2K Games and Firaxis are announcing the upcoming release of Civilization 6 featuring multi-tile city expansion, scheduling it for release later this October
Mark another mid-May game announcement down in the calendar, as publishers work to set the stage for more intimate E3 introductions. Today 2K and Firaxis Games pulled off a surprise announcement by revealing Civilization VI, the next iteration in the hugely popular 4X strategy franchise. Civilization VI will retain many of the major systems found in Civilization V but make significant changes in other areas of the game. Oh, and it will be launching this year — October 21 to be exact.
In an interview with Game Informer, Civilization VI‘s lead designer Ed Beach provided a general outlook regarding what’s changing and what isn’t in the new game:
“One of the first principles with Civilization VI was to keep most of the subsystems from the finished (with expansions) Civ V around in some form. Civ VI builds off a lot of the design that Civ V finished with, but the code and the A.I. and everything like that is all implemented from scratch to fit Civ VI.”
Beach is playing down the breadth of the changes Firaxis will be making in Civilization VI for the sake of summarizing the sequel. Several areas of change and improvement have been highlighted with today’s announcement. And, of course, it’s important to remember that these changes are being build on top of the core of Civilization V.
- EXPANSIVE EMPIRES: See the marvels of your empire spread across the map like never before. Each city spans multiple tiles so you can custom build your cities to take full advantage of the local terrain.
- ACTIVE RESEARCH: Unlock boosts that speed your civilization’s progress through history. To advance more quickly, use your units to actively explore, develop your environment, and discover new cultures.
- DYNAMIC DIPLOMACY: Interactions with other civilizations change over the course of the game, from primitive first interactions where conflict is a fact of life, to late game alliances and negotiations.
- COMBINED ARMS: Expanding on the “one unit per tile” design, support units can now be embedded with other units, like anti-tank support with infantry, or a warrior with settlers. Similar units can also be combined to form powerful “Corps” units.
- ENHANCED MULTIPLAYER: In addition to traditional multiplayer modes, cooperate and compete with your friends in a wide variety of situations all designed to be easily completed in a single session.
- A CIV FOR ALL PLAYERS: Civilization VI provides veteran players new ways to build and tune their civilization for the greatest chance of success. New tutorial systems introduce new players to the underlying concepts so they can easily get started.
These are the enhancements which Firaxis will be adding in Civilization VI, or perhaps they are better stated to be priority design goals for the sequel. For instance, the big “Expansive Empire” feature focuses on city tiles expanding beyond the origin hex, but also ties into the addition of districting to support a civ’s specific pursuits. Or how “Enhanced Multiplayer” notes new modes and short matches, but implies a greater design goal of cutting the fat of time-consuming actions and events where possible.
As any avid Civilization player will know, nothing should be more exciting than Firaxis promising to rework its AI for Civilization VI. Not to say that Civilization V‘s AI is bad – it’s certainly challenging, but it’s not particularly compelling. So when lead designer Ed Beach says his team is retooling AI so each civilization’s “Leader” will have unique traits tied to history, but also gain support traits that change each game randomly, that sounds outstanding.
A Civilization that returns to more grounded, tangible gameplay as opposed to detached tree graphs, ever-increasing meters and menus is a Civilization that will find new success. After all, the original Civilization was just a number of square boxes moving around on a map. And if Civilization VI can return the focus to that, to the map and the “boxes” – being civilizations, cities, units or the terrain itself – then Civilization VI may be the best game in the series yet.
Civilization VI is planned for release on October 21, with PC being the only currently announced platform.
Source: Game Informer