Civilization Revolution

You could say Sid Meier’s Civilization series of games has been rather successful. Another way to put it would be to say that the series is in fact one of the highest selling of all time with 8 million units sold. That’s a lot of people trying to rule the world. We do love to play God however God, it seems, doesn’t play so well on consoles… until now.

Civilization has been an entirely PC gaming affair up to this point and with the announcement of Revolution, console gamers cringed in fear that another clumsy mini-game version of a beloved strategy series would be spewed onto the Xbox 360 and PS3 for our delectation and crashing disappointment. This cynicism is well founded with ‘average at best’ ports of Command and Conquer 3 and Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II. On older consoles RTS games barely functioned. Civilization isn’t actually a Real Time Strategy though and manages to keep the frame rate, draw distance and control scheme simple in part because it’s turn-based. You’ll choose a government, build your first town and from there on in you’ll have to control your resources, build wonders, units and buildings. You’ll have to negotiate, battle and culturally usurp other nations. You’ll explore and uncover the world on land and sea, on your way discovering new resources to use in freshly settled cities and secret wonders like Atlantis and Angkor Watt temple. All these activities will take place one turn at a time with your enemies also building and expanding with each move.

The game ends when you achieve a cultural, economic, technological or domination victory or of course if your enemies get there first. For a cultural victory you need a combination of 20 ‘great people’ and great wonders in your civilization. The great people can provide bonuses to your gold reserves, reduce the price of buildings and so on. For an economic victory you’ll need to accumulate vast wealth. Domination victory comes with beating the pants off all the other nations and a technological win will come when you build a space ship and land on a new world with it. It’s likely to occur to you that one or two of these victories might be easier to achieve than the others but after playing every night for months I can assure you they are almost completely equally balanced except possibly for technological.

How you play will change with a number of factors. Firstly playing on different difficulties totally changes your tactics and you may find that using one of the scenarios such as Beta Centari (where all technology is unlocked from the beginning) is the only way to secure a comfortable win on ‘Deity’ at the hardest difficulty setting. The race you choose to play as will also give you advantages in certain areas, for example the Greeks are a good nation to play as for a cultural win as they have specific cultural bonuses such as an increased number of ‘great people’. You also might decide to change your tactics based on what sort of resources you’ve managed to secure.

There are so many ways to play Civ Rev and it’s incredibly addictive once you get the hang of it. Although quite different to the PC game, the console version manages to bring over with it much of the feel of the series whilst completely revamping the controls and graphics to suit a console. Once you’ve filled a map with cities and soldier units you’ll find there’s considerable slow down as you look around the map but it’s not enough to infringe too much on your enjoyment. Keeping in mind that the game is turn-based, the frame rate of movement won’t ultimately affect gameplay. What’s even more stunning is that the DS version of the game, whilst losing the shiny graphics, almost completely replicates the console version. This is no mean feat and anyone looking for a strategy game on the DS could find no better than Civ Rev. It’s important to note that Sid Meier himself is the lead designer on the game and it shows. His is a title that has had love lavished on its design and absolute respect for the series’ roots. This is the best way to take over the world available on consoles today.







One response to “Civilization Revolution”

  1. Chris avatar

    There was a version of CIV 2 on the ps1. Games crackin though.Be warned multi-player can last upwards of five hours with no oppertunity to save although if people drop-out the AI takes there place.

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