1,359 of 1,599 people (85%) found this review helpful
17 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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OptionalPerson 14 hours ago 
I spotted the art style as soon as I saw the announcement. Wretched... the last entry looked much better than this. I tend to not be a graphics snob, and I like cartoon-style... but you hit the nail on the head with "mobile game" graphics.
Miyu Rosewood Jan 15 @ 12:18pm 
Well, BE and Civ VI AI no more complex that the "AI" in modern car engine, it's just a state machine, it seems. Lately software is designed by less and less competent devs. ANd their GUi is some kind of library... you can see that BE, Galaxy Civilization, Endless Legend and Civ VI got omething in common in GUI elements. I forgot what is its name but I vaguelly remeber that there is such engine, that one was originally used for Arma series
Stormo Jan 15 @ 11:36am 
Wait, so you're saying Firaxis *meant* for the AI to be so scandalously bad? That's hard to believe, to be honest...
Miyu Rosewood Jan 15 @ 10:27am 
@Stormo they don't play it, they outsourced that to crowd beta-testing and maybe some private testing but by very formal scheme.. if it works, then don't touch it. Lack of AIs constency wasn't a bug... Any remarks on Beta were declined
Stormo Jan 15 @ 9:55am 
Nah, not really. Civ V had its flaws when it came out, but the A.I. in Civ VI is so incomprehensibly terrible that one has to wonder if the developers actually played their own game. It would be funny if it wasn't so damn sad.
the2pages Jan 15 @ 9:20am 
You just described civ 5 so its pretty much status quo with this new one I guess...
JabbrWockey Jan 14 @ 12:37pm 
I agree with most of this, but just a note regarding AI trade deals being 3:1:

After 30 turns or whatever of that 3:1 deal, you can make or they propose renewal with a more 1:1 relationship.

I think it has to do with the fact that the AI doesn't need your trade deal, but once they have it, they grow their civ to rely more on it.
Miyu Rosewood Jan 14 @ 8:49am 
First russian version of Civ V and current civ VI doesn't have functional multiplayer at all.. thank's to distributors. That says something about Q/A of the game, heh
Miyu Rosewood Jan 14 @ 8:46am 
@Professor H. Farnsworth Civ II-IV didn't had model "we sell half-finished game then change it completely but you pay same amount" Civ V was horrible in matter of bugs and economy balance, but AI was decent. It's BE created some horrybly lacking AI that could act only using its 150% production bonus (on any difficulty level above Souz) and totally lacked diplomacy as a feature. Just example: you have too few military units: AI declares war on you because on that. You have too few money same. Opposite situation: same AI declares war on you because you have idle army..lol. "You do not use your army, let's fight"
I Wouldn't Lick a German Jan 14 @ 4:30am 
@Mac Spot on my dude.