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  • #31
    Review Round-Up Pt.1

    In all the post-release excitement of CivRev in the past week, we had a hard time keeping up with all the reviews, as much as we covered a metric ton of them. Here are some of the ones we missed:

    The Manchester Evening News gives the game 4 out of 5 stars, lauding the game's viduals and sounds: It's all delivered with next-gen cartoon panache and atmospheric audio, making Revolution one of the must-have strategy titles on the 360.

    Australian gaming site MyGen considers the game a refreshing change from Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. Revolution is by far the quickest, most action packed Civilization game ever. Because the world map is so small, contact with other civilizations, whether they are controlled by the computer or real people, is almost instantaneous. The luxurious time afforded to early decisions in previous versions of the game has been stripped away for a more arcadey and streamlined experience. Criticising the small maps and limited customisation options, as well as the camera controls and cartoony and previous-gen graphics, the article concludes that the game still has that one-more-turn feel, giving it an 8 out of 10.

    UK website Play Three comments that there are a slew of strategy games coming to the console but CivRev seems to have the most going for it as it's not just a port of a PC game, so much so that they feel it deserves a 9 out of 10. Games like this normally scare me, the instructions are huge and the menuís bewildering with so many different options to select and change I would rather not play them. I can say with confidence however that this is a great RTS with plenty of pick up and play appeal, perfect for the console generation, the programmers have really worked hard on this great title and I would love to see more RTS games in this ilk rather than something just cloned from itís PC counterpart.

    Shaun Green of Den of Geek gives the game 4 stars out of 5. With the Civ series being a hallmark of quality in gaming, CivRev holds up to this reputation: I think the changes to the Civ model have been executed with the panache and skill that weíve come to expect from Firaxis Games. The same essential balance is in place; players must ensure that they simultaneously develop their cities and devote resources to research in order to compete for the long game, but itís also essential to manufacture units for defence and offence as well as keep an eye on territory control. [...] This is the winning formula of the Civilization series; the balance of power both within and without your empire.

    Tom's Games gives the game the highest rating to date: 9.5 out of 10. With all things considered, Civilization: Revolution is a game that I would recommend to just about anyone. It is a game that I am sure that I will find myself playing years down the road, assuming a sequel hasn't hit shelves by then. With downloadable content planned on both the PS3 and 360, the opportunities are endless for Firaxis to build upon Revolution. But even at launch, Civilization: Revolution is one of the best strategy games made to date.

    Tune in tomorrow for the second half of our round-up of older reviews.
    Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


    • #32
      In the second and (for now?) final part of our review round-up we once again look at another batch of Civilization: Revolution reviews we didn't get around to covering earlier because of the sheer overload of articles published this week.

      UK gaming site Jolt expresses that CivRev overall does a good job as a strategy game on a console but has a major beef with the game's combat: Itís really down to dumb luck here, as Firaxis have opted for chaos theory rather than logic when it comes down to combat, which does literally mean that the rulebook isnít just thrown out the window, it lands hard on someoneís head and causes them severe spinal trauma. Certain outcomes you can live with Ė a spy with an attack of one can triumph over anotherís two, or even pikemen of 14 being routed by cavalry of 10 Ė but when itís not so close, the factor of luck is just so idiotically random that you can never guarantee success. Not even when youíre fighting bows and arrows with tanks. The problem is aggrevated by the hostile AIs and on top of that tha article states that the combat graphics are shoddily animated. Feeling the game just misses the beat on too many points, the article rated it as an 7.8 out of 10.

      Platform Nation posted a video review of the game, which lauds the graphics despite them being too cartoony and cluttered. It frowns upon the absence of real spoken dialogue forcing players to read a lot and the repetitive sound effects, but it complements the music. The controls are awkward, the reviewer would prefer to be able to play on mouse and keyboard. The video does laud the multiplayer aspects, much as the leaderboards are buggy. The gameplay is considered great and easy to get into, but the biggest problem is that it's dumbed-down too much for the reviewer's taste. The game world is too small, the game length too short and it lacks the depth and replayability of the PC version. Overall, Platform Nation rates the game a B on the A+ to F scale, noting as caveat that this should not have been a full-price game.

      Newspaper Miami Herald reviewed the gaming, giving it a 9 out of 10. Every facet of "Revolution's" design is aimed toward paring down the often-tedious aspects of "Civilizations" past so that players spend their time making big-picture decisions: when to go to war, managing armies in the field and expanding and controlling territory. So much of the franchise's evolution has been stripped away in this iteration that it's hard to know where to begin. Developing and customizing your land via workers: gone. The vast number of city improvements: slashed. Micromanaging culture and Great Person production: gone. A part of me misses perfecting my empire's output in a dozen different ways like I do in "Civ IV," but the rest of my brain is too occupied in having a great time with "Revolution" to care.

      Australian site DVDfeed considers the game worthy of an 8 out of 10. Overall Firaxis have done a stand-up job of translating the Civilization formula over to the consoles with Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution. They have mapped to controls very well, and have set the HUD out in a way that always shows you what each relevant button will do, without being too intrusive. In a game with so many options to play the regular single player game, let alone all the extra options such as scenarios and online multiplayer, this is the Civilization game console fans have been waiting for.

      Finally, lifestyle site UGO rates the game a B on the A+-F scale. That's Civilization Revolution. Fans of the PC versions had best prepare for a shock, because the series' usual practice of adding features to sequels is reversed here. The game in its console form is streamlined, perhaps excessively so, for better or for worse. On the whole, what's included outweighs what's diminished but longtime fans may still be turned off by the changes. Civilization Revolution isn't the best entry in the series, but it manages to be the most unique while maintaining all of the fundamental features of a Civilization game.

      We'll keep you informed on new reviews as they come in, but hopefully the coming weeks won't be as hectic as the past one.
      Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


      • #33
        GamersCafe: Tons of Variety

        TheGamersCafe posted their review of Civilization: Revolution. The reviewer, listed simply as K2, admits they never played Civ before but is impressed by the game's variety in civilizations (and the artwork for each), maps, development choices for cities, victory conditions, terrain, resources and more.

        All these elements may seem bewildering at first, especially with a console. But after the first game it almost seems second nature. The controls are also near perfect, and soon you will be able to control your entire Civilization with no difficulty. I did, however, encounter a few lockups and framerate issues, but this has only happened once. In addition, if you have any question about the gameplay elements, you have one of the most in-depth manuals ever featured in a game. The Civilopedia can help you out with any issue you have.

        The reviewer is impressed by the scenarios and multiplayer, but annoyed at the overly hostile AI. Overall the author concludes that CivRev makes for a great console strategy game, although they do not assign a rating. Read the full review here.
        Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


        • #34
          Channel Flip: A Real Gem

          UK online video magazine Channel Flip posted their review of Civilization: Revolution. Hostess Katharine calls the game a real gem with gorgeous cartoony graphics, although she's quick to point out that this doesn't mean it's a game for kids.

          The video shows off a lot of gameplay footage and gives an overview of gameplay, noting how it's a bit biased towards warfare. Impressed by the controls, Katherine does note that some overview screens like a radar map or Civ4-style Military Advisor would have helped the game. She also likes the tutorial and Civilopedia, the fast-paced gameplay and the fact that the AI takes over in multiplayer if a human drops out, so that players don't have to commit to a full game session.

          Overall, the reviewer is impressed by the translation to the console and feels the game should appeal to any gamer, giving it 4 out of 5 stars. View the full 4:40 minute streaming video on Channel Flip, or from the embedded video below.

          Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


          • #35
            Cheat Code Central A Must-Play

            Jonathan Marx posted his review of Civilization: Revolution for gaming site Cheat Code Central. As a long-time Civ fan, Marx is impressed by the game's translation to the console. It has still maintained much of the depth of the PC version according to him, but only got rid of some of the more tedious micromanagement elements. Another things that's missing is moddability:

            A hallmark of the Civilization franchise has been the editing tools. Alas, players will not find an editor here. That means there will be no user-created mods - at least out of the box, that is. According to the Firaxis list of features, official mods will be available though, as Civ Rev includes a Play Scenario tab in the single-player menu. Plus, Firaxis will allow gamers to download new maps in the Game of the Week feature, play them, and then submit their scores to the leaderboards. These features, along with the stellar multiplayer options, will make Civ Rev a game youíll be playing for a very long time to come.

            With multiplayer being one of the most rewarding and well-poished elements of CivRev, and a massive improvement over MP in the PC version, the reviewer considers the game a must-play for all console owners and even PC players. Rated 4.5 out of 5, you can read the full two-page review on Cheat Code Central.
            Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


            • #36
              Gamer 2.0: A Benchmark Game

              Joshua Schwartzman of Gamer 2.0 has posted his review of the latest incarnation of the Civilization series on the console. Lauding the game's hand-holding of console gamers new to the franchise, the intuitive control scheme and the many options for scenarios, Schwartzman does lament the limited options for multiplayer:

              It is a drag however to note that you simply canít play one-on-one against a friend since the game always requires at least five civilizations to be fighting at once. If you do play against a friend, the game will automatically add three computer-controlled nations to play alongside you. Itís not a bad idea, but a standard free-for-all mode against one other person would have been welcomed. The levels are also pre-loaded and created, meaning you canít adjust the landscape or create your own maps if you wanted to, and with the lack of created terrains (about 6), some could get quite tiring fast.

              In the end the reviewer considers CivRev to be a benchmark for future strategy games ont the console, giving it an 8.9 out of 10. Read the full review on Gamer 2.0.
              Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


              • #37
                iafrica: It Simply Works

                South African online portal iafrica has posted a review of Civilization: Revolution. Author Gideon Nieuwoudt admits he was never into any of the previous Civ games because of their sheer length, but CivRev is just what he was looking for:

                'Revolution's' appeal lies exactly in that which would irritate hardcore fans of the series: its simplicity. Instead of bogging the player down in minute details, it opts to give console gamers a strategy game that is extremely easy to pick up and get into. And, after all, that is what you want on a console in the absence of a mouse.

                Complimenting the controls and interface, Nieuwoudt appreciates the fast-paced gameplay and colourful graphics, but is less impressed by some framerate issues. Overall, keeping things simple makes the game work for him.
                Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                • #38
                  DS Fanboy: Very Different (8/10)

                  Joystiq blog DS Fanboy posted their review of the Nintendo DS version of the Civilization: Revolution. Blogger Alisha Karabinus expresses she's all over the place with her feeling for this game: some thing she really likes, others she really hates.

                  Her first impression of the game was not favourable, as the game was too different from the PC versions of Civ, but then:

                  I realized that it was supposed to be different. In order to make the games shorter and create a manageable experience, Firaxis had to make an all-new Civ, and that meant I had to, on many levels, relearn how to play. Fair warning to all other Civ junkies -- this isn't the game you're used to. It's, at best, a distant relative who happens to look eerily like your favorite aunt.

                  Once you get used to them, the styles controls and menus work well on the DS, says Karabinus, but control is one thing you don't have in some areas of gameplay: a lot of micromanagement is removed from the game. The interface has its issues though:

                  Civ Rev is littered with repetitive dialogue, irritating pop-up-style information screens, and empty screens that serve only to make you tap the screen or hit the A button. Luckily, there's no long, drawn-out dialogue, but as it is, there's a whole lot of extra clicking going on. A little quality control on that aspect of the game and maybe something else could have been put back in, such as manually-controlled workers. Yes, the extra screens and obstacles seemed to add that much to the game, and they were by far the worst aspect of the title.

                  The author doesn't like that the game forces players into fast-paced combat, aggravated by the high randomness factor in determining battle results, but the scenarios are very well designed and the pace of the gameplay overall works well. Once the reviewer appreciated the different approach to the game, she eventually came to like it, giving it an 8/10. Read the full review on DS Fanboy.
                  Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                  • #39
                    WorthPlaying: 9.0/10, Grossly Addictive

                    (by Illuminatus)

                    WorthPlaying has posted its review of Civilization Revolution. It was scored 9.0 out of 10 and praised for success in porting Civ franchise to consoles, which seemed like an unlikely prospect at best.

                    The Civilization gameplay has been distilled down to its very basic elements, and the 360 controller has been carefully adapted to allow you to quickly scroll through your various units. Game graphics are described as charming, bright and cartoony but ultimately not impressive and even prone to nasty slowdowns.

                    It goes on to describe various game mechanics but does note that [s]ome of the civilizations have abilities that are amazingly overpowered. For example, the Aztecs begin with a lot of gold and the ability to fully heal all units after every skirmish. Contrasted with some of other civilization bonuses, one can`t help but feel disappointed that there wasn`t more done to ensure that every civilization has a fair chance at victory.

                    Various game modes are also mentioned. Civilization Revolution also offers a few other gameplay modes. Scenario games have with a slight twist. [...] The Golden Age is a scenario where barbarians are less violent, Great People are more commonly appearing, and Technology advances faster. Each of these scenarios offers a fun and unique twist on the Civilization gameplay, and they`re a good way to mix things up after you`ve proven your domination over the regular single-player mode. Game of the Week are briefly mentioned before commenting on the multiplayer gameplay which is described as being able to keep players busy for a long, long time..

                    Revolution`s biggest issue is that it really does simplify things to the point where it might turn off loyal Civilization fans. [...] Newcomers will simply find a grossly addictive game that will eat hours and hours of their lives, both on- and offline.
                    Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                    • #40
                      AceGamez: Slow-Paced But Solid

                      New Zealand website AceGamez posted their review of Civilization: Revolution, giving it an 8 out of 10. Adam Meadows points out that this is not a game for adrenaline junkies, as it's very much about slow, methodical strategy rather than about real-time action. He criticises multiplayer for being very slow-paced with the slowest player determine the pace of the game, although he is incorrectly under the assumption that turns are not simultaneous in MP. He doesn't like the option of turn timers though, as that forces players into making mistakes. Overall, the faster pace of gameplay compared to the PC version of the game is to Meadows's liking though.

                      Players deliberately looking for a longer, more drawn out multiplayer experience have to be willing to set hours aside to get their fix. Longer games could really use the facility to save so you can return to finish at a later date, but sadly not even a feature reminiscent of saving or checkpoints is to be found. This makes what should be the online evolution of an epic Civilization experience feel like a young child playing with LEGO; the sense of importance and scale just isn't there. In this sense, the multiplayer customisation is lacking, especially as no options exist for defining the starting era or indeed any sort of ability to alter the time scale.

                      The reviewer finds it baffling that a tutorial is only available on the lowest difficulty setting, while he does like the graphics, although he's not impressed by the frequency that advisors pop up and the amount of screen space they consume.

                      Overall Meadows is not extremely impressed by the game but he likes it well enough, calling the game solid, streamlined and accessible. You can read the full review on AceGamez.
                      Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                      • #41
                        BCS: Bright And Colourful

                        The British Computer Society has posted a review of Civilization: Revolution on their website. Noting the game's good controls and how easy it is to get into, the reviewer was frustrated by the seemingly random combat results. The graphics are also less impressive:

                        One disappointing side of Civ Rev though is that to look at it's not the greatest and certainly doesn't appear to push either the Xbox 360 or the PS3 anywhere near their limits. It's bright and colourful but some of the character animation are not the greatest with a number of advisors looking the same no matter which race you select, which is a shame.

                        Overall, the game is good and addictive, worthy of a 78% score. Read the full review on the BCS website.
                        Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                        • #42
                          G&P: A Delightful Experience

                          Online magazine Game and Player posted their review of Civilization: Revolution, giving the game 4 out of 5 stars. The magazine's managing editor Michael Ubaldi admits he initially considered the game too lightweight, but he eventually found value in it. The reviewer is especially impressed by the use of sound in the game:

                          Each aspect of leadership is represented by a ministry and guided by an advisor. Animated characters, wearing contemporary garb, sidle on-screen when their command menu is selected. Speaking playful, Sims-like gibberish, they warm up otherwise utilitarian exchanges. Some of the phonetic parodies are much more successful than others, but I admit: they all grew on me. Elsewhere, gameplay is very carefully arranged through identifying sounds ó effects merely amusing at first are, in fact, effective nonverbal signals.

                          He does criticise the AIs for being brutish and dull, describing diplomacy as frequently predictable, repetitive or even silly. On higher difficulties levels they become more interesting though and can force players to adapt their strategies, according to the author. Overall the easy and quick-paced gameplay and the colourful and animated graphics result in a a delightful experience. Read the full review on Game and Player.
                          Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                          • #43
                            ZTGameDomain: Largely Satisfying (9/10)

                            Hardcore gaming site ZTGameDomain posted their review of Civilization: Revolution. The reviewer, known simply as Catastrophe, considers CivRev to be a fantastic game, although she readily admits that she's more than a little bit of a Sid Meier fangirl. She compliments the game for being redesigned specifically for consoles and for being as accessible to newcomers as to diehard Civ fans. One criticism she has are the maps:

                            In addition to Civilization's new found brevity, map selection may be a bit jarring. Don't expect to be choosing your map or terrain, they are randomized and the appearance and scope of the terra firma is a surprise every time. The tempting mien of the maps, as well as the ability to name geographic features like deserts and forests is enticing. Even if you are not very expansion-minded early on exploration has a payoff with features like the discovery of ancient artifacts (Lost City of Atlantis among them), which yield significant bonuses to your civ. These types of additions foster the addictive gameplay fans know and love.

                            She also laments the one-dimensional nature of and limited options for diplomacy, but finds the combat is more impressive. Pointing out the variety of play that can be offered by the scenarios and multiplayer as well as the intuitive controls, the reviewer has her biggest beefs with the sound and graphics: the former just disappoints and the latter suffers from frame rate issues. Overall, she concludes that the game is largely satisfying and successful, giving it a 9 out of 10. Read the full review on ZTGameDomain.
                            Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                            • #44
                              Variety: Like an Elegant Board Game

                              Freelance journalist Tom Chick (don't believe the byline on this one ) reviewed Civilization: Revolution for US entertainment industry magazine Variety. According to Chick, the game ingeniously brings the series back to basics and, despite a few faults late in the game, should appeal to new players without alienating the devoted fan base.

                              He points out that games are much shorter now and that the gameplay has been strongly streamlined, many techs, units, wonders, etc having been cut to allow for fewer, but more important decisions. Is it better than the previous "Civ" games? That's the wrong question. It's different. And it works on its own terms. The reviewer continues to provide examples of this streamlining, concluding that the game feels more like an elegant board game that the PC version. He concludes:

                              "Civilization Revolution" is smoothest during the early stages. Exploring the world is like a guided treasure hunt along barbarian cities and mystical ruins. The later parts of a game can bog down as a world full of computer nations gets belligerent and stupid (the artificial intelligence is fond of foolishly waged wars).

                              You can read the full, short but well-written review on the online version of Variety.
                              Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery


                              • #45
                                Planet XBox 360: Rent It

                                Planet XBox 360 posted their review of Civilization: Revolution. Author Crad Grischow is impressed by the advisors and leaders:

                                The demands of the other world leaders are actually entertaining thanks to the cartoonish personality each character in the game gets; including silly mumbled 'voices' reminiscent of The Sims. The other leaders are not always out to destroy you, and will occasionally even send gifts, such as dancing bears, to earn your respect and ongoing peace.

                                He also likes the controls but does note that the games are too short and the world too small, with the differences between civs not great enough. There are some framerate issues and the variety offered by the game of the week feature isn't too great. Multiplayer is hurt by the limited number of modes to play and the turn timer, which is too slow early on, too quick later in the game. Overall, the reviewer considers CivRev to be a solid game that deserves your attention, but the lack of depth makes it a more likely candidate as a rental than a purchase. The full review, which rates the game as a 7.7 out of 10, can be on Planet XBox 360.
                                Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery