Not enough 4X in your life this year? Of course not! Announced in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Civilization franchise, CIV VI is planned for release on October 21, 2016. The initial wave of press releases and interviews covers a wide range of innovations, so buckle up, we’re going to cover them for you.
EXPANSIVE EMPIRES – Cities no longer occupy just a single tile – they will expand with each building and improvement you create. Your empire will spread across the map and, looking at the screenshots, it seems very obvious what’s built in each hex (Yep, it’s hex-based again.) This should put an even bigger emphasis on taking advantage of the surrounding terrain for extra bonuses, and eliminate the strict build queues and “all of the above” city development we’ve all seen since Civ was first launched in 1991.
ACTIVE RESEARCH – Players will need to take a more active approach research in the new system. Research is now tied to exploring the local terrain, with mini-quests giving bonuses to certain research projects. Sounds like a great way to make research more interesting instead of just picking techs for research and forgetting about them until they are complete.
DYNAMIC DIPLOMACY – Diplomacy was one of the biggest weaknesses in Civ V. Firaxis is looking to change that. It will now be easier to understand where different leaders are coming from based on their historical character and similar in-game motivations. Random agendas will also be assigned to leaders, keeping the diplomacy fresh and fun. It’s safe to say that Gandhi won’t be dropping nukes on your head this time around. (Yeah, right…)
COMBINED ARMS – Civ V’s Panzer-General-esque one-unit-per-tile system has returned, but now you can also stack units to a limited degree. Different units can be combined in the same hex, linking the units into a “Corps,” which operates like a single upgraded unit. This should make for some deeper and more interesting tactics.
ENHANCED MULTIPLAYER – Firaxis is mostly mum on this point, but they have plans for the ability to play cooperative and competitive games that can be finished in a single session. Multiplayer is one of the biggest draws for Civ V, so we are curious to see how this works out.
A CIV FOR ALL PLAYERS – Veterans will probably acclimate quickly, after learning what has changed, but what about new players? The Civilization franchise has always done a great job of bringing gamers into the 4X-fanatic fold, and it looks as if Firaxis is creating new tutorial systems to make it easier for new players to dive in and not feel entirely lost.
According to Firaxis, all of the main gameplay from Civilization V is going to be baked right in – espionage, religion, trades routes and more. Considering how bare-bones many thought Civ V and even Civ IV were at release, it would be great to be spared the extended wait for a feature complete game.
Needless to say, we here at eXplorminate are eXtremely eXcited for the 21st of October and we’ll be sure to keep you informed about Civilization VI’s development, both online and in our podcast!