Civilization VI – My First Thoughts

The latest version of the Civilization games has just been released – Civilization VI.

I debated with myself whether to get the game or not. Mainly due to the fact that I’m playing a lot of games at the moment so I wasn’t sure I could fit another game in.

Over the years I’ve played every version of Civilization and it was one of my favorite games growing up. So far I’ve enjoyed them all apart from Civ V.

I’m not sure what it was with Civ V that I didn’t enjoy, I think it had a lot of problems when it was first released which made me stop playing it and I never got back into it. I believe that it did get better with expansion releases but the game fell off my radar and I forgot all about it so I never got the expansions. I did recently think about playing it again but I’d got a new PC since I last played and hadn’t downloaded it on the new one. With Civ VI due out i decided not to bother downloading Civ V to try it again. 

When Civ VI was announced i followed it carefully to see whether it would be worth buying or not. I have good memories of the Civilization series so i wasn’t going to let my Civ V experience put me off.

I decided I would wait for the game to be released and read some reviews before making my mind up whether to buy it or not.

I had planned to wait about a week or so to see if there were any major problems with while reading reviews. However on Friday I read a few reviews while at work and looked at people’s reactions on twitter and overall it was mostly positive. Reading about the game also gave me the urge to play the game so as soon as I got home from work I decided to just go ahead and buy it.

With the game being on Steam it was easy to buy straight away and I set the download off while I went to play 5-aside Football so it would be ready to play that night after the kids had gone to bed.

Since buying it I’ve only played it for a few hours so I’ve not gotten far into a game. So far it’s enjoyable, it has the similar Civ gameplay which makes it easy to pick up and play for anyone experienced in the series but it’s also simple enough for new players to get into.

I’ve not came across any major problems with it and it all runs smoothly. 

Usually on Civilization games I like to play on archipelago maps where I can be on a small island to myself before going on to conquer the world. On Civ VI there isn’t an option for that but I can pick an Islands Plates map which has islands ranging in size from large to small. 

I started my first game as England to get a feel for the game. My starting point looked ok and I done what I usually do which is to start to expand my empire by building a settler before working on my city and sending my starting warrior exploring.

It wasn’t long until I found some differences in game play. First builders can only build 3 tile improvements before they vanish, this isn’t a problem but it’s something to be aware of as previously you could set them off automatically and they would just go around building tile improvements. This change is good as you now need to prioritise whether you get builders and improve tiles or build troops/buildings instead. 

Secondly you can’t just build everything in your city, some buildings need special districts to build on and those districts have different conditions needed to build them. Districts are built on tiles around the city. This is a nice feature as you need to plan where you build rather than just build to expand as a poorly placed city could miss out.

Wonders are also built on tiles around the city and require certain land to build them. For example pyramids need desert land and hanging gardens need a river next to it. The great lighthouse also need to be next to a harbour district which also has a lighthouse built in it. This adds added realism and also stops one city having all wonders. It also makes your cities look nice.

Another change is that roads are built by traders moving on trade routes between cities. I’m not sure if this is better or worse yet.

My game with England didn’t last too long. I over extended myself and focused on city improvements. I then first found myself overrun with barbarians then I found my starting island to be bigger than I’d like and occupied by other AI Civilizations. At first the other civs were ok and friendly, then for reasons unknown 3 of them declared war on me at the same time. I had no troops after dealing with barbarians and started getting surrounded by enemy troops. As it was still early in the game I decided to restart and learn from it.

I started my next game as the Roman Empire, this time I’ve focused on my first city and got some troops. I’ve found that I’m on a small island on my own which is big enough for about 5 cities so it should be a good start. I’ve fortified troops around the island so I can defend against barbarians or other Civs while I focus on my Cities.

I’ve not got far into this save yet but I’m hopeful I can do well.

Overall I’m impressed with Civ VI, it’s similar enough to previous versions but still has new features which improve it and so far no major bugs or problems. I’m sure there is a lot more that I don’t know about and it might take several games until I know the best strategys. One thing I like with these games is that there is always a lot of replayability as no 2 games play alike and each Civilization plays differently.

– Sparko Marco 

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