses (especially if you are the suzerain), differentiated, with secondary missions very roleras and with amplitude and differentiation between them. Many advances on what Civ V. posed.
In practice, this part of the game is brutally stifled by an AI that quickly begins to conquer them and make them disappear from the map (or put them in theirs, rather). It seems more of a problem of balance than of how the city-states are designed, but, for the moment, bad.
Difficult to understand the decision of Firaxis not go out with support mods through Steam Workshop . We do not talk about a game that suddenly finds a large community given to CREATE (in capital letters, yes), but the Civ, the Queen Mother of the mods. Right now, you have to make detours to get to work and that clearly works against Civ VI think as a perfect game, the best Civ.