340th played so far

1224098577Genre: Strategy
Platform: Playstation 3/Xbox 360/DS
Year of Release: 2008
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2k games

And so we reach the final Civilization game (noooo) we’ll cover for the blog. A slightly odd installment, focused on a console and handheld release, rather than the PC versions that came before.

I’ve played it before in the simpler DS version, but today we’ll be playing the console version of the game, hopefully another one to the end.

Our Thoughts

For a PC gamer, a console port often seems to lose something along the way. Because of the limitations of a controller, controls get simplified, parts of gameplay get cut out and customization gets lost. It works better on some games than others – platformers and FPSes are usually fine, while strategy games and simulations often suffer. RPGs tend to be shuffled to work better – the Mass Effect series provides a good example of this effect, moving towards more of a shooter approach in its second installment.

For the Civilization series, then, the choice was clearly made not to just port an existing game and adjust it. Civilization Revolution instead takes the basic game concepts, takes them apart and makes its own game with it. It’s recognisably¬†Civilization, but plays faster (partially due to a smaller world map), with less flexible rules, but most of the options still there. When playing, it feels so much like the parent series that it takes time to work out what’s missing and what’s different – less worker management, numbers tweaked to speed up play and a reduction in buildings, units, tech and so on.

What’s as nice are the things the game adds in its place. It rewards discovery by giving you bonuses for discovering certain ancient artifacts (including, from one, so many techs that it makes you jump way ahead of others in those stakes). The barbarian tribes have far more of a presence – the camps are actually split into different tribes, leading you to different camps in the same tribe as well as trying to direct your attention to other civilizations.

And the game looks gorgeous. The cities grow in front of you, the world looks interesting and there’s a lot of variation present. The cities have interesting different layouts, representing everything that’s in there, slowly upgrading itself. I think this is the only Civ game where you actually see the wonder being built in the city, on the main map. It makes the game quite a bit nicer.

Final Thoughts

Well, this feels like the end of an era, pun not intended. We are now a hop and a skip over the thirdway mark of this blog (despite being a few years in… wow we will never be done with this blog) and we have finished another major franchise. Sure it isn’t as prolific as the Mario franchise (which we are way behind on at this point in time).

It was a good Civilization game but it still can’t be beaten by Civilization IV which still stands as the best of the franchise in my eyes (and yes I think it’s better than Civilization V)