Saturday, July 12, 2008

Civilization Fairey

Where do you even begin with a Sid Meier game? The guy is a legend in my book.

Civ Rev is a neat and tidy package to bigger brother PC Civ game(s). After playing my first "board" I was a bit down on it. It was jarringly quick, I ended up warring with just about everyone and I was stuck not really expanding my empire or creating many wonders. I couldn't even fall back on just taking a rival city and burning it to the ground and I couldn't destroy roads to weaken the enemy. I was stuck just pounding away at their city using brute force. Maps are tiny (and you can't choose the size of them or terrain) and about an hour in I was whoring myself out giving away technology and gold just to keep the other nations off my back. Eventually, in the modern age my nation started kicking in to high gear all the sudden (which, to a PC Civ play nothing is "all the sudden") and I started a royal beat down on my enemies. War, war, war... Me verses the rest of the world because no one else warred unless it was against me. That's all it seemed to be and that's all I've read in the reviews as well.


A few boards later I discovered that this isn't the case. You can't avoid bumping into two or three other nations with in the first fifteen minutes and while you will eventually, you don't have to war. You just have to play THIS version of the game not try and make it the PC version. Every round you have to press the flesh and stay on top of the peacemaking. Avoid extending too far but find sweet spots. It'll seem like cities are right on top of each other, but Civ Rev is a different game. Playing the game this way may make it sound like it is tedious but it's not. Menus are lighting fast and the decisions are simple which leaves the game series hallmark of "just one more turn" firmly in place. It's just that that one more turn won't be when the sun is coming up the next morning. Even playing the game this way clocks it in at under three or four hours. And, btw, you can destroy cities late in the game if you so choose.

Soooo... now I'm going to attempt and follow my Review Structure I put together a couple weeks ago. Here goes:

- STORY: 5:
Like Civ games in the past, it is what you make it. I happen to enjoy this take and the spirit is there.

Plenty to do of course, again... Civ game

Good work done here. Nicely done considering it's PC heritage. Menus and pop ins are where they should be (albeit in your face). I've grown to like it. Looks sleek and clean in HD.

I'm torn here. Animations are cute and fluid. But battles are herky jerky. Cities look ok. Nothing is that impressive nor is does anything look awful. Graphics are not the sort of thing I really get hung up on unless they just suck.

- AUDIO: 4:
Well done. Classy. "Sims" chatter can get old, but you can turn it off. The music choices in the game are top notch and sound great when piped though my stereo. Sometimes, with the sound effects, you get an obscenely loud river flow or an army pounding its shield but it is forgivable. For the most part the audio is subtle but effective.

Again, this is a console version of Civilization. Play it as such and it will be enjoyed.

No looking at the clock and discovering it is 4 AM here. Nor do I get really, really irritated when I loose a city or my first warrior army (sob).

Many challenges to be found. I will be playing this one right up till Fable 2 comes out and I can see myself picking it up here and there down the road. Also, multiplayer is to be found here.

This is an optimistic 4! Because the game works and I think it will send a message to the industry that there is a market for this type of game; hopefully pushing more complex and deeper games to consoles. I could be wrong though.

- X FACTOR: 4:
Damn it. It's fun and I'm extremely happy it exists. Would you rather it not (I'm looking at you IGN and Gamespot; put this game in your first person shooter loving pipe and smoke it for all I care).

Meh. They mailed this in and in the title the word "Revolution" looks like it was done by someone who just discovered text elements in photoshop. Why for the love of the Hanging Gardens did they overlay a texture on Sid's name? ugh. The only saving grace is the Shepard Fairey poster printed on the back of the cover sleeve. Why not put that on the cover?

The artist must have played the game only twice. He drew the world at war, complete with two nukes going off and a giant explosion in the southern part of Greenland(?). Way to go. Anyhow, it falls in line with the game art and design. Cartoonish. Fairey's Poster balances out the mess on the front enough to give it a 3.


That is an average.

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