Do you like to ‘boost’ things? To comply with a list of arbitrary objectives to make the screen flash and ping like a slot machine? Then this new tech system was designed for you.
Do you like to collect cards? To slowly build a deck so that at first you have no options at all, and by the end you have far too many options to realistically weigh them all against each other? But at least you have more… stuff! Then this new civics system was designed for you.
Can you hear that? The voice of God, whispering in your ear? Telling you to spam apostles because the AI is going to spam missionaries so you need to spam apostles? Would you like to do as He says? Would you like to devote your life to pressing the ‘purchase apostle’ button, again and again, as He intends? Then this game is for you.
Does the coming android takeover frighten you? Would you rather return to a simpler time, when computers were too stupid to pose a threat, so we worried about barbarian horsemen instead? Then the AI of this game was meticulously designed with you in mind.
This stuff is sadly a big part of the game, and I hate it. But it’s not all bad. The way that districts, wonders and national parks depend on terrain could be very interesting, if it didn’t essentially boil down to MOUNTAINS GOOD. There’s the kernel of a much better game here, a game where every city is actually a unique, organic construct shaped by its particular topography and history. But that’s not the game they made.
Civ VI doesn’t beat the Revolutions for worst game in the series, but it’s trying really hard. Obviously, it looks like a cartoony phone game. But even within that aesthetic the art is not at all cohesive, with some elements like the tags for promoted units look like they were plopped into the game without consulting the art department. Whatever; I can get used to the looks. But however hard I try, I can’t find enjoyment in the gameplay.
EDIT: Forgot to mention that the tech quotes are pretty annoying. They went with snarky jokes instead of something that actually compliments the atmosphere of the game. You’ll get sick of hearing that Mt. Kilimanjaro is not wifi enabled real fast.
Updated for the Gathering Storm expansion, unfortunately none of the grievances of the core game have been fixed by it.
– Expensive DLC’s, that do not address the core issues of the game
– AI does not feel alive
Opponents will *never* barter with what they have, no matter the cost. They won’t even try. A weak opponent facing your warmongering nation *will* pester your borders with their pointless cities, and making matters worse: after cleaning out the thrash, they will *not* offer serious peace offers. Sure: they may have a few thousand gold in their coffers, but peace is only worth 6 gold to them.
Adding insult to injury: they *will* spam you for turns with their offers for peace that are too stupid to accept.
– The AI will spam diplomacy requests that you cannot permanently block (like the preposterous peace offers above, but also for stupid trades that would never ever benefit you)
– The AI remains atrocious. Barbarian galley attacking your coastal warrior for negligible damage? It will stay there and do it forever. But it gets worse because of the interface point below.
– The interface is getting worse and worse. Fortify? It’s actually more of a sleep button now. Your troops *will* wake up when attacked, no matter how pointless the attack is and you *will* have to re-‘fortify’ them every horrible turn.
– An easy option for your warmongering nation to raze all cities? Hell no, no razing original or new capital cities. In fact, very few quality of life options exist. The workshop is your only exit in most of these things.
The game could have been a big plus, but is *still* in need of serious work. Really unfortunate. I no longer believe the game will be as playable as its predecessor Civilization V, and even that one struggled to be better than its predecessor.
Civilization VI, as it stands to me, is now a lost cause. I’ve thrown money at these people in hopes of supporting the legacy, but perhaps I should rethink that strategy and perhaps so should you!
(The Workshop can and does alleviate some of these issues.)