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Civilization Revolution Review

January 22, 2009
It's a Revolution! Sorta

It's a Revolution! Sorta

Sid Meier’s Civilization series has been a corner stone in the turned based strategy genre since the original was released back in 1991.  While its primary platform has been the PC, it recently went into the console realm with Civilization: Revolution.  Does this PC turned based strategy game transfer well to home consoles?  The answer is yes & no.


The goal of the civilization series has always been to lead your chosen civilization to victory.  There are little over a dozen civilizations to choose from, each with its own unqiue abilities.  While these unique abilities are nice, there is a quick point in the game will it all becomes irrelevant.

I think I’m getting ahead of myself so let me backtrack.  As I said in the introduction, Civilization: Revolution is a turned based strategy game.  What this means is that players are given a turn to do whatever they need to do & when their turn is over, they let the CPU/other players have their turn.  This type of game, as well as Real Time Strategy games have always been home on the PC rather than consoles (For control reasons).  To deal with this Revolution has been extremely simplified from the last iteration on the PC, Civilization IV.

The simplification works as a double edged sword.  While it allows for the game to be easy to control on the console, it lacks the depth that the PC versions have had.  However it’s not only depth, its difficulty!  While the game sports various difficulty levels, they are all pretty much the same thing.  The A.I for the other civilizations in any given name are strange to say the least.  Some will get mad that your borders are getting too large (When you are no where near them) and start a war, or get mad that your close to a technological victory and start a war over that, or really start a war over ANYTHING.  It is kinda ridiculous & nonsensical on what drives the enemy A.I.

As I was saying before, the game also lacks depth.  The amount of choices you can make are simple at the simplest level and some key things have been removed.  For example you are no longer able to choose a world type, i.e continents, snaky continents etc that the PC version had.  Rather your are always given the same generic world over and over again.

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Not only that, but for whatever reason players can no longer build units & buildings at the same time.  This makes you pick & choose what you build, sacrificing units for buildings or vice versa.  This severely hinders gameplay choices as if you want to create wars, you have to 100% commit to building war units.  While there is much more I could complain about with what was loss from the PC versions, I’ll stop now.

The game has a few gameplay aspects, these include but not limited to research, buildings, & units.  Research allows civilizations to discover new technologies, allowing them to build new units, buildings etc.  For being the first to discover them, most technologies give the players a prize, whether it be a free building, units, what have you.  The only problem with this system is that 90% of technologies do this, making it almost a mute point since nine times out of ten, you will be leading the technological charge and getting prize after prize after prize.


The game retains Civlization’s classic art style, that being cartoony, bright & colorful.  There are no real complaints about the graphics or art style, however that is not the case with the audio.  While the music & sound effects are all ok, the gibberish that your advisors/enemies will use when they speak will quickly irritate you to no end.  That is probably the worse part of the game and you will either have to deal, put the game on mute sometimes or get used to it


While reading this review it might seem I completely hated the game, that is not the case.  The game has its problems, they are only there and or magnified because of its PC heritage.  The game itself is a well made, fun & simple strategy game that anyone can play & get into.  There isn’t exactly that much depth to justify the now $40 purchase, but it is definitely worth a rent or a look at the demo before you buy.



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