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The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized

OMG were r teh grafs

I had a play with an early version of Civilization Revolution on Xbox 360 the other day, my optimistic thoughts on which can be found here. (Don’t worry, this post is PC-relevant). Inevitably, a few readers quickly expressed dismay that the tech tree had lost several branches, some micromanagement (e.g. city health) had evaporated, and all-told it has a greater sense of rapidity and accessibility than the PC Civ games. I’m sure some of our readers feel the same way. A shame, as the game’s bold intention is to non-patronisingly bring the core 4X values – the values that made us love it in the first place – of Civ to an audience that otherwise would run screaming. So, dismissing what CivRev is trying to achieve outright because you’re saddened it only has one type of religion seems a little short-sighted. This is a companion piece to the PC Civs and not the death of them, but presumably that’s scant consolation if your desire is simply for Civ 4 on a gamepad and HDTV.

Anyway, MTV Multiplayer‘s Patrick Klepek thought to ask the question I didn’t – partly because of my 6am-train-dulled wits, but mostly because the answer was abundantly obvious within seconds of playing the game. Will this cartoony, minimal-buttony new take on Sid Meier’s most-milked cashcow come to PC?

Well, no.

“This is not a PC game. It’s been designed as a console game. It’s very, very different from Civ 4 and we don’t want it to be looked at as Civ 5. We don’t want people to think that this is meant to replace the existing ‘Civ’ games. This is a totally different game, created exclusively for consoles. It is never coming to PC.”
-producer Jason Bergman

Which was exactly my feeling from playing the thing. I’m quite excited about CivRev’s potential to shape an adored formula into on-the-sofa-shouting-at-online-friends ease, but it doesn’t feel even slightly appropriate for keyboard and mouse, and hardened PC Civ players would likely receive it poorly. Fortunately, as Klepek observes, there’s perhaps a certain between-the-lines hint of Civ 5 in Bergman’s words. Though if anyone still honestly thinks “mega-selling series to continue” is any kind of news in this day and age, then there’s more bright-eyed wonder in the world than I dared believe. While elements of Civ Rev, should it prove a success, would doubtless feed into Civ 5, I think we can rest assured the relative complexity of Civs 1 to 4 will remain. Meantime, I’m quite happy with Civ 4, though its teeny-tiny numbers and icons do seem a little backwards now.

(I’m very sorry there wasn’t single joke in that post. I am severely booze-damaged.)

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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