- Title: Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: 2K
- Developer: Firaxis Games
- ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
- Genre: Strategy
- Pros: Addictive gameplay; nice presentation; tons of content
- Cons: Takes forever and a day to play through a match; the last push to end a match is long and tedious and boring
In Civilization Revoluion, the goal is to lead your people from humble beginnings all the way up to space flight and nuclear technology. Depending on the game type, you start out with either some pre-built cities or a single group of settlers and can then build a city wherever you want. Once you have a city, you set about building military units to protect it, more settlers to build new cities, or buildings such as libraries, barracks, granaries, markets, banks, harbors, and more. You also research new things such as writing, religion, ironwork, and more, which lead to new units and buildings being available to build. There are also special structures called wonders such as the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and more modern wonders such as the Manhattan Project or the Internet, all of which grant your civilization special bonuses. Great people will also occasionally pop up to settle in your cities, which also grant you special bonuses.
The core game underneath all of this is a surprisingly simple turn-based affair. On your turn, you can change what your cities are building, move your units around the map, and talk to other leaders to buy and sell technology or goad them into attacking your enemies for you. The controls work very well as the game is about 40% navigating menus and 60% moving units around the map.
Do you pay France what they are asking in order to maintain peace? Do you share technology with Russia and run the risk they’ll use it to attack you later? Do you build a massive army and take over the world? Do you use a nuclear weapon to end a long and hard war? Do you focus on science or cold hard cash to earn a peaceful victory? These questions and a thousand others make the difference between success and failure, and darn it, it sure makes for a satisfying game.
Civilization Revolution offers a ton of content. There are 16 civilizations that all play differently as well as a random civ generator. There is a list of several different scenarios to play in. There is a Game of the Week where you play through and compare your score with other players. And there is also online play with up to four people. The online mode is fun, but the pacing is weird and games take forever.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics aren’t anything special, but they certainly don’t look bad. Cities look okay, units aren’t terribly detailed, but when there are hundreds of units spread around the world you shouldn’t expect them to look all that great, even with a system as powerful as the Xbox 360. The only downside in the graphics is the animated advisors and other civ leaders that pop up every now and then. Sort of fun at first, but they get annoying. The sound is good for the most part, but the goofy Sims-style gibberish “words” need to go away. Like, forever.
When all is said and done, there is no question that Civilization Revolution is one of the most unique, fun, and all around satisfying games on the Xbox 360. If gives you the freedom to play however you want and offers up so many different variables that no two games are every going to be the same. With replay value like that, you really can’t go wrong. I highly recommend it for a purchase.