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Civilization VI battle royale Red Death adds aliens, zombies and Sean Bean next week

The rotten and the alien

I wouldn't say I'm an expert on history, but surely Civilization VI is taking the mick here, no? As the first "community update" to run alongside Civ's new "New Frontier" pass, Firaxis are rolling battle royale spin-off mode Red Death into Season 2 with sneaky aliens and shambling zombies in a free patch next week - now narrated by the gravelly Yorkshire tones of Sean Bean

Posted this week, Civ 6's latest update video certainly buries the lead - running through a laundry list of balance changes and exploit fixes before even mentioning the rotting and the extraterrestrial.

Watch on YouTube

Unfortunately, you're not going to be zapping Catherine de' Medici of France with alien rayguns. No, these two factions are included under Season 2 of Civ 6's Red Death battle royale mode, a concept I still can't quite fully internalise. It's already full of goth mutants and evil scientists anyway, so what's the undead and the extra-terrestrial on top of that?

Led by a floating brain in a jar, Zombies can convert any living foe they mulch into more zombies. That's great if you're looking to quickly ramp up your forces, but watch out - without prey to feed on, the undead will slowly decompose over time. Aliens, meanwhile, favour the hit and run - striking hard from cloaked ambush points, before retreating and regenerating their health. That they bear passing resemblance to Firaxis' other aliens is simply a coincidence, I'm sure.

Season 2 also fixes Red Death's biggest flaw, in that (unlike regular Civ matches) Sean Bean wasn't narrating the proceedings. Then, we've got the rest of the update, which fixes a number of exploits such as district duplication and wrangling up multiple pantheon bonuses. The devs also want to put a stop to players earning diplomatic victories in Gathering Storm by wiping out the opposition. A very old-fashioned approach to diplomacy, sure, but perhaps treading a little too close to Domination.

These free updates are being pushed alongside a new battle pass for Civ 6, which gives buyers new factions, leaders, gamemodes and miscellanea every two months. While those drops require buying into the pass, Sean Bean and the shambling spacemen are free for all players when the community update arrives next week.

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