The next Iteration of the immensely popular 4x series Civilization is just around the corner, and with that comes a gamut of new information.
With a new game, Civilization VI, comes a departure from the previous art style, now sporting a cartoony stylised look, a look that hasn’t been received with cheers and applause. It’s not the only look in the game that has changed, the previous all-encompassing fog has been replaced by a stylish looking parchment paper that dissolves away as you pass through it.
It isn’t only the look that has undertaken a serious overhaul. A number of the mechanics have received serious game changing tweaks. Gone are the days of running your workers around having them avoid barbarians or enemy units and Firaxis has included a new ability to embed support units with your military ones, giving you the ability to embed a military unit as an escort.
Another major tweak bound to affect the game is the way cities are laid out. In the previous instalment, Civilization V, cities expanded vertically, becoming taller and more cluttered as you developed them, Firaxis has done away with this, now expanding your cities outwards, each building fitting into a separate distinct district easily visible from outside of the city screen. An interesting change that’s bound to make the city development dynamic a lot more involved.
Firaxis themselves have made an attempt to shake up the way the game is played, in an attempt to curtail the constant stream of military and science victories often gone after. Have shaken up the way the other victory conditions work, Culture and how it’s accumulated and spent, and the benefits it provides have taken a vast change to the previous game.
Culture now allows you earlier access to policies, game changing modifications to how your empire functions, lowering the cost of creating important units, and an increase in the ability to spread your culture around the globe, making a culture victory suddenly very possible.
In the same vein the Religion system has also been built upon from Civilization V: Gods and Kings Expansion, the methods of going about the rarely seen Religious victory are changed, now religion allows you to breed Inquisitors, apostles, the ability to conquer foreign cities through religious fervour alone is now entirely doable, and in this way Civilization VI has really come alive in all the ways that Civilization V didn’t.
Firaxis have also give the espionage system a thorough seeing too, implementing a heavier reliance on it as you progress through the ages. The espionage system now provides a lot more information that the previous instalment, allowing you to gain insight into the motivation and agenda or allies and enemies alike, also including the chance for sabotage and theft.
It sounds like a lot of information for a game not available until October, but it leaves a palpable feeling of excitement around the upcoming Sid Meier follow up. It also leaves you wondering if there’s much more to tell. The chance is we’ll be seeing more of the game at E3 in June, and what we see will confirm much of what we already know, and maybe a bit more besides.