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Sid Meier's Civilization VI

The RPS Verdict: Civilization 6

Declaring war against Diplomacy


2 months ago

Feature: We can rebuild you

The best Civilization games are these total overhaul mods

I’ve been playing Civilization long enough to remember building gaudy palaces that combined Arabic minarets with Ionic columns, and the sight of pixel-drawn Stalin grimacing at me with his retinue of Asiatic advisers. But after 20-something years and untold in-game millennia, I’ve finally begun to feel its insatiable fantasy of empire-building subside. Luckily, total overhaul mods exist.

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6 months ago

Feature: Changing history

Soren Johnson on challenging the norms of 4X games

“Sid [Meier] didn’t know he was inventing a genre back in ’91 - if he had he might have been a lot more careful. He was just making it up as he went along.” That’s how genres begin. By mistake. Somebody creates a set of rules and systems for the needs of a particular game, and then either people adopt and adapt those rules. Soren…

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Feature: The Eternal Golden Age

All rise and no fall: how Civilization reinforces a dangerous myth

Civilization VI: Rise and Fall wants to solve a problem. That problem is perpetual growth, and it plagues many 4X games. Whether your aim is world conquest or cultural hegemony, victory in Civilization and many of its cohorts depends on domination. However peacefully you try to play, you're often straight-jacketed into a utilitarian-psychotic view where all resources and people are just raw material to be…

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9 months ago

Feature: Culture and colonisation

Cree concerns hammer home why Civ needs to reject its own traditions

In Civilization, civilization is a competition. Land and resources are limited, and even those nations that don't expand through military might are attempting to climb to the top of the league table in other ways. Geography, technology, culture, religion, diplomacy – they're all, to some extent, weapons to be deployed, or at least arenas where an advantage can be gained. Culture and history are the…

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Feature: The biggest hits of the past 12 months

These are the top 100 Steam games of 2017

Another year over, a new one just begun, which means, impossibly, even more games. But what about last year? Which were the games that most people were buying and, more importantly, playing? As is now something of a tradition, Valve have let slip a big ol' breakdown of the most successful titles released on Steam over the past twelve months. Below is the full, hundred-strong…

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10 months ago

Feature: The usual suspects

Steam Charts: Post Sale Fatigue Edition

The tail-end of Steam's Autumnal sale sees a few old favourites lingering with the usual suspects in the charts this week. The discounts that got them here are all gone now, but it's only a couple of weeks now before everything goes completely bonkers for the Winter Sale, and you can expect to see all the same names deeply discounted once more.

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Feature: Listen now before it's too late

Podcast: Our most anticipated games of 2018

What do you mean there's a whole month of 2017 left? Well, the disembodied mouths of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, are tired of waiting. This week the team look at some of the most exciting upcoming games of 2018. Adam is looking forward to smashing big robots with other, bigger robots in Battletech. Matt wants to make trousers from dinosaur skin in…

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11 months ago

Feature: Chart-me-do

Steam Charts: Everything Old Is New Again Edition

In a week in which Assassin's Creed Origins has managed to break the charts to such a degree that it somehow not only appears three times, but also stopped Feedly from being able to display the rest of the games in the correct order, we also see a few other new entries. But absolutely no new names.

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1 year ago


The Joy of a brand new undiscovered world

At first glance, it's a canvas of green or yellow rather than the blue planet it will eventually become in the estimation of generations to come. Eventually, if progress isn't halted, it'll become nothing more than a dot. In between that early vibrant canvas and the final departure, Earth is going to get a whole lot more cluttered though, and a whole lot uglier. I…

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Feature: Spy vs Spy

RPS Suggests: Excellent Espionage

RPS Suggests is where we put forward our own ideas for new games, or changes to old games, or anything else. Think of it like backseat driving for the games industry. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a strategy game possessed of turns, tiles, and pretensions of grandeur, must be in want of an espionage system. It is a truth less often acknowledged, that…

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Feature: Means to an end-game

The successes and failures of Civilization 6

When Sid Meier’s Civilization VI [official site] came out last October, it represented a novel take on the series, boasting two parallel tech trees and an innovative city system that broke the previous games’ monolithic metropoli into distributed districts, with attendant tile-space-management gameplay. Nine months on, I spoke to lead designer Ed Beach about the finer points of the game’s design, what needs work, and…

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Feature: Strategy of place

Civ 6, EUIV and Endless Legend designers on how their strategy games create the illusion of a world

Big, slow, sweeping strategy games expose their rules in a way no other game does. Call of Duty doesn’t have floating numbers above enemy heads, telling you their movement speed, for example. But in most 4X and grand strategy games, there is no attempt to hide exactly how everything works: the stats, their interactions, are all laid out and plain to see. Yet these games…

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Feature: Master of maps

Jon Shafer on designing Civilization 5, joining Paradox and making strategy games better

Jon Shafer was 21 years old when he became lead designer of Civilization V. Now working at Paradox on an unannounced project and on his own historical strategy game At The Gates in his spare time, he says he's learning from the likes of Spelunky along with the more obvious strategic influences. We spoke about how the second half of every Civ sucks, the part…

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2 years ago

Feature: And how they can do it better

How historical games integrate or ignore slavery

Video games always come with an expectation that the player will suspend disbelief to some extent. Genetically engineered super-soldier clones don’t exist, radiation has never and will never work like that, and overweight Italian plumbers could never make that jump. In most cases, if we are unwilling or unable to suspend our disbelief, we may well struggle to enjoy the game and our questioning of…

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Feature: One more wonder

The RPS 2016 Advent Calendar, Dec 9th – Civilization 6

At the beginning of every year, the RPS crew begin work on a team-building crafting project, which we recreate wonders of our world: 2016 was the year of the matchstick Blackpool Tower. Welcome to day nine of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, daily. Behind today’s door is... The year's best 4X game: don't settle for less, it's

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RPS Asks: do you restart games you haven’t finished?

I've played a million beginnings and around a thousand endings, or at least that's how it feels. Imagine having seen the first act of Romeo and Juliet a hundred times but never having seen how it ends. That's my experience with all manner of games, from big story-driven RPGs to some of my favourite strategy epics. I've founded so many starter cities that have never…

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Feature: United Nations?

Civ 6 multiplayer: new challenges in strong scenarios

Civilization 6 [official site] is a wonder in singleplayer, though we do have some complaints: the AI still struggles at times and diplomacy isn't quite the revolution we'd hoped for. The perfect way to sidestep would be to play with nonartificial intelligences, who can conduct diplomacy using swear words and cruel deceptions. We sent our cultural ambassador Robert Zak onto the internet to test out…

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Feature: A kindness of critics

The Power Of Positivity

I'm a positive person. In life, I tend to find a bright side even if I'm lost in the dark, and I look for the best in people even if they're concealing their best incredibly well. As a games critic, I tend to think of myself as harsh though, because analysing the best qualities of a thing often means finding all the fine points that…

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Feature: Mod it and they will come.

Best Civilization 6 Mods So Far

Firaxis' latest bite at the macro-scale building turn-based 4X 'em up cherry has hardly been with us two weeks, yet has already inspired umpteen illustrious tales of mighty empires, astute observations and bittersweet victory conditions here at RPS. Wot did strategy aficionado Adam think? He loved it, of course, but there's always room for improvement - and when a game is made up of quite…

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Feature: Artificial Untelligence

A Few Of My Favourite Artificial Intelligences

I've been playing a lot of Civilization 6 recently and I love it dearly. It's not perfect though. Nothing is, of course, but Civ 6 also suffers because it's a strategy game so it has all kinds of problems with its AI. When I first started writing a critique of what does and doesn't work when it comes to the AI, I rather lazily typed…

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