Bookahnerk had pre-purchased Civilization VI for himself and for me and we’ve both been looking forward to the game’s release for weeks now. Since I’ve spent the week being sick while still going to work every day (thank you, painkillers, for helping me out), we spent Friday evening being very lazy. He brought home Subway sandwiches, so I did not have to cook. I had started a single player game on Friday morning before work, but in the evening, we decided to start a game together. Difficulty setting “Prince” gave us a very unpleasant experience. Within a couple of turns, we were both occupied by barbarians with no force to counter them.
We restarted both with “Warlord” which is one difficulty setting below “Prince”. I think Warlord is too easy for us, but it worked fine to start and get to know the game. Especially if you’re playing together, it’s just too frustrating if you need to restart all the time because one of you got overrun by barbarians. ;)
In the single player game, I had chosen England as my civilization while I tried out France in the multiplayer one. The introduction video for France says that it’s a perfect civilization for those going for a cultural victory. I really like and prefer going for the non-domination victories, so it sounded like the perfect choice. But I’m not so sure right now. But that’s probably because I have not seen too much of the game yet and am not really sure what I’m doing, especially when it comes to focusing on one path for victory. I just always love the exploration part and England seems like a better choice there as it gives you an advantage in naval movement. It also seems that I go for the female leaders more than the male ones. Come to think of it, I don’t remember when I last willingly played a male leader in the Civilization games other than getting a random leader. Most of the time, the female leaders have the attributes or bonuses I want, though. Especially England!
The biggest controversy before the game’s release was probably the graphics. I even saw lots of comments about how the game was “dumbed down” which seemed to be related to the impression they got from the graphics (Halo Effect at its best, I assume). I myself was not a big fan of the graphics changes, but I also said from the beginning that the actual gameplay was much more important to me than the look of the game. My impression so far is that it does not look or feel like a “mobile game” at all. After all, it’s not even the graphics alone. It’s the combination of graphics, user interface, animations, sounds and music. If there were such a mobile game, I would probably start playing games on my mobile phone. :p
I had also heard the game’s main theme before playing and I was… disappointed. Of course, after Baba Yetu, it’s difficult to come up with something better if you ask me, but this song, “Sogno di Volare” just seemed so boring. However, I started the game and watched the introduction video which is where the main theme slowly starts playing and I can tell you: It fits perfectly. It’s no Baba Yetu, but it’s definitely a great song for the game. I also received a newsletter mail from the composer, Christopher Tin, who let us all know that the song can also be bought on several sites like Amazon or iTunes – just in case somebody is interested. :)
So altogether, after playing for a few hours, I can say that I am definitely not disappointed with the game. I have not found anything to be “dumbed down” so far and I really like the addition of the city districts. The builders only having a number of “charges” to improve fields before you need to build another builder is annoying, though. Probably very good, but annoying. I keep building other stuff in the city (like fighting units etc.) and forget that I also need builders to improve my city. It adds another strategic element, though, as you need to consider even more what you need to build in your city next and what you want to focus on.
My conclusion so far: It feels like a true Civilization game and a worthy successor to Civilization V… but I still don’t like the way the trees look. :p