TL;DR – Here, we have a beautiful game with a lot of promise but is not quite there yet.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for this game.
Humankind Review –
One genre of Video Games just clicks with me more than others, like on a deep physiological level. That genre is the strategy game, well, more than that. It is the particular 4X genre of strategy game where you eXplore, eXploit, eXpand, & eXterminate, and if it is turn-based, even better. I can spend hundreds of hours exploring the mechanics of each game, hitting each of those four X’s. In the realm of the historical-empire-builder 4X world, there has been one crown, Civilization. Well, today, we take a look at a game that is coming for that title, and while it doesn’t quite get there, it does come close.
The first thing I want to mention is just how beautiful this game is. When you first jump into the game and see a river crashing over the cliffs into a valley full of lush jungle and red earth, Well, it will take your breath away. A lot of care has gone into everything feeling as if it is a natural part of this world. Part of what helps is a mountain of terrain features that make even areas that could be dull, like the frozen poles, still feel interesting to explore. I also like how they have introduced height to the game, making the world feel more grounded. You can see the legacy of Endless Legend throughout this game in the design of the terrain, but it has been tailored to be like Earth but stylized, and I think they get that balance right. To add to this, while watching this stunning game, you also get to hear a soundtrack that I have yet to get sick over these[redacted] hours that I have played, and I am listening to it now as I write this review. If I had to pick my favourite track from the game, it would be Mercury, but they are all great.
TL;DR: There has been a dearth of perfect science civs … that is until now.
We are getting a new expansion for Civilization VI, well not quite, over the next year we have a season pass, the New Frontier Pass, which will give us several new Civilizations and Game Modes over the next year (which you can find out more information HERE). The next new Civilization has been released so let’s dive into Babylon.
TL;DR: Ethiopia is here and get ready for it to chuck faith into hyperdrive.
We are getting a new expansion for Civilization VI, well not quite, over the next year we have a season pass, the New Frontier Pass, which will give us several new Civilizations and Game Modes over the next year (which you can find out more information HERE). The next new Civilizations has been released so let’s dive into Ethiopia.
TL;DR: We get a civilization that finally goes tall
We are getting a new expansion for Civilization VI, well not quite, over the next year we have a season pass, the New Frontier Pass, which will give us several new Civilizations and Game Modes over the next year (which you can find out more information HERE). The first of the new Civilizations has been released so let’s dive into The Maya.
Civilization Leader: Lady Six Sky Leader Agenda: Solitary – She dislikes encroaching civs and she tries to keep her cities in a cluster near the capital. Civilization Capital: Wak Kab’nal Civilization Bonus: Mayab – No extra housing from Fresh Water/Coast but Farms provide more housing and gold, Amenities for each Luxury resource adjacent to the City Centre Leader Bonus: Ix Mutal Ajaw – Cities within 6 tiles of the Capital get a boost to all yearlings, other cities away from this limit get a penalty to yields. Bonus combat strength for units within 6 tiles of the Capital Unique Unit: Hul’che – Ranged replacement for Archer, Stronger and gets a bonus against wounded opponents Unique District: Observatory – A campus replacement that gets an adjacency bonus from Plantations and Farms. Volcanoes: Hunahpú Rivers: Grijalva River Cities: Palenque, Yaxchilan, Toniná, Xunantunich, Copán,
In this thread we will be documenting all the new additions for Civilization VI in their New Frontier Pass.
This Features Thread is being complied for Civfanatics, head on over to the forums for all your Civilization discussions both for and also for games past.
TL;DR: There will be 6 packs of content, some of it will be paid DLC and some of it will be free content for players. Some of the new content will need to you have Rise and Fall installed, and some will need you to have Gathering Storm installed.
TL;DR – A game that sits in the middle between Civilization and Total War, taking things that work from both.
If there is one genre of games that I will always been drawn to, it is the 4x (EXplore, EXpand, EXploit and EXterminate) strategy genre. It can be in space, in a fantasy realm, in the past, or somewhere completely new, I don’t care just hook it up straight to my veins. When I heard that Soren Johnson, the lead designer of Civilization IV, was diving back into the genre my interest was peaked and now that I have had a chance to play the game I can see why. One thing I do need to point out before we proceed, this is an “early access” game in that it is not yet finished. This means that this is only a first look, a first impression of the game and not the full review, which is why there is not a score above.
So to set the scene, Old World (or as it is styled Ōld World) is a game set in the past charting the dawn of civilization through the classical era to almost the medieval era. In it, you play one of seven civilization/leaders from the dawn of time. Ashurbanipal of Assyria, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, Dido of Carthage, Hatshepsut of Egypt, Philip of Greece, Cyrus of Persia, and Romulus of Rome. However, unlike Civilization and other similar games, you don’t just hold on to the one leader for the whole game, because like in real life, leaders get old and die. This means as well as maintaining your expansion you need to make sure your heirs are ready to take over. This brings the game a little of the way into the territory of the popular Total War series. On the whole, I quite liked the dynastic politics in the game, however, has the game goes on and your heirs and siblings etc start popping out multiple babies a turn, it can be a bit hard to keep track of. Which is just about when your sister kills you in your sleep for ascending to the throne over her as what happened in my first game. You also need to keep different dynastic families from squabbling, giving you potential problems from afar and within.
TL;DR – A polished and calming take on the 4x genre
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Several years ago I picked up a new space 4X game called Endless Space. It was from a new developer Amplitude Studios and combined a strategy game with space in a way that I loved. It started a bit rough around the edges but grew into a really solid game. Now when I heard there was a sequel, I was interested but it dropped a bad time, well now I have some time at home thanks to *gestures broadly around* it was a good moment to go back and rectify that.
So to set the scene, Endless Space 2 is a 4X turn-based strategy game. This means that you pick a race like The United Empire, or The Vodyani, or The Hisso, from there you need to eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. You will do this by building new colonies on Mediterranean or terrain or monsoon planets, researching technologies from the technology web, and probably concurring a neighbour or two.
In this thread we will be documenting all the new additions for Humankind from Amplitude Studios.
TL;DR: You can layer from 60 different civilizations from history to create your own unique narrative. It will stretch from the Neolithic to the Modern age. In the end, the civilization with the most Fame will be the winner. Full of Humanmade Wonders, Natural Wonders, Units, and Buildings for you to construct.
Note: all images are created by the team at Amplitude Studios
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.
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.