When it comes to real time strategy games the PC has always been the best place for them. I hold onto that statement, but as we move forward with more complex and powerful consoles the time for the RTS to become more at home on these devices is now. For the first time, we see a fully fledged Civilization title come to console with Civ VI. Now, the game did come out on the PC originally in 2016 so it’s taken its sweet time, but as they say, good things come to those who wait. Will this port prove that saying true, or be the exception to the rule?
Civilization as a series has been about for quite some time – the first released in 1991 – and ever since then it has been growing and evolving over the years, getting bigger and better with each new entry. Inevitably, there can be only so much the game can do and the lengths it can go to before it starts to feel a little too samey. Well, I personally think that it’s starting to hit that point now. With plenty of games coming out every year it’s harder now for big title’s to stay on top and beat the competition, you need to keep the games fresh and exciting, but I’m afraid I just haven’t felt it with Civ VI.
If you have never played a Civilization game then let me give you a brief run down of the basics; you begin the game having chosen a nation you wish you run or rule and from there you will need to build up your nation and claim land for your own. While this is happening, your opponents will also be working to achieve the same goal. Depending on the mode you’re playing, the game basically becomes a race as you work through different era’s to win. There are many different ways to win – depending on the mode you are playing – so, for example, it could be a victory by complete annihilation of the other nations by your army, or you could win by acquiring the highest score in the turn limits. This is no quick feat mind, with even just one game potentially taking several hours.
2K have included the expansion , Gathering Storms, in this console package. Now, this DLC is all about climate change and the problems we do indeed face in every day life. While growing your nation, don’t be surprised to see volcanoes, flash floods and even forest fires as these can – and will – happen in play. Don’t panic too much though, as a good chunk of the time the issues either don’t come near you or they don’t really do too much damage. Be wary though, as the further you progress in your game, the more damage these natural disasters have the potential to do to.
Each faction available to play as features specific characters from history, some more… favourable than others. From the Egyptian Pharaoh Cleopatra to the peaceful Ghandi, you can tailor your play style to suit your personal world view. Or you can, you know, just go mad with power as Gengis Kahn. No matter who you choose to play as though, there’s no denying that the action moves at a glacial pace. Of course strategy games as a whole are known for their slow, methodical pace, but for me I found things to move too slowly here. Waiting 30 turns for a single building to complete with not much to do in the meantime can make paying feel like too much of a slog. I also found more than a few instances of lag during play, which is not ideal when the game is already moving a slow pace.
To be fair though, Civ VI is quite a handsome looking game. Not only are they colourful and vibrant but also very detailed. Being able to zoom in to see the individual people going about their business or admiring the detailed models and maps is great and lends a cohesive feel to the action. A fantastic score compliments things wonderfully too.
Civilisation VI is very much a marmite kind of game – you’ll either love it or hate it. While I am indeed a fan (of marmite and Civ), I did feel slightly let down by the laggy performance and seemingly slower pace than I remember. The wonderful aesthetics manage to make up for this to a degree though, and if you’re after something to sink some real time into the Civ VI will absolutely be your cup of tea.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.