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Civilization Revolution
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Old 21 Jul 2008, 14:02   #1 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,122
Default Civilization Revolution

Introduction

Ah Civilization (hereby refered to as civ to save my fingers!). One of the most complex, engrossing and addictive series of games ever to produced. It's downright original and still fresh after all of these years, and unless you've had your head in the ground you'll have realised that theres been a new addition to the Meier's family in the form of Civilization revolution. If you've never encountered civlization before you are most certainly missing out; you start at the dawn of the stone age with nothing more than a few wandering nomads and work your way up to leave earth and colonise a distant world. Well, thats assuming you don't get blown up along the way or somebody else beats you too it. And trust me when I say this: civilization is "like" no game, any other gme you can compare it to is like civlization. It's on the same scale as wolfenstein 3D and Doom, it's the original and still the best.


Out with the New, In with the old.

So whats Civ Rev like in comparison to the PC games? Put simply it's a combination of the very first Civ, and the latest (Civ4). You get the simplicity and practicallity of the original with the modern touches such as unit health being displayed by the amount of people left in the army. But it goes way beyond just simply porting the PC game to the console. Civ Rev isn't so much as a console version of Civ4, it's a whole new game; And one that mot certainly impresses. It is far more streamlined with corruption, taxes, and civilian disorder done away with, you know longer have to worry about where to build mines and roads, theres fewer repeats of technology (an example would be the barracks of old - before hand you had to build 3 different structures to create veteran units for the different types of units - now you just build the one) so you don't hae to research extra bits to get somewhere.

It is very much so a case of back to basics. Everything has been stripped, trimmed back to only the absolute minimum. The technology tree now reflects that of the original game with many of the more useless technologies now gone. The tech ladder to swordsmen (now called legions) used to be: Bronzeworking -> Warrior code -> Iron working. Spearmen were made redundent after getting archers from warrior code, and the Swordsmen outclassed the archers soon after. Now it's just archers for defence (no spearmen, sadly), and legions for attack. Two technologies.

The same happens everywhere else - theres no longer factories followed by power plants and then nuclear plants, for example. Theres just 1 factory and it just gives you a straight forward 2x to your production. Same goes for building mines and roads. In the PC Civs you spent hours meticulously building roads and mines with workers (or settlers in the case of the first 2), now it all just happens by building a workshop building in the city, or an iron mine for mountains, and purchasing the road to the next city. Same effect, and since it happens much, much quicker it means you can concentrate on your other duties rather than ordering about some workers.

So it's just a dumbed down Civ for toddlers?

If you're thinking this, then you couldn't be more wrong. You still have to decide what you want each city to do - it's not a case of them being massive factories to build stuff. You have to decide - gold, science, growth or production. Or a healthy mix fo them all. And it's something that will be playing atyour mind for the majority of the game. Do you need an extra burst of tech research? Or do you want to get that road you've been promising yourself built? And hey look! The chinese are attacking, better build some armies quick.

"So I'll just switch as the occasion rises"

Wrong! The game moves at a pace so quickly that any action you make will have reporcusions later down the line. Become derailed and you may loose out on your lead for an economic victory, switch to communism to increase production and you will find your cultural victory come to a halt. It goes on and on. The game is deceptively simple on the surface, but give it a nudge and you find yourself making decisions to affect the outcome of future events - you're not planning on the now moment, your planning on your own judgment for actions hours later. And that is what is at the heart of all of the Civilization games, and Civ Rev delivers it without pulling it's punches.


Conclusion

This is a game that i highly recommend anyone getting for their console. The pace is swift, but not so swift that it looses it's magic. And the factor that you are playing a different game with it's own set of challenges is worth every penny. Don't listen to anyone that will tell you that it is "too Simple". It isn't. It's civilization but with the excess weight taken away and presented in a package that is highly entertaining, complex and will keep you coming back for more and more.

Screenies coming soon
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Old 21 Jul 2008, 15:39   #2 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 5,117
Default Re: Civilization Revolution

Damn, I was gonna make one of these.

As Silk has been saying, this game is great. I was going to get Bad Company, but Silk got me to get this instead, and it's worth every penny. Everything about it is fantastic - it's fun, it involves strategy but it's not too taxing on the good ol' brain, it's got fun-looking graphics, it's funny, and it's very replayable. Now, Silk is somebody who has been in the Civ franchise for a long time, meanwhile this is my first Civ game, so let me give you my point of view, without any references to the PCs.

For a console, turn based strategy game, the controls are amazingly easy. And be easy, I mean they are INCREDIBLE. I never thought a strategy game would have the flow on a console controller that this game has. I'm going to reference this a lot, but I think that the fact that the game has been built solely for a console, and it's not just a PC game transformed into a console game, really helps the flow of the controls to work. I can't even imagine this game on PC after playing it on Xbox, that's how nice it works.
The gameplay is great. From silly messages from Barbarian outposts to threatening messages from your English neighbors (SILK! Grrr....) there is interaction with the AI in this game, for better or for worse. They may threaten you for peace by asking for a certain amount of gold in exchange for an alliance for X turns, or you could go to them, buy technology off of them, ask them to attack another nation, sell your own technology to them, etc. There are lots of things you can do with the other nations beside attacking them. Which leads me to my next point - the victories. There are 4 kinds of victories - Technological, Cultural, Economical, and Domination. They sound like what they are - be the first to reach Alpha Centauri to win Technologically, Build the UN to win Culturally, Get 20,000 gold and build a World Bank to win Economically, destroy all of the other nation Capitols to win Dominationally (is that a word? :P). This leads to a lot of possibilities, and the fact that maps change, there are many nations to choose, the AI changes, and you can win 4 different ways adds to the replayability a LOT.

Online play. Simple, easy, fun. I shoulda nuked Silk when I had the chance.
Seriously, though, the online play is really really simple. All you do is enter a player match, and from there it's you and 4 bots. You can invite 1-4 people into your game, you can wait until other people join your game (if it's not a private match), or you can just go when you have one person and 3 bots! There are different timer settings for turns - 30 secs, 60 secs, 120 secs, and unlimited. So, if you're on Medium (60 secs) and you take too long, it'll go straight to the next turn anyway (to prevent people from slowing down the game). However, if, like me, you need to go to dinner for 20 minutes, you can actually pause the game, and then get back to it when you're ready. Other than the timers and the fact that you're playing with humans, it's exactly the same as single player.
Another thing that adds to replayability is that this game has around 15-20 scenarios (I haven't counted, don't shoot me if there's 10 or 25) that you can load up to change the gaming experience. Maybe Barbarians are tougher and more aggressive? Maybe you start with all technologies researched and all units available? There are tons of choices to create a fun, varied game. My only problem with this is that, as far as I know, you can't do any of the scenarios online.

I was in the middle of writing a review for this when Silk popped up with his :shifty:. So, I tried to stay away from what he was talking about and come at this game from my point of view, somebody new to Civ and new to strategy games on an Xbox. And, from my point of view, this game is up there with Gears of War and Rock Band for the most awesome games money can buy for the Xbox 360. It doesn't matter if you play to win, if you play for fun, if you play for achievements, this game will have something for everybody to enjoy.

10/10.
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