Just One More Turn…


Written by Matthew Mendez, Journalist

I have been a fan of the Civilization series for a long time now but, for those of you who remain unfamiliar with the series, let me explain. Civilization is essentially a series of turn-based strategy video games. As of this year, the video game series has six major installments in addition to various smaller console versions. Each of the installments are based around a similar style of gameplay: to build a historical civilization of your choosing, such as the Inca, Aztecs, or Egyptians, and lead them through the ages to a certain victory type (cultural, scientific, domination, etc…). While the Civilization games have always been renowned for their quality game-play and attention to detail, a natural environment that interacted with the player’s civilization always seemed to be lacking. However, Civilization VI’s newest expansion, Gathering Storm, finally granted fans their wish of a volatile and interactive natural environment.

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm introduces a variety of natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, and droughts, and a new climate change system to the sixth installment of the franchise. The introduction of the new environmental features adds a whole new layer of depth to the game, as players have to deal with the effects of natural disasters and climate change. However, natural disasters are not solely adverse in their effects on the player. Certain natural disasters, like volcanic eruptions and floods, add soil fertility to the regions of the game map affected. These natural disasters can increase in intensity though, especially when the late-game industrial activities of the player result in climate change. In order to combat climate change, players have the ability to research and construct green power alternatives to fossil fuels. In addition to a dynamic natural environment, Gathering Storm introduces the World Congress, an organization mirroring the United Nations, which gives the player more options when it comes to diplomatic interactions with other civilizations on the map. Thus, players will no longer have to resort to warfare to resolve international conflicts.

Gathering Storm also adds nine new historical leaders and eight new civilizations. The new leaders and civilizations are as follows: Hungary led by Matthias Corvinus, the Māori led by Kupe, Canada led by Wilfred Laurier, the Inca led by Pachacuti, Mali led by Mansa Musa, Sweden led by Queen Kristina, the Ottoman Empire led by Suleiman the Great, Phoenicia led by the semi-mythical Dido, and Eleanor of Aquitaine, who can lead either France or England. Each of the new leaders and civilizations have their own unique abilities and traits. For example, the Inca remain the only civilization in-game that can work mountain tiles, with the yield of such mountain tiles being strengthened by the Incas’ unique improvement, the terrace farm. Meanwhile, the Maori start the game off in the middle of the ocean, mirroring Kupe’s voyage in search of new lands to settle.

Clearly, the Civilization series is headed in the right direction. After hours of gameplay, I can tell you that the new expansion definitely adds a whole new layer to the game. Before the expansion, the game map remained unusually lifeless. The introduction of a dynamic environment though breathes life into the game, as the player not only has to deal with other opposing civilizations, but the wrath of mother nature as well. In addition, the new climate change system definitely adds a new sense of realism to the game, with the player having to weigh the perks of industrialization against the disastrous effects of climate change. Even after hours of gameplay, Gathering Storm definitely leaves you asking for just one more turn!