Early impressions of Civilization VI are a mixed bag

After a disappointing showing with 2014’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, Firaxis Games is returning to the classic Civ formula. In Civilization VI, you’ll pick a society to control, build a nation from scratch, and ultimately work towards world domination in one way or the other.

If you’ve played Civ games before, you almost certainly know what you’re getting into here. It doesn’t seem like Firaxis is shaking things up too much this time around, but the move to a more exaggerated art style is rather divisive. Our sister site PCMag spent some time with an early build of the game, and didn’t care much for the new art direction. In contrast, I’ve actually quite liked what I’ve seen so far, but that mostly comes down to personal taste.

More worrisome are the criticisms about the user experience. In a game so heavily focused on reading stats and interacting with menus, any steps backwards in usability will undoubtedly enrage Civ fans from the word “go.” At this stage, it seems that some rather vital information (overall happiness) is not being surfaced properly, but the UI can also get cluttered with less important notifications. It’s disappointing, but those can definitely be improved in a post-release patch.

The overall feeling here is that Civ VI is building heavily off of the last numbered installment. PCMag’s Matthew Murray was disappointed by a lot of the streamlining done in the more recent Civ games, but I appreciated the lower barrier to entry. I have a lot of affection for the earlier entries, but the better accessibility for new players registers to me as a good thing — even if some of the flexibility takes a small hit.

So, will your machine run Civ VI? Almost certainly. The minimum specs listed on Steam demand a 2.5GHz Intel Core i3 or 2.6GHz AMD Phenom II CPU, 4GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 5570 or Nvidia GeForce GTS 450, a 64-bit OS, and DirectX 11 compatibility. But if you want an optimal experience, you’re going to need at least a fourth generation 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 or a 4GHz AMD FX8350 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon HD 7970 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 770. Even those of us with semi-decrepit gaming rigs should be able to enjoy the next Civilization.

On October 21st, Civilization VI will launch exclusively on Windows. Previous installments have come to the Mac and Linux as well, so it’s a safe bet that it’s only a matter of time before others can jump in. And with the success of games like Civ Rev and Tropico with controllers, PS4 and Xbox One ports aren’t off the table. After all, Firaxis just put out XCOM 2 on consoles.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

ExtremeTechGaming – ExtremeTech