Sometimes in bed, I'll play vanilla. Civilization 6 on my iPad. I'm a big fan of the Civ series, and it's always fun for me to create my own little empire, especially when I'm curled up in my quilt.
But there is a drawback. The iPad version does not yet include last year. Get up and fall update, which I'm used to playing on my desktop computer. And this makes the iPad and housing game version of me feel frustrated. Because basic Civ 6 INot as good as updated, advanced, additional Civ 6. One is more fun than the other.
So it is with Threat of storm, the latest update that is not for iPad, which will launch on February 14. It is primarily an attempt to animate the final game, which may feel boring and boring. Now that I've spent time with the DLC, I can see that it's better than the previous versions, which offers new problems to solve in the late game. I will not return Civ 6, preThreat of storm.
But that does not mean I'm happy. In fact, I'm quite upset. While Threat of storm It's an improvement, it costs $ 40, which is little value.
So I'm just going to say that if you're looking for a better, more advanced, more complicated Civ 6, so Threat of storm It's okay But if you are looking for value, if you do not want to feel mistreated and punished for being a fanatic, I am inclined to suggest that you expect a price cut.
In Threat of storm, the developer Firaxis tries to tackle the grim reality of global warming. In the first parts of the game, I suffer dangerous natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions and floods in the river plains.
The risk / reward dynamic is direct. Disasters result in the loss of population. They cost resources, as I send units to clean up the mess. But like in the real world, these places also produce very fertile land. The choice is; or solve these areas, or not. Most players will take the risk, because the disadvantage is a minor inconvenience. Volcanoes and alluvial plains create pleasant graphic sequences and beautiful map mosaics, but their strategic considerations are minimal.
Later in the game, they become even less annoying. The volcanoes go to sleep. I learn to build flood barriers, and the problem is solved. There is not much in this that you can describe a strategic challenge. It is more a small series of tasks motivated by binary considerations. Do I want to be worrying, cleaning up after a flood, or not? I build a barrier against floods, just as I build the city walls. It's a sure
In the industrial age, human activities result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, which leads to an increase in sea level, which threatens low-lying cities. Once again, I counteract this by building barriers.
Certain buildings contribute to global warming, such as power plants that burn coal and industrial military units. If I am an environmental imbecile, I can disturb my neighbors by contributing to global warming. If I am good (I am good), I will do my best to avoid contamination of the industrial age, relying instead on the generosity of nature or on subsequent technological innovations, such as solar farms and hydroelectric dams.
If I play as the hyper-environmentally sensitive Maori, I get double the resources of the virgin forests and the jungle tiles. I can play as a good environmental boy, which is novel and enjoyable.
But once again, there is not much challenge. Global warming turns out to be just one more reason for rival AIs to get angry, one of a long list that includes crimes like not building enough ships or not investing in military buildings. Mainly, the protection of the environment feels like a micro personal challenge, very similar to playing as a pacifist, instead of a real game changer.
There is no way to "win" as an ecologist. Likewise, as far as I can tell, human civilization will not be destroyed by human activity, no matter how grotesquely myopic. The risk / reward offer is too weak to have a real consequence.
I am also annoyed by the insistence of the game that all problems can be solved through technology, or that industrial growth can be achieved by means other than construction factories. The Maoris are, in any case, dominated, due to their generous attributes of resources. They do not need to build factories.
If the Civilization series is something, it is a way to create fantastic versions of the story. Here I am, conquering the world as Leonor of Aquitaine. That's great. But the story, its reality, must be the basic template. The forests that behave like factories are an escape. Firaxis has turned a really difficult historical problem into a binary and stupid problem.
The second big push in Threat of storm it's a renewal in Civ 6The diplomacy system always problematic. The Civ series has always been criticized for the behavior patterns of the enemy's AI ranging from fools to incomprehensible to totally uncontrolled.
After playing the DLC for a few dozen hours, it is clear to me that enemies are less likely to behave more stupidly than before. Their actions are generally exploitable and are based on reasonable interpretations of the world, from their point of view. This is a welcome solution, which should have been implemented before and (b) without charge for the most experienced players.
The enemies now show a "Claims" count, based on my actions. I also have a "Claims" count against your actions. This means that if my enemy is behaving like an asshole, I have some room to go back to dickish, without the unpleasant consequence of, say, global condemnation. This helps a lot in my dealings with AI. We are all in agreement with the Golden Rule.
That said, AIs are still inclined to make silly proposals that I will surely reject, which will create the effort to reject their sad proposals over and over again. No, Brazilian friend, I do not want to change all my horses for a piece of gold. And his perspectives are still based on monomaniacal obsessions. The Vikings will still be mad at me until I build a lot of ships, even if I do not need them or I want them.
There is also a new victory condition, based on diplomacy. I can charge a currency called Diplomatic Favors. These are earned through alliances and the sovereignty of the state of the city. Then I spend them in similar meetings to the United Nations, called World Congress, in which several proposals are voted.
Sometimes, this Favor coin has real value and feels like a real strategic catalyst. If I have many points, I can invade another city and reject any proposal to punish me. Or I can vote to increase the value of a resource that I have in abundance. This is the real power.
As the game progresses, the World Council has a regular vote to distribute two Diplomatic Victory points every few decades. Again, if I have collected many Favors, I vote again and again, and pick up the 10 points I need to shoot the victory.
This is a fun alternative to the established conditions of victory, and creates a novel situation in which I can win the game by being friendly with my neighbors. If Cleopatra is suffering from a drought, I can send you money and resources, and they will reward me with Victory Points. Poor Cleopatra receives my aid packages, while I increase my power. He is frankly Machiavellian. I like it.
This challenge is slightly undone by AIs who, at least at the beginning of the game, seem eager to exchange their Favors, throwing them like peanut shells. It is too easy to accumulate more Favors than anyone, decreasing the novelty and the challenge.
There are a lot of other new things in Threat of storm, a lot of that nice. The new civilizations offer new ways of playing, especially the Maoris, who start the game on a raft in the middle of the ocean.
I enjoy using a military engineer to create tunnels through the mountains. I like to improve my tourism statistics by converting the mountains into ski resorts. In general, I love trying new units, buildings and challenges.
Threat of storm is a useful evolution of Civilization 6. Firaxis has made smart choices in tackling global warming, diplomacy and its own late game. But even when everything adds up, I do not think a $ 40 price is guaranteed. As much as I love this game, and as much as I do not expect to be loved back, I hope to be at least respected.
Civilization 6: Collecting Storm Now available for Windows PC. The game was reviewed using a "retail" Steam download code provided by 2K Games. You can find additional information on Polygon's ethics policy here.