Civilization games have enjoyed a long and storied history on the PC. The release of the original Civilization catapulted Sid Meier, the game's lead designer, to a position among the most influential minds in the gaming industry. The success of the game spawned numerous sequels, spanning the last seventeen years. Each installment has further ingrained the franchise into the history of video games.
A trademark of every Civilization game is an obscene amount of depth, to go along with a tremendously steep learning curve. Traditionally, the player could expect to be manhandled in numerous matches, before actually discovering the keys to success. What made this aspect of the game worse, is that matches could (and normally would) take several hours to play.
I can remember participating in a marathon match of Civilization III that took over twenty hours to complete. The match ended up being spread out over the span of an entire week. The worst part was losing the match, all because of a stupid mistake made made during the first hour of play. Unfortunately, I didn't realize what I done wrong until it was too late... Goddamn Germans! But enough of my incessant ramblings, on with the review.
The graphical style seems very reminiscent, if not a direct rip of Civilization IV for PC. Cities and Units have retained a cartoony appearance and feel. Most of the over-the-top graphical representations seem at home in a console game. This is far more then could be said about its PC predecessor. While a bit on the annoying side initially, it has a more charming aesthetic that will win the player over, as they venture on further in the game.
The difficulty is what some will refer to as, "Bend over and take it." If a mistake is made, the computer is very quick to exploit the error. When playing on higher difficulty levels it can be even more extreme, so expect to quickly fill up your hard drive with frequent saves. This is really the only way that some will stand a chance against the computer. On PC this would be fine, but on the console version, the lack of shortcut keys make this a long a tedious process, that tends to taint the overall experience. Another issue is that though you may have a significant statistical advantage over an opponent, you will still find yourself loosing battle after battle against them. It is amazing how the bushmen can demolish my tanks using only sticks and stones....
There are sixteen different civilizations that are available for use. Each civilization is led by a great leader from their history. This is not the only nod to the history books. Throughout the progression of the game, the player will get the opportunity to invite notable historical figures to come live in one of their settlements. These additional characters will add to different aspects of the city such as quicker production times or increasing the size of harvests.
Gameplay is where Civilization Revolution separates itself from the rest of the pack. Each turn goes by very quickly, which makes the game hard to put down. The actions is frenetic and battles are delivered with a flare that make the graphical style shine through even more. While matches tend to last forever, the fact that there are four different avenues for victory, adds considerably to the replay value. If you throw online multiplayer into the mix as well, you can count on many hours of insane bushmen whacking action.
Civilization Revolution is a very solid game that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. So go snag yourself a copy and meet me online. I'll be waiting...
Below is a trailer for Civilization Revolution: