Friday, September 12, 2008

VG review: "Civilization Revolution"

2K Games, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS, rated E10+ for ages 10 and up (alcohol and tobacco reference, mild suggestive themes, violence), $59.99 and $29.99.

I've always been a sucker for strategy games, especially the kind where you're creating and controlling vast cultures, amassing armies and in general playing the role of some omnipotent demigod.

I can, for example, easily (and not necessarily fondly) recall the hours I frittered away playing "Civilization II" on my old Mac, tirelessly building and rebuilding empires.

The game has re-entered my life in the form of "Civilization Revolution," all gussied up for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (and, to a lesser extent, the Nintendo DS).

God games (as titles are referred to) are usually regarded as PC, only their menus and controls are too complicated for console users.

"Revolution" proves that ain't necessarily so. Though stripped down a bit, the game's controls are intuitive and simple, and the tutorial does a splendid job of showing you how to manipulate your various resources.

The game is similar to past entries in the "Civ" franchise. Taking turns with other players (either computer-based or human), you pick from a variety of cultures from Zulu to Japanese. You then go about building a city, raising armies and warriors, garnering knowledge and expanding your empire.

There are several different ways to win, from military might to being the first to explore outer space. You can even win a "cultural victory" by building things like the Great Wall of China or getting famous people like Albert Einstein to settle in your cities.

Diplomacy is tremendously important in a game like this, especially on the harder levels, In fact, I found every level beyond beginner to be surprisingly tough and full of world leaders eager to crush my forces.

Though missing some of the complexity of the PC versions and seeming a bit unbalanced at times (especially in the diplomacy department) I found myself once again completely engrossed and saying "just one more turn" well into the wee hours of the night. Such is the cost of being a demigod.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2008



At 12:13 PM, Blogger Walter said...

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