Civilization Revolution (2008) by Firaxis Games

I have never played a mainline Civilization game.  It seems like blasphemy to include Civilization Revolution on my favorite games list, when I know that many people out there much prefer the numbered entries that exist on the PC.  But I have never been much of a PC gamer.  I feel much more at home with a controller in my hand and a unified platform that I know will run the games well.  A year or two ago I did buy the Civilization collection from Steam during one of the seasonal sales, but I just have not found the motivation to go in and actually play them.  I would like to see what they are all about, but I am also turned off by the perceived complexities that the games contain.  Civilization Revolution solved most of my issues with the series, by simplifying the structure and creating it for consoles.

I have always really enjoyed the history of the world and the interactions between different groups.  World War II has so much hidden depths beyond just a world war, I would love to dive deeper into the motivations of leaders and development of policies during that time.  In leu of actual academic research I had Civilization Revolution to explore the interactions of world leaders on a grand and somewhat make believe scale.  What if the leader of the American people met up with Julius Caesar and the ancient Romans?

Civilization Revolution captured my imagination because you could build a society in any direction that you wanted.  You could win over the hearts of the people through a grand and developed culture, which consisted of constructing vast monuments from different time periods and civilizations.  You could win through technology and unite the factions in your quest to win the space race.  And I believe there even is a Civilization spin off game set in outer space.   You could also choose to win through an economic victory by hoarding all of the resources and money of the world.  And finally you could win in a classic game of military warfare.  Usually my games ended up with a mixture of styles.  I could not shy away from my love of the ancient cultural monuments, but I also enjoyed building tanks and airplanes during the medieval era.

The best part about Civilization Revolution was the ability to play with friends.  Thankfully I had a lot of friends that also owned the game and we were able to connect over Xbox Live.  We had a constant and long running joke about playing a “quick game” of Civ Rev.  The joke was that there is no such thing as a quick game of Civ Rev.  Our matches would sometimes take two hours or more, which a lot of time to invest in a single game of world domination.  Even with a smoothed out control scheme meant to facilitate quick decisions and faster paced action this was still a very slow game to play.  After playing Civilization Revolution I do not think I could ever handle the length and complexity of a mainline Civilization game, I just enjoy the (somewhat) shorter action of the console version.

Even with the length and the learning curve, we still played numerous games with each other.  It was a somewhat weekly tradition.  We would often form false alliances just to turn around and stab each other in the back.  One of my favorite memories involves a certain nuclear warhead that was planned to decimate one of the A.I. opponents, only to turn at the last second towards my own capital.  Screaming with laughter and grief I asked, “Where’s that nuke going?” before realizing the final destination.  We created our own fun in that game, because it was too competitive as we explored different tech trees and different world leaders and explored a randomly generation world.  This was a game that did not include a story mode, but just included great gameplay.  I would happily return for one more quick game of Civ Rev anytime.

As we inch closer to end of the list, tomorrow we discuss Fallout: New Vegas.

Jake “prettyboyplaid” Fredericks

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