Home > Gaming, Opinions (Gaming) > Gaming: Project Pile of Shame – Day Seven

Gaming: Project Pile of Shame – Day Seven

The project: To spend two hours playing every console game from this generation that I own but have never touched (the ‘pile of shame’), to see if any of them are worth spending more time with. On the seventh day I played:

Civilisation Revolution

Civilisation Revolution

Wikipedia fact: "Sid Meier was enthusiastic about this installment, being quoted in both the press release and trailer as saying, "This is the game I've always wanted to make.""

System: Xbox 360 (also PS3 and DS)

Reason I’ve never played it: This was another one of my brother’s purchases. I’ve never got into the Civilisation games and a console-focused version of the series didn’t interest me.

Achievements earned:Twelve (85 gamerscore)

Thoughts: Sid Meier’s Civilisation series is something of a gaming blind spot for me, a series that I was aware of but never actually got around to playing. I knew in general what it was about – building a civilisation up into the world leader through diplomacy, war or cultural or technological dominance – but it had always passed me by. I therefore had no interest in playing Civilisation Revolution, a version of the series made specifically for consoles that would have all the streamlining (unfavourably referred to as “dumbing down” by a lot of the PC faithful) that entails. That was a mistake.

The most obvious reason for that is because the increased accessibility makes it a perfect entry point. Your advisers and the leaders of each nation are represented with giant character models that pop up every time an event occurs or a decision has to be made (and speak in Sims-style gibberish), making what would otherwise be a lot of dry menus into something visually distinctive (and the advisers even change appearance as the timeline progresses).

All the other key elements seem to be there in at least some form. You explore the map and fight enemies, choose your research paths based on technology you’re interested in, form alliances with other nations, build wonders, attract Great People to improve your civilisation, and it all works very well on console, with plenty of shortcuts to make navigation easier (including having each analogue stick scroll at different speeds).

Even if some of the depth has been sacrificed in the name of accessibility (and I don’t know enough about the series to know that for sure) there’s plenty of complexity there. More importantly it’s also a lot of fun, to the point that even after the two hours was up (at which point I was in the middle of a second game) I kept on playing for the rest of the evening and then played some more the following day, which hasn’t happened with anything else so far in this project. I’m also now interested in playing the PC versions, so I can’t help but feel that Civilisation Revolution is rather good.

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  1. August 16, 2010 at 17:05

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