Strategy games are always hit or miss with me, I don’t mind the complexity but some of them are just unnaturally convoluted. The Civilization series has been like that for me, they cram so much into the game it borders on ridiculous. The strategy is figuring out what half of the 50,000 functions and commands are within the game when it should be in expanding your empire and conquering other civilizations.
Background on the game for those unfamiliar with it from Wikipedia; Civilization Revolution is a turn based strategy game, with every “turn” representing the passage of several years within the game, which changes from 100 years in the beginning to two years by the end, reflecting the faster pace of contemporary society made possible by technological advancements. Ultimately, each civilization competes for land and resources with the purpose of eventual military, technological, cultural, or economic domination.
This game first popped up as a demo in the Playstation Store a few years ago and since I was familiar with the Civ series on the PC I was curious to see how they made it accessible to console gamers. The core gameplay remains the same but they’ve stripped out most of the complexities that made it inaccessible to casual gamers. In fact, the game is actually fun to play.
You choose from 16 civilizations, including the United States (Lincoln), China (Mao Zedong), England (Queen Elizabeth I), Arabs (Saladin), etc. and try to expand your empire. As stated before, you can win the game 4 ways, military domination (killing everyone off), technological victory (build a space ship and reach Alpha Centauri), cultural victory (you obtain a “great person” when you achieve certain milestones, grab 20 of them, build the United Nations and you win) and economic domination (get 20,000 gold and build the World Bank.)
Ok so when you explain it, it sounds kind of boring but it’s actually not bad. You can actually obtain a victory in a single setting which would never happen in the PC series, depending on your view that’s either a positive or a negative. The different civilizations have different skills and military units that pop up over time so it provides incentive to try again with a different person and try to win a different way. I usually build up my technological knowledge over time, build a nuclear weapon and nuke other civilizations.
The graphics aren’t anything special and the characters are cartoony and all speak in that weird sim fake language thing. This adviser lady is always ending her suggestions with “follum follum.” If you’re into hardcore strategy games this isn’t it, this is a barebones game made for people with short attention spans. It works though, I haven’t enjoyed a console strategy game this much since SimCity on SNES and it provides me with that “I-must-conquer-the-world” fix.