TL;DR – A fantastic addition to the base game that really improves the exploration phase.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Review – Last year I got back into Stellaris a 4X space strategy game, a combination that feels like a video game designed just for me. Over the years it has had a lot of improvements building upon the strengths of the base game. Since then there have been a couple of expansion packs and DLCs and today we are looking the latest addition for the game Ancient Relics.
The core component of this new story pack is the addition of archaeological digs and from this the addition of minor and major artifacts. As you explore out at the start of the game you may stumble across archaeological digs on random planets. These require a science ship to work them much like anomalies but with a little twist. There is a random element in the process where you have a chance to improve until you crack the next level. Most of the digs have multiple levels that you have to progress to before you can complete it and earn research points, resources, or more.
– I look at the highs
and lows of the last 10 years of my Minecraft story, the video game I have
probably spent more hours playing than anything else.
This year is Minecraft’s 10 year anniversary, and if you are like me and can remember when it first came out, well that is one of those numbers that will just make you feel old. In those 10 years, Minecraft has gone from this small Indy darling that you heard about through whispers on the internet to a full-on industry juggernaut. There have been countless videos and tutorials, and while there have been a lot of imitators, nothing has ever reached the heights of the original.
As I thought back through the last 10 years, I had the sudden realisation that I have probably spent more hours in Minecraft than any other game I have played, bar maybe Civilizationthankfully Minecraft was never on Steam so there is not a tracker out there with the exact hour count. That was of course then a prompt to get all nostalgic about a simpler time, a time of dirt and cobblestone, and when zombies dropped feathers for some reason.
– It builds on everything that worked in the base
game and then adds features that make it a must play
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Last year I had a look at a really interesting strategy game about starting the first ever colony on Mars. Just in its name, Surviving Mars, it told you just how hard it would be to build and sustain life on a hostile planet. You could set up a colony only to sit there and watch it die because you accidentally set up a negative feedback loop. But while this can be devastating, the game is always there tempting you to try again, and when you succeed there is so much joy in that moment. While I enjoyed my time in Surviving Mars, it did feel like it had yet to reach its full potential. Well, today we are going to look at the newest expansion Green Planet to see if this helps to fill in the gaps in the base game with copious amounts of Martian concrete.
So to set the scene, you are the commander for the first colony being sent to the red planet. When you arrive Mars is a bleak, hostile, but also a deeply beautiful place. It is a planet filled with promise but also death. You need to build up resources, construct domes to protect your people, provide oxygen and water, and keep it safe from all the disasters that can strike. However, while surviving is fine, there is a next step that you could take. Because what if we can shape Mars to be friendlier, what if we could turn it into a green planet?
– A visually beautiful and fun game, even though
there are still a couple of rough edges in places.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Last year the world was introduced to Sea
of Thieves a game about sailing the open seas, digging for buried treasure,
and sinking pirate vessels. As a concept, it looked like a great idea, and I
watched a couple of streamers like Stephanie Bendixsen have a lot
of fun on the open ocean. However, while it looked like a really fun game the
price point was just too high here in Australia for me to be able to dive into
it myself, something that has only be amplified by being out of a job for four
months. Recently the game released its one-year anniversary update which seemed
to add in a lot of the features people mentioned were missing, so I was glad the
game was getting continued support. But one day I opened up my email to find a
surprise, my friends had bought me a copy of the game. This meant that for the
first time I got to explore the world and discover the highs and lows of Sea of Thieves.
TL;DR – While the big up-front features are interesting,
for me it was a lot of the small quality of life changes that really stood out
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Now, if you have read anything on our site before, you will likely know that I quite like the Civilization series. Well, I have had my hands on the new expansion Gathering Storm for a couple of weeks now and have been able to play a number of games with many of the new civilizations, so I think I have reached the point where I can give the game an informed review. With that in mind in today’s review, we will be looking at the civilizations, the main features, the improvements, and then the production to see what sort of expansion Gathering Storm is.
So to set the scene, if you are not familiar with the game, Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy game of the 4X persuasion. This means that instead of moving all at once, each player takes their turn to build wonders, move troops, and explore the map or whatever they are trying to do. Your aim is to build the biggest empire through economic, military, scientific, cultural, or religious means (or all of the above). Thus you eXplore, eXpand, eXpolit, and eXterminate. Gathering Storm is the second expansion pack for Civilization VI after Rise and Fall, which has historically meant that this is the last expansion for the game, but we’ll see about that.
Civilization Leader: Suleiman Civilization Agenda: Civilization Capital: Istanbul (not Constantinople) Civilization Bonus: Great Turkish Bombard – +Production of Siege Units, +Combat Strength for Siege Units, Conquered cities do not lose populations, Cities not founded by The Ottomans get +Amenities and +Loyalty. Leader Bonus: Grand Vizier – Can use Ibrahim a Unique Governor Unique Unit: Janissary – Starts with a free promotion, Stronger and cheaper than the Musketman, cost a Population to build (unless built in concurred city) Unique Unit: Barbary Corsair – Cost no movement to Coastal Raid, Can not be seen unless units are right next to it. Unique Building: Grand Bazaar – extra accumulation of Strategic Resources in city boarders, + Amenities for each improved Luxury in the city boarders Rivers: Litani River, KızılırmakRiver Mountain Ranges: Balkan Mountains Deserts: Tanezrouft Basin
Civilization Leader: Pachacuti Leader Agenda: Civilization Capital: Qusqu Civilization Bonus: Mit’a – Citizens can work Mountain Tiles (Production, Also Food if next to a Terrace Farm) Leader Bonus: Qhapaq Ñan – Domestic Trade Routes get bonus food for Mountain Tiles in Starting city, Can Build the Qhapaq Ñan an early Tunnel. Unique Unit:Warak’aq – Reconnaissance Unit, can attack twice if it still has movement points Unique Tile Improvement: Terrace Farm – Can only be built on Hills, + Food, + Housing, gets bonus food for adjacent Mountains, + production for adjacent Aqueducts, + production for Fresh Water Adjacency Rivers: Ucayali River
there have been production and food civs in the game so far, but nothing quite
pans out as much as the Inca do in Gathering Storm.
The first big change is unlike every other civilization in the game, The Inca
can work mountain tiles, which means that since you want to be near them for
your Terrace Farms, they are no longer dead weight. This will also boost your
Science and Faith Districts that like Mountain adjacency.
Indeed, it is these Terrace Farms that provide such a strong bonus working
great adjacency weather they are near mountains, or rivers, or both. Yes, they are tempered by the fact that you
need hills, and if you are unlucky with that you could be a bit stuffed.
However, I always get at least some hills in a start before. I mean these might
knock Australia’s Outback Station off the best tile improvement spot.
The other bonuses are all nice, but really it is the food/Production nexus that
really makes the Inca stand out, and this means that they will be a very flexible
civilization, giving you the ability to switch up which victory you go for.
Inca First Look
You can check out all the Features in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm HERE and join in the discussions at the Civfanatics Forums
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
What Civs would you like to see in Civ 6 Gathering Storm?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.