Civilization 6 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Civilization 6 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Civ 6 New Frontiers Season Pass Bringing a Year of New Content https://www.gameskinny.com/k71n4/civ-6-new-frontiers-season-pass-bringing-a-year-of-new-content https://www.gameskinny.com/k71n4/civ-6-new-frontiers-season-pass-bringing-a-year-of-new-content Mon, 11 May 2020 15:32:56 -0400 Josh Broadwell

2K and Firaxis announced a Civilization 6 season pass bringing bi-monthly updates and improvements for all platforms over the next year. Officially dubbed the Civilization 6 New Frontier Pass, the first update is out this month and lets fans play a Civ 6 Gran Columbia scenario, among other things.

The dev team posted an official Civ 6 New Frontiers announcement on YouTube, which you can see at the top of this post. In short, it highlights what you'll see over the next year and says the goal is getting a better understanding of what Civ 6 players want out of the game.

As for the nitty-gritty of what to expect, there's a content overview on the game's site, too. Each update pack brings a new mode, civilization, and leaders, some offer new resources and tiles, while others have Wonders, Districts, and Great People.

May and July bring us the Maya (Gran Columbia) and Ethiopia packs respectively, while the packs after that don't yet have concrete details about which civilizations we can expect. There's a handy content map (above) so you know what's coming too.

This is all on top of the two big Civ 6 expansions we've already seen in recent years, too. That's a lot of Civ.

You can check out the full announcement on the Civilization website. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Civ 6 news, and be sure to check out our massive collection of Civ 6 guides if you're new to the party.

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The Longest Games to Sink Hundreds of Hours Into https://www.gameskinny.com/g8l37/the-longest-games-to-sink-hundreds-of-hours-into https://www.gameskinny.com/g8l37/the-longest-games-to-sink-hundreds-of-hours-into Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:44:37 -0400 Ty Arthur

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Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

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There is absolutely no question that you could sink a ton of hours into Monster Hunter World, the most recent entry in the Monster Hunter franchise, but it's Freedom Unite that takes the crown. Thing is, you need as PSP or PlayStation Vita to play it.

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Offering up to 400 hours of play time, there's an undeniable sense of accomplishment built into Freedom Unite. that triggers something deep in our ancestral memory when we take down some big game, and Freedom Unite offers the ultimate in hunting with gigantic monsters.

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---

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What long games are you playing when you find yourself in need a few hundred hours to waste? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on our picks, and be sure to give us some recommendations for games we could play until our eyes bleed!

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Star Citizen

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Though it's possible that Star Citizen will never be complete, what's available now in the game's Alpha version is still extremely extensive. 

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While still missing many key features, there's plenty to do between combat and delivery missions, mining and trading, exploration, and direct interactions with other players. If you've ever wanted to go explore the stars in the most ambitious video game universe ever conceived, Star Citizen is the ultimate sci-fi time sink

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/black-white-41262.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/black-white-41262.jpg","type":"slide","id":"208967","description":"

Pokemon Black and White

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While some Pokemon games are drastically shorter than others, Black and White is probably the way to go if you're looking to really sink your teeth into something.

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For a Pokemon game, there is simply a stupid amount of content in Black and White, and it adds in 150 new pocket monsters to the roster to boot. The gameplay might be old-hat and repetitive by now, but if you want to relive your halcyon days of monster collecting, this is the way to go.

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Of course, Black and White isn't your only option. For Switch owners, there's also Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the games don't include all of the Pokemon from the get-go, a completionist run could last more than 100 hours, and there are two expansions still on the horizon!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitch-fireemblemthreehouses-image1600w-24b94.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitch-fireemblemthreehouses-image1600w-24b94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"208963","description":"

Fire Emblem Three Houses

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Other than Breath Of The Wild, which I'm assuming you already know you should have played, this is one of the very best, and longest, games on the Nintendo Switch. 

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Three Houses is filled to the brim with tactical combat and deeply strategic party management. It's got a winding, engaging story, and features elements from other genres, such as simulation and education. 

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It isn't a stretch to say you'll be putting in 60 hours on the low end. For those who have to explore every nook and cranny and find every secret, 100 hours isn't inconceivable.

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Persona 5

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In general, console RPGs tend to offer pretty lengthy campaigns, especially compared against the brevity of any given shooter's single-player mode. But the cream of the crop is Persona 5.

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The Persona games have always included a number of deeply interconnected relationship systems against the backdrop of intense complexity. Persona 5 kicks that design into high gear with the lengthiest story campaign yet, not to mention its Memento dungeons full of fantastic loot.

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Depending on how much of Tokyo you explore and how far into New Game+ mode you go, 100 hours of playtime is a low-end estimate. If you've already played Persona 5, it might be worth jumping back in with Persona 5 Royal. If that doesn't suit your fancy, take a look at our ranking of the Persona franchise from best to worst.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/o/91oltdsz55l-e5871.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/o/91oltdsz55l-e5871.jpg","type":"slide","id":"208945","description":"

Disgaea Series

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Old-school gamers might recall how you technically could get Cloud Strife to Level 99 on the PS1 version of Final Fantasy 7, but you weren't really supposed to do that. The gameplay just wasn't built around that type of grind, which got old  fast.

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Alternatively, Disgaea is a series that's explicitly built around that exact hustle, and the level cap isn't 99: it's 9,999. Yep, you read that right.

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Aside from a ludicrously-high character level, every item you pick up in Disgaea has its own randomized dungeon, all so you can level up said item to 9,999. Theoretically speaking, there's no cap to the number of hours you could spend here. Some have certainly spent thousands upon thousands ... 

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Thankfully, the series' strategy RPG combat stays fun during the endless grind, and all of the Disgaea titles feature tongue-in-cheek characters and interactions to keep things entertaining.

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I'm a fan of Disgaea 2's PC port, but honestly, any of these titles on either console or PC are just phenomenal and worth sinking time into. Want the latest and greatest? Disgaea 5 is the most recent main entry to hit PS4.

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Battletech

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What's more fun than giant mechs stomping each other into oblivion?  Harebrained Schemes' take on the long-running Battletech franchise. It's a winner when you need a game that goes on for a long, looooooong time.

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While the campaign itself is somewhere in the 60-70 hour range, it's what comes after — when the full map opens up  that's a real time sink. Whether you're an achievement hunter, or you're just trying to get all the parts to build that elusive crab mech, you're facing down hundreds of hours of missions.

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While such a glut of content got a bit stale at launch, additional mechs, travel events, and new mission types have since been added with free updates and paid DLC. If you quit after 120 the game first dropped, now is a great time to jump back in to see what's changed. Maybe even add 120 more. 

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Any Civilization Game

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Why stick with just one era of expansion and conquer when you could cover all of human history and then go far into the future as well? That's what's on tap if you decide to jump into Civilization, Sid Meier's 4X claim to fame. 

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As strategy games go, Civilization is the paradigm to beat. Its turn-based design has stood the test of time and influenced countless other titles. Games can play out as fairly quickly if you know what you're doing, and unique bouts abound no matter which of the hundreds of civilizations you pick.  

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One truly ludicrous example showcases a player who has been playing the same game of Civilization 2 for 10 solid years. No, not in-game years. Someone has spent a decade of their life on ONE Civilization match that never ended. 

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If you aren't familiar with the gameplay, I recommend jumping in with either Civilization 5 or Civilization 6.

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Sins Of A Solar Empire Rebellion

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Just about any major 4X game could have made this list since they're all focused on expansion, have sprawling maps, and provide plenty of replay value. 

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For the real goods, though, look no further than Sins Of A Solar Empire. Whether you want to establish an empire and deal with economic and political issues or just conquer the stars, Sins has dozens of gameplay possibilities. 

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Between the story mode and the game's random maps, there are immediately hundreds of hours at your fingertips — but that's just the start. The game supports a bevy of mods, including those for popular fandoms such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Stargate

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For example, the insanely-detailed Armada 3 mod is still the best Star Trek game that's ever been made, even if it's only a fan-made total conversion mod. 

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Heroes Of Might And Magic 3

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There are plenty of killer real-time strategy options out there, like Total War or Company Of Heroes. When you need a game that can keep you occupied for months on end, though, the large-scale conquests of Heroes Of Might And Magic have you covered.

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Heroes Of Might and Magic 5  when the franchise first made the leap to 3D environments  is my personal favorite of the series, but Heroes Of Might And Magic 3: The Restoration Of Erathia is what essentially coined the idea of "just one more turn" in any and every strategy game. It's a great place to start.

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Yes, the graphics are dated, but everything else still holds up. There's an immense level of challenge on the game's harder difficulties, but it's rewarding and worthwhile. That's not to mention the music is still absolutely phenomenal. 

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If you'd rather play something more modern, there are plenty of newer entries that feature advanced the gameplay mechanics and venture into other genres, such as sci-fi. Age Of Wonders: Planetfall is an excellent pick to sink a hundred (or two) hours into.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitch-baldursgateandbaldursgate2enhancededitions-c82f2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitch-baldursgateandbaldursgate2enhancededitions-c82f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"208943","description":"

Baldur's Gate 2

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You don't have to look to the stars for a sprawling game experience in the triple digits. There's plenty to do in a world like Toril, especially in places like the Sword Coast or Amn.

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The granddaddy of all PC RPGs, Baldur's Gate 2 (or, if you must, the "enhanced edition" from Beamdog) is custom-made for playing in long stretches.

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Even if you've already played it from beginning to end, there's plenty of reason to jump back into the Bhaalspawn saga and try a different route. Side with or against Bohdi and her vampires, go with an all-evil party by grabbing Korgan, Viconia, and Edwin, or try another class to earn a radically different stronghold.

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Another option that involves a significant time investment is the Baldur's Gate 2 romance system, which actually plays out over weeks and months of in-game time as you get to know companions. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-come-logo-3ee71.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-come-logo-3ee71.png","type":"slide","id":"208969","description":"

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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KC:D doesn't have nearly the same insane potential as Kenshi, but the trade-off is that there's significantly more story to enjoy. It does so in an open world with multiple ways to approach any situation.

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You start off as a peasant-nobody and have to build up your gear and reputation in a very (very) deadly world. The combat is deep and tactical, with dozens of different weapon choices from swords to maces. Clothing also plays a key role not only for defense but for social standing. And there's a crafting element that's rooted in real-life alchemy. 

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Kingdom Come is also significantly more polished and graphically pleasing than Kenshi, and looks utterly gorgeous on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, not to mention a high-end PC. 

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Kenshi

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Unconcerned with the typical story-rich RPG experience, Kenshi lets you play however you want. A true sandbox, you can build your own empire, become a slaver, start a rebellion, or just spend time crafting and researching. There's no right or wrong way to play Kenshi.

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Once you get the basics of this truly punishing game down, though, it's time to extend your playtime with the game's dozens of mods. Here's a list of must-download Kenshi mods to get you started.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-95b57.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-95b57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"208941","description":"

Ark: Survival Evolved

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We'll start with the ultimate time sink. If you dig survival games or just like the idea of riding a dino across a prehistoric landscape before building your own city, Ark is up your alley.

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You probably already know about Ark, but if you don't, the idea isn't just to fight other survivors and build a settlement, but it's also to tame and domesticate wild animals. From fiery Ark magmasaurs to spidery bloodhunters, creatures of all shapes and sizes can join your primal menagerie when you figure out the proper taming methods.

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Yeah, it has some clunky UI and connectivity issues still, but there really isn't any competition when it comes to Ark, a survival sim where you get to build up a stable of animals and craft a society however you please.

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To really understand the amount of time you might lose to Ark, just take a gander at the game's Steam page, where hundreds and hundreds of players have logged thousands of hours of play time!

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If you're not a fan of the game's prehistoric sci-fi setting, Outlaws Of The Old West has essentially identical gameplay but lets you live out your Wild West fantasies instead.

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Sometimes you just have a lot of time on your hands. Whether it's because of a long weekend or an extended vacation, there are times you just want to immerse yourself in a digital world for 100+ hours. 

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Luckily, there are a ton of games that fit the bill. We're going to assume you already know that heavily modded Elder Scrolls entries or Fallout 3/4 offer hundreds of hours of gaming opportunities. So instead of pointing out the completely obvious, we're going to focus on a handful of games you might have forgotten about or, perhaps, hadn't considered. 

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Project xCloud's Streaming Lineup Expands With New Games https://www.gameskinny.com/lj525/project-xclouds-streaming-lineup-expands-with-new-games https://www.gameskinny.com/lj525/project-xclouds-streaming-lineup-expands-with-new-games Wed, 22 Jan 2020 17:08:18 -0500 Ty Arthur

Though Project xCloud is still only in beta, the games streaming service already has 83 games in its catalog. The increase comes as a dozen new games were just added by Microsoft. They cover a wide range of genres. 

The new lineup includes a number of Telltale titles, which goes against the norm considering the studio's demise. Some other digital services have been jettisoning those games instead. For fans of those games, though, their inclusion in the xCloud lineup is a boon. 

Other games, such as SUPERHOT, Destiny 2, The Surge, and Sid Meier's Civilization 6 also make appearances. Here's the full list of newly added xCloud titles:

Several of those games are currently available through the growing Xbox Game Pass library, although Project xCloud and Game Pass are two separate entities at this point.

Game Pass notably has a monthly fee and currently supports installing games on Xbox One and PC. The two services are expected to eventually become compatible with each other, however, and may merge in some way.

At the moment, Project xCloud remains free, though in beta. If you get into the beta, you can play all the available games at no cost, However, the service is currently only available for a small number of player testers. Potential applicants need a compatible Android mobile device, a wireless Xbox One controller, and a stable wi-fi connection to take part.

Wondering what all the fuss is about and how this streaming service works? Check our Project xCloud early impressions here! Stay tuned for more news and info on Project xCloud as it develops. 

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Civilization 6 - The Best Civs for Each Victory Type https://www.gameskinny.com/8t3bq/civilization-6-the-best-civs-for-each-victory-type https://www.gameskinny.com/8t3bq/civilization-6-the-best-civs-for-each-victory-type Fri, 13 Dec 2019 14:21:22 -0500 Jordan Baranowski

It's possible to have to spent hundreds of hours playing Civilization 6 without ever having reached a victory in a single playthrough. Some players get bored and want to start anew, some simply get out-strategized by the other players and/or AI, and yet others want that perfect game.

Each playable civ in Civilization 6 has its own strengths and weaknesses that make them best suited to certain victory types. Some, such as Korea, are obviously geared towards particular playstyles; but others, such as Russia, are a little more difficult to pin down.

Here we'll be going over the best civ choices for each victory type, and you may be surprised by some of them. Keep in mind that each playthrough is different, and that you do need to consider your opponents in some regard when choosing your civ.

Feel free to post your own opinions in the comments.

Note: These apply to the changes implemented in the Gathering Storm expansion. These may not be applicable in the base game.

Domination

Best Civ: Zulu

If you choose the Zulu as your civ, you're immediately tipping your hand that you'll be focusing on military. They offer no particular cultural, civic, or religious benefit, but they are really good at dominating on the battlefield.

Even if you can't completely secure your Domination victory when you start firing on all cylinders, the Zulu should be able to secure you enough advantage through the midgame to coast to victory however you see fit.

There are a few major factors that allow the Zulu to be militarily dominant, but the big one is their ability to gain Corps and Armies much earlier than other civs.

Nearly all the Zulu's unique traits revolve around building up powerful medieval armies and stomping everyone else.

Their unique unit, the Impi, is a monster against Knights, which are usually the dominant forces of the medieval era. Their Armies and Corps gain a strength bonus, can be trained earlier than other civs get similar units, and can be trained directly.

Finally, capturing cities upgrades a unit to a Corps and a Corps to an Army if you have the proper civics researched.

Many military civs are bogged down when they start trying to capture cities, but the Zulu can actually strengthen their army if they strategically capture. The Zulu military might can get out of control in a hurry if their opponents don't disrupt it.

Other good Domination options: Scythia, Greece

Science

Best Civ: Korea

Like the Zulu and domination, Korea will almost always be shooting for a science victory. Their ability to outpace the other civs on the tech tree make them formidable in other victory types if they can get far enough ahead, but it is tougher to pivot from the science path if it doesn't look like it will work.

The biggest boon to Korea's scientific success is their unique district, the Seowon. It provides a lot of science on its own, especially early on, and also grants a science bonus to adjacent mines. If you can find lots of hilly areas to abuse Seowons, you will be tough to catch.

In addition, Governors add even more science to your already massive output. The general plan for Korean victory involves getting so far ahead early on that you can basically turtle up and defend your cities against inferior units as you rush to build the spaceship.

Other good Science options: Arabia, Scotland

Culture

Best Civ: Sweden

This is one of the trickier ones, as lots of civs utilize culture in a variety of strong ways. However, Kristina's cultural abilities overall seem like the strongest, mainly because they can come online much faster than many other civs.

If you get out to a strong cultural jump, it can discourage other players and snowball into enough of an advantage that it doesn't matter who tries to catch you.

The first boon towards a culture victory comes from your leader ability. Kristina herself makes it much easier to theme your great works, granting you massive bonuses if you're able to find the right sets.

The Open Air Museum is where Sweden really shines, however. It can generate a massive amount of tourism for every city in your empire, and they can be built much earlier than tourism producers in other civs. Once you start getting them up and running, it might be too late to stop you.

Other good Culture options: Canada, China, America

Religion

Best Civ: Russia

Religion is another tricky one to judge, as there are a few different routes you can find success with when aiming for a religion victory. However, few civs can overpower others with prayer like Russia, as they can utilize multiple methods to spread their faith.

Russia's religious prowess begins with their unique district: the Lavra. They come online earlier than Holy Sites, and they provide a better boost.

The Lavra allows you to get the pick of your pantheons - considering Russia typically starts in colder climates, "Dance of the Aurora" is usually your best bet. You'll soon be generating more faith than you'll know what to do with, and can go about converting the world.

Peter the Great also grants bonuses to international trade routes, which can be another effective way to spread your religion to far away civs.

Other good Religion options: India, Spain, Georgia

Diplomacy

Best Civ: Canada

Ah, the black sheep of Civilization 6 victory conditions. In general, if you could win a diplomacy victory, you probably could have already won another way. That's neither here nor there, however: if you want to shoot for that diplomacy victory, Canada is your best bet.

Canada is all about sitting back and being friendly with everyone. They can't declare surprise wars or be the target of them, which goes a long way to keeping Canada on everyone's good side.

They also get massive boosts to their diplomatic favor by doing things you would otherwise be doing: generating culture and working against emergencies. Basically, if you can stay on everyone's good side, you will probably eke out a victory as Canada.

This passive, friendly playstyle also pivots very well into a culture victory, should you need to change your tactics. If you need to switch to a domination victory with Canada, you might be in trouble.

Other good Diplomacy civs: Sweden, Hungary

Every time you generate a map, adjust the difficulty, or add in new civs, you're going to change your path to victory in Civilization 6. That's part of the reason why the series has endured as one of the deepest and most replayable strategy games around.

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Check out our other Civilization 6 guides here on GameSkinny.

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Civilization 6 Update Brings Cross-Platform Cloud Saves for PC and Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/m2umo/civilization-6-update-brings-cross-platform-cloud-saves-for-pc-and-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/m2umo/civilization-6-update-brings-cross-platform-cloud-saves-for-pc-and-switch Wed, 03 Apr 2019 15:30:46 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Firaxis took to Twitter to announce a new update for Civilization 6 that implements cross-platform cloud saves for the PC and Nintendo Switch versions of the game. However, there is no new info regarding the feature for iOS or PC-exclusive expansion data.

The functionality is only supported by Civilization 6's base game because the Switch version of the game does not support expansion packs as of this writing.

According to Firaxis, there is no lag between saving on one system and picking up various threads of war and diplomacy on another. The only requirements for accessing the feature across platforms is for players to:

  • Link their 2K accounts
  • Then select "multi-platform cloud save" from the in-game options

Firaxis also provided a short video detailing how to activate cross-platform saves on its official Twitter account. 


Signing up for a 2K account is free. In doing so, players are eligible for in-game rewards and updates before they are made available to those without a 2K account. Interested players can do so on 2K's website

Those that are interested can also sign up through their existing PSN, Xbox Live, Steam, or Nintendo accounts to receive additional in-game rewards.

Civilization 6 is currently not available for PlayStation 4, so this is one instance of new cross-platform support that can be enjoyed completely free from the various controversies surrounding Sony's stance on cross-platform play.

It's also a notable change in Nintendo's relationship with other developers from the isolated days of the Wii U.

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Make a New Year's Resolution to Play More Simulation Games https://www.gameskinny.com/olzrd/make-a-new-years-resolution-to-play-more-simulation-games https://www.gameskinny.com/olzrd/make-a-new-years-resolution-to-play-more-simulation-games Tue, 01 Jan 2019 10:00:02 -0500 Fox Doucette

If Baby Boomers were the "Me Generation" and Gen-Xers were the "MTV Generation" and Millennials were the "Internet Generation", this next generation coming up through the ranks and born after 2000 might just be the "Minecraft Generation".

Extra Credits ran a video about the effect that Minecraft would have on the gaming industry way back in 2014, and a lot of what they said “would happen in 10 years” is already well on its way to happening.

 

But you may not be a kid or young teenager reading this. You could be much older, and the transformation into a simulation gamer may have come decades ago.

After all, when the original SimCity came out on the SNES as a launch title, plenty of kids whose NES experiences were games like Contra and Punch-Out! suddenly found a whole new world that they'd never seen before just waiting to guide their maturing tastes in a whole new direction.

There are still plenty of you out there who play primarily action-oriented titles, but look no further than Red Dead Redemption 2, a game in the action-RPG genre, that requires more patience to get the most out of the experience than we've ever seen in a game that didn't have Todd Howard's design handprints all over it (I see you there, Fallout 4).

But I'm not talking about Red Dead when I say you should play more simulation games in 2019. I'm saying you should make the leap and get into the serious simulators, the ones with the word “Simulator” in the title that don't also include the word “Goat.”

“But Fox,” you may be sensibly asking, “why would I want to do that?”

I'll give you five good reasons why.

The Games Are Fantastic Short Distractions

Have you ever had half an hour to kill and done a quick quest in an RPG or a turn in a game like Civilization or Total War, only to find that what was meant as a quick time-killer led to you playing all day, the victim of the wrong kind of distraction?

Do yourself a favor. Go buy one of the Truck Simulator games (American Truck Simulator or Euro Truck Simulator 2, depending on your geographic preference.) Load up the game when you've got between about 30 minutes and two hours, then pick a cargo run you can complete in that length of time.

Then do the cargo run, notice that the game gives you a fantastic natural exit point by requiring a little bit of effort—not a lot, but just enough to remind you that you only planned one cargo run—and then see how simulated trucks are a perfect part of this balanced breakfast between being an adult and wanting to get some gaming time in.

If you've got responsibilities—work, kids, wife, whatever—simulations are the perfect games for fitting into your day without getting carried away.

It doesn't have to be trucks either. It could be a day's farming in either a casual (Stardew Vallley) or serious (Farming Simulator, in whichever biannual release your computer likes best graphics-wise and performance-wise) sim. A flight in X-Plane 11 or even Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Sports games, if they're accurate reflections rather than arcade-style games (think Madden or NBA 2K) even fit under this broad gaming tent.

The Community Tends to be Great

Is there a bigger cesspool in gaming than the MOBA genre? You have hypercompetitive children trying way too hard to be edgy in voice chat, to the point where a lot of non-gamers think that's all video games are when they dismiss our hobby.

Contrast that with the way the community interacts with the devs and each other among big-time sim fans. Because the games aren't PVP, even in their online modes, people have no incentive to be jerks to each other and every reason to be super helpful and cooperative.

There are also some fantastic Let's Play-style instructional videos on YouTube. Playing American Truck Simulator, I found the turning radius on my trailers so ludicrously wide that the only real solution was to have them towed whenever they got into a tight spot. But there was YouTube, ready and willing to help and demonstrate. A few videos later, and I was spinning that trailer around in one place like the minute hand on a clock.

And at no point do most of the people in those videos have the condescending tone you get from forum posts and the like, either.

If you're burned out on other people, taking up simulations is a great way to break yourself of that malaise.

If You Want a Long Session, You Can Have One

Go ahead, Stardew Valley players. Lie to me in the comments and tell me you've never played an entire season (or more) in one sitting.

Likewise, these are games that if you're not trying to limit yourself, you can lose yourself in them.

Put on some classic rock, load up a tractor or a truck or that city in Cities: Skylines that you've been working on and expanding beyond the freeway for the first time and lose a day or a weekend or a whole college winter break playing.

These games are relaxing, low-stress recovery games. When you need a mental health day just whiling away the time, this is the perfect genre for it.

The Worlds Persist in Ways MMOs Don't

There is nothing quite like coming back to a game and having what you built exactly as you left it. It's the subject of many daydreams during working days, the source of incredible screenshots like those Minecraft worlds you see all over the Internet, and possibly the most satisfying part of playing simulators long term.

It's having a neighborhood in a Sims game that you started on a blank or nearly blank map grow and change and thrive with each generation of Sim kids and each new house build until the neighborhood is full and bustling.

Bringing sports into it again, it's the franchise mode that's many seasons removed from the first game of Year 1, the game's auto-generated draft classes having had Hall of Fame careers of their own, all but the youngest rookies from the actual sport long since retired.

And the best reason of all for playing simulators?

They Tend to be Cheap

Well, except for the DLC. But that's just it.

These are “lifestyle games”, and every mod you install, content pack you buy, or other addition—free or paid—that you make to the game truly makes it yours.

At no point is any of it mandatory. It may feel that way—the Truck Simulator games feel pretty constrained without their expanded maps—but you can have a highly satisfying experience with just the base game.

That scalability makes simulations great fun, because at no point does it constrain the playerbase the way an MMO walls off not only new zones from people who don't buy the expansion, but part of the community from the friendship and content that other players provide.

You can mix and match for any budget, and besides, these games go on deep discount on Steam all the time.

So why not try a simulated life in 2019? You'll find it a beautiful change of pace, and who knows—when you play one that truly speaks to you, you might end up like that high school freshman whose love of simulated cities in 1992 became a love of writing about simulations 27 years later.

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Inca Announced for Civilization 6's Upcoming Expansion, Gathering Storm https://www.gameskinny.com/n264y/inca-announced-for-civilization-6s-upcoming-expansion-gathering-storm https://www.gameskinny.com/n264y/inca-announced-for-civilization-6s-upcoming-expansion-gathering-storm Tue, 18 Dec 2018 12:03:54 -0500 Ted Racicot

In anticipation of the February 14 release of the next Civilization 6, Gathering Storm, Firaxis has begun announcing which new civilizations will be added to the game. 

Last week, the company announced that Canada would be entering the fray. Today, they have announced that the Inca will be joining them. 

As the main theme of Gathering Storm is the way in which humans interact and change the environment around them, the Inca fit perfectly into the expansion's new schema. 

For example, the Inca gain benefits for building close to mountains. The terrace farm, a unique tile improvement specific to the Inca, is similar to a farm but can be constructed on hills. It gains bonuses for being built next to mountains or a water source. The civilization also has the ability to work mountain tiles, which provide production and bonus food for any adjacent terrace farms.

Even Pachacuti, the first leader announced for the Inca, has special abilities that fit into the mountain theme of the Inca.

First, Pachacuti allows the Inca to build the mountain tunnel, a new improvement available to all civs in Gathering Storm, earlier than other civilizations; the Inca are able to build it in the ancient era, rather than the modern era like other civilizations.

Second, Pachacuti has an ability that grants a bonus to trade routes destined for a player's own cities, while domestic trade routes grant bonus food for each mountain at its destination. 

Finally, the unique unit for the Inca is the Warak'aq, a reconnaissance unit that has the ability to attack twice a turn. 

Overall, the Inca are an interesting addition to Civilization 6. They are able to gain benefits from mountains that other civilizations cannot use, and their focus on food and production ensures that they are a flexible civilization that can realistically pursue any victory condition. 

Gathering Storm is set to release on February 14.  

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Canada Announced for Civilization 6: Gathering Storm https://www.gameskinny.com/hleph/canada-announced-for-civilization-6-gathering-storm https://www.gameskinny.com/hleph/canada-announced-for-civilization-6-gathering-storm Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:22:53 -0500 Ted Racicot

Last month, Fraxis announced Gathering Storm, the newest expansion for Civilization 6. Though the expansion is not scheduled to be released until February 14, several of the new civilizations that will become playable in the new expansion. The most recent civilization that has been confirmed to be a part of Gathering Storm is Canada. 

Canada's unique abilities focus around culture and diplomacy. Canada is unable to declare war on City-States or declare a surprise war on other civilizations. They are also unable to have a surprise war declared on them, making them the perfect civilization for someone looking to have a more peaceful game. They also gain bonuses to global events such as Emergencies and the World Games, making Canada ideal for the new Diplomacy victory being added in Gathering Storm

The unique unite being given to Canada is the Mountie. Not only is the Mountie a powerful Calvary unit, it also has the ability to construct National Parks. Similarly, the unique building for Canada is the Ice Hockey Rink, which provides culture and tourism. Both the Mountie and Ice Hockey Rink are effective late-game tools for players aiming for a Cultural victory. 

Wilfred Laurier, Canada's seventh Prime Minister, is the historical figure that has been chosen to lead Canada in Civilization 6. He is known for expanding the borders of Canada, and this is reflected in the special abilities that Canada receives with him as their leader.

Unlike other civs, Canada may build farms on Tundra tiles. Furthermore, Tundra tiles are cheaper to purchase and give double the amount of extracted resources. This allows Canada to make use of cold regions that other civilizations struggle in. 

Canada fits into a very niche play style, focusing more on diplomacy than warfare. It is also interesting to see a Civilization that will be able to thrive in territories that others find useless. Overall, Canada looks to be an incredibly unique addition to Civilization 6: Gathering Storm. We'll finally get to take Canada for a ride February 11, 2019.

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Civilization 6's Second Expansion Focuses on the Natural World https://www.gameskinny.com/fqwpa/civilization-6s-second-expansion-focuses-on-the-natural-world https://www.gameskinny.com/fqwpa/civilization-6s-second-expansion-focuses-on-the-natural-world Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:25:32 -0500 William R. Parks

Just four days after Civilization 6's release on Switch put the strategy game in the hands of a new group of players, 2K Games is back with an announcement that is sure to garner excitement from the game's long-time fans.

Gathering Storm, the game's second expansion, is set for a PC release on February 14, 2019.

As the title of the expansion suggests, the focal point of Gathering Storm is bringing a more active natural world to Civilization.

As per the developers:

Our story of human history was missing something without the impact that a changing planet has had on our settlements, and the imprints that we have left behind on Earth. This was the primary theme that we wanted to explore with Civilization 6: Gathering Storm.

In this expansion, this theme manifests as "natural events" -- floods and volcanoes that will bring a new level of risk and reward to the game. For example, while the magma from an erupting volcano will threaten damage to anything in its path, the soil left behind will be enriched, bringing higher yields to intrepid players that dare to build so close to the destructive force.

Additionally, a weather system will be implemented to make Civilization's world feel increasingly alive. Droughts, hurricanes, and blizzards are just a few new elements players can expect to encounter in Gathering Storm. As with floods and volcanoes, the weather system brings the potential for both great destruction and great reward.

However, the natural world does not act completely independently of the civilizations that inhabit it, and, in Gathering Storm, player activity has a direct impact. Burning fuels will lead to temperature increases, which, in turn, will cause topographical changes and increased floods and storms. Alternatively, wind and solar power can be utilized to avoid these environmental alterations.

If implemented correctly, there is the potential for a beautiful symbiosis between nature and mankind to emerge in Gathering Storm.

Beyond a focus on the natural world, Gathering Storm introduces a host of features to be excited about. "Civilization 6: Gathering Storm is the largest expansion Firaxis Games has ever created for a Civilization game," 2K's announcement reads, and it certainly seems like it.

Dams, canals, mountain tunnels, and railroads will introduce new options for altering and navigating Civilization's map, and "speculative technologies" will find their way into the Technology and Civic trees.

Further, Diplomatic Victory and a World Congress will ask players to proceed cautiously in their conquests, and a bevy of new leaders, civilizations, scenarios, and much more will round out the expansion.

If you would like to read a full summary of Gathering Storm's offerings, we have included them below. And if you are diving into Civilization 6 for the first time on Switch, be sure to check out our extensive guides page.

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  • ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: Volcanoes, storms (blizzards, sand storms, tornadoes, hurricanes), climate change, floods, and droughts.
  • POWER AND CONSUMABLE RESOURCES: Strategic resources play an additional role in Gathering Storm. These resources are now consumed in power plants to generate electricity for your cities. Initially you'll be powering your most advanced buildings by burning carbon-based resources like Coal and Oil, but renewable energy sources also unlock as you progress to current-day technologies. Your choices about resource usage will directly affect the world's temperature and can cause melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
  • ENGINEERING PROJECTS: Shape the world around your empire to overcome unfavorable land conditions by making improvements like canals, dams, tunnels and railroads. When settling cities, consider the flood risk to coastal lowland areas, but keep in mind that in the late-game, new technologies like Flood Barriers can be used to protect these tiles.
  • WORLD CONGRESS: Make your voice heard among the other leaders of the world. Earn Diplomatic Favor through Alliances, influencing city-states, competing in World Games, and more. Use Diplomatic Favor to extract promises from other leaders, vote on Resolutions, call a Special Session to address an emergency, and increase the weight of your votes in your quest to achieve the new Diplomatic Victory.
  • 21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES & CIVICS: A new era has been added to the Technology and Civics trees. Combat new environmental effects with speculative ideas such as relocating your population out to seasteads and developing technologies to recapture carbon emissions.
  • NEW LEADERS AND CIVS: Nine new leaders from eight new civilizations are introduced. Each brings unique bonuses and gameplay, as well as a total of nine unique units, four unique buildings, three unique improvements, two unique districts and one unique governor.
  • NEW SCENARIOS:
    • The Black Death: The Black Death ravaged Europe and western Asia in the mid-14th century, killing a greater share of the population than any other event in world history. The pandemic killed millions, ruined economies, upended political dynasties and transformed the face of the Western world. Your task is to lead your nation through the calamity: keep your population alive, your economy strong, and your faith unshaken amidst a world of terror and desperation.
    • War Machine: At the outset of WWI, the German Imperial Army had a daring plan: invade neutral Belgium and then rush the French heartland before they could mobilize to resist. If successful, the German forces would capture Paris within a month and end their resistance forever. In counter, the French command prepared Plan 17, an all-out onslaught designed to meet and stop a German offensive. When war was declared, both armies swung into motion and set up one of the most incredible and shocking military campaigns in world history. In this scenario, players take the side of one of these two great powers at this same precipice. As Germany, your task is to capture Paris. As France, your task is to prevent its capture. The clock is ticking, and the enemy is moving. Advance!
  • MORE NEW CONTENT: Seven new world wonders, seven natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, 9 new buildings, 5 new districts, 2 new city sets, 9 new techs and 10 new civics have been added.
  • IMPROVED GAMEPLAY SYSTEMS: The Espionage system has been enhanced with new options, the Culture and Science Victories have been updated, new Historic Moments have been added, and additional improvements have been made to other existing systems.

Are you excited for this upcoming Civilization 6 expansion? Let us know in the comments below!

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Does Historical Accuracy Matter in the RTS Genre? https://www.gameskinny.com/gq5q9/does-historical-accuracy-matter-in-the-rts-genre https://www.gameskinny.com/gq5q9/does-historical-accuracy-matter-in-the-rts-genre Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:27:37 -0500 Alberto C.

The simple and straightforward answer to the question, "Does historical accuracy matter in the RTS genre?" is “well yeah, duh.” If we’re going to be playing a game based around a certain time period in history, or if it is supposed to depict a historical event, perhaps because we generally tend to “know” what really happened and are aware of the facts surrounding them, we have a natural inclination to denounce everything we perceive as “false.” It only seems logical that if we witness something we think to be untrue, to call it out or at least notice it.

This problem on the question of historical authenticity is and has been especially problematic within the RTS genre. It is one of the few types of games where the player simultaneously controls various types of units at the same time and tests them against one another. This means that developers have to take into account how each and every unit will react when put against all the others. What’s more, the RTS genre is one heavily dominated by games that use history itself or a period of it as a base for the whole game. Games like Total War, Age of Empires or Company of Heroes are some of the heaviest weights you can find in the genre and, with the exception of recent Total War titles, rely heavily on history.


Age of Empires is famous for depiting ancient historical periods...while being able to Wololo that war elephant into joining your army.

The question is then not so much does historical accuracy matter, but how much does it matter, and up to what point. When playing an RTS game that is based on a historical period, chances are we would prefer to play a title that is historically accurate rather than one that isn’t. The exception to this would be if a game is explicitly marketed as one that doesn’t intend to be accurate and it is not what players should expect. Games like War Front: Turning Point or Age of Empires do not have the emphasis on being accurate, but rather on taking you through alternative timelines or various historical ages, respectively.

Though not an RTS, Civilization is a series guilty of historical inaccuracies.

The titles that do brand themselves as being historically factual have then to find a balance between that faithful representation of reality, and being overall fun. These are the titles where developers are inevitably forced to decide how much are they willing to bend the rules and how can they justify it. In the end, developers do and should put gameplay and enjoyment over being accurate. If they did the opposite, games wouldn’t be nearly as fun and it would result unavoidably (but historically accurate) imbalances that would be especially pronounced in the multiplayer arena. Games shouldn’t be imbalanced no matter how accurate it may be.

Most history buffs of World War 2 know that German tanks were overall better than their American counterparts, but that doesn’t mean it should be as so in a video game that doesn’t go beyond a computer monitor. RTS and video games overall are meant to be fun first and foremost. They are rarely, if ever, marketed as tools meant to depict how past events developed. The fact of the matter is a historically inaccurate game is infinitely better than a broken game, which was what they risk being by putting the former ahead of the latter.


German Tiger Tank I was notoriously superior to the M4 Sherman.

No matter the game and no matter the time period, some players out there are always willing and determined to point out the historical inaccuracies a game may suffer. They’ll voice their complaints about how their favorite unit should endure more damage or whatnot within the game. What these players often fail to realize is that games that take history as a basis do exactly that: as a basis. They merely use it as a foundation upon which to build their own fictional world. To expect anything other than that is misguided, ill-founded, and will only hamper the enjoyment of the game itself.

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Civilization 6 Troubleshooting Rise And Fall DLC Startup Crashes & Bug Fixes https://www.gameskinny.com/5q06u/civilization-6-troubleshooting-rise-and-fall-dlc-startup-crashes-bug-fixes https://www.gameskinny.com/5q06u/civilization-6-troubleshooting-rise-and-fall-dlc-startup-crashes-bug-fixes Fri, 09 Feb 2018 13:54:27 -0500 Ty Arthur

Your winning strategy just got obliterated in Civilization 6 as the Rise And Fall DLC arrives, adding in additional alliances, special events, ages, governors, and even whole new civs with completely different play styles!

As a long-overdue update that changes how civilizations interact with each other, any fan of the base game will want to try out the Civ 6 Rise and Fall expansion as soon as possible.

Sadly, many are unable to do so, as players keep experiencing Civilization 6 crashes as soon as the game loads, while others can get into the game but can't actually play with any of the new Rise And Fall content. If you've been experiencing Rise And Fall startup errors or bugs, follow the steps below to get up and running!

Civilization 6 Rise And Fall Startup Troubleshooting

Unfortunately, the Civ 6 Rise And Fall DLC is not currently supported on Mac or Linux systems -- sorry folks, this one's Windows only for the time being! For some reason, the store page still allows you to buy the DLC, but you can't actually use it yet.

If you are using Windows and still can't get the game to load after downloading the DLC, there are some basic troubleshooting measures to try out first before getting into the more complicated possibilities.

Completely shut down and restart Steam, then click on the Civilization VI entry in your library. Scroll down to the DLC section on the right side of the frame and look for the "Rise And Fall" entry. If it isn't checked, click the checkbox.

Make sure this checkbox is marked in the civilization vi rise and fall entry in your Steam library     (Thanks to Satoru for the screenshot)

Next up, as with any Steam game, it's time to verify integrity of the files and re-download if necessary. Right-click the Civilization VI entry in your library and choose "Properties," then navigate to the "Local Files" tab at the top of the screen.

Select the option to "Verify Integrity of Game Files" and then follow the prompts. You may get an all-clear message, or you may have to re-download the game files if something is corrupt or missing. If everything was verified, there are more options to check next.

Enabling DLC

For those who can get into the game but can't get to any of the Rise And Fall content, choose the option to create a new game.

Open the "rule set" drop-down menu, and make sure "Expansion: Rise and Fall" is selected. If you don't see it there at all, then the DLC either hasn't been purchased through Steam, or you are using an OS that isn't supported yet.

Disable Mods

After the basic Civilization 6 error troubleshooting, it's time to move on to more specific fixes. In most cases, the Rise And Fall DLC won't work properly due to a conflict with an installed mod. All those old mods need to be updated to work with the new content.

If you aren't able to load the game at all, you will need to manually uninstall any mods. If you can get to the main menu, open up the "Additional Content" section and ensure only the "Community Created Content" option is checked, then select the option to "Disable All" to turn off all mods simultaneously. Restart the game and, in most cases, you should be good to go.

Delete mods.sqllite File

For those still experiencing issues, a specific older mod file may be the culprit. Close down Civ 6 entirely, then open up a window explorer menu and navigate to the file path "My Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization VI."

Look in the folder for a file either named "mods.sqllite" or, in some cases, it may just be named "mods" (with no obvious extension or ending). Delete that file and restart Civilization VI to try again.

play out the rise and fall of the roman empire--or just about any empire--in civ 6 dlc Let's get started conquering the world and using new features like loyalty!

If you've found any other potential Rise And Fall expansion troubleshooting steps, let us know, and we'll get them added.

Finally able to play the game and ready to try out the new content? Check out our guide to playing Scotland the Brave in the Rise And Fall DLC!

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Civilization 6: Rise And Fall Guide to Scotland the Brave https://www.gameskinny.com/x3i3p/civilization-6-rise-and-fall-guide-to-scotland-the-brave https://www.gameskinny.com/x3i3p/civilization-6-rise-and-fall-guide-to-scotland-the-brave Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:54:16 -0500 Ty Arthur

As the expansions and DLC arrive, Civilization 6 is finally becoming the powerhouse of options and expanded gameplay mechanics that fans have come to know and love from previous entries in the series.

The Rise And Fall DLC includes a host of new features that appropriately lead to civilizations rising and falling in different ways that will change your tactics towards hitting a win condition.

Notably, the loyalty of cities going up or down based on your behavior and where you build results in populations rebelling or being captured without having to fire a single arrow. There are also three new types of ages that arrive based on how you play, each with its own ups and downs. Furthermore, unexpected emergencies now occur in conjunction with momentous occasions -- like converting a religious city or dropping a nuke -- that can be capitalized on to get an advantage if you play smart.

Ready to try all those new mechanics as Robert the Bruce and see the Scots win independence and go onto global domination? Let's get started below!

Robert the Bruce stands tall in Civ 6

Civ 6 Scotland Features

Scotland's addition to the Civilization VI roster offers a fairly versatile civilization option that can either go the war or science route due to some unique abilities. If you take advantage of these abilities, in addition to utilizing the various new governor types, you can get a huge advantage in the mid to late game.

Scottish Enlightenment

This is Scotland's primary new unique ability, and it can be a game changer if you focus on keeping your population loyal and satisfied.  Any city that is either classified as happy or ecstatic gets additional science and production.

There's even more to this bonus, though, as cities generate extra Great Scientist points per campus and extra Great Engineer points per industrial zone. You can get ahead very quickly using these bonuses.

Highlander

While there aren't nearly as many kilts to be found as you might expect in the Scottish armies, there is a unique new unit called the Highlander, which acts as a reconnaissance unit and replaces the ranger.

Highlanders get bonuses when fighting in woods or on hills, so pick your battle locations wisely to take full advantage of the new Scottish unit type.

Civ 6 DLC features the new highlander Highlander unit going to war

Bannockburn 

Based so strongly around fighting for independence, Scotland is a civilization that's great at making comebacks after losing territory, which is embodied by the Bannockburn unique leader ability.

You have to research the Defensive Tactics civic first, and then Bannockburn lets Robert declare a war of liberation against a neighboring civilization. This type of war lets you attack a city previously captured from either you or your allies by another civ without getting the Warmonger diplomatic penalty.

You also get additional movement to units and production to cities during the first few turns of the war. If you plan properly prior to using Bannockburn, this can be a quick and overpowering way to recapture lost territory and suddenly gain a whole lot of ground.

Golf Course

I'll be honest -- I didn't realize golf was somehow tied to Scottish identity and had to Google that one. Thanks for sending me off for a random history lesson this Thursday morning, Civilization VI!

This unique improvement provides an amenity and gold to the Scotland civ, in addition to providing culture if placed next to a city center or entertainment district, so plan ahead when building!

golf course in civ 6 Build yourself a fancy ancient golf course!

Those are all the basics you need to know to start playing as Scotland the Brave in Civilization 6! What feature are you most looking forward to trying out with Scotland's addition in the Rise And Fall DLC, and have you figured out any interesting tactics to try as Robert the Bruce? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tired of Civilization VI? Try Out These Awesome Indie Strategy Games Instead https://www.gameskinny.com/6rwxv/tired-of-civilization-vi-try-out-these-awesome-indie-strategy-games-instead https://www.gameskinny.com/6rwxv/tired-of-civilization-vi-try-out-these-awesome-indie-strategy-games-instead Sun, 29 Jan 2017 12:34:28 -0500 Rob Kershaw

You may have been caught up in certain other world events unfolding at the the same time and missed it, but Civilization VI was released last year to critical acclaim. It may have felt a little like an iterative release than anything fundamentally new and different, but it was certainly a polished and immediately immersive experience.

But when you've ploughed tens of hours into Sid Meier's latest and are in need of something -- anything -- else to scratch that strategy itch, what should you turn to?

Fear not. It's a question we've also asked ourselves, and while it may be easy to proffer the usual reliable list of sequels and strategy granddaddies, why not instead dip your toe into the indie market and see what gems nip at your toes?

We have a few suggestions which may appeal to you.

Planetbase

Colonising Mars may make a nice change to sending your legions out to take over the Earth, and Planetbase offers you exactly that. It's a world-building game, so there's a definite shift in pace and focus to the Civilization strategy you may be expecting. But your expertise in management and organization can definitely find a home on the Red Planet.

Starting off with enough resources to build a sizeable base, you need to direct your colonists to complete tasks within their fields of expertise -- biologist, engineer, and so on -- in order to expand. Resources are the order of the day, and you will need to generate these by building suitable structures as well as purchasing them from visiting traders, who will attempt to fleece you with ridiculously high prices. 

The initial graft required to get to a level of self-sufficiency may put some players off. It's sometimes a matter of luck whether you are able to create the right amount of materials to be able to expand, but once you get to a level of autonomy -- aided by your workers and robots, the latter of which you can build more -- the game develops into a satisfying blend of strategy and management.

Preparing for potential disasters such as meteor strikes or crop failures is prudent (as anyone who has seen The Martian will realize), and success will see you move beyond Mars to spread your colonization skills to neighboring celestial bodies. 

Madruga Works have crafted a more thoughtful alternative to the laser-heavy space battle strategy games on the market, and it may well scratch the itch of those Civ players who want a more gentle introduction to the galactic world-building genre. 

Endless Space

The sequel may have hit early access late last year, but with no confirmed  release date, it's the perfect time to take a look at the original 4X space strategy from French developer Amplitude Studios. 

Endless Space takes a more holistic view of the cosmos, giving you a level of macro-management over one of eight different races (or letting you build a custom tribe). If you're looking for high-octane space battles, then this won't be for you. Combat is a simplistic affair and while the cutscenes are beautifully rendered, the slightly distant approach to battles won't appeal to everyone.

Yet, if you're in the market for a tightly executed sim that allows you to colonise, produce, expand and build, you can do far worse than this one. The interface is intuitive and uncluttered, notifying you of important events and offering helpful rollover tooltips.

The systems you intend to conquer are diverse, and the decisions you need to make are fraught -- will you forsake the development of a planet because it looks more hassle than it's worth? Doing so may mean you miss out on a resource that could cost you the game...

The Escapists

If you fancy yourself as a bit of an Andy Dufresne, then The Escapists will let you play out your very own Shawshank Redemption fantasy. As an incarcerated ne'er-do-well, you'll need your nous and a little bit of luck to escape from one of six different prisons.

Coming from a game like Civilization VI to this may seem a little jarring, but in many ways the games are complementary. Switching from the macro-management of an empire to a singularly focused task like a prison break will keep your perspective fresh. Yet, the strategic elements are still in play -- you may have a narrower purpose, but juggling the different jobs that will lead to your escape is no different than balancing the numerous goals you need to achieve for a glorious victory on the field. 

The premise is straightforward enough. Explore the prison throughout the day, making a note of potential escape routes, items that might help you get out, and people you can bribe, threaten or cajole into assisting you. The beauty of the system is that there's no single solution to get out of any prison, which gives you the flexibility to be as creative as you want. Taking imprints of keys, trading with (or stealing from) inmates, or even crafting your own means of escape -- it's all possible, as long as you make sure you hide your contraband and cover your tracks.

The variety in The Escapists is what makes it a joy to play. There are a few RPG elements to help you become more proficient in fights, more able to craft complex tools, and more speedy for those times you need to hotfoot it back to your cell. But ultimately, the game is about planning. It took Andy Dufresne nineteen years to escape incarceration. These six prisons may not take quite as long, but there's a sequel on the way so you'd better start practising.

 

Endless Legend

Back to Amplitude again, but this time in a fantasy setting and with more of a tabletop feel. Given their small size, the studio have pumped out some genuinely excellent titles -- and this fully realised and addictive entry in their catalog is no exception. 

Consider Endless Legend to be a mish-mash between the Civilization and Age of Wonders series, and you will be on the right lines. There are differing factions which grant varying bonuses such as improved technology or better bartering skills. There is a brilliantly detailed map which allows you to immediately spot areas of tactical advantage and then watch your troops battle it out, as if the intro to Game of Thrones was an actual battlefield you could interactive with.

Most importantly, like its space-themed sibling, there is a real sense of playability. Amplitude really do know how to design an interface. The AI was a little more passive than we'd have hoped for on release, but thanks to constant updates from the developers, this has since been improved. There's no substitute for playing against a human though, so if you prefer high fantasy to galactic warfare, grab a buddy and live out your Westerosian drama right here. Stellar stuff.

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Do you have a particular favorite indie strategy game? Let us know in the comments! 

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The Top 7 Games of 2016 As Dictated By Me https://www.gameskinny.com/93cuo/the-top-7-games-of-2016-as-dictated-by-me https://www.gameskinny.com/93cuo/the-top-7-games-of-2016-as-dictated-by-me Tue, 10 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

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And that's it! 2016 really was something fantastic for me in gaming. These games are ones that I feel will stick with me for some time and I can't wait to sink more hours into each of them. It's going to be interesting to see what 2017 is going to hold for us.

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What games did you love this year? Am I wrong for loving any of the games here? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-souls-9c185.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-souls-9c185.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146913","description":"
Dark Souls III
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Developer: From Software

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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It's sad to think that I won't be getting another Dark Souls game. While I was late to the SoulsBorne bandwagon, I have absolutely adored my time with Dark Souls III. I've talked before about how I am definitely not the best gamer you are going to find. I'm not the biggest fan of games that market themselves about being extremely difficult. For this reason, I thought I would never be a fan of the SoulsBorne series. But boy, was I wrong.

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I started late with Bloodborne, but I immediately fell in love with the game and was hooked. When Dark Souls III came out earlier this year, I couldn't press the purchase button fast enough on Steam so I could finally get into the game.

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Everything about this game is something to behold. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous. Every place you travel to in the game is just screenshot fodder (especially the first time you see Irithyll of the Boreal Valley). I was constantly being wowed by the look of this game. The way the game teaches you how to slow down and think through your attacks is one of the most interesting things I've seen in gaming in a while.

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We live in a world where games that have quick kill times are the kings of the industry, but this game about slowing down and taking your time has been an absolute hit for years. It really is refreshing.

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I think my favorite thing about the game, though, is that there is no obstacle that can't be overcome. Yes, it may take you more time than you thought, but you will always overcome that challenge. It's hands down one of the most satisfying games I've ever played, and I can't wait to see what From Software produces next.

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DOOM
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Developer: id Software

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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I'm going to get this out of the way now. I have never played the original Doom games. I respect the position they have in the gaming community and recognize the trends that they really started for our industry, but I still haven't gotten around to playing them. That being said, 2016's DOOM may be one of the best games I've played in years.

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There is just so much to love here. The fast paced action, the gruesome glory kills, the personality of this silent Doom Slayer, the soundtrack (my god the soundtrack), the variety of weapons, the extremely well designed levels, the list goes on and on. I have just loved my time with this game and I was even late to the party. I started really playing this game around Christmas, but even then I knew I was getting into something special. Every moment I played I realized more and more why id is the juggernaut that it is. 

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If you haven't gotten the chance to rip and tear your way through DOOM yet, drop everything you're doing and go get this game. You most definitely won't regret it.

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The Jackbox Party Pack 3
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Developer: Jackbox Games

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV

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A few years ago I learned about a collection of party games called The Jackbox Party Pack. The collection contained a series of 5 different party games that were played on whatever device you bought the game on. The catch was that you controlled the game with any mobile device you hooked into the website. The games always brought laughter to my living room and gave me and my friends a real good time.

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This year, the fine folks brought out the third iteration of the collection adding 4 new games along with a sequel to the previous collection's game Quiplash. I truly believe that this is the finest collection of games they've released yet.

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With the previous collections, there were always a couple games that really had my attention but the other games could have been left to the side for me. This new collection, though, has a series of games that I have yet to get tired of. All of them are huge hits whenever I gather my friends over. Whether it's trying to escape from a gameshow loving serial killer, or just trying to make the group laugh with different quips, I have had a hell of a lot of fun with these games this year. The next time you get some friends together and are searching for things to do, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 can definitely liven up that gathering.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/v/civ-f03e7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/v/civ-f03e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146861","description":"
Sid Meier's Civilization VI
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Developer: Firaxis Games

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Platform: PC

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Civilization V is my most played game on Steam. As of this writing, I have sunk 120 hours into the game. When Civilization: Beyond Earth came out, I was looking forward to continue my Civilization experience beyond the stars. Unfortunately, that game just doesn't click with me, so I was ready for a new Civilization game that could bring my attention back to the series that had taken up a lot of my time. Enter Civilization VI.

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Civilization VI is hands down the most polished base Civilization game to date. It's clear that Firaxis learned from their missteps with Civ V and Beyond Earth.

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This new game just feels polished in just about every way (save for the AI. Hoo boy does that need some work). I have already found myself saying, "just one more turn," and then looking over three hours later to find myself still playing. Civilization VI is definitely worth your time if you've been a fan of the series for a long time or are just now looking to get in on the fun.

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Titanfall 2
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Developer: Respawn Entertainment

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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I never played much of the original Titanfall so I wasn't on the bandwagon of wanting this. After picking the game up when it was on sale earlier this year, I can safely say that I wish I would have played the original.

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Titanfall 2 has done so many things right. It's campaign is one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I've ever played. Each level had some unique elements that it introduced that kept me wanting more. On top of this, the multiplayer is one of the best multiplayer experiences I've had in a very long time. I haven't this heavily into the fast paced shooter action since my days with Modern Warfare 2. What makes it so good? I think it's the relationship between the fast paced pilot combat and the slower, more strategic, Titan combat. This relationship is just fantastic to watch play out in any match in multiplayer.

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I have had an absolute blast with this game and it's sad to think that more people aren't playing it. Sure, the game came out in a really poor time between the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield 1 but I really think that this is the title worth your time.

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Overwatch
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Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

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Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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I've been watching people play Overwatch since Blizzard started letting streamers and YouTubers play it early. With every person I saw playing it, my desire to play this game grew and grew. Finally this year, I got to experience what may be my new favorite shooter.

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Overwatch is a game that I find myself coming back to time and time again. The team based combat really is something that I found that I really got on with. Being able to coordinate with your teammates to get that victory feels absolutely fantastic. The colorful cast of characters bring something desperately needed after years of drab military shooters. These characters feel like a lot of time, love, and effort were put into crafting them. The competitive scene is actually one of my favorite things I've gotten into this year. This is surprising for me as I am definitely not someone who was about the heavily competitive gaming scene. Now I can't wait to get my rank up and climb the ladder in the competitive mode.

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On top of all this, we get the world class support of Blizzard behind it releasing free content in the way of new characters, game modes, and new maps. This game is truly something special and something that I genuinely look forward to playing for quite some time.

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Pony Island
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Developer: Daniel Mullins

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Platform: PC

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Last year, I was completely blown away by Undertale and was introduced to the concept of the meta game. These are games that play with your mind and bring the person behind the keyboard or controller into the game in a very real way.

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This year, Pony Island was able to capture a lot of the same feelings I had while playing Undertale and really show what this new genre can do. This game takes a basic runner game and adds some extremely interesting mechanics and some fantastic storytelling elements to make you question what is truly going on in the game.

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If you haven't had the chance to play this game, you owe it to yourself to head over to Steam and pick it up. You definitely won't be disappointed.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/p/top-7d9b3.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/p/top-7d9b3.png","type":"slide","id":"146853","description":"

Last week I posted an article listing the top games of 2016 as reviewed by us here at GameSkinny. There were some great games on that list, but I wanted to take some time to talk about other games from 2016 that didn't make the list (but I personally love), as well as expound on some of the games on that list and why I thought they were some of the best-reviewed games of 2016.

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As I said in that article, I explored many new worlds that have stuck with me as I gamed my way through the year, and there were titles that I got into that I would have never expected myself to even touch. On top of that, some of those games have quickly become some of my favorite games ever played.

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So while this list isn't in any particular order, it's a list of games that meant the most to me last year. Let's get into it.

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What's New in Civilization VI? https://www.gameskinny.com/jpo59/whats-new-in-civilization-vi https://www.gameskinny.com/jpo59/whats-new-in-civilization-vi Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:15:38 -0500 Dan Beck

The newest game in Sid Meier's Civilization franchise adds a ton of new features that even experienced Civ players might not be familiar with. New leaders, technologies, policies and even entirely new mechanics are in the new Civilization VI. It has received praising reviews upon launch and it's the fastest selling Civ game in the franchise's history, with the game shipping more than one million units during the first two weeks of its release.

This short but sweet guide will help you get to grips with the basic changes and new additions in Civilization VI.

Tiles

In Civilization VI, cities actually expand across the map rather than being restricted to one tile, allowing each city to look unique and completely customizable. Players can use terrain to their advantage and also choose where buildings are constructed. This gives the player more control over their cities than in previous Civ games. World wonders now take up limited tile space, so there's extra strategy involved -- as players must choose between producing wonders, buildings and districts, or building tile improvements as they all take up precious space.

Completed wonders now come with a short cinematic, rewarding the player by showing how the wonder was developed and built. It looks almost LEGO-like in its animation.

Cities are now made up of districts in which certain buildings can be built. In addition to this, they also provide their own bonuses to the city. Each district is focused on a different aspect of the player's empire. For example, a Campus district produces science and allows the building of libraries, while an Encampment focuses on military, and a Holy Site is centered on religion.

Technology

Technologies are discovered with research points, as in previous Civilization games. But now most techs have a 'Eureka' bonus or objective. A sort of mini-quest, it will grant a research boost to its specific technology once completed, allowing that tech to be discovered faster.

Religion

One main new feature of Civilization VI is the religious victory. It is now possible to win the game via a religious route. To achieve this victory, the player must found a religion and spread it to the point that a majority of cities in every empire follows that religion. It sounds easy if it was Civ V, but now a new feature has been introduced: theological combat. Religious units can now destroy one another, even if the civilizations aren't at war. The winner of the theological battle gets a +250 power boost to their nearby cities and the loser receives -250 power. This makes spreading religion much more difficult and time-consuming.

Culture

Social Policies have been replaced by Civics, which gets its own progression tree. Throughout a game, the player will receive Policy cards, which grant bonuses to their empire. Similar to tech, each Civic has a mini-quest associated with it.

There are now government types which provide bonuses and different slots for Policy cards. New government types are unlocked as the game progresses.

Amenities

Finally, Global Happiness has now been replaced with Amenities which contributes towards city growth. One Amenity is required for every 2 Population. If the player gets more Amenities, then their city will be happier and earn a growth bonus. On the other hand, not enough Amenities will mean slower growth and possible rebellion. Amenities come from luxury resources, Civics, great people, religion, entertainment, and the building of national parks.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the differences and new features in Civilization VI as that can be found by playing the game yourself, however, it covers the basics and I hope it helps prepare you for the newest addition to the Civilization series.

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Civilization VI Gets Viking and Polish DLCs This Holiday Season https://www.gameskinny.com/p438m/civilization-vi-gets-viking-and-polish-dlcs-this-holiday-season https://www.gameskinny.com/p438m/civilization-vi-gets-viking-and-polish-dlcs-this-holiday-season Thu, 22 Dec 2016 15:24:15 -0500 Justin Michael

The elves have been programming in overtime this holiday season and have decided to give the good guys and gals playing Civilization VI an early gift today with patch updates for the main game, as well as a batch of DLC to make you feel all the merrier this Yuletide. 

Winter Update Features

According to the Civilization VI's Steam page, there have been quite the number of patches, fixes and additions to the game with this latest update. Some of them include:

  • New Mechanics
  • Gameplay Updates
  • Balance Changes
  • AI Tuning
  • Bug Fixes
  • Visuals Fixes
  • Multiplayer Fixes
  • UI Additions
  • Audio Additions

Of course, these sections go a lot more in-depth on the Steam page, but you're not here for the patch notes -- you want to know about the DLCs.

Poland Civilization & Scenario Pack -- $4.99

This latest DLC allows you to rule over Poland as Jadwiga, King (although technically a woman) of Poland who ruled in 1384. She brings with her the unique mounted unit, The Winged Hussars, as well as the Sukiennice, a unique building that boosts trade routes. She also has the ability to swipe land off other nations, similar to culture bombing in Civilization V.

The DLC also boasts a 60-turn scenario to defend Poland, Prague and Vienna from angry folks like the Teutonic Knights and the Ottoman Empire, who are up to their usual sneaky ways.

Vikings Scenario Pack -- $4.99

The Viking Scenario pack adds six new city-states to the game, as well as a 100-turn scenario with plenty of exploration and coastal village raiding. It also includes three iconic landmarks of the old-world in the form of Ireland's Giant's Causeway, Norway's Lysefjord and Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano in Iceland.  

All-in-all this some great DLC for those looking for more content and scenarios to test their mettle, as well as general patches and optimizations for all. 

Which of the DLC are you most looking forward to playing and why? Let's talk about it in the comments below!

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6 Tips for Playing Civilization 6 on Deity https://www.gameskinny.com/szlw7/6-tips-for-playing-civilization-6-on-deity https://www.gameskinny.com/szlw7/6-tips-for-playing-civilization-6-on-deity Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:17:13 -0500 Ted Racicot

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1. Production is King 

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This is something that is often overlooked, but it is probably the most important aspect of Civilization 6. How much production do you want? The answer is always more. It is the backbone of your civilization.

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Regardless of the victory condition that you are pursuing, production is going to make everything better. It helps you build wonders for culture victories, complete the different space exploration projects needed for a science victory, or simply build more units for a domination victory. Regardless of how you want to win, production is what will get you there. 

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This means more than building an industrial zone in each city. It means building your cities close enough to each other so that your industrial zones increase the production in all nearby cities.

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It also means focusing on internal trade routes. Unless you are on the verge of bankruptcy, the extra gold that you receive from international trade routes is not as useful as the extra production you receive from internal trade. This is something that I found very hard to wrap my head around, but once I understood the true value of production, it helped make playing on Deity much more manageable. 

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As with anything, playing on Deity will take time. The balancing of this difficulty is very fickle and it can be incredibly frustrating. However, following the tips mentioned in this article will help improve your game play and potentially be able to win games on the hardest difficulty of Civilization 6.

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Where there any tips we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

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2. Pick Strong Leaders 

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Perhaps more so than any installment of the franchise, Civilization 6 leaders greatly impact how you will play the game --  However, not all leaders are created equally.

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While pretty much any leader can be used on lower difficulties, it is recommended to pick the strongest ones when playing on Deity. You will already be behind because of the difficulty, so you might as well give yourself as much of an advantage when selecting your leader. 

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This brings us to the million dollar question; who are the strongest leaders? While tier lists will always be subjective, there a few aspects you want to look for. The first is having a strong early game. As I've mentioned before, the early game is incredibly important so picking a strong early game leader will help immensely. This includes leaders like Gilgamesh and Montezuma, whose early game unique units will help take control of the game.

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Another question to ask when selecting a leader is; are their bonuses relevant all game long? A good example of this type of leader is Qin Shi Huang. The bonus that he gives to workers, as well as his bonus to eurekas and inspirations are something that will be relevant all game long making them strong choices. 

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The best leaders, however, do both of these things. A good example of this is Fredrick Barbarossa. His bonus for attacking city-states gives him the potential to easily conquer weaker neighbors, thus giving him a boost to the early game.

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However, his ability to build the unique Hansa district, to boost production, as well as having the ability to build an additional district in each of his cities makes --Fredrick Barbarossa one of the strongest leaders in the game. 

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3. Follow Eurekas and Inspirations

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 Another new feature added to Civilization 6 is the Eurekas, which gives you a boost on certain technologies, and the inspirations, which do the same for civics. These boosts will help you not fall too far behind your opponents in the early parts of the game, which is a major concern when playing on Deity. 

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This means more than just blindly picking whichever technologies and civics you have unlocked a boost for. You also want to be looking at which potential boosts you can earn in the upcoming turns. When you are planning out which route to take in the technology and civics trees try to plan a few moves ahead. If you have an idea of the technologies you want in the future, you'll have a few turns to pursue the boosts for that technology before you begin researching it.

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Obviously, there are some technologies and civics, such as the ones that unlock new forms of government, which you want to get even if you do not have the boosts for them. However, using more boosts means your science and producing will be spent more efficiently, allowing you to keep up with your opponents on Deity. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/best-governments-policies-for-civilization-0e6b9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/best-governments-policies-for-civilization-0e6b9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143465","description":"

4. Avoid Religion 

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Having the ability to pursue a Religious Victory is something new added to Civilization 6. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to achieve on the highest difficulties.

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First of all, thanks to the huge bonuses that your opponents receive, you will most likely never get the chance to find a religion, even if you focus on nothing else. Even if you get to find a religion, it will be incredibly difficult to spread it. Your opponents land will be flooded with units, making it hard to send Missionaries into their land. Furthermore, as soon as you convert one of their cities, they will have enough faith stored up to reconvert it back to their own faith. 

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Simply put, avoid religion completely. Though it is always tempting to build a Holy Site, since it is typically the first District that becomes available, it will most likely not be worth it. Any time spent on building a Holy Site or any faith-based buildings would be better spent doing basically anything else. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/t/settle-4baef.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/t/settle-4baef.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143464","description":"

5. Expand Early 

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Expanding early seems like a pretty obvious tip. The sooner you expand your empire the sooner you can start improving your cities. It is especially important, however, when you are playing on Deity. With the bonuses that your opponents have, they will be able to expand much quicker than lower difficulties.

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If you are too slow to expand you may find that all of the desirable areas nearby have been taken by someone else. Furthermore, Civilization 6 relies heavily on success in the early game. If you are unable to secure a strong foundation early on in the game than it will be incredibly difficult to catch up later on. 

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Expanding does not only mean creating settlers to found new cities. If you have the ability to take over a nearby city-state, thanks to the units which you invested in for early defense, than you definitely should. However, tread carefully. As mentioned earlier, Civilization 6 relies heavily on early game success. While an early conquest of a weaker neighbor can help you get ahead, a failed conquest will be catastrophic. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/r/barbarians-38950.jpeg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/r/barbarians-38950.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"143463","description":"

6. Defense First 

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After talking to some players new to the Civilization franchise, I realized that investing is something that many people overlook. This is understandable. After all, isn't it a bit more exciting to build buildings that grow your cities rather than spending the first 20 or so turns building a defensive army?

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On lower difficulties you can get away with flimsy defense in the early parts of the game. However, this is not the case on Deity. It is not a question of if you will be attacked, but a question of when you will be attacked. Barbarians are a nuisance on every difficulty. But on Deity they have a serious chance of overrunning you.

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Furthermore, any neighbors you meet will have a much larger army and thus will be more inclined to declare war on you. Because of this, it is vital that the first couple turns be spent building units for defense. At a bare minimum you should build a scout and two slingers to go with the warrior you start the game with. Obviously if you are attacked by a neighbor you will want more, but this is a good starting number to help keep you safe in the early portion of the game. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/v/civ-226b0.jpeg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/v/civ-226b0.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"143462","description":"

The newest installment in Sid Meier's Civilization series, Civilization 6 has been released and has brought quite a bit of changes to the franchise.

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One aspect of the franchise that hasn't changed, however, is that the higher difficulties can be insanely hard. Like other games, playing Civilization 6 on the highest difficulty means that your opponents are given advantages to income and production which help them stay ahead of you. This can be frustrating for less experienced players who are trying the higher difficulties for the first time.

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However, even the games highest difficulty, Deity, can be beaten once you get a hang of things. This article gives six easy tips that will help make playing on Deity not only enjoyable, but also winnable. 

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5 Biggest Assholes in Civilization VI https://www.gameskinny.com/eh5cg/5-biggest-assholes-in-civilization-vi https://www.gameskinny.com/eh5cg/5-biggest-assholes-in-civilization-vi Sun, 27 Nov 2016 14:30:01 -0500 Stefano Bonacchi

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1. Schythia

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Schythia is the troll civilization.

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The ability to build light cavalry (or their unique units) and get another unit free, units getting stronger while fighting against wounded enemies, and recovering health whenever they eliminate a unit gives Schythia a very big advantage in the early to mid game.

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If you happen to be near them, chances are you'll be overrun and your capital will be conquered by their unending hordes of light cavalrymen. Needless to say, it will be very hard to counter this arsehole of a civilization.

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What do you think? Do you agree with our picks? Do you think that other civs are more of a pain to deal with than those mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

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2. Germany

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Germany gains some pretty powerful bonuses: its cities can build an additional district, and they get a sizable military bonus against city states.

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Thus, they can quickly and easily snowball into a military powerhouse and try for a Domination victory relatively early on. This may prove problematic if they spawn near your civ in the early game -- and you aren't playing a civ that has an early military focus like Sumeria or Schythia.

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3. Arabia

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Arabia has the potential to be really annoying in the midgame.

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Their unique units, the Mamluks, which replace the Knight, are able to heal every turn, even after moving or attacking. This gives Arabia the ability to use Hit and Run tactics to destroy superior foes.

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Coupled with the sizable science and religion bonus they get if they are not beaten in the early game, it becomes incredibly hard to gain a victory condition before they achieve their Science victory.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/f1e21389a047ba52f68e4777bc5c29d9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/f1e21389a047ba52f68e4777bc5c29d9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"9977","description":"

4. China

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China works completely differently than Sumeria. The Chinese empire often seek a cultural victory over domination.

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However, that doesn't mean they won't cause a problem for your civ. China gets the Crouching Tiger Cannon relatively early in the game. It costs no resources to make and is a powerful short-ranged ranged unit China also has the ability to build a great wall upgrade in any tile. This will initially grant defense and gold and later on, tourism bonus.

Combined with China's ability to get an extra build order from all their builders and the fact that Eurekas and Inspirations give China a bigger boost than any other civ, it's not hard to figure out that if not stopped early on in the expansion phase, the Chinese empire might start turtling up and just bide its time until a Culture Victory.

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If China were to spawn in an isolated position, it might make it hard to achieve a victory against them. So if you're playing against China, find them early and find them fast.

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5. Sumeria

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Sumeria has a big advantage in the early game that if properly exploited, CAN prove to be quite powerful.

Sumeria is able to get their special unit at game start -- and it gets no combat penalties against spearmen like other cavalry units do. What's more, Sumeria can also levy armies from city states for half the cost, a pretty useful bonus and in the hand of an extremely aggressive AI, this can lead to a very quick early game expansion. That's bad for you if you happen to be their neighbor.

Of course, they can be countered just like any other civ, but getting such an early start doesn't help the matter. Just survive long enough to build a wall --Gilgamesh becomes much less of a threat after that.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/v/civvi-share-5ad7b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/v/civvi-share-5ad7b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"142422","description":"

Civilization VI is the newest entry in Sid Meier's Civilization series, a highly acclaimed 4X strategy series where players pick a civilization, its perks (and weaknesses) and bring it to glory.

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But not all civilizations in Sid Meier's epic are created equal. Some can prove to be a bit hard to deal with, to say the least, while others can even be downright infuriating at times, if you encounter them at the wrong point in the game.

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This article showcases 5 civilizations that have the potential to truly ruin your fun if you're not properly prepared to counter them.

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Civilization 6 Review: Is It What We've Been Waiting For? https://www.gameskinny.com/a5vb9/civilization-6-review-is-it-what-weve-been-waiting-for https://www.gameskinny.com/a5vb9/civilization-6-review-is-it-what-weve-been-waiting-for Sun, 30 Oct 2016 15:58:51 -0400 ESpalding

In May 2016, Firaxis released the announcement trailer for the next installment in the Civilization series. Since then, fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Civilization VI -- and on October 21st we finally got what we had been waiting for.

I have been a fan of Civilization since the original game, so I was dead excited to get my hands on the latest installment -- and I was in no way disappointed. It isn't the best Civ game out there (for me that would be Civ IV) but it is fun and well worth a play.

The new game is very easy on the eye, and the gameplay has been somewhat streamlined and less intimidating for new players. There is a whole host of new features which only enhance the game and there have been some removed which also seems to make the game more user-friendly. It's all wrapped up in the historically correct content that Civ players are used to.

The start of the English Empire

Tile by Tile

There are many articles already about the introduction of districts, so I'm not going to go too much into them -- but I am going to give my opinion on them. I think that they are a very welcomed addition to the gameplay mechanics of Civilization VI. There are certain areas, just like a real-life city, which are designed to do specific things like an entertainment area, an industrial area, and university campus, etc., and this has now been incorporated into the game. So you unlock the industrial district, for example, which means that you can now add an area to your city which is focused on generating production. Inside the industrial zone, you can build factories, workshops, and power plants.

For me, this unstacking of the cities makes me properly feel like I am building my own civilization. When you unlock a Wonder, these get their own tile and are well designed and very visible on the map. A lot of work has gone into making each district look distinctly different from the other tiles around it.

I haven't played them yet but some civilizations have their own unique districts. For example, Russia has the Lavra district (which is a monastery) and Rome has the Bath district (which replaces the Aqueduct).

Choose where you want to put your new district

Diplomacy matters

The AI in Civilization VI is a bit annoying, to say the least. It is pretty unpredictable, but as long as you've taken the time to check out and read everything in the diplomacy menus, then you should be okay.

With each leader having their own agenda, it is actually pretty easy to keep on top things and to keep them at bay... mostly. However, I did find that there was a lot of contradictions with my civilizations own agenda and play style when it came to appeasing everyone. For example, I kept getting hassle from Norway, a military civ, when I was playing as India, a peaceful cultural civ. He kept building up to my borders and then accusing me of intentionally putting my troops next to his borders when mine were there originally. Then there were the messages about my lack of military and that he likes a leader who has a strong military force. Clearly, our civilization's ideals overlapped but the fact that the AI kept on at me nearly made me give up on that campaign.

A lot of improvements have been made in diplomacy, and things are pretty transparent if you look for them. There is a clear way of starting friendships with other civilizations and plenty of opportunities to strengthen it and force alliances. You can send delegations, send gifts, make deals, start trade routes -- eventually forming an alliance to help in times of war etc.

Do you want to be friends with Cleopatra of Egypt?

Listen to the trees

The Technology and Civic trees, that is. Any old hand at the Civ games will be all too familiar with the way that the Technology tree works in-game. But a new concept to Civilization VI is the Civic tree. While the normal tech tree focuses on military and science, the civic tree allows you to work through cultural development and diplomatic concepts. This side of things really interested me.

Sometimes you are rewarded with something called a Policy card, which allows you to change something within your government set up. The card might give you a boost to production during certain eras or might aid you in diplomatic relations with city-states by giving extra envoys. Instead of changing your government type all the time, this allows you to tweak your policies with the slots you have available instead of totally changing government type all the time.

A variety of Government types to choose from

Sights and Sounds

I love the look of Civilization VI. I like how they have made the leaders look even though they are very cartoon-like. But I've seen comments on a variety of forums of those who disapprove of this new look. Yes, Civ has been known for its more 'realistic' art style and I'm not saying that I don't like that -- but for me, this new look is in line with the overall aesthetic of the game. All the colors on the map, the buildings, the units...they are all bright and quite vivid in some cases and I think that the more cartoon look of the leaders fits in well.

Once again, the soundtrack is very nice and there are some familiar tunes hidden in there, but the calm music lends itself to being laid back and relaxing. One of the best things about the sounds of Civilization VI is the new narrator. This time around it is none other than the British actor Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings). Although my favorite narrator will always be Leonard Nimoy, Bean's voice suits the narration and reading the various quotes.

One of the Great Works of Literature

Need some advice?

If you have played other games in the series, you will be familiar with Advisors. In previous games, your military advisor or culture advisor would pop up on screen and offer you advice on what you might want to consider doing next. But this time around, these have been replaced by one advisor who will give you little bits of advice. Literally, little bits.

Basically, it is just like "we must send an envoy to other city states"... ok, so a bit of an explanation would be good there. Why do we need to? What would be the benefit of doing that? In this example, the information about benefits etc. could be found on the envoy screen -- but other than that, the Advisor does really advise and just gives you a bit of nudge in the "what to build next" direction.

Yay, I got a Great Prophet! Now, what?

For what short givings Civilization VI has, I can't put it down. They are definitely outweighed by the fact that it is a good game with plenty of playability and the new additions make it a unique game on its own and a contender in the strategy field. I definitely recommend it to those who are already a fan of the series and to those who are relatively new to the RTS genre.

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Does Civilization VI need VR Support? https://www.gameskinny.com/9poyk/does-civilization-vi-need-vr-support https://www.gameskinny.com/9poyk/does-civilization-vi-need-vr-support Mon, 31 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

Virtual Reality is quite the gaming darling right now. It seems that everybody wants their games to be a part of this very interesting new technology that seems to redefine how we play. The ability to immerse yourself in a game-world is a truly enticing and when done properly, is an amazing experience. That being said, I don't think that every game needs to be brought into VR.

Earlier this week on Reddit, a post was made showing off someone playing Civilization VI in a VR desktop program. It got me thinking about how cool it would be to do that. At the time I saw the post, I hadn't played the game itself yet but the idea was still cool. After playing the game for a little bit, I can safely say that I don't want that game in VR. 

Now, my experience with VR is very minimal. I've been able to sit down with a HTC Vive for about two hours, so my experience with it may not be representative of what those with their own VR set up are seeing. But from my experience and observation, VR hasn't been able to give us many examples on how a game can be enhanced with its technology. I firmly believe that if a game is going to be a success in VR, it needs to present mechanics that would be better performed in VR rather than using the technology that we already have (controllers or mouse and keyboards).

Let's take Civilization VI, for example. The majority of that game is spent looking at a map and clicking on options in menus. Virtual Reality's biggest boon is the fact that it is able to place a player in the world that they are playing in. In my opinion, Civilization VI has nothing to benefit from this boon.

In order for a Civilization game to work in VR, I feel that a game made specifically for the medium would be the best route. The issue I see with this, though, is that it would be so tedious that a player would spend maybe an hour in the game just for the novelty but after that, they'd just move back to a regular game of Civilization.

Each scenario I think of for a VR Civilization just seems like it would be so much more of a hassle to play over extended periods of time. The movement mechanics I can think of that would benefit the VR, would take away from the Civilization that players are used to playing. Whether it be a teleporting mechanic a la The Gallery, or using room scale to walk around the map, I just don't think that it would translate well to the mechanics that are already in place. Using a controller for movement would defeat the purpose of a VR headset as you could manipulate the camera to turn around and move.

As a whole, I just don't see a VR Civilization game being much fun. The mechanics of the game just seem to be at odds with the VR technology. The nature of a game of Civilization doesn't have anything that could be enhanced with a VR headset. The best case scenario I could see with a VR version of the game is just a Virtual Desktop where a player just has a larger screen to play on.

Now this isn't me saying that all games that currently exist have no business with bringing in VR support. On the contrary, I have a list of games that I would love to see have VR support. I think if Alien: Isolation was remade with the stereoscopic imaging that is needed for VR, the game would be amazing and terrifying. Bioshock is another game that I would love to have in VR. I just feel that certain games fit within the realm of what VR is trying to offer us.

What do you all think? Would you like to play Civilization VI in VR? Let me know in the comments!

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