Monday, October 31, 2016

Civilization VI Gameplay Review

I'm playing Civilization VI, a 4X turn-based strategy game by Firaxis Games and 2K.

The game features both single player and online multiplayer modes with a number of victory conditions (domination, science, culture, religious, and overall score). The randomly generated hex-based maps contain special resources, varied terrain, natural wonders, very feisty barbarians, and independent city states that grant envoys to receive bonuses when specific missions are completed. Cities are now made up of districts that can build different structures (like a bank in a commercial hub); the map layout goes a long way in determining what the overall city build strategy should be, as adjacency bonuses for districts (such as building a campus next to a mountain tile) are powerful. A range of different military units can be constructed, including melee, ranged, scouting, support, naval, and air units. Builders now instantly build improvements, but are limited to three builds per lifetime. Research is split up into two trees (one for technology, one for culture), and eureka moments are a fantastic addition: performing a specific task will cut research time in half (for example, building a quarry speeds up masonry research). Governmental policies are cards that can played to provide nation-wide bonuses, and great people spawn to provide bonuses as well. Religions are formed using Great Prophets, and spread using missionaries. Diplomatic options are basic (resource trade, embassies), though Civilization VI does introduce some casus belli for declaring war. The AI is bad at diplomacy because it sticks to its hard-coded overall strategy too much, while making questionable decisions (especially regarding military combat) regularly. Civilization VI has a number of significant new features weighed down by the poor AI.