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Civilization Revolution Review

Author: Ryan Meh
Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Xbox 360


Let me preface this review with an admission: I've never been a big fan of the Civilization series on PC. The laborious pace of the games just doesn't appeal; personally I prefer a little shoot-em-up action and enjoy revelling in the dismemberment of anyone who gets in my way.

And with very low expectations, Civilization Revolution initially did little to thrill me. The game lacks that next gen sheen, with the cartoony graphics and the Telly Tubby-like speech of your advisers grating as the game went on.

Perseverance, though, found me unexpectedly invested in the action. There's just something intrinsically appealing about starting off with a single settler and developing your own civilization to rule the world. You can do this in several ways; by crushing all other empires with your military might, or by using your brains to become one of the smartest empires in the world. Do you declare war on Tokugawa's Japanese, or offer your hand in peace- Do you go for a swift domination victory, or hang back and aim for the cultural win- Do you concentrate on diplomacy, perhaps offering literacy in exchange for bronze working with Lincoln's United States, or ignore everyone and do your own thing- No time for dithering. You'll need to answer all of these questions before the Countdown-esque clock ticks down and everyone's turn is automatically ended.

Since the world map is small, the game gives you almost direct contact with other civilisations. This, together with the countdown clock, just makes the game quicker, lending an arcade style feel to it. After playing the game and actually starting to understand the concept behind it, I wished that I had a little more control over what my little minions were doing. But while the game may have been dumbed down somewhat, said tactic does have what was surely the  desired effect and hooks you in quickly.

Civilization Revolution undoubtedly feels like it's aimed at people who have never played the PC incarnations before; easy to pick up, play and actually have a great deal of fun, despite leaving me feeling that there should be more to it. It's a good start, certainly worth your time, but definitely not the be all and end all of the strategy game genre.