Hands On: Civilization VI: Rise & Fall Review
Reviewed on PC
Hands On reviews are brief first impressions that we'll revisit over time until we have a full in-depth review. They enable us to give you an idea of the game and whether or not we feel that, on first impression, it delivers the basics. All hands on reviews feature a score and summary, but this may change as we play further into the game and experience everything on offer. Check back for our extended review soon.
Civilization VI is undoubtedly a solid strategy game from a much adored series. While many still play V as it was such a strong entry no doubt the aim here is to try and convert some of the old guard to the new attempt at a Golden age.
Just for starters you get a bunch of new civilisations with highlights such as the Mongolians and their representative Ghengis Khan as well as the Scottish with Robert the Bruce. As ever each has their own strengths, weaknesses and unique buildings and units that allow for more customisation in how you play the game and what kind of win condition you aim for.
Along with this comes some changes to the flow of a typical game. As each era ends you get an Era Score based on your achievements during it, this allows you to ascend into a Glorious Golden Age, or descend into a Dark age depending on your score. There are a few different bonuses or penalties accordingly and it makes for a good addition to the various aspects the player has to manage during a game.
Speaking of which, Loyalty and Governors are both brand new as well. Governors allow you to keep your loyalty up and all have different specialisations to give extra bonuses to wherever they call home. Each city has a loyalty rating which if it drops too low turns the settlement into a Free City. These can be conquered by other civilisations and essentially won over so it is well worth keeping your citizens happy and aiming for the good times. You can indirectly affect another city's Loyalty which allows you to take a new approach to conquering other civilisations by essentially flirting your way to victory by having the greenest grass. This all encourages the player to look after all of their settlements instead of focusing on just the one.
Additionally you can now form alliances with other leaders in order to help focus on improving different aspects for both of you. Conversely there are now Emergencies which are triggered events which give the various civilisations a chance to ally up with each other to address different issues that can crop up when they are triggered by things like Holy Wars or a Nuclear Weapon. All of which helps make each game feel unique and really helps the variety on display.
All of this together gives some great new paths to travel down on your way to victory and makes the game feel fresh faced and reinvigorated. There is definitely a lot of fun to be had and the multiplayer will be a huge draw to everyone who picks it up looking for a refinement of the base game. Rise and Fall is a great bit of DLC and a fantastic reason to jump back in to this game.
The cheapest price we've been able to find for Civilization VI: Rise & Fall is £19.99 via CD Keys.