Story (4 out of 5)
The story is the classic Civilization story if you are a fan of the series. Your civilization is done with the wanderings of a nomadic people and is ready to settle down and build a capitol city. Your job is to build a civilization of cities to stand the test of time. It is up to you as their leader to guide them through and win a victory via one of the 4 victory conditions which are set before you. The greatness of this open ended game play gives you the ability to write your own story every time you start a new game. You have 16 civilizations to choose from to achieve these victories.
Game Play (4 out of 5)
Sid Meier and his team at Firaxis have done a great job to adapting this game to the PS3 console. Some micromanagement present in the PC versions are eliminated to speed the game up quite a bit. Gone are the workers of yor and present is the option to pay gold for roads to connect your cities. There are five difficulties to choose from: Chieftain, Warlord, King, Emperor, and Deity. You start off the game by picking your leader. Each civilization leader has special abilities/bonuses and some leaders have special units in the earlier/later eras. The game has four different eras as time passes by, Ancient, Medieval, Industrial, and Modern which affects your civilization bonuses that are available to your civilization. You will always start out your game with four other random computer lead nations to play against.
There are four different ways to win the game, Domination, Culture, Economic, and Space Race. Depending on your own agenda and style you will have to choose how to obtain these victories. You gain help through building “World Wonders” in your cities, researching technologies, choosing your government type, making an army of forces strong enough to defend your nation, diplomatic (or undiplomatic) relations with other nations, and obtaining “Great People” who can be used up once for a special bonus or added to your city for a special city bonus.
The Domination victory is for us warmongers who just want to take over the world through brute force. This is done by taking foreign capital cities with your military units. Military or Naval units(of the same type) can be combined into an army of three when stacked on the same tile. Military armies also receive special abilities or can get a general by gaining victories on the battlefield which will aid you to your Domination victory.
Cultural victory is achieved by getting a combination of the following twenty objectives; great people and foreign cities flipped by your culture. Once this has been achieved you can build the United Nations to seal the cultural victory.
Economic victory is achieved by stockpiling the amount of $20,000 gold and building the World Bank wonder to end the game.
The Space Race victory is done through technology research, building the space program, and sending a space ship to Alpha Centauri before any other nation becomes bound for the stars.
Graphics and Sound (3 out of 5)
The battlefield graphics are awesome and actually worth watching. It’s nice to be able to root for your little warriors when they are taking on an army of knights. The map pops out of the screen with mountains, deserts, resources, and flowing river plains melding into the open oceans. The cities reflect great wonders you have built and also change through time depending on what era you are currently in.
Sounds of battle are great and when you run into a barbarian tribe the horns are blaring in the background. The speaking of leaders and barbarians is a problem…….if the Firaxis team was going to make the rulers and barbarians talk why did they have to make it sound like little kid gibberish? Thank god there is an option panel in the game to turn the ruler/barbarian speech to mute or one might contemplate suicide by listening to this annoying gibberish throughout the whole game.
Downloadable Content (5 out of 5)
Right off the bat for the PS3 you can download additional scenarios for free from the playstation store. There are also mod scenario packs you can buy for a couple bucks which are well worth it when you are looking for a map with a sole victory condition or just a crazy shaped world to play on. This area of the game deserves a 5 out of 5 as that is super fast to be able to download new content already.
Overall Rating (4 out of 5)
Overall score 8/10. This game is a must have addition to the turn-based strategy video gamer’s collection. I was thrilled with the quick game play and think this is the perfect meshing of the game Risk with Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolutions. There were good trade offs between the PC version to the console version but there was a MAJOR customization lost in translation. If you have played the Civilization series as long as I have one of the greatest options in the PC version is to customize your own map. You can set the number of opponents, climate conditions, map size, and choose victory conditions (without time constraints). I mean how great is it when you have no time constraints and the game play is totally open ended?? How great is it when you are going for your Domination Victory and you don’t have to worry about Queen Isabella of the Spanish beating you with the Economic Victory (because she’s on an island all alone across the world)? Boooo… Why they dropped this option of customization I have no clue. I can only ponder it must have been for the greater good of the game. Also veteran Civilization players be forewarned. Diplomatic relations must be constantly kept up to remain peaceful. I would say you have to visit another nation at least every four or five turns or they will demand ransom from your nation. In previous Civilization PC games you could make peace with a nation and leave it be for way longer. Not so in Sid Meier’s Revolution. If you do not speak with Gandhi of India to keep relations peaceful he’ll come knocking on your door with Nukes looking for a handout.