|System: Xbox 360, PS3, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Firaxis||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: TBA||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Rating Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Joseph Catalanotto
February 12, 2008 - Strategy games, needless to say, are among the most popular on the market, particularly among PC gamers. RPGs and FPSs are all fun, but it's honestly quite difficult to beat a really great strategy title. And as virtually every PC gamer on top of things knows, Sid Meier's Civilization series is one of the best strategy offerings out there. Combining some exciting action with awesome, addicting strategic gameplay, Civilization is a gaming experience not soon forgotten. And now, everybody's going to be able to get in on the fun with the upcoming release of Civilization Revolution on the Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
To begin with, Civilization is really a fantastic looking title, even on the DS. And therefore, it goes without saying that the PS3 version of this title is absolutely fantastic looking. The reason? Well, seeing as past versions of Civilization were all on the PC, the development team had to be careful not to make the game so graphically demanding that most gamers' PCs couldn't handle it. With a console version of Civilization, however, the developers know that every gamer has the same hardware -- this uniformity allows them to push the console to its graphical limits, without fearing that some gamers won't be able to play the game.
Naturally, Civilization Revolution looks better on the PS3 than it does on the 360 (although slightly) and the Nintendo DS (significantly more graphically impaired), but regardless the game looks great compared to other games on each of the title's respective systems. The title runs incredibly smoothly and really looks great; graphics achieve that effect that's not necessarily "realistic," but rather generally fun-looking. The visuals definitely help give the game a more casual, lighthearted feel, one which is further exemplified throughout the title's gameplay.
That is to say, the game has been noticeably streamlined for the console and handheld versions of the game. The strategy, of course, plays a big part in the game. The game plays out in a grid-based fashion, and navigating the huge map is taken care of with the controller's control stick (or d-pad, in the case of the DS version). However, before you start declaring war on anybody, there's a lot of other options to explore in Civilization Revolution. For example, there's a much greater emphasis on exploration this time around, and there are a number of additions to the gameplay mechanic that really encourage you to explore. For example, you can't cross into another country's borders, so it's important early on to get a firm stake in the map on which you're playing. Additionally, you can't pass through the space that another unit is residing on -- so it's beneficial to take control of strategic mountain passes and other such environmental features.
Next to exploration, economic strategizing is a huge aspect of Civilization Revolution, and this is the part of the game that has been most cut-back from PC versions of the game. Rather than intricately controlling each and every aspect of each different city, the citizens of each of your cities will be relegated to working nearby the city, be it building roads or working on irrigation canals. You still have the option to manage all the economic aspects of your civilization, but for those who'd rather get to the thick of the action, it's nice to have this part of the game taken care of for you. But for die-hard Civ fans like myself, it's nice to have the option to manage things yourself.
And then, of course, there's the combat. The combat mechanic in Civilization Revolution has remained much the same from past Civilization games, and it's where the grid of the game comes into play. The combat system is turn-based, and much of the fun lies in making -- and breaking -- alliances, navigating the world via diplomacy, and then resorting to warfare when necessary. Each civilization has a number of unique units, as well as soldiers the same across the board. Naturally, the units at your command increase technologically as time passes, and armies can be formed by placing multiple of your own like units on the same space. The combat system is deep and offers lots of variety, and adds a lot to the game.
However, the real potential greatness in this upcoming title lies in the way these three major elements -- exploration, economic management, and combat -- are combined. It's shaping up to be a really fun, exciting, and addicting game -- exactly what you'd expect from any Civilization title. No matter which system you decide to play it on. Keep a sharp eye out for Civilization Revolution when it releases later this year; srategy buffs certainly won't want to miss it!
CCC Freelance Writer