It’s time to strap on those big boots of creation once again as today Take-Two Interactive’s label 2K and Firaxis Games have surprised us all with the announcement that Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is to come to PC gamers this October 21.
The brand new strategy turn-based game is the latest addition to the award-winning franchise, initially created a whopping 25 years ago. It is set to debut on the same day as the highly anticipated Battlefield 1 from Electronic Arts however with the following the series has, there is no doubt in my mind that it’ll be able to push its weight alongside the machine that is Battlefield 1. Currently, the Civilization franchise has sold over 30 million copies, 8 million of which were for Civilization V which debuted on PC back in 2010.
A long time veteran for Firaxis, Dennis Shirk who is the lead producer of the upcoming game mentioned in an exclusive interview with GamesBeat that they have carried over the team from the predecessor, Civilization V. One of the big changes we’re to see in the new release is to “spread the military units out from a giant stack in a single hexagon to a bunch of units spread out across the map“. Shirk also mentioned:
“We loved how the last product turned out, and we’re moving forward with the same team, and everything that Civ fans like about Civ V is going to be in there too. We’ve put some new systems on top.”
Cities expanding across the entire map
The biggest difference fans will see is that the player will be more encouraged to “play the land“, meaning that the cities will be spread out significantly more across multiple hexagons rather than being bunched up together that we’ve seen in past games. Every city will have their own different districts that’ll be distributed across different tiles.
This won’t necessarily mean that the maps will be noticeably bigger or significantly huge, but you will more than likely end up with either a few or lots of cities – with the happiness level having a main focus on the city level as opposed to the entire civilization you’re running.
“One city can only go out three tiles in all directions. One city with maximum land can’t build every Wonder. If you build every district in one city, you will not have enough farmland to support your population. You have to make these decisions city by city. We are unstacking the cities and taking that to the nth degree.”
This means that you have to spread the districts across multiple cities, meaning that you’ll need to defend multiple cities – a feature we’ve seen before in the franchise. This idea came across as a proposition to take full advantage of the terrain you use, as in past games I’ve seen myself sticking to certain areas or not branching out a lot. I look forward to this as each hexagonal area you use near another will allow you modify how it grows with bonuses being offered based on what the adjacent tile is.
The terrain you choose to grow your cities on can also affect the research you do. For example, specialising in technology and culture can unlock potential boosts that’ll speed up the progress of your civilization through the historical periods of time. Another brilliant example that Shirk expanded on somewhat was building your city on or near a coast, doing so would make your sailing technologies come easier – the same with building a quarry to forward your masonry.
Improved A.I. system
Sid Meier’s games have been renowned for their incredibly well-done artificial intelligence systems, however this game will be different. The A.I. for the new game will have an agenda to further their drive towards a certain type of behavior, perhaps seeing more of a communistic or diplomatic approach from the A.I. in game – this will also change their attitude towards you later on or earlier if you choose to invade them. Personally, I’d be pretty pissed if someone tried to take over my country.
Andrew Garrett, a notable A.I. expert mentioned in an interview that the diplomacy would be a lot more dynamic, changing as the ages evolve and as the leaders show their character. One of the main aims of the game’s A.I. this time around is to make the leaders more ‘expressive’ and ‘realistic’ with the intention of making the belief of the game world being more real.
“We have a system that has a historical agenda linked to a leader, but they also have random leaders, chosen game by game, that are hidden from the player,”
You’ll be able to find out more about the leader’s agenda by utilising your spies. If a leader has an obsession with the world wonders you can build, they may have an agenda to out-build all the other societies in the game and challenging them could come at a risk, furthering any conflict that may arise. There will be a new espionage system in place also, however Firaxis have yet to expand on any details regarding this.
Visual aspects to change significantly
As you can see in the screenshot above and comparing it to Civilization V, the visual aspect of the game is pretty distinct from the older ones. The map will have things a lot more spread out and each individual game is to be modeled differently. You’ll be able to see little details of the game which always make it a nice little touch, even zooming into your buildings will show the members of your civilization hard at work.
“Things have to be a lot more readable, and you need a color language. You have campus districts with blue roofs that correspond to the color of science. It’s more expressive, colorful, and alive.”
The main change in the game’s graphical outlook is to make is seem more artistic as opposed to the realism approach of Civilization V.
The game will still feature all of the best and biggest things we saw previously, from the multiplayer modes, cooperative sessions and scenarios that can be played with or without your friends. We here at This Gen Gaming are incredibly excited to see the new and improved game and can’t wait to see what Firaxis has to offer this time around.
What are your thoughts on this news? Are you excited to play the next release and were you a fan of the series as a whole? What was your favorite Sid Meier’s game and which was your favourite Civilization game – what’d you like to see in the next release? Let us know down below in the comments!