Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Review

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Review Sahil Lala
Lasting Appeal
The most newcomer friendly title in the series
User Rating: 8.7 (4 votes)

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI from Firaxis games is this year’s “Civ” title and as such is ultimately expected to go above and beyond what Beyond Earth did previously. While I personally never played Civilization V: Beyond Earth or its expansion Rising Tide, those particular games were seen to be a break from the more traditional Civilization titles instead focusing on futuristic and alien themed civilizations. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI returns to the annals of history with players being allowed to play as civilizations with great leaders such as Queen Elizabeth or Cleopatra.

Civilization VI presents players with 2 options upon entering a game. They can go through a tutorial, which will explain all the aspects of the game to them, or they can jump right in and do things the way they want to. Being a Civ veteran, I opted for the latter and could easily navigate my way around the user interface and find everything I needed to get my civilization up and running. Gone are the days of overly complicated menus and the need to listen to multiple advisers telling you what to do. Civilization VI has streamlined the entire process and has added a very “boardgame”-esque feel to the title that players will easily pick up. Whether this is to attract newcomers to the title or to just make the game easier to play in general I’m not quite sure. I do like it though. All the excess bloat has been trimmed away and what’s left is a game that’s still complex yet incredibly easy to pick up and play. Some veteran players might find that this is a step back… especially if they were used to the systems prevalent in Civilization V and its expansions.

Civilization VI has some new features such as the “Eureka” moments that now trigger and speed up gameplay somewhat thanks to the effects they have on new research. A “Eureka” moment happens when a specific objective is met and this will cut the time needed to research a specific technology in half. For example, building 3 mines will cut the time required to research masonry in half thanks to all the excess stone you’ll have from the mines. Eureka! Simple enough right? The same also goes for cultural revelations although these are labelled as “Inspiration” objectives instead.

Graphically, Civilization VI is gorgeous. It has its own unique look and doesn’t try to achieve maximum realism, but that’s never been something Civilization has been known for anyway. The character models of the civilization leaders are still easily recognisable caricatured cartoons and they are animated quite well. The game itself makes use of a more parchment-like map, which reveals itself as your cities spread out or as you send units to scout it out. The fog of war will drain colour from previously revealed tiles and overall, the entire map itself just looks so artistic to look at throughout the game. Cities themselves are now sprawling masses and players can still visually see what they’ve built on tiles just by zooming in a little bit.

Gameplay wise, I do have some issues with Civilization VI. This is mainly due to the AI that is quite frankly, broken. AI players will do whatever they can to follow whatever victory path they’ve been programmed to do (Military, Cultural, Religious etc) but therein lies the problem. Gilgamesh from Sumeria for example would amass a military army and then try attack me, but only after leaving most of his units well within my defence range and letting them die off slowly to either my allies’ units or to random barbarians that would attack them. Queen Elizabeth would expand her territories by founding multiple cities and then suddenly propose peace with me thus bolstering my trade capacity. Even the diplomatic negotiations I had ended up with the AI giving me more than what was expected from me. It’s almost as if the AI is there to help you to win and I’m not quite sure if this is what Firaxis intended or if it’s a simple glitch. Either way, a subsequent patch will certainly solve this.

Building actual cities up does take time but that’s the case with all Civilization titles. The Eureka and Inspiration moments do speed things up but the game still feels like it takes you longer to do things than with previous civilization titles. While this was not particularly an issue for me, some people might be put off by the title’s glacially slow pace. Multiplayer matches can and will take hours and hours on end so be prepared to invest a lot of time into the game if you’re going to head into that aspect.

The addition of the more streamlined UI and various gameplay changes makes Civilization VI a great title but the AI acting weirdly and the removal of some features like specific advisers for military or diplomatic actions leaves me slightly perplexed. The soundtrack to the title is as great as ever and gameplay is still very enjoyable. The satisfaction one gets from actually winning an entire Civ match is also unbeatable and it’s something that I’ve missed because of how easy recent tactical games have been. Civilization VI is therefore still highly recommended by me and hopefully all my complaints will be patched out within the next few weeks.

In conclusion, Civilization VI is the most newcomer friendly title in the series. Seasoned veterans will still enjoy the game but while Civilization V could be seen as overly complex, Civilization VI is sleeker, more streamlined and less complex while still delivering a great gaming experience. Players that invest time into the multiplayer will still be playing the title months from now but those that want a single player “adventure” if you could call it that will probably not be playing this game for more than 50 hours in its current state.

Civilization VI was reviewed by Sahil Lala

Games of Choice Dota 2 and the Final Fantasy series. Too many hours “wasted”. Let’s not get into the exact numbers... Working with chemicals is what I do. While that may sound fun, it’s actually incredibly complex and weird. Beyond that, I’ve been gaming since I was the age of 4. I started off with Sega Megadrive games and worked my way up the food chain to where I am now. You could call me a veteran gamer of sorts.