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PS3 Game Review

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution


Format: PS3
2K Games
RRP: £39.99
5 026555 401265
Age Restrictions: PG
Available 13 June 2008

Build. Discover. Dominate. Inspire. Lead your civilisation from the dawn of man to the space age and beyond, in this all new Civilization created exclusively for console. Go head to head with history`s greatest leaders as you wage war, conduct diplomacy, discover new technologies and build the most powerful empire the world has ever known...

Civilization Revolution offers players a chance to experience the empire-building world of Civilization in an all new accessible and action-packed world specifically designed for the console gamer. If you're a fan of the PC offerings though, I'd rent this console version before parting with your cash. While entertaining, it's nowhere near as complex and engaging as the PC versions and you may feel like you've taken a huge step backwards. It stands to reason that a game like this, which is primarily designed to work best on PCs, would have to dumb down a little to work effectively on a console. But the compromises made may be a little too much for some.

You start the game with the option to chose any one of 16 civilisations to master and lead to victory. There's an array of famous historical leaders to play as or compete against, and accessible maps and streamlined time scale for quicker games, intense combat, and constant action. In online multiplayer mode, players compete for world conquest and glory among their peers as they battle in teams, head-to-head or free-for-all matches. In addition, auto-matching, ranked games, leaderboards, achievements, downloadable extra content and integrated video and voice chat make the online play versatile and fun.

Your choice of civilisations range from different time periods throughout history (from Africa to Germany to America to China) to lead to victory. Each time you defeat a rival civilisation you’ll add an exhibit to your Hall of Achievements paying homage to your great accomplishments. Your quest to explore and discover will have you traversing the globe in search of long lost relics, rival civs, technologies, barbarians and much more.

You can triple your strength by combining up to three units into one powerful army and destroy your enemies. When your units win tough battles, they will become veterans and then elites. You can then choose from a list of powerful upgrades that will give elite units even more strength to dominate in war. Your Army will wear a distinct uniform representing your Civilisation, so you will easily see them on the screen as you lead them into battle.

First impressions were not overly impressive. To start with, I was a little surprised to see that the animated characters, which pop up when you are deciding which nation to be, took quite some time to get animated. This loading problem seemed a little odd bearing in mind that the animation is quite basic and fairly short. However, once each character's animation has loaded up it plays instantly the next time you highlight them. Then on the very first attempt to play the game it froze. After rebooting the PS3 though I had no other instances of crashing, so I've no idea what all that was about.

On the very first play through, more a dummy run to get used to the control system, I was surprised at how short the game actually was. I won easily without actually being 100 percent sure about what I was doing. But that was just the start of the problems. There are quite a few other disappointing aspects.

The diplomacy section of the game is pretty basic. You can either be friendly with a nation of go to war with them. But, at any point you can change tactics and be friends with your enemies or attack your friends (if your people will allow you to start an unprovoked attack). I couldn't work out why I had been friends with a nation for ages and then they attacked me, but on the flip side if I decided to try and attack another enemy I'd been friends with for a while my people wouldn't allow it.

If you want an easy life, it's really simple to get through the game without fighting anyone (although where's the fun in that) and instead just building up your empire and talking your allies into starting wars with each other. If a nation confronts you, they usually want something in return for leaving you alone - the best thing to do, if you want a peaceful life, is give them whatever they want as most nations will always be behind you when it comes to just about every respect of your abilities.

But by far the biggest complaint (and this stings quite a lot) is the fact that the game ends after a set amount of time with the winner being the nation that has advanced the most. And how do you know that the game is about to end? You get a message on the screen telling you that in five turns a winner will be decided. How poor is that? I was expecting to carry on playing until I had defeated the other nations, or they defeated me, but instead it just stopped... with me the winner. I was a little surprised and a little p*ssed off too. I'd spent quite some time building my armies, upgrading my knowledge base and technology and everything was just getting interesting. And then it was all over.

To be honest this seriously makes wanting to start all over again very unappealing, as you know that just as the game starts to get exciting and your weapons are getting interesting, the game will end.

There are also way too many pointless sections to the game. I doubt many people will seriously use the Civilopedia section (the in-game multi-media resource that incorporates videos, pictures and background information about the real world elements in Civilization) and the Hall of Achievements is rather pointless too - here you can look at the gifts you've been sent by traveling dignitaries.

The maps are also a lot smaller than in previous PC versions of the game - but then you don't really get that much time to explore all of your surroundings.

Those that have enjoyed previous Civilization games on PC will feel more than a little short changed by this console offering. It's a shame, because this could have been a really addictive and entertaining game - if only it didn't end so swiftly without the option to continue for as long as you still have men on the board or there are enemies to attack.


Pete Boomer

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