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‘Civilization VI’ E3 Impressions

At E3 this week, I was given a special gameplay demo of Civilization VI, the latest entry in the Civilization franchise from 2K and Firaxis. The series is over 20 years old, and Firaxis provided a fun little retrospective that celebrated the series and showed off some of Civilization VI‘s new features.

While the fifteen-minute long video was light on groundbreaking information about Civilization VI, it nonetheless provided a succinct overview of how the newest installment will continue the legacy of the previous games in the series, as well as some insight into the game's interesting new districting mechanic.

It started off with something Civ fans should be very familiar with: builders constructing farmland on empty tiles. This is where the new district system comes into play, as lands can be further developed into specific districts. For example, farmland can be developed into quarries or military training grounds depending on a city's most pressing needs.

The new district system lets you specialize hexes to grant bonuses and personalize cities.

They showed off other series staples, including the construction of wonders, the establishing of trade routes, and the waging of war. Like in previous games, settlers will venture outside of the city, seeking tiles to establish new cities in. Barbarians, of course, will be making a return – players will be encouraged to seek out barbarian encampments to ensure the nomadic groups' swift and total decimation. How humanitarian of you!

We also got a brief glimpse at diplomacy: Theodore Roosevelt will serve as the leader of this game's United States civilization. As in previous games, players will be encouraged to trade resources with competing civilizations and establish government policies to steer the growth of the civilization.

CivilizationVI_Screenshot_RoughRider
Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders lead the U.S. civilization.

The featurette ended with a glimpse of the game's space travel mechanic, which players will encounter towards the end of their civilization's timeline.

The graphics are simple but effective. For example, a new construction animation, which shows the rapid progression of a structure as it's erected, is surprisingly effective at making the game seem dynamic and alive. As always, the music was fantastic, providing the grandiose sense we've come to expect from Sid Meier and Firaxis.

All in all, based on what I saw in the demonstration, Civilization VI looks like a fitting update to the Civilization formula. I'm definitely excited to learn more about Civilization VI as its October 21 release approaches.


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