1,398 of 1,644 people (85%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 50.0 hrs on record
Posted: Dec 19, 2016 @ 2:49am
Updated: Dec 19, 2016 @ 3:12am

The Short of It: While Civilization VI isn't a bad game, it is quite fundamentally flawed and comes in no way close to its predecessors, Civ IV and V. If you're new to the series, definitely play those instead, or if not, go for Endless Legend, why not. All three are better experiences than Civ VI.



The Long of It: The Civilization series should be well-known to all gamers, but not everyone has actually played the games. The groundlayer of the turn-based 4X-genre, Civilization takes a player, and his empire, from the Stone Age to the Information Age, with the player making decisions on where to focus in terms of scientific research, military development, cultural progress, expansion, and many other factors. Every game is different, not just in terms of player-determined settings, but also in terms of map layout, rival civs, etcetera.



The Right of It: Civ VI improves one thing greatly compared to its predecessors, and that is city development. The Districs system really forces you to think, and to specialize. Gone are the days of a single city building every improvement and Wonder. It's just not possible anymore, and that's a good thing. With the districts-system, Science and Production are no longer the be-all, end-all of games which need to be focused on primarily.

Barbarians are no longer the pointless annoyances they were in the previous games. They're much deadlier now, and every civ needs to stay on its toes. This definitely gives the barbarians-element some much needed relevance.

A few other nice improvements made it to Civ VI, including military/noncombatant escort formations (finally!), expendable builders (which deals with unit clutter), mix-and-match cultural policies, and Eureka!-boosts for techs and civics, earned by fulfilling all kinds of mini-tasks. Now, if they'd just stuck to that, Civ VI would have been a straight-up improvement over VI, but sadly, there's a lot to discuss when I point out...



The Wrong of It: With all the desire for innovation and change, Civ VI trips over itself in quite a few departments, in same cases making the game frustrating and irritating to play.

The diplomacy system is, for want of a better word, a complete disgrace. Rival Civs will all, without exception, viciously loathe each other, including you, denouncing each other and you as often as they can, even when you've done them absolutely no wrong. One Civ had several diplomacy bonuses from good relations, but still declared me filth because we had a different system of government. Meanwhile, the A.I. leaders will not stop spamming you with pointless messages every turn, and because they, for some reason, need to slowly fade out twice, it's an infuriating habit which costs you a lot of time and has no benefit at all.

You might as well never bother with trade deals either. The AI will never, ever agree to a trade deal, nor suggest one, which doesn't favour them at least 3:1, even if they are pathetically weak. Their deals are nothing short of extortionate, and all they do is waste your time with more pointless interruptions, because you'd never, ever accept any of their deals anyway. As for espionage, well, expect all the A.I. opponents to focus only on you, sabotaging your Industrial Zones relentlessly, causing you to gnash your teeth as you waste yet more turns rebuilding things.

What few friends you have will, guaranteed, suddenly declare war on you for no reason at all, even though they're much weaker than you are and have nothing to gain from the conflict. And then, within ten turns, they'll come begging on their knees for peace. Refuse, and the entire world will hate you even more for being a warmonger. That's right, you will be a warmongering menace to the world even if you never once declare war. Having war declared on you and defending yourself is apparently an atrocity. This kind of system makes a player wonder if this game was even playtested at all.

In fact, it's not just diplomacy, really. The A.I. in general is often downright moronic.

The choice of art style, as well as the writing, are questionable to say the least. While it's true that Civ V was high on realism, and therefore seriousness, Civ VI has taken to the other extreme. The art style is jarringly cartoony, with leaders looking like caricatures and the map nauseatingly green and yellow, the UI is ugly with oversaturated colours, and the educational quotes that came with tech discoveries have been replaced with cringey pseudo-witty pop culture soundbites from comedians and other assorted funny-people. Not even Sean Bean's excellent narration can save the writing from being eye-rollingly lame. All things combined, Civ VI has the look of one of those crappy mobile games.

Lastly, the Civilipedia isn't much help. The game neglects to explain a lot of things and looking them up in the Civilipedia doesn't help one bit. You're supposed to smell that you can only build a single Archaelogist per city that has an archaeology museum, for instance. Often, building options will be grayed out without any explanation as to why. And don't get me started on National Parks. Ugh.

And of course, once more, many civilizations and mechanics are not present, or in a bare-bones way, which means Firaxis has once more held back things which were present in the previous game, only to release them in expensive DLC packs. It's a nasty habit, and every game developer should ask itself some serious questions when it resorts to deliberately holding back game content to be able to release it as DLC later.



The Last of It: Civ VI has some good ideas, but its positive elements don't come close to making it as good as Civ IV or Civ V. It's certainly not a bad game, but as an entry in the Civilization series, it falls far short of the standards the franchise holds itself to. Seriously, get the previous Civs instead, or if you've played those, give Endless Legend a go.
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79 Comments
Miyu Rosewood Jan 23 @ 9:44pm 
My bad.. not Kohan! ironically it was early Microprose game by Simtex, Master of MAgic, who did it first.. district thing.. there were similar "city improvements" before El, even in Civilization series. Civ VI is basicly Civ V: Call to Power :P
Miyu Rosewood Jan 23 @ 9:36pm 
Better and mre realistic solution was used by Endless Legend.. which, techniclly, was taken from Kohan: we connect the units into an "army" That also was allowed very flexible combat AI.
Quantum Projects Jan 23 @ 6:34pm 
I disagree, @Stormo. They changed it so that instead of building Stacks of Doom (Civ4), you now build Carpets of Doom (Civ5). No real change there, IMHO. And that small "grievance" represented so much loss in gameplay!. Many people have said that Civ5 is an empire-building game where you do well not to build things. If you would like a compreehensive review of the game's flaws, I suggest you read Sulla's editorials on Civ5. It truly openned my mind. I suggest you Google it, it is easy to find.

Anyway, I've read enough about Civ5 to know it fared well with today's audience, and I wouldn't say that it isn't, in itself, a good game by today's standards. But considering how Civ4 was such a precious gem of design (like Diablo 2 and other once-in-a-generation games), I can't feel less than sorry that the Civilization franchise haven't improved much ever since.
wayninja Jan 23 @ 9:39am 
@Miyu - I disagree. The "rant" says it doesn't compare to it's predecessors. That's untrue. If anything, this is superior. I'm not justifying the piecemeal/DLC scamming approach, but this game, as broken as it is, is lightyears ahead of Civ V vanilla.
Stormo Jan 22 @ 11:55pm 
Well, I got quite peeved with Civ V's unit stacking rules (or better "NO unit stacking rules"), but Civ V, in the state it is now, is a very good game, good enough to live with the ludicrous stacking restrictions. Mind you, I only care about the stacking when it comes to MOVING large amounts of units, I agree with Firaxis that building deathstacks was a lame strategy. Anyway, Civ V is good enough for the stacking problems to be a minor annoyance.

Civ VI is like a Lada tuned by a slav: it looks shiny, but it rattles and creaks from all sides.
Quantum Projects Jan 22 @ 5:07pm 
It seems worthy mentioning that the much lauded "District" change is unequivocally based on Endless Legend's city districts, so this feature is neither original nor innovative. People have tested this system for them before. And from your review, I guess that is the only thing you could call "innovative" in this game. What a shame, I've already skipped Civ5 due to that lame "1-unit-per-tile" rule, which would obviously backfire (as it has). Now it seems I'll skip Civ6. Is Civ4 really the last good game of this franchise?
Miyu Rosewood Jan 21 @ 11:45am 
@wayninja "vanilla" civ V was unfinished game too, that's the point of rant. Firaxis divides game in parts and sells them separately. ANd honestly, AIs had to follow old good "King of the hill" strategem, that they did in Civ II\III, creating alliances to start war with player. Often they had denouncing me, instead of actually wage war (civ V AI never starts war if he cant acount your resources - that's why opening borders for them to explore is bad thing on top difficulty). Oh, and their wargame playing is really bad.. I often was winning with army disadvantage 1:5 on industial warfare tech level
wayninja Jan 18 @ 1:30pm 
I don't think you recall the vanilla Civ V diplomacy or AI correctly. You even admit that the barbarians are more deadly this time around, which is contigent not only on their spawing intervals, but also the AI that powers them. Diplomacy basically has to be the way you describe unless you expect the AI to simply sit back and lose peacefully. Declaring war and denouncing you may seem irritatingly pointless to you, but when you are ahead, there's not much else the AI can do to try to win. It needs to make you the enemy that the other civs rally against, as that's the only hope it has. Regardless, your beef seems more with the art direction than anything specifically flawed technically in this installment that wasn't also present in Civ V. And don't get me started on ICS in V. It was a joke that by itself makes this version infinitely better.
Stormo Jan 18 @ 12:25pm 
Especially because the damn things need to fade out, slowly, TWICE!
chtitelarve Jan 18 @ 10:07am 
Well You almost said it all, I agree with most of what you've pointed out. This is sad, especially concerning diplomacy, they really, really need to fix it (and chiefly spare us the useless and painful every-turn notifications).