Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (PS3)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Graphics: 7.50
Sound: 7.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 9.00
Gamelength: 7.50

At last, “Civilization Revolution” is here with a control scheme so simple, you’ll wonder what all of the fuss was about.

“Civilization Revolution” has finally been released and everyone’s asking the same question: How well do the controls for this massive strategy game work on a console controller? Well, I can put it this way: It rocks. But why stop there? Let me tell you all about the wonderful gem called “Civilization Revolution”.

If you were expecting a graphical masterpiece, you probably aren’t all too familiar with the strategy genre. Typically, this genre is of a lower graphical quality because of the mass scale of everything that goes on in real time. “Civilization Revolution” is no exception to the rule, but for the genre, it’s fairly impressive. The building models are the most impressive aspect here, but on the other side of things, the land and water is sort of bland and almost look out of place in a way. Regardless, let’s just say that the graphics are sufficient enough to get the job done without causing any issues. The frame rate is solid, everything is fluid and the colors are extremely bright.

Generic, generic, generic. Sure, the music is epic and the sound effects are good, but really there’s nothing fresh or memorable here. However, there’s one major advantage to this: The music helps to create that good ol’ Civlization atmosphere and on that front, it’s perfect. Most fans of the series will not be disappointed in this area, despite the other differences.

Listen up! Anyone out there who hasn’t played a Civilization game in the past, this part is for you! First of all, this game is about world domination. There’s no way around it. No matter how you go about it, winning the game involves one of 4 forms of world domination: Cultural, Domination, Economic and Technology. The goal is to be the first one to meet the requirements for one of those 4 possible forms of domination. So, how does it work? You pick your civilization type, micromanage a whole bunch of stuff, research stuff, talk to other diplomats, bribe, destroy, defend and virtually anything else you could ever want to do with an in-depth take on world domination. It’s a lot to take in, but there’s an extensive in-game database called the “Civilopedia”, as well as a very good tutorial to help any aspiring player through the basics of the game. As far as the modes go, there are normal matches and scenarios. The scenarios are basically the same thing as a standard match, but there are various modifications to the game play, such as the speed or strength of various things. There are many difficulty settings, ranging from an extremely easy beginner-friendly mode to an almost impossible mode that only the most dedicated, skilled players around the world will ever win. The multiplayer mode is honestly where most of the fun is, though, regardless of how good or bad any given player is at the game. There’s one major reason why online multiplayer is so much fun: Private voice chat. You can talk to each player privately, pit them against one another, backstab people and all sorts of other stuff, all with the power of your own voice and real human manipulation. It brings a whole new level of depth and insanity to the game that serious players will learn to love and use to their advantage. There are a few drawbacks with is title, though. By comparison to the PC games of the same series, there’s a lot less variety and potential. There are less units, less options and there isn’t much variety with the maps. The maps are random, but they’re much smaller than the global scale of “Civilization IV”. The environments are very overused as well and they get old rather quickly. Still, flaws and differences aside, this is a perfect game for the console audience that it was made for. Oh, and about those controls: They’re so ridiculously easy that I was blown away. I never thought that it was possible to fit everything into such a simplified user interface, but I almost wish that this control scheme were an option for “Civilization IV” for PC using a joypad! Almost everything important is bound to a series of easily accessed menus. The touch of a single button is very powerful and simple here. User interface aside, the unit placement and control is equally simplified. There are never any problems placing, combining or controlling units. The joysticks replace the mouse perfectly in this case, streamlining the entire process to give an incredible amount of power to the player. PC veterans probably wont like this title as much, if not for anything more than a sour bias in a lot of cases, but newbies and console-exclusive gamers will most likely enjoy this introduction to one of the most epic series of games ever created.

Overall, it’s very obvious that much effort was put into making this the perfect console conversion of such a large scale series. Simply put, I hope this trend continues and that we receive more Civilization games on home consoles in the future.

Pros:
-For the genre, good graphics.
-Random maps keep things interesting.
-Private voice chat makes online play very interesting.
-Extremely simple controls.
-User interface is very easy to navigate.
-Immense amount of replay value.
-Newbie friendly.
-Huge information database that helps to lower learning curve.

Cons:
-Overused and bland textures can be a real nuisance.
-Not a whole lot of depth to the single player game.
-Lacks as many options as the Pc games.
-Maps are a bit small by comparison to the PC games.

Bottom Line:
This is THE strategy game to own if you’re a console gamer. PC gamers, try to take it with a light heart. Give it a chance. You might like it!

Overall Rating: 8.00

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