Civilization 6 - Console Editon Review
Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Microsoft Xbox One, PC, iOS, Apple Mac, Nintendo Switch and Linux
Civilization IV Console Edition is stunning. Not only visually but in terms of its transition from PC to Console, it's gorgeous and an almost flawless port. The developers, Firaxis Games and Aspyr, have accomplished a fantastic feat with this PlayStation 4 release.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV, the famous turn-based strategy game, was released just over three years ago on the PC to critical acclaim so it makes every sense to bring it to the console market and share this brilliant piece of gaming art with console players.
I had the opportunity to play Civilization VI on a day one PS4 with all the downloadable content available to me. What I found out straight away is that it takes up very little space on your hard drive yet puts out such a great looking game, it is a great achievement to squeeze so much from such a small hard drive footprint.
If you have never played a Civilization game before, you have a big learning curve in front of you. I think that's fair to say because there is so much to consider when playing, you have to consider various factors including the basics of diplomacy, unit deployment and expansion.
Deciding your government is important too. Depending on the type you choose to put forward to your people, the response you get back from them will change accordingly. Each form of government comes with a bonus and policy slots. Bonuses will give you small percentages increases towards production or experiences and the policy slots give you additional perks to your empire. They come in the form of military, economic, diplomatic and wildcards, so choosing wisely is key to your strategy going forward.
Military perks can give you more experience, make you stronger against certain units or reduce the cost of unit production. Economic perks are used for increasing resources, improving trade routes or increasing the culture of your communities. Diplomatic perks can give you additional points to your envoys or spies as well as a few ally trade deals and wildcards bring in extra bonuses towards your 'Greats'. You must consider all these variables closely when planning your Government.
Greats are individuals who have taken it upon themselves to stand out amongst mere mortals and lead their various areas of expertise. These individuals can come in the forms of generals and writers. However, there are only a limited number of them and once they belong to a civilization, no other civilization can have them.
Other considerations to be made aware of is other empires growing around you and hunting for resources that scatter the land. Keeping empires at arm's length is a wise idea at first but you will want to make allies fast. Going solo and fending off all that is around you will make you easy pickings for other alliances, so try to find friends when you can and build strong alliances to become more powerful on the field of play.
The best way I found to make friends quick was to start trade routes and send envoys to their capitals. This establishes a good foothold in the early stages of your young alliance. However, you can easily ruin a partnership with an empire by attacking someone else without reason or maybe hitting on a more nurtured relationship. Try to choose your fights wisely and with consideration.
If you are entering the series for the first time, you will require patience and a few playthroughs to understand the games intricate systems. This isn't as simple as a pick-up and play sort of game. Each session needs a carefully thought out process to see how you are going to take your civilization through the ages. This could be concentrating on diplomacy within your ranks or building up your military might to become an unstoppable force across the globe. Civilization VI is a deep yet rewarding game that requires time to master.
The base game comes with 23 civilizations. Recognisable civilizations include Rome, Persia, Greece and Egypt. Depending on the civilization you are, you will have different specialities which make you unique. This could be a substantially better unit or a structure that provides more to your citizens. There are a lot of options here, making replayability in Civilization VI a bit selling point.
Depending on what victory you wish to achieve, you will want to make sure your civilization can give you that extra bump towards success. England's civilization is aimed towards the Domination victory, so you will want to conquer and expand as much as possible with this empire.
Starting in the ancient era, you will need to develop your world with research and culture. Bringing the best resources to your people will only make you stronger later on. Spreading out your vision to between different channels that are available to you can muddy waters and make you pretty thin in each. I recommend concentrating on an area to build on and specialise, it is better to be strong in fewer areas then weak in many.
As you make your way to the later eras of the game you will see how far your civilizations has come. From the club swinging warriors, you start with to the high tech bombers protecting the skies over your cities. You will see the fruit from your labour. Civilization is a game that what effort you put in, you will get back get out of it in return.
The only criticism I have, which is a small one, is that you are given every bit of information upfront. What I mean by this is, there is a lot to understand right off the bat and learn if you are a first time player. If you are wanting to fall in love with this game straight away, you will need to wade through all the early information that comes with it. There is a lot to know and understand, down to the smallest of details and you will need to get through the early stages of information bombardment to get into the game proper.
The game does come with a handy tutorial covering off the important areas of the game. It is worth completing this if you haven't played a Civilization game before. This should allow you to become comfortable with the basis of the game and covering all the points above. It is nice that a worthwhile tutorial is given to new players as not everyone is a master strategist or a seasoned Civilization player.
Civilization IV on consoles brings that missing piece to fill the turn-based strategy game void that I feel is missing in any lover of the genres library. Not only is it stunning, but it also plays well and is really enjoyable to play. Apart from the bombardment of information at the start and sometimes a few AI issues, the game is brilliant and well worth investing in. Oh, and did I mention Sean Bean is in it?