Civilization Revolution Review. In the Driver Seat of History
Based on 4X gaming, i.e., exploring, expanding, exploiting and exterminating, acclaimed video game designer Sid Meier brings history to life in Civilization Revolution, taking you from the Bronze Age all the way to rockets in space in the 21st century.
You can see the game’s early beginnings on PC even in its graphics, where you can’t mouse around any longer, instead of having to laboriously pan the camera on the console to view the entire map. The game is based on brightly colored and contrasted maps, which starts to get a little stale after a while. The leaders through history such as Genghis Khan and Gandhi are aptly designed though, even with their animated forms.
Civ begins in 4000BC, where you start off on an unoccupied part of a map as a lone settle unit. You need to harvest food for your settlement to grow, create production units such as housing, and trade to increase your wealth, which may be garnered as research points. Over the course of playing, you’ll fight against barbarians and friendlies with whom you can build alliances. Settlements become larger, and as technology and wealth increases, you can create new buildings, form larger military units for offense, defense or exploration. Moreover, research technologies allow you to leave your mark on history.
Turn Based Strategy in this respect represents the passage of years, from 100 years in early times to 2 years in the modern era. You can win the game in four ways:
- Domination, in which you capture the capital cities of all other civilizations, holding them for one full round.
- Research, where you are supposed to build the space station Alpha Centauri.
- Economic, whose objective is to build the World Bank wonder by acquiring 20,000 gold.
- Culture, where you obtain 20 great persons and build up the UN wonder.
While the game has been stripped down sufficiently to accommodate it on the console, going back and forth through the menu is not particularly my idea of fun. The game controls are better suited for a touch screen where you can zoom out on maps, or a PC with a mouse that can zoom out everything. Other than mapping, controlling is easy through single action buttons, and you are often provided with on-screen prompts to tell you the next move.
Replay Value: 4.0
What gives the game high replay value is the well-implemented multiplayer experience. Online play is smooth, and you won’t experience any lags. I like the private chat feature, which is useful in helping you build (or destroy) alliances. Single-player also has two modes, one which allows you to go up against AI competitors and another which gives different scenarios such as powerful barbarian enemies. These spice up the replayability.
Though porting this game from PC may have stripped off some powerful features, it still manages to capture the essence of the building process. Streamlining the experience for less powerful consoles may have taken away a little luster from the game, but this only counts for experienced PC players and not those who began their playing experience on the console. Strategic options are still available, although the playing mechanics have been reduced to basics.
- Offers different ways of winning.
- Accurate preservation of historical knowledge.
- Fantastic and unique visuals.
- Mechanics have been significantly stripped down.