I didn't really get into the whole Civilization thing until the release of Civilization IV and found it to be surprisingly addictive and good fun before checking out its predecessors. There was a massive deal of depth to it, and although it took me a little while to get to grips with the game mechanics, I picked things up pretty quickly. Now, Sid Meier has brought us an even more streamlined and accessible Civ game to try and spread his empire-building...erm...empire to a wider audience, and it's pretty darn good.
If you've always had a hankering for global domination, you might be interested to know that you can pick up a copy of Civilization Revolution for just £9.73 from The Hut, saving you over £5 on the nearest competitor (Sendit - £14.89).
It's worth noting that Revolution was built from the ground up for the console audience, and as such offers a somewhat simplified take on the Civ series although the basics are instantly recognisable. As usual, there are four different ways for your burgeoning empire to achieve victory: by beating up everyone else with your armies, by investing in your boffins to achieve scientific superiority, by engaging in fierce financial fighting and buying your way to victory or by making sure that yours is the cultural centre of known world.
Revolution is by far the most welcoming instalment of the series so far, with plenty of virtual advisors to help steer newbies through the strategic wastelands and the myriad of options available to the player from the start. The lack of a mouse isn't as painfully apparent in this game as with other console strategies either, with navigation and exploration working fairly well with the dual-stick system, and the games have been cut down in terms of campaign completion time to accommodate the short attention span of us console gamers.
Unfortunately, this means that the most compelling and addictive aspects of Civilization Revolution, and this is just as addictive as any other game in the series even without defensive alliances, aren't quite realised as well as they should be. The biggest flaw with this game is that it's all over far too quickly. You'll keep playing, though, just to do it all over again with a different nation, in a different way as if Risk was laced with crack.
Thanks to Jerec at HUKD