Video Game Review – Civilization VI: Red Death Battle Royale Mode

TL;DR – Adding aBattle Royale to a Civilization game seems really counterintuitive, that is until you play it.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Civilization VI: Red Death. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Review –

In 2019 if there was ever a trend that could be considered the new hotness that every video game company wants a chunk of, well that has to be the Battle Royale mode. For those who may not know, a Battle Royale mode/game is where you have an ever-shrinking map so you need to gear up, get to the safe zone, defeating any enemies you come across, and be the last one standing. This is where you get your chicken dinner, or in this case your escape from a dying planet. But most Battle Royale games like PUBG, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4: Blackout are first/third-person shooters, surely it can’t work in a strategy game, well I’ve been able to play a couple of rounds so far so let’s see.

My experience with Battle Royale games is not as extensive as some people, however I have played/watched enough of the genre to get a good sense of the common aspects of the game. You have the same phases in a match, when you land you have to roam around quickly to try and get resources, troops from ruined cities, helicopters from raider camps, or even a coveted nuclear weapon. You need to move quickly because everyone else is out there doing the same, so you have to stretch your resources, but not so much that you overburden yourself. Then you might pick off one of the players that were not quick enough while keeping to the ever-shrinking safe zone until there are only one or more players left and you battle it out head-to-head.

Continue reading
Advertisements

Video Game Review – Stellaris: Ancient Relics

TL;DR – A fantastic addition to the base game that really improves the exploration phase.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Stellaris: Ancient Relics. Image Credit: Paradox Interactive.

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.

Continue reading

Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map – Seas, Lakes, and Bays Oh My! Update

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map, this time with Lakes, Seas, and Oceans

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Article

This week we got the latest update to Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, and along with the boosted Industrial Zones and several pages of patch notes there was the announcement of the game adding water features to its growing list of geographical features. We have mapped Civ VI in the past as part of our Map-It Project, and I am always a completionist, so I thought it would be quick to add in a couple of lakes. Well three solid days of work later and it was not the quick job I expected, but it was a rewarding one as I got to learn more about the geography of the Earth while brushing up on my Māori.

 Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.


We will be mostly going over the new additions and changes to the map in this update, if you want to learn more about some of the location choices that we made you can find more detail in our First Full Civilization Big Map and out Gathering Storm Update Map.  

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data. Also a quick shout out to sonicmyst, God of Kings, Eagle Pursuit, Zaarin and SeelingCat over at the Civfanatics Forum for helping me with some of the obscure lakes I was having trouble locating.    

Continue reading

Video Game Review – Surviving Mars: Green Planet

TL;DR – 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

Surviving Mars: Green Planet. Image Credit: Paradox Interactive.

Review –

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?

Continue reading

Video Game Review – Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Expansion

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

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Review –

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.

Continue reading

Map-It Civilization VI: Gathering Storm Full Map

TL;DR – Every single feature of Civilization 6 (at time of posting) in one map

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games.

Article

This week, well two days ago at the time of writing, the new and second expansion for Civilization VI called Gathering Storm was released. It added new Civilizations, City States, World Wonders, Natural Wonders, and most interestingly Geographical Features (see all new features HERE). With that in mind, I knew I had to immediately jump in and update our Full Civilization VI Map.

Now as always, a couple of notes before we start, first the Civilization boundaries on the map are based more on clarity than anything else, so in most cases, they conform to their modern counterparts. We have also worked using the commonly implemented political borders, not necessarily what nations claim, and this means making some judgement calls which you will see below. Also, while all attempts have been made to make sure that everything is accurately placed, putting this together meant working from multiple different sources, and map projections, and as such, no matter how much you try there might be some slight discrepancies here and there.

Finally, after the break there will be a lot of large images, so now is the time to check that you are on WiFi and are not using Mobile Data.

Continue reading

Video Game Review – Stellaris

TL;DR – Stepping into the storied world of 4x, Stellaris takes us into space and taps into that love of exploration among the stars … or just conquering everything you see, with deep systems that give you the kind of customisation that you need in a empire building game.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Stellaris. Image Credit: Paradox Interactive

 

 

Review –

Strategy games are my jam, I love building up an empire, mining all the minerals, spawning all the Overlords, launching all the nukes. As well as this, I am a huge sci-fi fan, so when you add a strategy game, to a space setting like Sins of a Solar Empire, Birth of the Federation, or Space Empires 3, well then you are on to a winner. However, while I had picked up Stellaris back when it first came out it didn’t quite gel with me but recently I took another shot at it with the Utopia and Distant Stars DLC and found that ‘one more turn’ grove. So now that I have played a couple of games of it, including some multiplayer, I have a better idea of the game and feel confident in my review.

Continue reading