Disclaimer: I have not been endorsed by either Firaxis Games or 2K to write this game review. These are only my individual thoughts on my perceptions of the game, and solely my own. I do not intend to monetize or sell anything from posting this critique. Thank you, Happy Holidays and enjoy!
The government should help and guide the weak and small racial groups within its national boundaries toward self-determination and self-government. It should offer resistance to foreign aggression, and simultaneously, it should revise foreign treaties in order to restore our equality and independence among the nations.
Let me ask all of you, my fellow readers a simple question: Who in history do you think wrote or has spoken the following quotation above?
Former President Barack Obama? How about FDR during the WWII years?
Still stumped? Well, I’ll only reveal who this mystery man is near the end of this piece—so y’all are gonna have to patiently wait as you sit and read another geek’s long, monotonous blog review. (just kidding) 😉
As many of you may or may not know, I myself am a proud avid gamer—in addition to being a college student now at UC Berkeley. Video and computer games have been a fundamental part of my life as much as attending Sunday church services with my family (but especially as a child), summer camps, hanging out in Hawaii that one Winter Break back in 1995; and more.
The fact of the matter is, I have to thank my father and many of my schoolmates I’ve come to know over the past decade—perhaps even two—for introducing me to the world of online gaming. No, I’m not talking about Warcraft or League of Legends; though I am consciously aware these two titles have been huge hits for years as well.
No, I’m talking about the title of this month’s piece: namely, Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise!!! 😂 😂 😂
Of course, I’m not going to regurgitate all the history of the games themselves, as a plethora of YouTubers exponentially richer and far more famous than even I am have already released hundreds—if not thousands—of reviews on them already.
A mere select number of keywords in a Google search bar can cite all those sources for you, dweebs. 😜
But here’s one video I found just now if you are ever so interested in learning more:
Instead, I’m going to be devoting the bulk of my time and efforts towards discussing my latest experiences thus far on playing the newest title in the series. (Obvious hint: there will be spoilers if you weren’t already aware—or perhaps this is your very first time to joining the Internet—in which case, a hearty Welcome and Congratulations!)
- I have to get this off my chest, but: I just fucking love the graphics! Ok?! From the cinematography to the actual gameplay, every move you make is hundreds of time more crystal clear than previous Civs and less blocky (i.e. grotesque-looking) in general.
This isn’t Minecraft we’re talking about here—after all. 😛
- The opening trailer and animations of leaders (and lack thereof in the vanilla version, of which I currently own a copy). For insanely long-time fans of real time strategy titles and who love the RTS genre as much as I do, this concurrently overlaps with Reason #1.
Every several years when fellow company Firaxis Games releases a supposedly better (i.e. polished and hopefully bug-free) version of a Civ game, I almost always expect there to be more nations to toy with, more maps to choose from—heck, why not even more Earths or planets?! 😏
In all seriousness, however, anticipating a tediously long list of world leaders is a mega tiebreaker for this young, hipster wannabe geek. Given the fact that y’all can assume I have my biases—or those of you who have seen my face plastered all over the Web—yes, I am Asian American; and yes, I love to play as China.
Just not Mao’s China—though there is a community of fans who have decided to mod the Communist Party’s beloved “Chairman” into the game. Unlike previous titles such as in Civilization IV, where he was already added by developers.
- There are several articles which go to lengths comparing and contrasting the vanilla patch of Civ VI with older titles, including but not limited to Civ’s IV and V. Namely, that the said developers at Fraxis and 2K Games have finally decided to listen to input from ever-increasingly frustrated fans about the game’s glitchy AI system of negotiations with human players—in addition to adding more features than ever before.
This being said, one crucial aspect I miss from Civ III back in the days of my nascent childhood is the fact that an animated Sid Meier himself would act as one of the game’s personal advisor. It seems like a very trivial detail in comparison to the rest of the games’ layout overall…but I honestly have never gotten over the fact that a computerized Sid would address me personally as a leader and a player. He just makes me so connected to the world that he had helped create. 🙂
- This has also been mentioned in other reviews, but I am glad the tiles have now been changed to a hexagonal shape rather than squares. It feels more natural and makes the characters move more fluidly on the campaign map too in between turns.
- The music: in fact, forgive me for sounding like a broken record here, but the musical score for both the opening theme and each civ captures the beauty of what has also made me fall in love with this series (akin to The Creative Assembly’s Total War franchise not too long ago)—and one of the multiple reasons why I mindlessly waste my hours away staring at my laptop screen. 🤣
Here’s a seriously deep article just on it alone:
- The fact that animated leaders now speak the native languages of each of their cultures in the Diplomacy screen.
Obviously, this was a new feature implemented in Civ 5 when it was first released back in late 2010—but whoever thought of doing this should be given a medal. Like the aforementioned reasons above, it seems to be part of a push to make games these days increasingly realistic/surreal, such as with The Sims franchise.
But my most favourite aspect is the ability to now select a non-English speaker narrate every civic and discovery you research from the Game Options menu. 😊
- Speaking of, Religion, Wonders and Research have all been completely revamped from previous titles—with a sleek, modern display; not to mention, the fact that you can now not only send your missionaries to foreign Civs to proselytize but also duel with other religious units (i.e. Apostles, Gurus and Inquistors) in a good ol’-fashioned deathbattle animation sequence when you click “Next Turn.” Fuck yeah! 😎
- Actor Sean Bean narrating said opening:
Anyone know who is the voice actress of the daughter though? I’m also quite curious. 🤔 😅
- The mods! Duh! I wouldn’t be here without dem mods! Props to the guys who created the Relive World Wars one! I’m proud to see the late President Chiang Kai-Shek (resurrect from the dead and) get some representation again. Although, if I can make one suggestion, you should have used one of his many smiling portraits as a substitute instead.
Seeing him pout the whole game honestly only works if he’s been defeated (aside from the fact that the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan in our actual timeline, of course):
- The Rise and Fall expansion pack:
So…if you’re one of the few souls who has made it this far in the review, let me give you a ceremonial pat on the back—because I’m not done just yet.
What I look forward to THE MOST in the upcoming Rise & Fall expansion (coming in February 2018) is how the developers are returning to their roots, so to speak; and bringing back aspects of the games such as Golden Ages, announcements that you or other civ players have built a colossal wonder—or even be the first to circumnavigate the globe! 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂
This ALL being said—sorry, it’s past 3 a.m. right now on a Saturday; and I’m surprised I just spent the last almost six hours writing this darn thing instead of finishing my Final papers—it is now time for me to present the mysterious historical figure who spoke/wrote down today’s quote!
And the man in question is…this guy! 😃 🇹🇼 ❤
If you’ve guessed correctly, you’ve just won a sales discount on your very own personal copy of Sid Meier’s Civ VI on Steam!
(Okay…in all honesty, I lied; but no need to sue me) 😋