Civilization VI – Easy Allies Review

Civilization VI – Easy Allies Review


Civilization V and its two expansions
have been widely embraced by both critics and players
with good reason. The game is easy to pick up
compared to other 4X strategy games yet it offers a rich ceiling of complexity
that can occupy you for months. With Civilization VI,
the long-awaited sequel, there’s a natural question that comes
when following something deeply beloved. How can it improve upon
what was already so great? The answer is that Civilization VI doesn’t needlessly throw out
everything that worked in Civ V. Instead, it finds a brilliant balance
between bold new ideas and a smart foundation
built from previous games. These elements combine to produce not only one of the best
strategy games of the year, but one of the strongest
base games in the series. There’s a surprising warmth baked
into many elements of the game’s aesthetic. The leaders of the 20 different
playable civilizations are all distinct, charming,
and occasionally humorous. Rather than strict and serious
interpretations of historical greats like Teddy Roosevelt and Montezuma, Civ VI uses affable caricatures. While this has generally been the case
with past games as well, the leaders are even more endearing
in this iteration. Even simple interactions such as a condescending glance
from England’s Queen Victoria or a hearty greeting
from Norway’s Harald Hardrada give insight into their personalities. The grand cities you build up and the land
you explore also look fantastic. There’s just the right amount
of splendor present when you uncover a natural wonder
like the Great Barrier Reef or Mount Fuji. The ever-likable Sean Bean
reads a quote about your discovery and the screen sparkles
to indicate its grandeur. The wonders you build yourself such as Stonehenge or the Great Pyramids
are even more remarkable. A short movie plays showing the structures
being assembled bit by bit, making them feel appropriately special
compared to your other buildings. In the modern era,
skyscrapers glow in the night and various hubs shine with numerous
buildings both helpful and magnificent. Progressing from a lowly prehistoric
tribe to an advanced society is one of the hallmarks of the series
and it’s even more spectacular here. Yet it’s not just a fresh coat of paint
that makes Civilization VI worth playing. Overall, it’s a more active game that encourages a high degree
of deliberation from players. Perhaps the most monumental change
is the addition of districts. Instead of simply tacking new things
onto the city center, many buildings must now be built
in the appropriate district. Each district has a particular focus, like a campus district housing buildings
related to research, a holy site meant for religious constructs,
and so on. What makes districts appealing
are their bonuses. Depending on where you place a district, it may generate resources
such as extra science or faith. All of the districts follow different
guidelines for getting such bonuses. You’ll often have to worry
about whether the district is adjacent to a city center, mountains,
other specialty districts, and more. Because these bonuses are so specific, it’s important to be mindful not only
of the current things you’re building but of future development plans as well. It’s a difficult thing to get used to
and may intimidate fresh players, but districts ultimately
make Civilization VI a better and more interesting game. Where you build something is almost
as important as what you’re building. Squeezing every bit of efficiency
out of a city gives an appreciable advantage and it’s satisfying to see your civilization skyrocket ahead of your opponents’
as a result. What’s going on outside of your cities
is just as vital as what’s happening within. Barbarians are no longer a mere annoyance but rather a significant
and persistent threat, even on normal difficulty. These aggressive AI units spawn frequently and often have no problem
raiding and pillaging the projects you’ve worked so hard on. Since barbarians can be so troublesome, you may regularly have to change
your plans in order to address them. It’s one of the many things
in Civilization VI that can prompt a pivot in strategy, making the game unpredictable
and engaging each turn. Barbarians can also be
invaluable tactical tools. If they’re at war with another
civilization, for instance, it may be best to leave them be
in order to slow that civ’s development. Culture has seen a dramatic
reworking in Civilization VI and now it more closely
resembles technology. Culture even has its own branching tree where players research new civics
that can offer powerful benefits. Civics pave the way
for new policies to choose from. The number and type
of policy slots available depends on the type of government
a player has. Something essential about policies is that they can be changed
almost on the fly. Constructing a particularly
time-intensive wonder? Slot-in a policy that will decrease
the time it takes to build. Much like other aspects of Civilization VI, policies encourage you
to pay close attention to what’s going on and react accordingly
rather than merely barreling down whatever plan you cooked up
at the start of the game. Culture as a whole is more digestible
and immediately impactful, making the reworking
a very wise decision overall. It’s possible to boost your progress with both civics and technologies
by 50 percent through completing a variety of small tasks
that feel akin to side quests. For example, in order to earn the boost
for the early technology Bronze Working, a player has to kill three different
barbarian units. It’s obviously to your benefit to boost
as many things as possible, but depending on your situation
or starting location, that may not always be possible. You’ll constantly have to decide which boosts are worth
going out of your way for. These micro decisions may not seem
all that significant on their own, but collectively they can shape
the course of an entire game. Not everything in Civilization VI
is as polished as it should be, and the AI
can be the most frustrating failing. Each opposing civ has multiple agendas
that guide their behavior. The first agenda is visible
and consistent in every game while secondary agendas
have to be uncovered by the player. To its credit,
the AI follows these agendas closely, so it’s not all that difficult to determine
the reasons for its actions. The problem is that it will follow
these agendas even when they’re illogical
and unfavorable for the situation. Maybe this wouldn’t be such an issue
if the AI was better at fighting wars. In many combat encounters, it seems like the computer
has absolutely no idea what to do, employing strange strategical moves or remaining alarmingly passive
in the face of certain death. In spite of the numerous deficiencies, there were also times
where the AI caught us off guard, such as sending in
a legion of religious units to convert our cities to their ways and aggressively settling new cities
in an effort to acquire valuable tiles. There’s enough to these AI opponents
that we’re never truly bored. It’s just after awhile certain erratic
behaviors become more noticeable. Those who want to tax themselves
against even greater opponents can dive into either online
or hotseat local multiplayer. We could easily get lost talking about
the details and systems of Civilization VI, but what’s essential to take away is that this is absolutely
a strategy game worth playing, regardless of your experience
with the genre or series. Rarely are Civilization games
so fully featured at launch. Future updates
have a strong foundation to build upon, and there’s so much to explore
in the meantime. Easy Allies Reviews are made possible
by generous viewers just like you. If you like what you see,
check out patreon.com/easyallies to see our other videos and consider
becoming a patron to help us make more.

37 thoughts on “Civilization VI – Easy Allies Review

  1. Did we play the same game Allies? Because i have a ton of issues and problems with the game. In my honest opinion its a half step forward and a whole step back.

  2. The A.I ruined the game for me. If I help my ally in war, and the next turn they can call me a warmonger along with everyone else and I'm now against the entire map, something has gone wrong. Something similar to that happens in every game I'm a part of, even when I'm trying for a peacful run.

  3. Hahaha…. this review is a joke. 4,5/5? Really? The A.I. is so broken right now that it is just sad. But sure slap a good rating on it, like everybody in the biz. That is why almost as many people play Civ 5 on Steam right now.

  4. I cannot wait to get around to this game, but it's another one where the time investment needed is pretty high, and with so many games in my backlog, it's hard to give up the chance to play through many games in the time it'll take to enjoy a few playthroughs of Civ VI. Great review!

  5. Great review! My friend loves Civ to death but I've never been into these kinds of games beyond Black & White, and… Spore. I'll have to Steam share this game with my bud in order to try er out and see if it's for me. I absolutely love the launch trailer they made for this game, despite it being one of those "deceptive" CG affairs. I think most people know what they're getting with Civ by now though.

  6. Another great review as always. Will you be reviewing WoW: Legion on its own or is it pretty much just for Talking Syndrome?

  7. As always great reviews guys, keep it up. Hope you guys can churn out more reviews with the time of the season with all the releases. Sometimes I don't even care about the game but watching your reviews has always been entertaining even from back in the category scoring days on GT.

  8. I wish you guys came up with a better name before you left GameTrailers, I don't like this one and it's not the easiest to remember

  9. Ugh, coming from Civ5, I was never really satisfied with the AI til Brave New World. I'm wondering if Civ6 will go through similar updates and if I should even bother with the game til more updates happen. I mostly never played the Conquerer style mostly because AI combat is just so mindnumbingly bad. I'm not sure why Xcom did it so well (perhaps because the cover system and random % benefits the AI more), but in Civ games, the combat always felt like it was for a kid playing checkers or something.

  10. Late to the party but picked up 6 on sale today, thanks for the excellent review. I don't plan to 'abandon' 5 the same way Skyrim doesn't erase Oblivion.

  11. Fucking Peter the great is a vindictive sob freaking waited till I was at war with montezuma than they both killed me lol

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