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Civilization VI starts its DLC season pass today with new civs and the Apocalypse

Firaxis today kicked off a year of new DLC for Civilization VI, with the first of six packs coming as part of their New Frontier Pass. Seems a smattering new civs and modes will be the focus for the next while, rather than a big ol’ expansion. The first of these adds two new civs, Maya and Gran Colombia, along with a few bits and pieces like a new ‘Apocalypse’ mode riddled with comet strikes, solar flares, and volcanic sacrifices.

Update: Jesus, now the base game is free on the Epic Games Store. Big day for Civ.

Three new Natural Wonders can be found, such as the Bermuda Triangle with an uncanny ability to teleport naval units. Six new City-States are around, including Vatican City and Singapore. And two new resources, the luxury Honey and bonus Maize, are up for grabs.

It’s a disastrous DLC too. Forest fires and meteor strikes are added as disaster types to all modes, and the new Apocalypse mode focuses on calamity. It also adds comet strikes and solar flares, makes existing disasters more disastrous, adds Soothsayer units who can trigger natural disasters, lets you sacrifice your units to volcanoes for points, and sees the world enter full apocalypse when climate change hits maximum. You’ll need the expansions to play Apocalypse mode, mind.

A patch launched alongside the DLC today with a few tweaks and fixes, nothing major though. Among many small changes, the path to Diplomatic Victory is tweaked a little, the AI is a bit smarter, and they’ve tidied up a few exploits, crashes, and performance problems. the patch notes for more.

The other five packs of the New Frontier Pass are due in July, September, November, January, then wrapping up in March 2021. Each will add a new game mode and at least one new civ and leader, with random other bits like districts, buildings, World Wonders, and City States scattered across them. New alternate personas for Teddy Roosevelt and Catherine De Medici are coming for Pass owners alongside the second pack, too.

The New Frontier Pass costs £32.99/€39.99/$39.99 on Steam, with another five packs still to come between now and March 2021. DLC packs will also be sold separately, with this here Maya & Gran Colombia Pack costing £7.39/€8.99/$8.99 by itself.

I’m not sure how I feel about a year of DLC presumably in the place of another expansion. As our former Alec (RPS in peace) noted in his Gathering Storm review, the last expansion has got the game into pretty decent shape, making it “the best version of Civilization VI we’ve ever had”. Another expansion with big changes affecting every game could be great but would bring as much ongoing freshness as new modes new civs and bits coming across ten months. I don’t play Civ enough to feel the real benefits of deep systemic changes and additions, I suppose, so I’d be more inclined towards a steady trickle of newness. But you, Civheads, what do you say?

I do agree with Alec’s on being tired with Civ once again needing multiple expansions to get into decent shape. He said, “All the same, I’m left feeling that the next Civ game, whatever it is, really needs a root and branch rethink rather than attempts to retroactively justify its existence through expensive expansion packs.” I guess we’ll have a fair wait before we hear of any such thing.

2K seem to be having a quiet year with no major new games, at least that we know of. We’re getting Mafia remakes and remasters. The new XCOM game, Chimera Squad, is a small experimental spin-off. Here’s Civ with another year of small DLCs rather than an expansion or word of a sequel. We’ll see no proper WWE game this year, instead getting weird wee squidgy wrestlers in WWE 2K Battlegrounds. And who knows what Rockstar are up to. I guess 2K are starting an annual golf series, at least.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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