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'Civilization 6' Is So Good I'm Terrified Of ItForbesDave Thier, Contributor Oct 24, 2016Image: 2K GamesIt was with no small sense of apprehension that I watched the little download bar for Civilization 6 complete. It has been a long time since I lost myself in a Civilization game, and I’ve lost myself in nearly every one of them: 2,3 and 4, specifically. I skipped 5, however, and I knew I was going to be coming back to a very different game. Hexes, for one thing. More complex combat systems. I rarely played those other games with anything but a military bent because other strategies never seemed quite worth it, but I knew they had been significantly fleshed out in the meantime. And it was true: when I sat down to review this game, I found something recognizable but very different, something with everything I loved about the older games with a whole lot more mixed in. When I came to at the end of the weekend, it was clear that this was an incredible game, and I’m not sure I can keep playing it.For my first game, I went with what I knew: an all powerful Rome, conquering the world with my legions. Mostly, it went like I expected, except with the much-improved district system giving my mega cities more life than they had had before, in addition to complicating my sieges in the best way. We’re a long way from the stack of doom, and it gives war the drama it was always lacking when it was just 20 units or so smacking into each other. The feeling you get when your siege units come into place and their feeble little crossbowmen try their best to keep you at bay: priceless.(I know this is a change that started with Civilization 5, but again, I largely missed that one)And yet the whole time I noticed something odd: there were these missionaries spreading themselves throughout my land, converting my cities to Protestantism. I realized that America was as close to their religious victory as I was to my domination victory, and this is the essence of what’s new for me: a game fought on several fronts, like a game of chess where every piece has another identity etched on its bottom that could also be used to checkmate. My bombers made short work of that threat, but the lesson was clear. And so for my second game I tried a religious victory with Saladin — a regular player in Civilization, but one I’ve never experimented with before. And it’s a totally different game: I’ve got four strong cities and I’m waging this whole shadow war with Scythia, our dueling apostles totally separated from the catapults and horsemen that the rest of the civilizations are playing with. Those catapults are still a threat, of course, and so I’m hoping an alliance with Gorgo of Greece can help to augment my own meager defenses from any civilization that decides it would like to take Cairo. Gorgo isn’t having it.This is all separate from a cultural victory, which any other civilization might be working on but I won’t quite know about until I have some spies. There’s archaeology in this game! I haven’t even touched that one, and I’ve played for a dozen or more hours. That’s the overall impression of this game: simple and deep at the same time, something that’s fun and vexing at every moment but feels like it could be a life’s work to master. It’s Civilization, in all its obsessive glory. The “return to game” button on the menu says “one more turn.” Bastards.
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