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The iconic strategy genre from Sid Meier is back, and it’s keeping its feet firmly planted on the Earth this time around. Coming off the heels of the 25th anniversary of the franchise, Civilization VI has been announced by Firaxis and 2K as a PC exclusive, and will release on October 21st, 2016.  The information was announced on the Civilization main website, along with an official announcement trailer, as shown below. 

The Civilization VI Steam Store description gives a brief glimpse and some of the changes that are planned for the franchise, and some of them sound rather interesting. The “Combined Arms” feature allows for players to expand on the one unit per tile design. Now, players can embed support units within other units, like putting a warrior embedded with settlers, or placing an anti-tank support with infantry units. It hints at the idea of “Corps” units, where similar units can be combined to make more powerful units. How that will work is unknown at this time, but is an intriguing wrinkle into the strategy playbook, and seems to be coming to some middle ground between Civilization IV’s “stacks of doom” and Civilization 5’s single units.

But of course, it wouldn’t be much of a Civilization game without some of the basics. You’ll be able to settle your units down and create cities that can span multiple tiles, to take advantage of local terrain and the resources that it has. There seems to be an emphasis on this feature point, meaning that there may be bonuses or specific building styles that could play out with the cities spanning multiple tiles, and maybe using more resources than ever before. Research trees will be present as your units can explore the environment and other cultures to help speed that along.

Diplomacy, of course, makes its return. There seems to be a focus on beefing this feature up, as they want to make the feature more dynamic, and attempting to address the complaints of Civilization 5‘s cut-down diplomacy system. In particular, it makes a focus on calling out the late game diplomacy, which seems to be overlooked in past games.  Of course,  Civilization VI will bring along the traditional multiplayer that the series is known for.  It does hint at a co-operative mode, with special situations that are designed for play in a single multiplayer sessions to cooperate and compete with friends.  

Civilization 6 Screenshot 1

Civilization VI is available for pre-order via the steam store page and 2K store for $59.99, with no sides of a physical edition. While no live gameplay footage has been shown yet, a couple of screenshots are included on the store page. There will be post-launch DLC available a la carte, or as a package via the Digital Deluxe version of the game, along with the 25th Anniversary Digital Soundtrack which will run you $79.99.

Quick Take

The unit combination element is interesting and opens up new gameplay possibilities. But until I see some gameplay footage, consider me a little bit hesitant on the franchise after Beyond Earth. It needs to prove that it can move the franchise forward in meaningful ways, and make Civilization VI stand out from its counterparts. But hey, good to see that the franchise is still going strong.

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Shaun Joy

Staff Writer

YouTuber Dragnix who plays way too many games, and has a degree in Software Engineering. A Focus on disclosure on Youtubers, and gaming coverage in general.

  • webkilla

    At this point… I cannot see what they can do differently from Civ5

    Unless they start to actually do things like in Alpha Centauri (still the best 4X game ever IMO)

    beyond earth boring as hell – and I just cannot see how they can make a worthwhile game for 60$ that isn’t just a rehash of everything that’s already been done

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    I play Civ exclusively on my Mac now. If this is Windows-only I’ll just stick with Civ 5.

  • Azure

    More like 2017 release date once 3 expansions have been released to actually make the game better than Civ V.

  • Rurik

    Not very excited about the next one. I wish they would do a good historic city building game. Not sure why we don’t see anymore for like 10-14 years now( Banish withstanding)? I would love to see a new Roman, Egyptian or hell any city building game.

  • PerfectDeath

    Judging by the pic in the article, Wonders seem to take up a tile, maybe they split off some wonders to be built within cities while others have to be placed on a tile?

  • Saturnrules

    The graphics look like absolute garbage.

  • Zandohaha

    I’ve thought about this for a long time, pretty much since the disappointment of CivCity Rome.
    How good would a city builder be that progresses through eras in the same way that a game of civ does? Watching your little settlement grow from a pre-civilisation circle of mud huts into a modern metropolis, managing the changing needs of your people over time. I would kill for a good game like that.

  • Rurik

    That would be amazing but I settle with regular historic one build with modern technology. Not sure why there never even been any kickstarters or indie project for this gene? We can’t be the only ones interesting in historic cities builder?

  • ParasiteX

    Love Civ and 4x games in general.. but i’m not liking this art style they are going with.. looks very facebook game styled..