The lights are on
Firaxis finally unveiled Sid Meier's
Civilization VI by revealing several savvy changes, from cities spanning
multiple tiles to more complex relationships with fellow leaders. To see how
everything is coming together, I recently went hands-on with the new entry, completing
around 40 turns. Let's just say if you thought the one-more-turn itch was
already hard to resist, it's going to be even harder with Civilization VI.
brings all the important decision-making back, but makes the process smoother
than before. I notice the improved interface immediately, which makes
navigating and setting up turns easier. The game always lets you know which
units you haven't moved, if research is available, and a blue outline shows how
far each unit can move. I'm more of a builder than a warrior, so my strategy is
to do just that and eventually research astrology so I can erect a holy-site
district and found a religion.
As the leader of
China, I put down my first city and notice one of the new systems immediately.
What I do in the world can inspire my people for technological advancements.
Since I built my city on the coast, people will naturally go out and establish
fishing boats and nets, and I immediately get a boost toward learning sailing.
Before I can move on I need to make a production and science decision. I select
a scout to help me explore the map, and I pick sailing because my bonus toward
it has cut down the time significantly to obtain it (only six turns).
I send men off in
two separate directions to discover more of the map and decide to build a
monument for my city, which helps me get more culture. Soon enough my city
grows; now two tiles around my city are occupied by citizens that can bring
things in such as harvests, and it's satisfying already seeing some progress in
the matter of a few turns. I spot some whales that I can harvest to make my
people happier, but it requires the sailing technology; thankfully, in one more
turn my research is complete.
I move my scout a
few spots and discover a barbarian camp. If I don't do anything about them,
they're going to raid my city, so I need to act sooner rather than later. This
puts a damper on my peaceful plans; I need to build up my power to take on
these baddies. I build a ranged attacker, and later I'll build a warrior for
I also have plenty
of options for my next research now that sailing is complete. I look around my
city; pottery can help me bring in the grain, mining helps with the stone, and
animal husbandry helps with a deer nearby. The deer is within the border of my
city, so I decide on that. I can also always buy tiles to pull them into my
city, but for now I work with the deer since it's already there.
has separate tech and civics trees, which were previously combined. "There were
always a lot of things in the tech tree like 'chivalry' that weren't really a
technology," says lead designer Ed Beach. I complete my first requirement in
the civics tree, which is all driven by culture. Some examples of things under
this tree are establishing a military tradition, starting a new trade up, or
dabbling in mysticism and religion. A scroll bar lets you see you how far you
can go with your advancements through history.
With my first
civic complete, I can now put bonuses into my government. I can select either a
military or economic bonus. These come in the form of cards that you place in
open slots. I choose combat and production bonuses. I'll get more of these
cards as I complete more civics, so I can always adapt it to my playing style
at the time.
After building up
my army more, focusing on a settler to establish a new city, and starting
research on foreign trade, I run into Egypt's Cleopatra. All the leaders speak
in their correct native language, a nice touch as Cleopatra greets me in
Coptic. She invites me to visit her city and I agree.
introduces leader agendas, and Cleopatra's is "Queen of the Nile," which states
that she likes powerful militaries and will try to ally with them. Firaxis
pulled this detail from her actual life; she aligned herself with powerful men
like Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, seducing them so Egypt wouldn't get
attacked. She also has another randomly assigned hidden agenda that I'll need
to discover through trade routes or by sending a delegation.
Cleopatra likes me
because I've been building up my army to take out that barbarian camp, but if
you don't have a powerful military, she won't give you the time of day. Later,
when my army loses forces facing the barbarian camp and I explore too close to
her border, our relationship declines. She especially gets mad once I meet and
stay on friendly terms with Teddy Roosevelt, whom she dislikes. Rumors and
gossip show up about leaders throughout the game; this new system gives you more
information to react to and plan your decisions around.
After my astrology
research is over, I build a holy-site district and construct a bunch of
buildings to produce faith, such as a shrine. This eventually lets me found my
own religion; I go with Buddhism and generate a great prophet to spread its
message. I don't get to see much beyond that, which is a shame because I think
Cleopatra is about to become my enemy and I know my decisions with what to do
with her are only going to get harder.
I'm already so immersed at
crafting my own tale that I can't wait to dive back in. The drama is heightened
by your relationships with leaders and all the systems just play off each other
so well. Every improvement we've seen from Civilization VI feels for the better
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
October can't get here soon enough.
God, I love the new art design. I feel like the more stylistic, light-heart look flows well with pseudo-history settings in the game. The sort of realistic art design never did it for me. I'm very excited for the changes being made.
Omg! I can't wait!