Civilization VI Launch Trailer (It Is Kind Of Car Adverty)

Civilization VI

I’ll admit that my first thought upon seeing that there was a Civilization VI [official site] launch trailer was to get that Brentalfloss version of Baba Yetu which adds parody lyrics stuck in my head so I watched that first. Civ VI’s actual trailer is far more SRSBSNS. It’s all about cinematics showing the key achievements you can use as markers of progress in the game and dramatisations of some of the conflict:

It’s a weird one. The whole emphasis on progress and then the final voiceover which philosophises while a rocket blasts into space puts this more into “IS THIS A CAR ADVERT?” territory for me.

It is the nature of humankind to push itself towards the horizon. We test our limits. We face our fears. We rise to the challenge and become something greater than ourselves: a civilization.

I’m trying to work out if it feels Civ-ish or not. I mean, it covers the general evolution of tech and so on, but I think for me it relates to my Civ experiences to date in the same way that dramatic car adverts on empty stretches of road with no apparent speed limits relates to my experience of sitting in a traffic jam somewhere in the Reading one-way system in my knackered Citroen AX.

Anyhoodle! The whole shebang releases on 21 October but is pre-loading at the moment*. If you’re wondering whether Civ VI is any good, Adam’s gone and done one of those preview thingumajigs as well as a whole diary feature – here are parts one and two.

*Obviously that supposes pre-ordering and you KNOW our feelings about that but if you did maybe the preloading info will be useful to you.


  1. alphager says:

    “Brentalfloss version of Baba Yetu which adds lyrics”

    The original Baba Yetu has lyrics (the lord’s prayer in Swahili).

    • BTAxis says:


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      Philippa Warr says:

      Reasonable point, I should have said “adds lyrics that get stuck in my head far more easily but then I run into trouble because I say Graham Norton instead of Edward Norton which really isn’t a problem with the Swahili lyrics and then just sing that bit over and over again continually getting it wrong.”

    • C0llic says:

      Civ will never top Baba Yetu, or Leonard Nimoy as the narrator for that matter. That’s okay though, because no one else is going to either. How could we possibly expect them to?

      • grimdanfango says:

        Baba Yetu plus Leonard Nimoy truly made for one of the great high-water-marks in gaming.

      • Pharos says:

        Leonard Nimoy was a great narrator, but I really think William Morgan Sheppard nailed so many of the tech and wonder quotes. Nimoy always came off a bit detached. That was probably intentional, but there’s something to be said for Civ 5’s approach, which invokes that rich oral tradition style.

        By comparison, I’ve heard a few of the Sean Bean quotes from Civ 6 and he just sounds bored. I think this may be the first Civ game where I just turn the narrator off. Even Beyond Earth’s wasn’t this offputting.

        • C0llic says:

          Sean Bean is a great actor, but I really don’t think he’s that suited to this kind of voice work. I suspect his bored tone might be because he has to dial back the Yorkshire a bit.

          I haven’t heard many of his readings for this, but I’ve heard ‘bored’ and ‘phoned in’ a lot, and I suspect this may be why.

          And Civ V’s narrating was also pretty damn good. It didn’t match Nimoy for me. For me, who he is, and those connotations, add more to what’s special about it than the delivery alone.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            For me, the high water mark of game VO’s is and continues to be Alpha Centauri. Nimoy was, for me a great disapointment!

          • Frings says:

            I just wanted to note that this is a particularly interesting thread to read after the onslaught of “voicing doesn’t even really matter in games at all!!” that’s been going on ever since the VAs’ strike news (not to mention those following Wheaton’s article).

            The particular “yeah, having Nimoy is cool but it doesn’t even matter” example has been thrown around a lot. Heh.

      • godunow says:

        “Meditation brings Wisdom, lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back”.

        That was truly awesome!

  2. soijohn says:

    Well maybe this time they allocated more money on the actual game ( i’ve been watching quill18 playing it for hours, and oh man ) than on a very epic cinematic like the one from Beyond Earth.

    Also, that Civ song with Lyrics is the magical little tune i’m gonna play out in my head until the 21, so thanks a lot for that !

  3. GernauMorat says:

    I cannot get over how horribly, embarrassingly awful looking the human models in this Civ are. The game itself looks fine graphically, but the people…eughh. Hopefully there will be a mod to replace them with basically anything else early on. And yes,I know its a petty quibble, but there you go.

    • Chiron says:

      Leaderheads from Civ4 onwards have been the thing I hated most about Civ games.

      If Catherine the Great actually did slap me when we discussed trading Theology I would launch an all out war and salt the earth on what remains of her city.

      (and sometimes I do)

    • C0llic says:

      I quite like the leader portraits, I did in Civ 5 as well. Different strokes and all that.

  4. Bostec says:

    Yeah its a bit crap isn’t it? but SEAN BEAN!! Anyone else seen the price of this on Steam? £50! Not that I buy any new releases on Steam but £50! Newly released console games are cheaper then that.

    • Chiron says:

      Tbf though you won’t get 400+ hours of play time from a console game.

    • C0llic says:

      If you think you might want it at release register at Greenman gaming (yes, they’re legit). You can pick it up for the more reasonable price of £40 there.

    • gou says:

      and you can expect the first major revision patch to actually be a £30 dlc that never goes on sale too

      • C0llic says:

        No you can’t. VI includes most of the stuff V had with both expansions. It’s less of a step back than Civ IV was at release. Feel bitter if you must, but there isn’t much basis in reality for what you just said.

        If you mean they’ll charge you for expansion packs, then yes, I suspect they will. Pesky capitalism leads to these things.

        • gou says:

          forgetting beyond earth i see… most people have erased that mess from their minds too

    • Mandrake42 says:

      In typical Sean Bean fashion, he’s dead before the end.

    • JHVDH says:

      Have you seen the exchange rates? You’re paying exactly the same as the Americans do for their AAA PC & Console Games. Sorry to disappoint.

  5. godunow says:

    Too bad that Winged Hussars shown in trailer are not in the game… make it even more adverty…

    • soijohn says:

      because they know that Winged Hussars were only a thing for parade and not for war, and a trailer is indeed a show for the real thing. I call genius

      • godunow says:

        Ah sorry I must have mistaken them for the ones from Battle of Klushino where similarly looking soldiers beat Russian forces outnumbered 5 to 1… what was their name then…

        • soijohn says:

          Whoah, i did not know that battle, that’s great stuff !

          Also, the thing about winged cavaliers i’ve learned in art history class ( never trust a painting ) and from a polish video game concept artist. To take with a grain of salt for sure !

          • katscan says:

            The wings were “functional” too, creating a roaring sound that would confuse and disorient the oppositions horses ! Really cool stuff

    • Sleepy Will says:

      Poland confirmed as DLC then, day 1 dlc maybe?

      • C0llic says:

        Definitely a tease for a future Poland Civ. Probably not day one though, that would have been announced (though perhaps free? who knows).

  6. thefjk says:

    This trailer felt empty to me, something was missing. Sean Bean’s voice alone wasn’t enough. I think they were going for a Game of Thrones vibe with the English accents but the aesthetics are so cartoony.

    Blizzards does this well though and I guess it’s the tone. All their game trailers feature cartoony proportioned characters who feel realistic and legendary in scope, which this trailer failed to do for me.

    Can’t wait to play the game though!

    • C0llic says:

      People love and remember Baba Jetu, and more specifically that feeling, because it just evokes wonder. This trailer evokes corny cliches and meaningless platitudes. The whole pretence of Civ is quite corny and bordering on over-sentimental when you think about it, so I suppose it’s not shocking that it comes across as a bit crap here.

  7. Rizlar says:

    I like the emphasis on two unchanging characters throughout history. As if the peasants in your civ are as unchanging as the ruler.

    ‘Hey Bob, have you seen the invention of mathematics? Bloody brilliant!’

    • Someoldguy says:

      He’ll get a jolly good dressing down from his CO for hopping in that Spit with an untrimmed beard, I tell you!

  8. DThor says:

    Too ecchy mainstream for my tastes. Car adverty sort of sums it up I guess. If you’re going to go all white man like that(which, PC aside, let’s face it is pretty appalling given the reality of the game), at least let’s get some Matthew Mcconaughey love in there. Awright Awright Awright…

    • Harlander says:

      It doesn’t look particularly ecchi to me. That’d be an odd choice for a Civ trailer.

      • lglethal says:

        I must be getting old, as I have no idea what you guys are talking about. Ecchy? Ecchi? Is that like Icky? as in gross? And in modern parlance is that good Icky or bad Icky?

        *mumble mumble* get off my lawn you damn kids! *mutter mutter*

        • AutonomyLost says:

          I believe it’s a Japanese art styling?

          • Maddness says:

            I think he means Kawaii, which is Japanese for cute (and similar).
            Ecchi is… well… essentially the slight step before you enter the realm of soft core porn, and I doubt that is what the original commenter meant.

            At least I hope he was confused.

          • Rince says:

            I must confess that is amusing to think about a Civ Trailer with Schoolgirls with Piñata sized boobs and lots of tentacles.

  9. C0llic says:

    I’m excited for Civ VI and will pre-order (I know, I know). I only do this for games I’m certain I want right now. But it’ll be a last possible moment pre-order. The last time I did this was for XCOM 2.

    I feel safe in doing this based on the huge amount of gameplay footage that’s out there, and the previews. It’s also always nice to enjoy a game before you spend too much time reading reddit and forum posts that point out bugs and AI exploits and ruin thee magic.

    That trailer was a bit rubbish though, eh?

    • soijohn says:

      My thoughts exactly.
      Trailer is lacking any sense of wonder, of feeling the weight of the human history, which is ironic given they used Atlas for this game.

      Also, watching the game being played on twitch, i did preordered it yesterday if i see someone having genuine fun with it, i’m up for it. Last one was XCOM2. High five.

  10. Mandrake42 says:

    I actually thought it was pretty cool, sure the end monologue was a little trite, but I still enjoyed it as a whole.

  11. Lord Zeon says:

    That is indeed one of the worst Civ trailers I think I’ve ever seen. It’s just.. blah. It simultaneously says nothing about the game and shows bizarrely proportioned characters that are just awkward to look at. And that’s not to mention all the irritating ahistorical visuals that a pedant like myself can get hung up on. I’m looking forward to the game, but I’m starting to tire of the historical trappings Civilization tries to draw around itself, when it clearly doesn’t play like a historical game.

    • Chiron says:

      The tech tree is really out of whack with reality, calendar is arguably one of the oldest technologies we have for example.

  12. geldonyetich says:

    “And how will we know when we get [to our journey’s end]?”

    When we invent something called “reality TV” and then convince ourselves former stars of it should be in charge of our atomic weaponry.

  13. Samudaya says:

    I lost interest when the Colossus wasn’t naked. Like the covered up Atlas on the cover isn’t bad enough. “Twist history to your liking!” If that isn’t the real message of Civ I don’t know what is. Ever so American of them.