Game Review: Civilazation 6

Civilization 6 is a turn-based strategy game where the aim is to transform your single city and warrior into a global empire with a booming economy, unmatched scientific discoveries and an advanced government to help your civilization thrive.

The latest instalment was released October 2016 and is still the vanilla edition without any inevitable DLCs. I was a huge fan of civ 5 and with the 2 DLCs released it quickly become not just one of my favourite strategy games but made it to one of my all-time favourites. So, when I started my fist game I was both excited and apprehensive that It would fall short of civ 5 high mark. But if you are looking for digital board game that involves strategy, combat, exploration and more then look no further this is the game for you!

The good

As soon as the game started I was met with a wonderfully orchestrated soundtrack that firs the series perfectly. Seriously, the music in this game is incredible and varies from a single instrumental melody in the early stages of your empire up to a fill orchestra in the later eras. Couple this with a map that is packed with intricate details and a beautifully simple art style and it means you can fall into the world you create and have to stop from time to time to look at everything going on in the world.

Cities have been completely revamped from the single tile mechanism in civ 5 and now have specialised districts for science/gold/production/culture and more that must be built on spate tiles in your empire to construct building for them (such as the market in the economic district or the university in the campus district). Although this increases the difficulty of placing your cities with all the buildings you want to build it now requires careful planning and thought to make the most out of each of your districts (which of course is a must for civilization). World wonders must also be constructed on separate tiles and in some cases, can be only built next to a certain district. If you take the time to max out your city tiles though, not only do you reap the benefit of your construction but you physically transform your world which is aesthetically very rewarding as well.

The bad

Unfortunately, Civ 6 has not come out the blocks as an equal to civ 5 and I think 2K games missed a trick by including a lot of the civ 5 mechanics like the world congress in civ 6. Unfortunately, this left a bitter taste that civ 6 just isn’t the full game id hoped for and I must wait for the DLCs to bulk up the game some more. The start and middle game are a joy to play as in all civ games but towards the later eras turns become increasingly lengthy end up around the 15-minute mark on standard maps. This is just too long and I found I was just trying to end the game as quickly as possible and it was just nowhere near as fun or progressive. This is partly down to the lack of production queues which seems to be an awkward step back and put me off adding cities as much as I would like (and what good is world domination if you would rather raze cities than capture them?)

Diplomacy in this game has plummeted from a 6 in civ 5 to basically a 2 in this game. Trading with other civilization is extremely frustrating as the AI has no notion to the value of goods and will only trade depending on their relationship to you. The game heavily encourages you to gain access levels to other civilizations with embassies and spies which seems a good idea at first. Unfortunately, after doing this with all my opponents I only learnt when they switch governments, remove barbarian encampment or trade with other civs which quickly becomes annoying as its mostly pointless information.

The ugly

Barbarians are by far the ugliest thing to show up in civ 6. They have been upgraded from previous civ games and now scout of your cities before launching a massive invasion towards it. Now I love the challenge this poses and any chance to move my army to destroy local barbarians is a turn well spent in my opinion. But if you’re caught off by a scout in the very early game you could face a stream of damaging barbarian horsemen where you only have warriors to defend your single city. Lacking any proper units, the barbarians can kill all your units easily and take you city losing the game for you. Obviously better military planning can somewhat prevent this but the strength of early game barbarians is way too high unfortunately.

Summary

Civilization 6 picks up the reigns of its predecessor and takes us to a more beautiful, detailed and logical game than ever before. I love the way the landscape changes through the eras with your development and epic soundtrack make some memorable moments. Unfortunately, I still feel this game is a fraction of its potential and this bug more than it should probably. Nevertheless, with some additional civilizations and game mechanics this could easily be my next favourite game. But for now, I must give this game;

7/10

 

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Landscapes look so awesome now!

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Dam you barbarians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Industrial and economic districts make a city go round

 

 

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Game Review; Witcher 3

Let’s not beat around the bush here, Witcher 3 is one hell of a game! I expected a sort of Skyrim look-a-like with a million and one things to do in a world the size of Narnia
with a lot of similarities with the other fantasy genre games, but what a breath of fresh air this game turned out to be. The excitement in the Witcher 3 is in its
intuative game mechanics, the complexity of detail in it and of course, the beautiful graphics and environments created
which look even better experiecned in the third person camera (Geralt standing on cliff tops with a blood red sunset = epic and goosebumps). I hope this review will share with you the experience I had from the game, pro and cons, and leave your
appetite hungry for more RPG mayhem.

The Good

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was the first Witcher game i picked up and played, and with all new series i had a blank canvas filled with crazy expectations from the months of build up to its release in 2015. I began (like with most games) getting my Xbox One copy and was greeted with an awesome looking box backed full of goodies. CD project red really went above and beyond, with the game disk came a complete soundtrack from the game, an A3 map of the world beautifully styled and a note from the developers themselves letting me know i could get my hands on 14 DLCs for the game for the price of fresh air (please stop charging me £20 for a new map activision).

Getting into the tutorial revealed a moutain of a game with all the features i know and love from my favorite RPGs, combat has a number of aspects to use and taking the time the master them all really pays off in the long run. Weapon of choice for our hero geralt is the sword but choose your weapon wisely, regular iron swords takes care of thugs and bandtis well enough, but for the Devil Witch just outside of town? Well only a silver sword would cut it… literally.

Geralt also has 5 magical powers which can be used to burn, stun or even control his foes with deadly complexity. Learning the trade of when and which spells to use takes practice but by the end i was freezing then burning my enemies to decimate their health before chopping his head of in good nature. The fighting animations and effectively meant battles vary widely and make each enemy much more than just a matter of button-mashing.

The Bad

Whilst the Witcher 3 succeeds in 99% of what it set out to achieve, their are nonetheless a few issues which drive me slightly insane.
Geralt may love his own house roach like a son, but i fucking hate the guy. Calling him makes him appear randomly, i by random i mean completely random, as in; i know you want to jump on my straight away Geralt, but the area of rock which is impossible to navigate is a great spot! Riding your horse around the map is hands down the fastest way to get around (when fast travel is out the question) but with a horse the bugs out and extremely difficult to control, sometimes i just got off and walked.

Fighting mechanics are genrally spot on, exept when your opponent can cause a great deal of damage. I was forced to swap from my preffered stab, stab, big hit, burn, stun, kill technique to a more careful stab, dodge, dodge, roll away, heal for 15 seconds behind this tree whilst by potion takes its sweet time. It fits the complexity of the game alright, but i couldnt help feeling deflated by the complete lack of pace in some battles, which could easily go on for 30 minutes, if you survue that long.

The Ugly

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Ok, so nothing in this game is really ugly, the graphics are superb, but nothing better than other AAA titles on the shelves. The real beauty is in the world. Witcher 3 is absolutely packed full of interactions and side quests and people and secret treasures. I realized this game was special as i wondered off the beaten track, told roach and the Baron to do one and made my own missions to my hearts content. Dungeons and caves proved dark, dangerous environments with the promise of gold (or bad-ass wither gear). Countryside gives a chance to kill monsters for the precious xp whilst taking in the awesome scenery and detail of the world. But my most fun was when i explored the cities and towns of the world buying goods, finding new quests wherever i looked. Novigrad is without doubt the most appealing area to find in any game the bustling streets provide atmosphere and every corner you turn reveals new buildings and houses all styled to be unique yet fit in the world snugly and are far from out of place.

Take a look at the screenshiots below and you’ll see what i mean, each one could be an entirely different world and when your submerged in the world of geralt and co. it should be.

DLCs

I’m not really a fan of DLCs as they almost always fall short of the mark are are no value for money. But i gave them a go with Witcher 3 and was impressed indeed. £20 got me a whole new map and 40+ hours of gameplay. Heart of Stone was a good little side story to get on with and unlocks a lot more cool shit to kill stuff with, but blood and wine felt like Witcher 4 in itself, i left Veren behind for almost 30 hours for the cultured lands of Toussaint. Another great story, the games best Armour and weapons and more characters and relationships which touched the heart was money well spent.
Summary



Don’t forget this game still comes with the AAA price tag which is always a put off for thousand of gamer but i would recommend this game for anyone (18+ of course) with a little imagination and appreciation of a hella good game. The story phased from captivating hours at a time to a slow fetch and bring back quest throughout and the compact was quick and slow in equal quantities too so its not surprising this game boast 60+ gaming hours. But you can play Witcher 3 to your hearts content, killing the toughest monsters in the land for a bit of cash on the side, searching for long lost treasures from your Witcher ancestors, or having a little game of gwent with that good looking barmaid. Its hard to nitpick such a detailed and gorgeous game and fully deserves a score to show this.

Witcher 3: The wild hunt gets…

9/10

Let me know what your thoughts are on the game and your best devastating sword techniques.

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*deep breath* “and relax….”

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Burn baby burn

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I can almost smell this city!

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Look at that DLC! (delicious looking city)

Thanks for reading!

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